Snakes (straying OT)

From: Clay Luther <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 17:11:04 -0500

> Adept wrote:
> > In the lands of the Orlanthi (Dragon Pass) the example snake is listed
> > a cottonmouth. Isn't that an American rattlesnake?
> and TTrotsky replied:
> > An American pit viper actually. Much the same, admittedly, except
> > they don't rattle. The rattlesnake is a Pelorian beast.
> Just about all poisonous snakes in North Carolina are in the pit viper
> family (Cotton Mouth [aka Water Mocassin], Rattlesnake and Copperhead).
> I don't know if one is more deadly than another, but I fear the Cotton
> Mouths far more than the others. They are aggressive, territorial, and
> instead of injecting a large amount of venom in a quick bite, they latch
> on and gnaw. Ungh.
> - - doug

A very remarkable memory from childhood springs up around cotton mouths. I was spending the summer in the west Texas piney woods and we were playing some run-about-all-over-the-place game in a swamp (kids are kinda dumb). One of the kids was bitten by a cotton mouth, but not into his skin. Just into his jeans. The cotton mouth, all 65 inches of it, held on and chewed and chewed on those jeans. The kid ran and ran, the cotton mouth flopping behind him, hanging onto his jeans.

The kid ran around in circles for what seemed like a hilariously long time until an adult hit the snake with a shovel. Turned out, it was a very pregnant female, too.

Later, in my adult life, I had a personal encounter with what turned out to be a suprisingly calm timber rattler in Oklahoma. He was huge and I deserved to get bit for my clumsiness, but he didn't go for it.

J'ai un regret: je ne regrette rien.

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