As I walked in to the feed room, I stepped over to put my water bottle on a cabinet. My next step would have taken me into the tack up area of the barn. As I started through the door way a snakehead appeared about 12 inches off the floor. A bull snake had already claimed the spot. I laughed at him and went out the original door I had come through then wend around to come at him from another direction. Of course students were arriving as this encounter was going down.
I remembered the snake wrestling I had to do with one earlier in the spring to get it moved out of the way and really didn’t want a repeat with this one. It stayed at the doorway and didn’t get too defensive with me. I kind of shooed it a little and it backed into the feed room but in a defensive, coiled manner. After all snake parts rearranged behind the doorframe I decided that was good enough – it would be out of the way of our traffic.
One of the people coming in was a granddad who is a country guy and likes bull snakes. I put him on watch to keep the people from getting too close and kind of keep an eye on the snake. We were about 2/3 of the way finished with our tacking up the horses when the snake dropped his defense and slithered out of sight. A few minutes later I couldn’t resist - I wanted to see where it went. I carefully peeked around the door and it had found a spot about 8 inches wide that it could tuck into on the floor.
The entire snake was lying on the floor quite relaxed. I spoke to it (yes, I talk to anything that might listen) and he raised his head a couple of inches and appeared to be listening. Granddad and I checked on it two or three times and the snake stayed in a relaxed mode.
Aside note: About 3 weeks ago a bull snake was run over right in front of the house on the main road. Needless to say, I was concerned that we might not have another prowling in the area but, as of today, things are looking good. For those of you who don’t know why I am excited about this, I have found that if I see bull snakes on my place I don’t see rattle snakes. If I have to live with snakes give me the nonpoisonous ones.
Post script: One of my little riders heard her mother and me talking about the snake. She drew a picture for us. Good thing, I didn’t have my camera.