They always say that if you are bitten by a rattlesnake, the best thing you can do is keep calm. Well…I can safely say I have never been struck by one, but I am pretty positive that the last thing I will be able to do is stay calm. I can’t even keep calm when I see one, let alone if I happened to get bitten by one.
It was a warm May day and I was halfway through corn planting. It just seemed like it was one of those days, a day that absolutely nothing could go right. As the sun made its way across the sky the clouds started to fill with moisture and build into storms. I was so close to being done with the field I was in, and I just wanted to get it finished before the rain hit. Of course, because of the day I was having, I was running low on fertilizer, and even though I was working against the time I had before it rained, I couldn’t finish without filling with fertilizer first.
I raised up the planter and headed to the tank to fill up. As I neared it I realized I had parked my vehicle right in front of the tank and I was going to have to move it. As I pulled up to my vehicle, I threw the tractor into Park, and hastily exited the machinery. As I stomped (yes stomped) to my vehicle, I kept my eye’s to the West watching the clouds and wondering if the lightning was going to make me have to quit even earlier than I was expecting. I reached my vehicle and as I lifted the handle nothing happened. I had locked my car and the keys were in the tractor! I about faced, started stomping back towards the tractor, saying words I hope my children never use. I was red faced mad because this was just another mark in my book for this crappy day.
As I made it halfway to my vehicle I heard it. It is a sound that is absolutely recognizable, even if you have never heard it before, you will know what it is the second the rattles start vibrating together. A rattlesnake!!! I looked down only to see this snake a few feet from me, he was raised up and ready to strike, only giving me a warning with his rattle to back up or he meant business. I will say right now that I truly wish someone had a video camera on me because I believe we would have won some kind of “funniest home videos” award. I had to have jumped 10 feet in the air, my arms raised over my head, letting out the most high-pitched squeal that even I didn’t know I could do. Thank goodness my instincts took me backward, away from the snake, and not towards it.
After I finally landed back on the ground and took off running away from the creature that was sure to be following me, ready to eat me alive, I made it to the tractor. I picked up my phone, heart pounding out of my chest, and instantly called my husband (not sure what he was going to do for me, but adrenaline had kicked in and I had to share my excitement). After I had finally calmed down, I realized that on my venture to my vehicle to move it I must have stepped over him upsetting him. He wasn’t going to let me pass so easily the second time and thank goodness he warned me before him and I got too close for comfort.
Since I had safely made it back to the tractor, I decided I was going to call it a day. The storm was closer now and it was only a matter of time before it was raining. I decided the universe had been trying all day to tell me to give it up, and since I had survived both an encounter with a rattlesnake and avoided a heart attack, I was going to throw in the towel and quit while I was still ahead.
The featured picture is not “the” rattlesnake in my story. I was too distraught that day to even think about taking out my camera and snapping a picture, but I have seen plenty more rattlesnakes since that day, and as long as I see them before they see me, I am usually calm enough to avoid any kind of confrontation with them and they are calm enough to allow me to snap a couple of pictures.