Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sable Hunter

Gives Me The Wiggles


There are a lot of good looking men in this world who give me the wiggles, in a good way. But there is one thing that will set me off in a shiver of absolute dread – and that is snakes. I thought about that this morning when I went outside to check the mail box. I stepped off my front porch and walked a few steps, when I heard a rustle. I looked back and nearly died! I had stepped over a huge snake, a water moccasin, at least 5 foot long, which means he is my size! He didn’t do anything but slither on off, but I swear he was as big around as my arm. At some times of the year they can be very aggressive, so I was very lucky.

I have seen moccasins try to get in the boat with you and crawl up on the bank after you, this occurs during mating season, mostly. They are very dangerous and very poisonous. My dad was very scared of snakes and once he came in and told us he had run over one as big as a tire. Well, I knew he had to be exaggerating, but a friend and I went down into the pasture and sure enough, we found a big snake and killed him. You might think this is cruel, but we had baby calves who would have died from a bite. But however big it was, it wasn’t tire size. However, my uncle was bush-hogging a little later and ran over something, it was big enough to jar his tractor. So, he got off to see what it was – and sure enough it was a granddaddy snake – huge, massive – very deadly. He had killed it with the blade.

Our area was known for those snakes. My grandfather used to tell me that a traveling carnival came to town one year and there was a man who claimed he could charm snakes. He even issued a challenge for anyone to bring any snake to him and he would charm it. Some mean boys in town brought him a big moccasin and the man tried, but the snake bit him and he died. I also have a neighbor who pulled back her covers to get in bed one day – and there one was – not a moccasin, but a black snake. It wouldn’t have to be poisonous to kill me. If I found one in my bed, that would be the last time I slept there. Another lady told me she had one in her house, she had spotted it lying over the fireplace mantel, all stretched out. At first, she didn’t know what it was. She stared at it until it moved and then she screamed and went to get her husband. When they returned, it was gone. Later that night, she heard it in the kitchen cabinets, moving from one shelve to the next. He got it that time.

When my Mom was younger, she and her cousins would go swim down in the pond. There was a narrow trail that led to the water, closed in tight by thick bushes on either side. Uncle Clarence led the way, guiding the other six or seven kids to the lake. To his surprise, a snake met him in the path and instead of turning away and crawling into the bushes, it reared up on its tail and looked Clarence in the eye and he, not knowing what to do, began to punch at it. As he would punch, the snake would dodge – left – right – left – right. Clarence never landed a blow, but he did assert his dominance and the snake finally gave up and slithered away.

I’m telling you all this to tell you a funny story. Last year, I had decided I was going to send a photo of myself to a friend. It was going to be a sexy pose on the bed, and I undressed for the role. I set up my tripod and got myself all ready. I was nervous. I wasn’t used to trying to be a centerfold model. So, I decided to go to the bathroom before setting the timer on the camera and posing. This was at our deer camp, so the bathroom wasn’t big. I got in there and sat down and felt something watching me. I looked over on the vanity and there was this huge snake just staring at me. I didn’t stay on the pot, but I did pee. I literally levitated from where I was at and sailed from the room. I jerked on a robe and called my uncle who came later and found the crack in the floor where the monster got in and he also found a couple more snakes and got rid of them for me. Obviously, the sexy picture waited until another day, but I did get it taken and dispatched it to the proper party. Ha! – That’s another story.

In my part of the world snake stories have a life of their own. Everybody has one or two or more. There are always photos in the paper of men holding up rattle snakes, longer than they are. It reminds me of a cartoon, I always enjoyed. It showed a bored man, standing by his wife. The wife’s hair is standing straight up. They are surrounded by houseplants. And the caption reads, “Well, when you live in a jungle, you have to expect snakes.” And I do, I live in the swamp and snakes live here too. That’s one reason I have cats, the more cats you have, the less snakes you have. But I wouldn’t want any of them to tangle with the big one that I stepped over this morning.

I have written about snakes a couple of times – in Cowboy Heat and TROUBLE. Here’s a good scene from TROUBLE.

Product Details



Kyler Landon smoothed the supple leather with a large, roughened hand. The saddle was almost completed. This particular saddle would go to the Houston Livestock Rodeo and be presented to the current World Champion cowboy. It was solitary work, but work he enjoyed. Tooling patterns on the leather was his favorite thing, this one had a vine pattern, and the brand of the cowboy’s ranch figured prominently in the design. Letting his mind wander, he found himself caressing the leather, remembering the last time he touched the velvety skin of a woman. Stop! He tried to turn his mind away from sex. He tortured himself night after night with images of a soft, sweet woman who would welcome him between her thighs. He wanted a woman who would let him love her as much and as often as he wanted. A woman that would enjoy his loving as much as he enjoyed loving her.

It had been a long time, too damn long. Dallying with the local girls could get you into a whole passel of trouble—especially a man in his position.

The sound of a vehicle stopping at his front gate pulled him from his sensual reverie. He imagined it was the mysterious little black car from down the road, but he knew better. This was a bigger engine. Sometimes, when he was working out in the front yard, that car would go by and slow down to a crawl. The windows were tinted completely black, a great deal darker than was legal, he knew. So, he was at a disadvantage. He couldn’t see who was behind the wheel, but whoever it was could sure the hell see him. And they had looked, long and hard. He could actually, physically, feel their gaze on his skin.

Hell, he had even fantasized about who was driving that sexy little car. Once, when he had been working on the front fence without a shirt, the driver had actually run off the road. That fact had made him smile. Whoever it was, he was getting to them. As his luck ran, however, the driver was probably a woman in her seventies or a man in his forties. But one could dream.

He sat there too long, dreaming. He heard the vehicle leave. Rising from his chair, he made his way out of the Saddlery shop and across the yard to the main house. A package sat by the front door. ‘Must have been UPS,’ he thought. Good! He had been waiting on some custom silver belt buckles for a special order. Taking the six front steps in two leaps, he grabbed the package from the floor, opened the door, and let himself in.

Laying the cardboard box on the coffee table, he grabbed a beer and headed back to the yard. The belt buckles would have to wait. One of these days, a cold front would head this way and he would want to put a fire in the fireplace, so wood needed to be split. He opened his mouth to call the dogs, but then remembered he had taken them to the vet for their annual check-up and shots.

Today, it would just be him. Alone again. Going to the side of the house, he retrieved his axe. Chopping wood would go a long way to working off some of his sexual frustration. Maybe. Hell, it was worth a try. The wood was piled out front near the gate, a mix of red oak and hickory, as good for barbeque as it was for heat. He swigged the beer, and then set the bottle up on top of a fence post. Ky had employees who could have done this work for him, but he like to keep in shape and there was nothing better than real physical labor to put on layers of muscle—it beat the crap out of a gym, any day.

It didn’t take long for him to find his rhythm and even a shorter time for him to get hot and decide to shed his shirt. As he worked, he reviewed his plans for the next few days. Tomorrow was his day to put time in at his animal shelter, Saturday was Angel Pantry day and not a woman in sight for the best date night of the week. Shit!

 

Cooper drove slowly by the Landon place. Ah, sweet Lord! There he was. And the fact she had been a good girl was paying off in spades. The powers-that-be had seen fit to reward her by letting the sun beat down hot enough to cause Gorgeous to shed his shirt. She slowed to a crawl. Sometimes, he would stop working and watch her drive by. Today, he appeared too busy to notice. A movement at the side of the woodpile caught her eye. What in the world? Cooper was alarmed to see a huge snake crawling out of the stacked logs. The vibrations of the axe on the wood had obviously disturbed it. This couldn’t be good.

Cooper pulled over and stopped. Trying to be as quite as possible, she opened the car door but did not shut it. The snake was right behind her neighbor and she was afraid to call out, for fear, any sudden movement on his part would cause the snake to strike. The rhythmic movement of the man and the axe had the snake, seemingly, hypnotized.

She walked as silently as she could, until she was at the fence, right behind the snake. He was coiled and ready to strike. Cooper knew snakes, having grown up on in the deserts of southwest Texas. She quickly recognized that either the rattler had somehow lost his rattles in an accident, or someone had intentionally caught it and removed them for a hat decoration or whatever.

It was now or never. Putting aside her normal reservations about being so close to a man, she decided his safety was more important than her own. Climbing slowly up on the fence, she spoke softly. “Don’t move, Mr. Landon. Don’t move a muscle.” The snake was huge! Coiled up, it was hard to judge, but it could easily top five feet.

The beautifully muscled man slowed his movements, until he was still. “Is this a hold-up?” He asked the question softly, with a touch of humor in his voice.

“No, but there is a major-sized rattlesnake right behind you, and it’s getting ready to strike.”

Ky froze. He didn’t know which he was more concerned about, the idea of a dangerous reptile or the intriguing female voice that made him want to risk turning his head to look and see if the rest of her matched the incredible, husky, little voice.

“Just listen to me. As you know, snakes can’t hear, but they can feel vibrations. I am going to jump off this fence. Hopefully, it will turn on me. When I scream ‘now’, you turn around and whack him with your axe. Please.” She did not hesitate—there wasn’t time.

She jumped. The snake whirled around and immediately struck out at her. “Now!” She dodged backwards for all she was worth, slamming her body into a fencepost. The snake’s deadly fangs grazed her thigh, but from the look of things, distance and the thickness of her jeans saved her from a direct hit. Ky did his part and the snake’s head parted company with its body.

Cooper tried to get up, but the post she had run into had obviously knocked the wind out of her.

“Good Lord!” Ky. Landon looked from the snake to her. “Did he get you?” At her slight negative nod, he quickly picked her up. “Let’s get you in the house and make sure.”

Cooper struggled. “No. No. I’m all right. I can walk, I’m too heavy for you to try and carry.”

“I think I can bear up under your tremendous weight.” Ky looked down at his slight burden. He would have smiled at her consternation, if the situation hadn’t been so serious. Heavens! She was lovely. All he could think of were the words to one of his favorite Elvis songs, ‘Well hello, T-R-O-U-B-L-E.’ Thank God, for trouble.

And here is the link for T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Thanks for reading,

Sable

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17 comments:

  1. Growing up in country Australia with so many different variety of snakes about in summer didn't make me like them any better! The only thing good about them was when we had a mouse plague one year & they kept the numbers of mice down!! lol :)

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  2. Oh Sable you are hysterical! I personally would rather come across a snake than a mouse but I would prefer not to see either one. I usually have a hoe nearby if I am in the garden and come across one. I was on my knees planting strawberries and I saw a snake coming straight for me. It was only a harmless grass snake but I didn't want it in my lap so I waved my hands so it would see me but it didn't veer off like I thought it would. I had to tap it on the head with my garden spade

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  3. It did turn away then but I was getting ready to give him a chop with the spade.

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  4. Elizabeth BucknerMay 29, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    I saw a little black snake in my house a few weeks ago. I about lost it. The dogs just looked at it like so??? I hate them but that comes from living in Panama when I was young and seeing them all the time. Ewww!!!! Now I will have to go back and reread Trouble now that you put it in my head again.

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  5. Christine LaCombeMay 29, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    I agree with you Sable, I hate snakes. We lived in the country for a few years and had chickens. I was the one to go get the eggs and I hated walking back where we had the coop at because I had already seen some snakes on the ground by the trees. After we moved to the city and my sons got older, they kept telling me they wanted to get one of those snakes, the kind you feed mice to, and I always said not in my house you don't. They would tell me but mom, it would be in a glass aquarium and I would say I don't care. Yeah, I won, lol. lacombejc@suddenlink.net

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  6. Sable, I am totally with you when it comes to not liking snakes. Every time we go to the Zoo my boys want to go into the reptile house. I have someone else go with them because I just can't take snakes. There was a snake in the backyard when I lived next door to my parents house. I saw it and screamed so loud my Dad came out with a gun thinking that someone was attacking me. Lets just say he thought it was funny that I was screaming over a garden snake.

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  7. Hi Sable, I think most everybody I know has a snake story We live in the desert very rural not much around except lots dirt roads, dry brush, and to much heat which is the perfect setting for snakes. We kept lots of cats hoping to detour snakes and one day one our kittens darted in the front door as opened it she ran in past me into my kitchen and dropped something on the floor she was always catching something, usually mice. Its one of the bad things about living in rural areas. She was a proud hunter always showing of her catch this time it was a snake, a baby rattler and oh my God it wasn't dead I lost it I couldn't believe how scared I was of something so small! My husband came to my rescue from that tiny snake. That day I learned smaller snakes are more dangerous because they can not control the amount of venom released when they strike. I was very fortunate the kitten (Fuzz) was not bitten anywhere. One day we say a l large bird land on telephone pole with a small snake hanging from its beak!! Thanks for sharing your stories.

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  8. I'm so glad i don't live anywhere that has snakes I think I'd be dead of a heart attack by now. All I can say is cooper was very brave to come to Ky's rescue.

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  9. Michelle GallegosMay 29, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    I remember getting chased by water moccasin at Abilene State Park when I was about 9 but the worst experience I ever had with a snake was as an adult. I cared for a baby whose family had a boa constrictor as a pet. It got out one night and killed the baby, crushed her skull after climbing into her crib. I'll never forget that. I'll never understood people who think snakes make cool pets.

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  10. I guess I'm the odd one out, I grew up in South Louisiana and spent lots of time camping in the woods, hiking, canoeing and encountered many snakes both harmless and not. I found as long as I knew the difference then I could be comfortable and enjoy outdoor activities. I feel I enjoyed so many activities that involved possible encounters with snakes that if I had been afraid I would never have done them. I spent time skiing in a lake that had not only snakes but alligators talk about healthy respect for those. I also got the boys in the neighborhood speechless because of course everyone believes girls are so petrified of snakes, talk about turnaround fair play. They caught a snake and tried to put it down my shirt, I took the snake put it on my neck and laughed, It was a harmless snake. Then I realized they obviously were uncomfortable around the snake, so I tried to get each one to put him on their arm or neck . Talk about funny seeing these teenage boys trying to not let this little girl show them up. If I remember rightly only one of them put it on their arm.

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  11. My snake story is about my mother. My step-father, stepbrother, Mom and I were fishing at the local lake. Well Momma had to go use the bathroom, so she made me go with her (of course; you don't go out in the woods to use the bathroom by yourself.) So there I was behind her just chattering away and she suddenly grabbed my shoulders and started turning me around...then the cussing started! We were fishing in a small cove and there were people everywhere. Welllllll you could hear Momma cussing my stepfather for everything he was worth. She is TERRIFIED of snakes (and it was a huge rattlesnake.) She went and sat in the jeep for awhile and then made my stepfather go with her to pee.

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  12. I hate snakes!! Luckily there aren't many around where I live and the ones we do have aren't poisonous. My MIL does tend to find them around her place though (she hates them too). It's funny you picked an excerpt from Trouble, I just finished re-reading it (like 15 minutes ago) :-)

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  13. Snakes are one of my biggest fears in the world. When I was younger me, my cousin, and my niece decided to go exploring in an old shed in the pasture beside our house. No one had been in the she in ages so we thought we might find something interesting inside of it. When we got inside all we really found were some old tools covered in years of dust until we looked up at the shelf that was above our heads. There was a HUGE snake laying up there looking right at us! I have no idea what kind it was but it was about 5 foot long and about 8 inches around. We ran out of there screaming at the top of our lungs and did not stop till we were back safe inside our house. Needless to say, we never went exploring in the shed again.

    I am currently reading the Hell Yeah! series but I know now that I am gonna have to read TROUBLE just as soon as I can! I have fell in love with all of your books and could read them a million times. Thank you for writing such wonderful stories!

    Jennifer Watkins
    jwatkins4401@lions.eastms.edu

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  14. Sable I guess I am the exception to the rule. I have never had a problem with snakes. I grew up in Florida with a bunch of boys(have two brothers and they had buckets of friends). One day a friend came over to the house. He wanted to show me what he had gotten. It was a half grown black snake. He let me hold it and it wrapped itself around my arm. The head was between my thumb and forefinger. Well I stepped to the kitchen door. I called my Mom to come see I wanted to show her something. I had my arm down out of site when she asked what I had I held up my arm and said look Mom isn't he cute. You could have heard my mother scream all the way to Key West. We laughed so hard. She still tells everyone that the boys just brought in dirt, rocks, frogs and worms and her girl always brought in snakes. Now bring a spider or a cock roach to the party and I go ape-sh*t crazy.

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  15. Jennifer D GallagherMay 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Sable you can make even something scary sound funny.. you know I love snakes but if one popped up in the bathroom I would die... I saw a few when in India out in the countryside..I was walking through fields to see how water melons grow.. coming from the UK we do not grow them.. I was told to stop where I was not move or scream!! when told that you do as your told... and there in front of me was a Viper and a big one.. one bite and I would be dead... I wanted to run.. but waited holding my breath and it just slid off... I said ok back to the car no more looking for water melons.. the Pastors just laughed at me!!!

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  16. I'm scared of snakes, too, but the odd thing is I am more fearful of rats than I am of snakes. In fact, I have a serious rat phobia. Can't look at them dead. Can't look at them alive. Can't even look at them on TV.
    Going back to snakes, I do remember killing one years ago. Then I also remember one sort of looking at me, ready to strike, while I was crouched low reaching for something. Luckily, it didn't come after me.

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  17. Shirley BuchananMay 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    I had a similar incident with a copperhead once on our land. I was the one who the snake wanted to strike. And although I held a freshly sharpened bush blade in my hand, I panicked and shoved it in the ground and screamed for my husband. He ran probably 300 yards, grabbed the blade, and severed the snake's head. I had a healthy respect before this, but afterwards, the only time I want to see a snake is in a glass cage. The writing of your incident brought back the forgotten memories, I love your story telling.

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