Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Snake story winner

Posted May 11, 2009
Updated May 12, 2009

Thanks to you we now have a nice nest of snake stories! I enjoyed reading every one of them. The favorites included snowcat’s zoo story, Tarheel Turtle’s numerous encounters with snakes and Leland Strother’s surveying story which was indeed a classic. The winner is lynneslaughter who tells a great story:

"When I was in the 10th grade at J.F.Webb High in Oxford, N.C. in 1974, I had advanced biology under Harvey Howard. The class was divided into groups of 4 students and each group had a plot of land roped off to explore. Everything in your plot had to be tagged and identified. My group found a snake in our section and one of the guys beat it with a stick. We took our "dead" snake back to the classroom so that we could use the textbooks to identify it for our project grade. About 10 minutes into class the snake resurrected and jumped from the stick he was on to the floor. Kids were jumping up on desks and screaming. Even Mr. Howard was twitching around trying to see where the snake went. Teachers from other rooms came to see what was happening. It was pandemonium in the science department. A few pieces of glassware were broken before the snake was recaptured and sentenced to be taken outdoors. We got credit and varmit identification was not required for future classes."

If the writer of this fine tale will email me at I will send the winner a copy of my book Blue Ridge Reunion.

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  • thinknc May 11, 2009

    I, too, am a former student of Mr. Howard's--loved his class--and now teach biology at the school myself. My coworker next door had one of her classroom snakes "go missing" over last was spotted in the art room several times in the winter, but eluded capture--until a couple of weeks ago. The beautifully-colored king snake had made its way some distance down the hall to another classroom--where it was NOT a welcome visitor. Several staff members were summoned, and thankfully, someone recognized that it was Mrs. B's missing snake. She captured it without incident. It had grown considerably, and can probably be credited with keeping the rodent population down! Maybe we should consider changing our school mascot.

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