(This is part of the Growing Up In Utah's Dixie series, by LaVarr B. Webb)


Snakes of all kinds have intrigued and fascinated me.

I have found rattlesnakes coiled up on my doorstep as I

stepped outside in the morning. I have found them coiled up

in feed sacks, waiting for an unsuspecting mouse bent on

stealing grain or dairy feed. I have found them stretched

across trails I was traveling.


One bright summer day, two of my friends and I were

riding, bareback, three on a horse. I was at the rear, sitting

over the horses hind legs. We started up an incline, and I

had a difficult time staying on. There was nothing to hang

on to, other than the boy in front of me, but he was suffer-

ing the same problem I had, as was the boy in front.


There we were, three boys on the verge of sliding off

the rear end of a very slick-skinned horse when a rattle-

snake buzzed on the ground under the horse. The horse

came unglued, plunged, and pawed trying to get up the

hill. I slid off just behind the snake. My two friends landed

on top of me, and there we were, a horse, three boys, and

a rattlesnake, all trying to get out of each others way, but

again, I was fast. I made it to the top of the hill almost as

soon as the horse did.