Night of the Swimming Snake


One evening at Big Bass Lake all the boys of the Marion Boys Club were playing around in the very shallow waters on our beach. Some were just sitting there splashing each other having a grand time as the sun was beginning to set. I was up at our campfire preparing a snack before we began our evening hike on our property. Just then I heard someone yell snake and all I saw were legs and feet leaping out of that water onto dry land. Eddie yelled for a flashlight and pointed the beam at the bottom of a tree.

The boys saw that innocent little snake cruise through the water to its destination as easy as pie. After all he had scarred the wits out of six boys all by itself. It must have been feeling pretty proud of itself that moment. At the same time, six little hearts were beating away at a clip almost faster than they had moved scant seconds before.

Two boys, Keith and Jay, eased back into the shallow water but keeping a wary eye on that tree. The rest felt they had enough of the refreshing waters of Big Bass Lake for that evening and retired to their tents to get ready for the campfire. And, as they emerged from their tents fully clothed to hang their bathing suits on our clothesline, Keith and Jay were just leaving the water.

When all had assembled together at the campfire, they sampled some sausage and thought it tasted better than usual. They asked what made it taste so good that evening. I told them they were munching on rattlesnake and immediately everything left their mouth toward the fire in unison. I laughed telling them they were eating plain old sausage. But that’s the second time in short order that they were “rattled” by a snake.

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