Where we live, it's not uncommon to encounter a rattlesnake near the house a few times every summer.
Our little dog, Carlo, almost died from a rattlesnake bite a few years ago. He needed two doses of anti-venom, was on an IV drip for days, and the vet said he was a very lucky lil' dog to have survived.
The other night as my husband and I were chillin' in the hammocks in the back yard, Carlo began to bark about 50 feet from us, and then we heard the sound that God made sure to put the fear of into every human heart...rattlesnake.
Ever hear a rattler? This is what they sound like.
Jacek quickly jumped up, called Carlo away from the snake, and grabbed two shovels. If we come across a rattler in the woods or a decent distance from the house, we leave them be. Rattlesnakes are excellent at keeping the rodent population down that eats our fruit trees and veggie garden. However, if an unlucky rattler comes too close for comfort, they are dispatched quickly and humanely. We just can't take the risk of getting bit, or one of our animals being killed. (We were also having a dinner party in a few days that included small children.)
(Yes, rattlesnakes eat rabbits! Chickens, cats, and little doggies beware!)
The way to safely and quickly dispatch a rattler is to lop its head off. We do this by pinning the snake down with one shovel, and using a second shovel to remove the head. The snake head, with its venom sacs still intact, will continue to move and bite for at least a half hour after being separated from the body, so we always bury the head.
But, what to do with the body? Well, if you're my husband, or my son, you grill it and eat it! (I think it's a guy thing.)
Upon dressing the snake, Jacek discovered it was a female full of eggs! Yikes! Baby rattlesnakes are born live with plenty of venom, but not much discernment in who or what to bite, or how much venom to pump out. They are infamously more dangerous than adult rattlers. A nest of rattlesnakes next to the house is not my idea of fun!
After dressing the snake, Jacek prepared it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and put it on the grill.
The boys, including Carlo, waited expectantly for it to be ready to eat.
Mik got the first bite.
Is it just me, or does Carlo look like he's feeling pretty satisfied right about now? Justice is served!
What did it taste like? I didn't have any, so I can't tell you...but it was stringy. All muscle. I'll stick with chicken.
The snake skin was put to dry on a post that holds my water hose. I just about had a heart attack when I went to water my plants as my hubby didn't tell me where he'd put the skin. Thanks, Jacek...my life has been full of adventure since I met you!
Happy Father's Day!