The Surveyor and the Rattlesnake
The Rattlesnake - An Uncommon Behavior
The Surveyor And The Rattlesnake
The Surveyor is no stranger to snakes. In his 45 years of surveying land, he has probably stepped on, walked by and killed more snakes than a herpetologist will see in his career.
The coastal woods and swamps where The Surveyor works in the US is home to many species of snakes. In fact, in his part of the country, the Southeast, there are fifty-two kinds and he's had run-ins with nearly every species.
Of the venomous snakes, The Surveyor typically deals with the copperhead, moccasin and rattlesnake. Though the rattler is the least common kind he encounters, when they meet, this deadly serpent is a force to be reckoned with. So far, none have been able to inject their venomous bite into his body, though several have bitten his boots just before the machete put an end to any further attempts.
Those who have studied snakes, handled them and observed them, claim that a snake is unable to strike a distance long enough to bring his entire body off the ground. The Surveyor would say, "I beg to disagree."
Back in the 1970s, The Surveyor and his crew were driving along a sandy road, heading to a job site. In the bed of the truck they carried a large pole they had been using earlier in the day to cross branches. They spotted a large rattlesnake up ahead and proceeded to run over it in hopes of doing away with another potential danger in their work area. Because the sand was so deep, however, the truck tires only pushed it down into the sand. Instead of being killed, it was extremely angry. The surveyor and crew got out of the truck and began approaching the rattler who was now in a tight coil and heaving as he took in air to inflate himself.
Awaiting the proper time, The Surveyor stepped forward, machete raised, ready to deliver a lethal slice. For the first time in his life and against all he had ever heard about snake strikes, the rattlesnake came out of it's coil, completely leaving the ground, aiming for The Surveyor's face, only missing it by a couple of inches. As quickly as he had struck out, he was instantly back into a tight coil.
Spurred by adrenalin at what he had just witnessed, one of the crew quickly grabbed the large pole from the truck and just as the snake returned to a coil, brought the beam down with all his might. The blow sounded like thunder as mighty muscles brought timber to ground. The serpent's life was over and The Surveyor and his crew had an amazing story to tell about the day the rattlesnake completely left the ground while striking.