Water Moccasins, or Cottonmouth Snakes
Water moccasins have a bad reputation as angry and aggressive. Maybe they deserve it and maybe they don’t, but this particular snake certainly wasn’t happy when I stumbled across it. Living in an area known to be “snakey” I always go out prepared. I carry a snake stick and wear long pants and high boots, even in summer.
So I was out walking and, sure enough, there was a snake. I wasn’t out to hurt the snake, but there is something about an angry snake that is hard to resist, particularly when you know it can’t really hurt you. Maybe that same fascination exists for dogs. Is that why they get bit so often?
But, back to the snake itself. There it was. One angry water moccasin. Open mouth display. Periodic strikes. A lot of teeth. I can understand why so many people fear snakes. Even as prepared as I was, I felt nervous. One surprising thing about the snake, the more I looked at it, was how well it blended in with its surroundings. There were a lot of grayish sticks and some dead leaves, and, had I not been paying attention, I’m not sure I would have noticed it. Also, even when the snake was so very angry, I didn’t feel it really wanted to bite me. It wanted to get away or be left alone.
Now, because the snake was out in the woods and not hurting anyone, I did (eventually) leave the snake alone. Had it been in my garage, for instance, or in my house (can you hear the screams?!) I would have hired snake removal instantly to get rid of the animal, its waste and any other snakes that might be around. As it was, I just walked away, leaving Mr. Snake to his peaceful water moccasin life.