MEMORIES OF ME: Copperheads Are Fun!


My dad’s Uncle Luke and Aunt Dorrie lived in northeast Georgia when I was a kid. Just a few miles south of the Tennessee border. We often visited them. They were old. I mean, to me, they were old. They had white hair, and had trouble getting around. Uncle Luke was very tall and skinny, and Aunt Dorrie was very short and heavy. They lived off a two-lane black-top a few miles from the nearest town, so everywhere you looked there were trees, bushes and vines. They had a big piece of property, and the garage was actually an old barn.

Once when we visited, Uncle Luke asked my dad to help get his property cleaned up. There were piles of weeds that had been cut, and old tires, and other stuff lying around. They had chickens and turkeys that ran loose on the property and the place was just messy, uncut, and unorganized.

As they were cleaning, Dad lifted something, I have no idea what, and found a nest of baby copperheads. They weren’t much bigger than night crawlers. I thought they were cute, so dad sent me in the house to get a Mason jar and lid. He poked holes in the lid, scooped the baby snakes up, and cranked that lid down tight. And then he gave it to me to play with. I was probably around six years old, and I thought I’d found the greatest things since frogs! I tapped my fingers on the glass and the little guys would strike at me. They were so adorable!

I couldn’t wait to show Mom. I ran in through the kitchen screen door and let is slam behind me. I made it at least ten feet before she spotted what I had in my hands. “David Lee,” she screamed out the back door, and both men came running. You can imagine what Mom had to say about the brilliant idea of giving a kid a glass jar full of poisonous snakes.

I didn’t get the big deal. I mean it wasn’t like I was gonna be clumsy and break the jar or anything. Of course, Dad was insulted that she didn’t trust him, or me, to handle a little jar of snakes. But since I was in his way, and Mom was mad, he gave me permission to go across the road and play with the gaggle of kids who lived there. You know, the ones with lice? Well, I bet you can guess how that story turned out. Let’s just say Mom wasn’t happy with that decision either.

There are more stories of visiting Uncle Luke and Aunt Dorrie. Come on back and check’em out.

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