Saturday, August 21, 2010

Are there snakes in Mississippi?

My wife is terrified of snakes.  Absolutely, completely and irrationally terrified.

Before we moved to Southern Mississippi, my wife had a traumatic experience with a non-venomous snake that bitten off more than it could chew in our driveway in Kentucky.  One bright, warm morning my wife walked out to the car to do her errands when she noticed a small snake in the process of swallowing a toad.  When the snake saw her, he (or she) slithered backwards into a crack in our driveway, disappearing until only the head with the legs of the toad still protruding was visible.  My wife was never the same since.  That night when I returned home, my lovely wife recounted the horror of that experience.  It was then that I casually told her, “Don’t worry, Love.  We are moving to Mississippi where there are no snakes.”  In her emotionally fragile state, she believed me.

I am not sure why most women have an abhorrence for legless reptiles.  Perhaps it is related to the first encounter humankind had with a snake.

In any case, my wife now realizes the folly of believing someone so prone to leg-pulling such as myself, even if she really wanted it to be true.  Recently our next door neighbors found a nest of small snakes living under their driveway, which has my wife in an veritable panic.

I tried to calm her fears by explaining that she was far more likely to get attacked by a rabid raccoon than bitten by a venomous snake.  Although Mississippi is home to 40 species of snake, only nine are venomous, and being bitten by venomous snake is rare with death even rarer In fact, about 8,000 people a year in the US are bitten by venomous snakes, with only 12 fatalities.  This means that your chance of dying by venomous is about one in 200,000.  You are three times more likely to die being struck by lightening than by a venomous snake.

You are roughly 1,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than by a snake, which is why I am really thankful that my wife didn’t see this:

Snake in a truck

Yes, that is a LIVE SNAKE riding with that guy.  A moment earlier, the snake was sticking its head outside the window, enjoying the breeze and the warm sun.  My wife would have gone into hysterics if she had seen this.  I know that Dogs love trucks, but I didn’t realize that Snakes did too.


1 comment:

  1. Nice! Lee's pretty irrational about snakes too. Great picture!