A Nightmare for Halloween

I’m walking around Chatfield’s campus, down by the heart shaped pond, where the Canadian honkers congregate every fall. Sam is with me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a snake, but I don’t take alarm. It doesn’t look venomous.

In fact, I think I’ll have a closer look, so I pick it up, and only in that instant, when my hand closes around its middle, do I realize the snake is poisonous, the worst kind. It whips around and sinks its teeth not into me, but into Sam. He screams, and then the snake bites me. Sharp, bruising pain runs up my arm where the fangs sink in.… Read the rest


I’m honestly not sure why we never had a pet snake growing up, unless it was familial squeamishness about feeding it live rats. It certainly wasn’t reptile fears. We had anoles, the occasional turtle, and even an iguana. We loved snakes. Mom somehow convinced all of us, Dad included, that there were no poisonous snakes in Ohio, in spite of the fact that they lived in all the surrounding states. Where other little girls (and many boys) in our area were taught to feel habitual fear, if not outright terror towards snakes, Mom showed us how to keep a respectful distance and developed our collective fascination with them.… Read the rest