or, as I have to tell my students, a snake. I noticed that the stray gray and white cat who hangs around was tossing something in the air yesterday, so I decided to check it out. The snake was long, but only about an inch around. Flies buzzed it, so I figured it was almost dead. Wrong! I keep forgetting that some snakes "play possum"; they figure the predator will lose interest and leave them alone. I used a stick to pick it up and throw it on the burn pile. I figured it would die, for real, or it would go away. It wasn't there this morning, so I'm guessing it slithered off. I'm glad I wear my grandmother's boots when I'm walking through the tall grass.
The snake was blackish-brown with a white underbelly. It had a narrow head--not triangular, as with most poisonous snakes. I figure it was a rat/corn/chicken snake. Not too many markings on its back; since the neighbors have chickens, I'm guessing it came from across the ditch. But, who knows? Snakes ignore boundaries; it could have come from the woods behind my other neighbor's house.
Cats like to play with snakes, but I'm worried that they will get bitten. Even a rat snake will make them sick, so I keep a lookout for snakes and work to keep the cats away from them. This is only the third time I've seen a snake in my yard, but, in the country, they're always around somewhere.