“Now, there’s blacksnakes around here. One morning I went into the kitchen and opened a door to come into the room there. And when I opened that door, there was a big old blacksnake a-layin’ right on top of the door and it fell down on top of my head! I had an old mop a-settin’ there, and there was little back porch there, and I opened the door and got the mop and just mopped him right out into the yard! He crawled off. I didn’t kill him. One time we had a springhouse out there. Shady. Had two spring-run troughs in there. And we’d milk the cows and skim the milk and make butter and sell it. And so one day my mother told me to do something here at the house, and she’d go churn. She always sat on the nail keg. So when she got done churnin’, she moved the keg and there was a big blacksnake under it. She’d been settin’ on that snake all the time. I heard her hollerin’ for me to come and bring the hoe. Well, I went down there, but we never got the snake.”
Hazel Campbell, 1893 Ashe County – Snowbird Gravy and Dishpan Pie by Patsy Moore Ginns
I’ve heard more snake stories this summer than I ever have. Having a boss who is deathly afraid of them might have something to do with it, but still lots of snake stories around Cherokee County NC this year. Including two incidents of blacksnakes getting in buildings at work.
The most recent blacksnake incident at work happened when a maintenance man found a six-foot long snake in a bathroom. How did he find it? When he entered the room to check the trash it struck at him! Much like Ms. Campbell above he ushered the snake out the door and down into the drainage ditch where the snake politely took off straight back to the building and tried to squeeze under the front door! I hate to think about what sort of tasty snack the snake was after inside the building.