Snakes

snake

Since I move to the farm 33 years ago, I have been catching snakes other places and bringing them to the farm to live.  I have also caught a few copperheads and taken them away from the farm.  Blacksnakes and King snakes are territorial have kept the copperheads away.  As you can see from the one above which is one of a huge pair, Grand Mother and Grand Father that come out frequently to visit with the kids and get paid, eggs, for doing their job.

Snakes follow the Chickens in a similar teaching.  You have to be brave, respectful and calm to hold a snake.  You also have to act like a tree and be the branches that support them.  Only come from below in supporting them.  A snake never bit a tree.

They also offer the lesson of the blackberry bush.  If a snake ever bit you, don’t jerk away, lift the head off. They have small hooked teeth, go towards them, rather than pull away.  Face your fears rather than run away without understanding them.  95% of the time they will not break the skin.

When I have seen kids get bitten by a non-venomous snake, which is all we handle, they immediately calm down like they just got calming medicine and come right back to try again holding the snake, saying “now I understand what you mean”.

It took me many years to really get that how you are being around snakes determines your potential to be bitten.  My Uncle Joe told me common water snakes were the meanest snakes, so I would always grab them, and then go into a meditative state, but I would always get bitten a few times before they would, by some miracle, calm down, and then I would hand them over to the kids.  I finally would just reach down and pick them up, more than half way down their length and gently lift them up, stopping my movement if they got agitated at all.  They stopped biting me.  Still some of the juveniles are fast and we have to grab them to catch them, but they have such small teeth, they don’t break the skin.

Even the smallest snake, or our pet snake is effective in being the teacher to help one face their fear.