Rat Snake
Click to enlarge

I picked this little guy up off the sidewalk in downtown Louisville; Main and 6th, or there about, more frightened of the high heels and wingtips than they were of him.

Beautiful, isn’t he?

Here he is in the overgrowth of the back yard, newly introduced to the world of plants, trees, and earth.

It’s not uncommon for rat snakes to live in the basements of old buildings downtown and he must have come out of a nearby grate. I think he’ll like this environment much better, and I hope I did the right thing for him.

What do you think?


  1. Hm… I’m not sure, the cats may not like the snake and vice versa.
    It’s a compassionate act, though.
    I guess time will tell if it was the right thing to do or not — snakes are exceptionally intelligent and if it doesn’t like where it’s living now it will find another place to go.
    Myself, I leave snakes wherever they are because of their extrordinary intelligence, I figure they know where they want to live.
    There are a lot of rats in the city, and maybe the snake is used to where it was living.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thinking about this — perhaps the snake wanted another home, it reminded me of what I read yesterday (not that a snake is a companion animal/reptile — I don’t believe any reptile should live in a house), but you placed the snake outside, and the country is always (but not always, now that I think about it — a better place to live than in a city).

      A Dog’s Last Will and Testament

      – Author Unknown

      Before humans die, they write their last Will and Testament, give their home and all they have, to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask…

      To a poor and lonely stray I’d give:

      – My happy home

      – My bowl and cosy bed, soft pillows and all my toys

      – The lap, which I loved so much

      – The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice that spoke my name

      I’d will to the sad, scared shelter dog, the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

      So, when I die, please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand.”

      Instead, go find an unloved dog; one whose life held no joy or hope and give my place to him.

      This is the only thing I can give. . .

      The love I left behind.

      Every rescue dog pines for their own loving home.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I nearly always, do what I think is right. But who can say what our interfering might cause, no matter how trivial?

        The chances that someone would stomp the snake out of ignorance and fear, or accident, or that he might crawl into the street, I’d say were high. He wasn’t trying to crawl back down into a grate he was crawling among the passer-byes. So I thought it right to save him.

        Perhaps he was supposed to die.

        Or maybe my passing by at this one particular moment in time was predestined.

        Then again we know the balance of nature is delicate and so what adverse effect, whether perceptible to us or not, may come about from his relocation?

        I don’t have a clue. But I only did what I thought was right.

        Thanks for commenting, Genie.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. It was a compassionate act, Peter. I couldn’t find much information about rat snakes on the internet, so I wonder how it will fare in winter. Perhaps some hay in the barn would give it a safe, warm home with plenty of mice to eat?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The overgrowth in the backyard is quite dense with leaves from last fall and the “seaweed” I’ve pulled from the pond in addition to all the wild growth. It’s quite beautiful back there and I believe will offer him a safe and warm haven during the winter. There are deer bedded there, rabbits in and out, opossums and raccoons, and I saw a chipmunk the other day, and of course squirrels and wild turkeys come and go. It’s quite a natural preserve, small as it is. And if any of the many, many mice I’ve caught in the house and released back there survived, he’ll have plenty to eat.

      Rat snakes, black snakes, and such are, they tell me are quite common here in the country. In fact, I have a skin I saved from a rather large black snake that it shed that I found early this year before the overgrowth got so overgrown. I don’t dare walk back in there now.

      That reminds me of something I just read from John A. Livingston’s book, One Cosmic Instant, Man’s Fleeting Supremacy, where he wrote, and I quote, “Usually, by the time you see a snake, the initiative is his.” That’s funny, isn’t it? But very true.

      Also, word has it, that these snakes are natural predators to the poisonous snakes we have here, rattlesnakes and copperheads. And I’d much prefer not to have those around. By-the-way, the forest rangers here, tell me we don’t have water moccasins (cottonmouths) in Indiana. We have non-venomous water snakes, but not the other. That’s welcome news for someone who swims the pond.

      Thanks for the reassurance, Carol.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your post reminded me of “Blackie,” a faithful friend from my childhood. Blackie, my name for the rather large black snake that lived in the woods behind my New Jersey home, befriended me and would come when I called from the backyard. Much to my mother’s dismay, he/she would climb into my arms and protect me from the little white boy bullies who picked on me. Ultimately, Blackie taught them to keep their distance. I often think of him/her with gratitude. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes,yes, you did the right thing!! Brilliant, made my day!! I love hearing rescue stories. There are so many ways in which we can do nothing, to be able to save one is uplifting!! What a beautiful creature!! Thank you for saving him, I’m so, so glad you did, he has such an amazing place to wander now, he’s so much better off. Where you are sounds so amazing, I am so jealous. I live in a shitty city, but you still come across wild creatures that need help, like the five ducklings trying to cross over two lanes of busy teatime traffic, going both right and left, just a few weeks ago, heart in the mouth stuff……

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I spent most of my life in the city. What am I talking about? Except for the occasion vacation to the desert, I’ve spent all my life in the city. The city has its advantages and conveniences, but still, at this point in my life, I like the country; the quiet, the stars, the darkness at night that I don’t spoil with outdoor lights. Unless I turn them on that is.

      Thanks for your assurances, outsidersinsides.


      Liked by 2 people

  4. You did the right thing in my book Peter; the city streets are no place safety-wise for any animals unless under supervison, and I’d not trust a human near as snake in such a place as much as I’d trust a snake near a human anywhere at all. At worst I reckon you saved it from a crueler death, at best you saved its life. This is a win win all round. Your compassion shouldn’t be over-rode by too much by the fear of interference, I think you’re pretty wise on such matters, as wise as we can be when we know very little al in all, but have care enough to think things through anyway.

    esme annoyed that Peter is still not in her feed and her memory is rubbish upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

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