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So I snuck up on the snake and gave him a mighty chop on the neck with the hoe. It may not be the most heroic way to do it, but it was quick and efficient.

Congrats! You are braver than many moms and you chose the proper weapon too!

While taking Police Science courses at college I attended a class taught by a local Police Department captain who proved Thompson submachine guns do not rise uncontrollably when fired full auto by firing one from his chin.

The other reason I remember him is the story he told of hearing a neighbor's scream and rushing next door to find a rattlesnake in the backyard. Being a cop he pulled his five shot .38 caliber revolver from its holster and fired all five shots at point blank range at the snake's head. When the smoke cleared the snake was unharmed and the captain was humiliated by another neighbor who cut the snake's head off with a common garden hoe.

One day one of my wife's friends came over to visit bringing her ten year old (or so) son along. The girls decided that I would baby-sit the boy while they caught up on old times. No problem, I loaded the kid, guns & ammo into the car and headed for the shooting range.

Just before we got to the range I spotted a guy and kid by the road looking warily down at something. Getting out we discovered they'd found a small rattlesnake. Since the guy hadn't a clue as to what to do and there was a horse stable nearby I decided the snake had to die.

I explained that the rattler could strike to a distance of about two-thirds of its body length and got my .22 rifle. Rattling at the four warm blooded beings around it the pit viper ignored the cold steel of the rifle barrel. A .22 long rifle solid point, fired an inch from its head went through the rattler's head into the desert sand and bounced back up a few inches before coming to rest on the sand beside the now dead snake's head.

I then explained that the snakehead could and would bite for hours after its death as I stepped on the head with my boot while severing the head from the body with my Swiss Army Knife. We dug a small hole and buried the head in the sand. It was now time to divvy up the spoils of war. The guy allowed as how he'd like the snake's skin to make a hatband. I cut off the rattle and giving it to "my" kid told the other kid how to fry up the snake after it was skinned.

With a real rattlesnake rattle in his jeans pocket the kid was ready to shoot some guns. I started him off on .22's and we worked our way up through my .45 ACP pistol then switched to rifles and shotguns. By the time we'd progressed to my Remington model 870 12 gauge shotgun the poor kid had just about all the fun he could stand so we drove home as he nursed his sore shoulder.

As we reentered the apartment the kid's mother asked him if we'd had fun which elicited an excited rapid fire verbal barrage that started with "shooting guns" and ended with the word "rattlesnake" and three exclamation points. Nervously his mother said "Oh you didn't really do all that, did you?" "Sure!" the boy answered pulling the rattlesnake rattle from his pocket and holding it up in front of his horrified mother's face. For some strange reason none of my wife's friends ever asked me to baby-sit after that.
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