A humorous story of an encounter with a monster rattlesnake

By Donald Sullivan
Before I tell you about the rattlesnake, maybe I should warn you that I have a reputation for sometimes stretching the truth.  I’ll admit that I do stretch the truth now and then, but who doesn’t?

But I suppose that I acquired that undeserved reputation simply because things happen to me that don’t ordinarily happen to the average guy.  Like, for example, meeting the invisible man.

When I tell people that I met the invisible man, they scoff.  But it’s the truth, and I took a picture of him to prove it.  But to show you how skeptical people can be, many don’t believe me even when I show them the picture.

They also don’t believe me when I tell them I once worked for a carnival. The sign over my tent read: MAN EATING CHICKEN.  People paid to see me eating chicken.
But let me tell you about that snake. It was the biggest  rattlesnake I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was at least as big as a python, maybe bigger.

 I saw the snake when I was hauling a load of used doughnut holes in my pickup to the macaroni factory in Middleton.  I’m a card carrying conservationist and recycling nut, so I save all my doughnut holes and take them to the macaroni factory, where they use them to stuff macaroni.
I knew a shortcut through the woods to the factory, and while wrestling my pickup over the unpaved road, I sawsomething blocking the road ahead.  At first I thought it was a big log, but when I got closer I saw that it was a monster rattlesnake.  The granddaddy of all rattlesnakes.

I was scared, and I’m known as a pretty tough guy that doesn’t scare easily.  Once, while prospecting in the Klondike, I lost all my shaving gear.  To illustrate how tough I am, I didn’t need a razor--I simply hammered my whiskers in and chewed them off from the inside.

There was only one guy in the entire Klondike who was meaner and tougher than me.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you his name, because his name is so difficult it can’t be spelled with the letters of the ordinary alphabet.  His name was nearly unpronounceable.  So much so, in fact, that it took four people to pronounce his name.  Once, some fool tried to pronounce his name single-handedly; he ended up with his tongue in a cast for two weeks.

Speaking of the Klondike, it was really cold up there.  I mean really cold.  During the winter, when we talked our words froze as they left our lips.  We had to wait until the spring thaw to find out what we were talking about.

But getting back to the rattlesnake.  The thing became aware of me and turned its huge, hideous head in my direction.  Like I said, I don’t scare easily, but that thing scared the pure bejabbers out of me.  I slammed my pickup in reverse and floored the gas petal.  But all I succeeded in doing was spinning the wheels and getting stuck in the soft sand.

The monster snake started gliding toward me.  The window on the driver’s side of the pickup was broken, and the truck was not safe.  I glanced through the rear window and among all the doughnut holes I spotted a baseball bat.  I jumped from the cab, leapt into the bed of the pickup, and grabbed the bat to defend myself.  I spilled some of the doughnut holes on the ground, but I wasn’t thinking of recycling in a situation like that.

When the snake reared its head, it was eye-to-eye with me, even though I was standing in the back of the pickup.  At the same time I swung the bat, the rattler struck.  Luckily, it struck the bat.  But the force of the strike knocked the bat from my hands, nearly breaking my arm.  I jumped from the pickup and ran.

I was really scared.  I ran so fast that my ankles scorched my socks.  But I put some distance between me and that snake.

I waited until I figured the monster had crawled away, then cautiously made my way back to the pickup.  The snake was gone, but the bat was swelling up from the snakebite.  It didn’t stop swelling until it was as big as a large oak tree.

Being a conservationist, I had the sawmill cut my bat into lumber, and used the lumber to add an extra room onto my house.

It was a beautiful job.  The bat really made some fine looking lumber, and I was proud of the job I’d done on the extra room.  But alas, after a few days passed, the swelling went down, and I was left with nothing but a bunch of toothpicks.  And that’s the truth.
***THE END***

Submitted: October 09, 2006

© Copyright 2022 Donald H Sullivan. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



Hhmmm...Swallen bat huge as an oak-tree))))))
It is good that the hero wasn't biten in some Rabelaisian way (silly laugh).
Still smiling...
You seem to create modern folklore.

Mon, October 9th, 2006 4:44pm


The hero was very tough, but I'm afraid that even he wouln't have survived a bite from such a snake. :-) Thanks for the comment, and glad you got a laugh!

Incidentally, I did google Hperborea and found a good explanation on Wikipedia. Your story makes much better sense to me now.

Mon, October 9th, 2006 3:00pm


they must be very special toothpicks. be sure not to use them :). very amusing!

Fri, October 13th, 2006 9:02pm


Glad you found it amusing, Eraser, and no, we'd better not use the toothpicks--might be some residual poison left in them. :-)

Fri, October 13th, 2006 4:42pm

Roisin Moriarty

This was marvellous, sort of Babe and the Blue Ox type story. You are, of course, Celtic, which explains the hyperbole and exaggeration. Being Celtic myself, I love it and can totally accept the grain of truth that runs through it. Loved the toothpicks at the end. What else??? Thanks for a most enjoyable read.

Sat, October 14th, 2006 1:10am


Thanks for the comments,Ms. Moriarity, and glad you enjoyed the tale. Yes indeed, I am Celtic (well, mostly.) And yes, there was some exaggeration. Actually the rattler was much smaller, only about thirty feet or so, I'd guess.

Sat, October 14th, 2006 10:42pm






Mon, October 23rd, 2006 6:30am


Really glad you loved the story. It's one of my favorites that I've written. And thanks for the flattering compliment.

Mon, October 23rd, 2006 1:36am

Haku Belmont

A very good story, Sullivan-chan. I enjoyed the amazingly large rattlesnake and your not so jubilant escape.
I had a great time reading it, and can't wait to read more of your writing.

Sun, November 5th, 2006 7:49pm


Arigato, Haku-chan. Glad you liked the story. It's one of only a few humorous stories I've written (I'm multi genre, but mostly SF.)

Sun, November 5th, 2006 1:56pm


outstanding story, i've read humour before but this story is the true definition of humour. i loved every word and take it from me, you are the funniest story teller in this century. ha...ha...ha...ha...ha... "you killed me with this one.

Fri, November 17th, 2006 8:45am


Many thanks, LEBEA, glad you enjoyed the story. I love to make people laugh; I think laughter is one of the best forms of enjoyment. Maybe I should start writing more humorous stuff.

Fri, November 17th, 2006 5:08pm

Jake J. Harrison

Very funny. Nicely done. I'll have to check out more of your writing.

Fri, November 17th, 2006 5:47pm


Thanks for the kind words, A.J. I hope you'll find my other stories enjoyable.

Fri, November 17th, 2006 5:13pm


A great fable! Sorry, memoir...

Fri, January 5th, 2007 9:13pm


Thanks. Glad you liked it!

Tue, January 30th, 2007 12:23pm


very good short story just the right amount of humour and action!Good work!

Mon, January 22nd, 2007 7:27pm


Thanks for the kind words, HoffVos. Glad you liked it.

Tue, January 30th, 2007 12:26pm

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