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Posts Tagged ‘snake skin in spider web’

A Perplexing Find

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

snake in spider web
My daughter, Kyla, and son, Jake, were straightening up the tack room in the horse barn the other day when they made an interesting discovery high in the corner rafters of the ceiling. It is one of the discoveries that make you look twice. Your eyes see it, but your brain does not compute. Yes, you see correctly. It is a spider web with a snake skin stuck in the middle of it. You look again wondering how in the world that happened.

On a foggy, damp morning a snake crawled stealthily to the horse barn trying to hide himself from the barn cat, Comanche. The cat was a fierce predator always on the lookout for field mice or snakes as it fulfilled his duty of keeping the barn clear of varmints. The snake knew that his only hope for filling his empty tummy was to somehow get into the tack room. It was the only room that Comanche did not have access. There must be mice in there. He thought he could hear their high pitched squeaks in the early morning stillness.

The snake lifted his head trying to find the best entry point. At the very top just where the roof and walls met, there was enough room to crawl through. He enthusiastically tried the sides of the barn, but they were too slick. He could not find anything with which to aid in his vertical crawl. He peered even further up and could only see small slices of the gray sky through the tree branches overhead. An idea dawned in his reptilian brain as he turned around to crawl up the nearest tree trunk.

He landed with a loud thump on the roof as he dropped from an overhanging branch. Carefully, he crawled to the edge. It was a long way down; he would have to be extra careful. He wrapped the end of his body around the head of a roofing screw protruding from the metal sheets. With his front end, he hung over the edge and with great effort slid between the open space below the ceiling. Soon he was resting on the top of the wall.

He no longer heard the sounds of mice. The place was eerily quiet. Tired from his climb, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.

As he slept, the spider built her nest exactly where she had had much success in capturing insects. It was a big web in the corner of the tack room. She was so absorbed in her thoughts, she did not even notice the sleeping snake. In fact she had made this web in this exact spot so many times, she built it on automatic pilot. As soon as she was finished, she crawled into the corner of her web. Dozing off she awaited the familiar movement of having caught something in her sticky trap.

Soon her web thrashed like the rolling sea. She sprang into action, biting and spinning a tighter grip on her prey. It was huge. She did not even realize that it was a snake. She only acted instinctively to fight her intruder.
The snake stood no chance against her poisonous venom and tight hold on his body. He grew sleepy as the venom surged through his body. He had no way of escape. Or did he? He would have to wait and fight the grogginess.

The spider triumphant in her hunt knew that she could not possibly eat something so big. So she traveled across the room to invite her extended family and friends to her web for dinner. She wanted to be hospitable and share her bounty, but most of all she wanted to brag about her catch of the day.

While she was gone, the snake escaped by shedding his skin. The spider was left disappointed about missing a huge feast, but she kept her web up proudly showing off her trophy.

Regardless of how it really happened, the real question is this: Where is the snake now? As my dad would say, “Welcome to the ranch!”

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