The Black Snake
In Morgan, Kentucky, there used to sit a very small, two-room house where my family and I lived. Outside the house, near the Licking River, was the occasional event of meeting up with a snake or two. You might imagine how many visits we had from them, as they would come from the river, up the hill, and close to our house. On one particular occasion, there was a very large black snake which visited us, not to be a friend, but to steal the banty hens' eggs. Our little hens would go under the house and lay their eggs. The snakes knew right where to go to eat them. On this occasion, my uncle Carl Raney was at our house, and he and my mother went outside with a small, short-barrelled, single-shot .22 rifle. They were going to shoot that nasty snake and kill it so it could not steal the eggs anymore. I remember following them to the side of the house where I might watch them kill that snake. Uncle Carl began to load the gun, and he kept getting the bullet caught in the barrel of the gun. At last the bullet was stuck so fast that he could not get it out or in the gun. We had to wait until my father got home to do anything else about the snake. By this time, the snake had eaten the eggs and was wrapping itself around the large tree in the front yard to crush the eggs (which was their wont). If I remember correctly, my father took an axe and killed the snake. Then, just for the fun of it, he split open the snake and took out an egg to show us. He may have even asked if we wanted to eat it for supper. With days like this, no one needs an amusement park or a trip downtown to have a good time. We had enough goings-on at the Wolfe house from day to day.