002 Old Trapper and The Ornery Snake

Tales of the Old Trapper

14-12-2021 • 8 mins

This week’s Tale of the Old Trapper is titled "Old Trapper and The Ornery Snake" by Shawn Henninger.

About Tales of the Old Trapper:

When I was a young boy maybe 5 6 or 7 My Grandfather would sit me down and tell me Tales of The Old Trapper.  The Old Trapper was a man who lived many years before my grandfather was even born.  The Old Trapper lived on the Land my grandfather had owned that we called the Old Place.

But, Before it was the Old Place it was called Home by the Old Trapper.  This land is where he went on many adventures.  Working with the woods for all the things he needed to food, clothing and shelter.  The Old Trapper was not one for lavish things as he only lived in a single room log cabin he built himself.  Through his adventures he learned many values that he passed on to the community and anyone who crossed his path through his journeys.

So join me as I re-tell the Tales of the Old Trapper just as my Grandfather told them when I was just a child.

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This Weeks Tale:

The early morning rain filled the Air with the glorious scent of spring.  The Old Trapper walked out of his Cabin looking up at the rising sun ready for another day outside.  The Old Trapper had a busy day in front of him as he needed to fix the small dam he made down stream, His garden needed to be tended to in preparation for the planting season, and he needed to finish picking the fresh blueberries he had found the day before.

The Old Trapper finished his breakfast which consisted of his last sip of coffee and a bite of toast.  The Old Trapper  put on his moccasins and headed towards the creek.  The Old Trapper didn’t have a chance to look over the conditions of the Dam since winter and was not sure what all he needed to fix.  The Dam was a good way to keep a nice watering hole for fishing.  The Old Trapper got the idea from some Bevers that built their own dam there a few seasons ago, but they moved further downstream which is a tale for another day.

The Sun was rising quickly and the air began to warm up as the Old Trapper made his way to the Dam.  As he approached he could see his watering hole was much shallower than before.  Not sure how this could be as the snow melting and rain surly would have kept the Water Hole full.  When he was within throwing distance of the Dam he was able to see what had happened.

Sitting on the last piece of wood holding what was left of the dam together was a big snake all curled up resting.  The Tail of the snake was sitting just in the water as the Snake slept peacefully on the log.  The Old Trapper has seen some of the biggest snakes this side of the Mississippi, but none as big as this one.  The Old Trapper was not even sure that a snake would be out this early in the year.

The Old Trapper needed to get the snake away from the dam so he could get to work as this was one of his main tasks for the day.  Now the Old Trapper was just as close to an expert on identifying snakes as any person could be, but he always told children to never approach a snake as some can be poisonous and if bitten could cause a lot of harm.  From his experience the old saying of They Are more Scared of you then you are of them was typically true.  This Snake however did not want to leave it’s comfortable log.

The Old Trapper found a long stick that he would use to help pursue the Snake to move on down stream.  The Old Trapper was wanting to do his best to ensure that neither he nor the snake would get hurt.  Plus both could benefit from fixing the Dam. A water hole would work well for The Old Trapper and the snake.  The Snake had other plans, as the Old Trapper nudged the snake it slowly opened its eyes and just stared right at The Old Trapper, flicking its tongue a few times and then going back to sleep.

The Old Trapper stepped back and was even more curious about this Snake.  Never in his life has he had a snake not react when being nudged by a stick.  Some snakes slither away, some get upset, but none just stay put.  The Old Trapper had another idea and thought he could shake the log and try to let the snake fall in the water and swim downstream.  The Old Trapper put his foot on the edge a safe distance from the snake and bounced it up and down.  Each bounce the log would move higher and higher but the snake just opened its eyes and the Old Trapper swore he saw it smile.

Frustrated, the Old Trapper jumped as high as he could and landed on the log, but slipped and fell right into the creek.  The Water barley came up to the Old Trappers hips, but now he was sitting in chilly creek water staring at this snake.  As the two locked eyes the Old Trapper was pretty sure he heard the Snake Laughing at him, but the Snake did not move and closed its eyes.

The Old Trapper did not want to admit defeat but thought the Dam could wait for another day and decided to go ahead and work on his Garden.  Walking back to the Cabin dripping wet he let his mind wander to all the delicious vegetables he was going to grow this year.  The soil seemed excellent for a grand garden of tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, and carrots.  With all the food he was going to grow and the thought of the stews he’d make this winter made his stomach growl.

The Old Trapper reached the cabin and almost had forgotten all about the Snake.  He looked over the open field he would till and plant his seeds.  Taking a mental note of the tools he needed then going around the back of the cabin to get his shovel.  When he reached the location of the tools he swore his eyes were playing tricks on him.

Sitting wrapped around the shovel was a similar looking snake, but it was impossible though the Old Trapper.  This Snake was just as big and the same color, but how could he beat him to the Cabin.  There was no way there could be more than One Snake this big in the area so it had to have been the same Snake.  The Old Trapper was not one to lose his temper that often but as he felt himself get angry he took a deep breath and knew this time he’d get the Snake to move away.

The Old Trapper grabbed the top of the shovel and shook it back and forth, but the Snake did not move.  Again the Old Trapper could swear he saw the snake smile at him.  Was this snake playing a trick on the Old Trapper?  The Old Trapper picked the Shovel up and waved it off the ground a few inches.  The Snake held on and stayed right where he was.  The Old Trapper, now a bit upset, lifted the Shovel off the ground a few feet waving it back and forth trying to get the snake to fall off.  But as he waved the Shovel around he swore he heard the Snake with Glee yell “WEEEEEEEE”.

The Old Trapper put the shovel down and decided that the Garden like the Dam would just have to wait one more day.  With so much of the day gone the Old Trapper thought that he could at least get one task done for the day and that was pick some of those delicious BlueBerries.

The Old Trapper walked to the Blue Berry bush and looked all around expecting the Snake to be there as well.  There was no snake but plenty of BlueBerries to be picked.  The Old Trapper laughed to himself thinking it was silly of him to think the Snake would follow him here too.

The Old Trapper Picked up his basket and began picking blueberries. Once the Basket Felt heavy enough with BlueBerries he decided to head to the Cabin and enjoy his sweet treat.  As he reached the Cabin he set the basket down on the porch and took a seat.

The Old Trapper Opened the top of the Basket and sitting there with BlueBerries all over his face was the same Snake.  There was not a single BlueBerry in sight as the Snake had eaten every single one.  The Old Trapper couldn’t believe his eyes.  The Snake opened it’s eyes and gazed at the Old Trapper.  Slowly and with a full belly it Slithered out of the basket and headed back towards the Creek.

Halfway across the field the snake turned around and looked back towards the Old Trapper as if to say Thanks for the Wonderful Day.

The Old Trapper sat down staring as the Sun was beginning to set. The Day did not go exactly as planned, but it was as the snake seemed to suggest a Wonderful Day and a Tale neither would never forget.

The End