Snake whisperer

I attended a snake handler’s class at work today. We were first given an ‘awareness’ talk, followed by handling practices. Snake handling teacher showed us the steps, and we started from the most docile snake out of all he had today. All 4 snakes were venomous. Red-bellied black, Death adder, Tiger, and Eastern brown. He had 2 Tigers and 2 Eastern brown, so 9 of us each practiced putting those snakes in the bag, 6 times.

Ladies first, the teacher said. I did not feel like having a feminist argument with the snake handler who had crocodile teeth dangling from his neck, so I went first for the first couple of snakes. I practically placed the bag in front of the snake and gently re-located the snake from the grass into the snake sack, using a cane. These snakes hardly moved while I handled them.

Then others took their turns. The next person after me had the snake, the same snake, ‘run,’ and slip off the cane, and wiggle out of the bag, and everything else, before finally managing to contain the reptile with the teacher’s assistance. Somebody else started slowly next, but as soon as the snake flinched once, the rest turned into a race for her too. It went like that for a little while, and people started thinking. They thought my snakes were quiet because they were still asleep. So they wanted to go first.

I stood back and let the others go first. The 3rd snake still ‘ran’ and wiggled all it wanted. My turn came, the snake was let onto the short grass again, so I walked up slowly and simply lifted it back into the bag. I heard people sigh about this time. And the snake handler responded to it by saying that the snakes probably sensed the energy of the handler. Only difference was with the Eastern Brown snakes. They were more active, and I did not have a chance to lift them into the bag; they literally dived into the bag when I approached with the bag to face the snake.

Snake whisperer, somebody said. I don’t know if I was whispering, but I did ask those snakes a favour to keep still, so I could pick them up gently. I also asked the last 3 to move into the bag, out of 1, I had to nudge it with the cane and the other 2 dived right in. No technique required- just basic premises like ‘twisting the bag once the snake was contained, and using the clench to close the bag etc. I stopped as soon as the snake retracted, so it did not have to run from me. Because I did not aim to snatch them, they had no reason to get away from me. Maybe, or maybe not. But I walked away feeling that the snakes aren’t so different from any other living being on this planet.


12 thoughts on “Snake whisperer

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  1. So, when I first moved to The Holler, there were (still are) rattlesnakes. Lots of them. And I was afraid of them.Terrified actually, which is not normal for me. There were just too many of them. I came upon them all the time and I didn’t want to.
    So, of course, non-related, my son, through no choice of his own, was selected to catch, keep, release, and monitor rattlesnakes as part of his graduate wildlife bio program. He had rattlesnakes in aquariums in his kitchen. He fed them, and attached monitoring devices to them using thread and his hand to pick them up.
    He brought me along to watch the final release.
    I was driving him and a car filled with rattlesnakes, kept in in paint buckets.
    I did a post about it.
    It was surreal for me.
    There was a pit stop when he left the car, and I was in the car with these creatures I was was essentially terrified of.
    So, eventually we got to the release, and Matt was letting them all go. Cheering them on. There were shy ones who wouldn’t leave the buckets,and he was saying, “Go on, go on, your FREE!”
    And as we watched the last snake return to freedom, slithering as quickly as possible away from us.
    I realized that were totally terrified of us.
    And then, Matt said, “Aren’t they beautiful?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhwww. I love your story! I’m sorry that you had to endure way too many snakes in your paradise, but I find the story beautiful! Personally, I never used to care for snakes until I met Olivia ( olive python that is) at one of those wildlife sanctuaries I visited. I used to think they were creepy, just could not figure out why they moved the way they did. I still fear them but I see them differently. The hardest part of snake handling workshop was resisting the urge to stroke the snake ( though the bag, of course), in thanks for their corporation. lol


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