It’s been raining a lot here. Gully-washers pour down for hours just about every day. The snakes that live in the swamp between our neighborhood and the railroad tracks get flooded out of their homes and move uphill, finding themselves in unfamiliar territory.
Whenever Hans sees a snake near the house, he calls me to come and see. This is one situation in which it’s really helpful to be able to communicate with animals. Whether the snake is venomous or harmless, my only goal is to convince it to move on down the hill where it can’t bother us and our animals can’t bother it.
It’s actually hard to tell the difference between a harmless water snake and a venomous Water Moccasin unless you’re willing to get close enough to get bit. Brown water snakes can be just as short, thick, and muscular-looking as their venomous look-alikes. Their heads are also triangular in shape, but their snouts aren’t quite as sharp-looking. They have round pupils, and they tend to be mild-mannered. They only want to get out of your way and hide before you can hurt them.
Water Moccasins have elliptical pupils and a dark streak across their eyes. They, too, only want to avoid getting hurt. But they are more aggressive and tend to fight back when they feel threatened. Unfortunately, you have to get way too close to figure out with any degree of certainty which is which.
When Hans called me to see the snake who showed up by our porch steps yesterday, it was too late in the day to see it clearly. Just by the way it acted, I was pretty sure the snake was harmless. But the cats were a little too intrigued for my comfort, so I used the water hose to shoo them away. I could’ve asked the snake telepathically whether it was venomous or not, but that question would’ve been purely academic. The snake just wanted to go home, and I just wanted to help it get there.
In this case, all I had to do was send energy healing to the snake so it could calm down and think straight, then send it a visual of a safe path away from the house, so it could head back to the swampy woods below the house without being molested by our dogs and cats. After a few minutes, the snake eased along on its way without anyone getting hurt.
I feel bad for snakes that get a little too close to people who think the only good snake is a dead one. Even venomous snakes just want to go on about their business and keep out of our way.
The same day, a friend who was driving to our house saw a snake on the road. It was coiled there when she came, and it was stretched out on the blacktop when she left. I drove out later in the day and was relieved to see that no one had run over it. It had probably been sunning itself for a while, not bothering anyone. I’m glad no one bothered it.
Even the least among us deserves to be left alone to go our own way, as long as we’re not hurting anyone. So the next time you see a snake on the road or in your yard, please don’t assume it’s a bad snake. Even if it’s scary-looking—or maybe even venomous—it probably has no ill-will toward anyone and just wants to go back home.