Saturday, April 15, 2006

Snake Stories
Was on a forum where snakes were being discussed. I've got a couple of stories. I think most infantrymen have at least one. You can't go where we go and not see at least one snake in a career. Since the weather is warming and we're getting into snake season, I'll share them.

We were near Kingwood, WV and I'd finally got to wrap up in my poncho (only) and put my head down on the kidney strap of my ruck for a bit of a nap. I was talking quietly to my platoon sergeant when I felt a snake slide down my body from ankle to shoulder and on off about 2' towards one of my fireteam leaders. Yes, on the outside of the poncho and yes, along my back as I was lying on one side. As it moved off it rattled as the FTL got up to move out of the way (rapidly move out of the way). At one point I could feel the snake at my ankle and shoulder at the same time. Now that was the closest I've been to something dangerous but I didn't kill it, nobody did. You see, we were under strict light and noise discipline and didn't want to screw up the exercise by turning on a light or causing a rucus. Neither the PSG or I bothered to get up. Too tired!

When I was about 5, my dad and mom took us (including my sister who was one) for a short hike in the vicinity of Spruce Knob in WV. I was running down the logging road and jumped over something that was in the middle of the road. I heard a rattle and turned around to see the snake just a couple of feet away. I wasn't scared but my dad was (for me). He came around and moved me away from the snake with some mild remonstrance. Yeah, I think he was cussing but I didn't know the words and can't remember them!

Ok, so these aren't great stories. Neither would be the one about finding a baby copperhead moving ever so slowly across the trail one fall or the snake on FT A. P. Hill that was laid out parallel to our trail and seemed to be as long as a fireteam in column. Or maybe you'd like to hear about the cottonmouth that came out of the Rappanahock and crawled across the sandbar on which I was trying to lay an ambush.

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