Snake in the Long Grass

by Callie B.

Over the last couple of years we have been working on replacing the barbed wire fences on our farm with smooth high tensile wire. They need replacing because they are in very bad repair, but also because woolly sheep and pokey barbed wire don’t go well together at all.

We replaced a stretch along the barn pasture where the sheep are living right now earlier this year, and left a couple rolls of barbed wire leaning against a post. Events in our lives transpired such that we didn’t work on that again for a while, and I forgot about the rolls being there until we were down in the barn pasture bush hogging and weed whacking along our new smooth wire.

One of the rather disheartening points about replacing an old fence is that, after much energetic hacking away at a veritable jungle, tearing down the old wire and posts and building new, you barely have time to sit back and survey the work with satisfaction, or start on a different area, when the new stretch begins to become overgrown.

So anyway, we were down in the pasture trying to keep our nice new fence clear, when I remembered  those rolls of barb that needed picking up. They were on the outside of the pasture; there were also some wooden posts that we hadn’t needed and had  left along the inside. I went along, collecting the posts in a wagon, and was about to head for the gate at the far corner to go round and get the barbed wire rolls when I saw another post leaning up against a tree in a little stand of woods.

Heading for the post, I passed between two trees, and one of the things that I hate most in this world happened. A spider web, right in my face. AHH!!!! YUCK! GET IT OFF!  I don’t know about you, but when I run into a spider web, my only thought is that the spider was probably on it, and the spider is now on me, and must be gotten off.

In the resulting waving of arms and dancing around that occurred, my gloves (an absolute necessity when doing this sort of work, even when the temperature is in the 90’s) flew over the fence and into the dry creek bed on the other side. Well great. But I had to go over there to get the barb anyway, and thank goodness the creek was dry!

As I walked back to the gate, and came along the fence line towards the creek, an awful thought crossed my mind, perhaps helped along by the spider incident (the only thing worse then a spider is a snake).

What if there is a snake in the creek bed?!

Of course there isn’t silly! Now go get your gloves.

But there might be snake! I’ll just jump in and grab my gloves as quick as I can and jump out!

So I did. No snake. (Of course not silly!)

Now, time to collect the barbed wire. Since it had been some time since we left them, long grass and weeds had grown up around the rolls. I waded in, and spotting a silver gleam bent down, stretched out my hand…and saw a snake. AHH!!!! YUCK!!! GET AWAY!

Hey Dad! We left some barbed wire rolls down there along the other side of the fence.Yeah, those ones. Uh huh. Too heavy? Oh yeah! I think they are way to heavy for me to lift, you should definitely get them for sure.