My 13 year old son, Mark, went into the chicken coop to gather eggs. Seconds later he let out an ear piercing scream that reverberated through the whole neighborhood. I came running expecting to see him covered with wasp stings. “SNAKE!” was all we could understand of his gibberish. He had casually stuck his hand into a nesting box to get an egg and grabbed a big black snake instead. Well that explained our recent reduction in egg production. I went in the coop and there was the thief contently coiled on top of three or four eggs. A bulge behind the head convicted him of his crime. We yelled for my older son, Allen, who has taken care of this problem in the past. He came down from the house with Catherine, his new wife of two weeks. She quickly proved her metal. She took control of the situation going in after the snake. The snake slithered through the back of the nesting boxes and under a laying hen. This hen was undeterred, so we chased it out and Catherine carefully captured the snake. “It’s a beauty” Catherine exclaimed in a Steve Erwin Aussie accent. While Catherine was carrying the snake, it vomited the egg. She took the snake down to the creek and threw it in, the idea being that it would swim to the other side never to bother our chickens again. Instead it swam back to our side. So Catherine climbed into the creek and grabbed the snake again and walked it in waist deep water to the other side. In a matter of a few exciting minutes our wonderful new daughter-in-law Catherine became an important asset to our backyard farm.
~Dale Maurice Johnson