an Ozark memory
In the years of growing up in the back country,there was always something to do. Swimming in the creek on a hot lazy
summer day. Laying out on the creek bank in the sun,and watch critters play along the far bank,and soft white clouds floating
The call of the Redbird,and Blue jay, and watching the Great Blue haring feeding in the shallows.
There was always something to do.
It had been a busy time. Put up hay,and got the wheat in. The hogs were all taken to the sale. Now. It was time for me.
Glean ask me to call some of my friends,and see if they wanted to come out for a while. I thought friends? Naww. but what
about my cousins?
So I called Dale,and Donny. has luck would have it,David was their with them,and they had nothing to do.
Glean and I went in and got 'em. The four of us hadn't seen each other in a while,and when we were talking no one could
make since out of anything.
The next day was starting out the same way for me. Feed the stock,and let the cows out to feed on the grass of the field
just East of the house,and take care of the hogs that were left,and not sold.
We ate a good lunch,and went outside. Sitting down on the ground under the maples,I ask.
" Would you guys like to go to the bluff ? " Dale ask. "Wheres the bluff? And,
whats a bluff ? "
" You'll see when we get their. come on."
This was really something for them. It was there first time in the timber,and they was loving every minute of it. The
hills touched all that seen them in a way you'd never forget.
We came in on the East side. I figured it would be safer that way,and not have to climb any.
The view from on top was just the greatest view you could think of. It was a clear day,and you could see forever.
The four of us sit on the edge of the big overhang,talking,laughing,and just being guys.
" Hey. I have an idea." I said has i looked at 'em. "How would you guys like to see if we could find an
arrowhead or two? " I ask. "Every time I come up here i bring something back.
Come on,follow me,but guys,please be careful. I fell off this thing one time. So be careful."
I took 'em to the southern end. It was lower their,and far more safe.
The overhang ran the full with of the bluff. In order to get below,you still had to jump down,and slowly move among the
Dale was standing right next to me,to my left. Donny and David was just behind us. Now.
Dale wasn't a know it all,or anything like that. But he liked to think he was.
" Dale? you guys stay right here. Let me go down frist. I know this place looks cool and all,but I'm here to tell
ya,it's home to a lot of copperheads. I'm not saying this to scare ya. Just keep your eyes open,and from now till we get to
where we are going. No funny stuff."
I said with a firm voice,and i met every word,and they knew it.
"Dale? you watch behind me. Don? you and David stand over their so you can see in the sides of the rocks. if any
one sees something move. Tell me." I ask this of them.
My eyes were watching everything. I was able to move pretty fast. I got to a large rock,with a smaller rock at it's side.
Stopping,i turned,and looked up at Dale.
"Ok Dale. Come the same way I did. Don you and David follow Dale,but not to close. " I requested.
The smaller rock was the size of a large pic-up truck,and flat on top. It was their i was going for,and from their,i could
jump down under the overhang.
I watched every move they made. I was in charge of them,even tho i never showed it,they were with me,and I wasn't about
to let anything happen to no one.
"Ok guys. thats far enough. just stay right their. " I said to 'em. "Dale? come with me." I demanded.
I jumped down onto the smaller rock,and seen there was a space between the two rocks. i t would be easy to get down now.
In life we see the easy things. We some times forget that going the easy way,is not the best. I was thinking about them.
This would be the best way for every one to get down,and no danger of something happening.
What I didn't see,cause i was looking at the space between the rocks. Was the face of the bluff,under the over hang,nor
could I see the ground.
What i am about to write, is the truth. I will stand by the things you will read about. In no way am I making this up.
This really did happen.
Moving to the space i told everyone to move up to the rock,and that i wanted one at a time to come threw the space.
Once inside the space was very easy to move in,and get under the overhang.
At the end of the space however,was a rock lodged between the tow larger rocks. I claimed up on the rock that blocked
the path,Dale right behind me,then came the other two.
"Pec? " Dale ask. " Yeah." I responded. "Have you been this way before? " he ask. "No.
but it's no big deal. I know where i am,and i know where I'm going." I said. "Dale? you ok? " I ask. "Yeah.
Sure." he said.
"Ok guys. Once you get this far,you'll see this rock is narrow on top. So watch your footing. you'll need to jump
off this rock to the ground. It's not far, just be careful." I in formed them.
In one movement,i was moving from the side of the rock to the ground. jumping over the rock kinda.
I landed with knees bent low to the ground,and arms out wide,facing the wall of the bluff.
My eyes seen 'em has I landed.
"NO !!! DALE? STOP !!! EVERYONE, STOP !!! NO ONE MOVES !!" I demanded in a high tone voice. Looking down at
my feet,snakes were crawling between my feet,and over them has well. Slowly dropping my left are,and keeping my right arm
out straight,Dale toped the top of the rock. "PECK ? " Dale screamed. " NO ! Don't yell. Talk normal. Now.
What were you going to say to me Dale. make it fast." I ask. "There all behind you too,coming up the hill."
He informed me. " Ok. Just watch for me." I ask. "What kind are they? do ya know?" Dale ask. "Yeah.
I know what they are. There black snakes." I said. "But why? I ask out loud.
" Mating? " Dale ask. " In July? I responded by asking. " Don't think so. There not pissed. Look at
'em. Look at all these snakes." I said in wounder.
"Peck? Look at the rocks in the side of the bluff." Dale said.
Looking up at the face of the bluff. Every crack was covered with snakes. Heads of snakes were sticking out of every opening
there was. Thinking. I remembered the garter snakes gathering,but that was in Sept. not July. And these were blacksnakes,not
At one time I couldn't see my feet for all the snakes. They showed no aggression at what so ever,and that was a good thing.
Dale handed me a stick,and in using the stick i could move the snakes away from me. Tho at first it seemed silly. I would
move 3 or 4 and 3 or 4 more would take there place.
" How many do you think there is?" Dale ask. "Oh man. I have no idea. I replied. " !000's ? Maybe?
" I ask. "I don't know." i said has i watched them move along the face of the bluff.
Looking to my left,along the underside of the overhang. i seen that the whole hill side was moving,till I couldn't see
It seemed there was no certain place they were going, other then to the overhang it's self.
I was able to move back to the rock,and climb up on top. The four of us sit there watching nature work her wound's.
I called my teacher,and told him what we had seen. He wasn't very helpful. he said what we had seen was Garter snakes,and
maybe some green snakes too.
I love big headed adults.
The next day we went back to the bluff. They were all gone. was like they hadn't been their at all.
Never again would I ever see anything that comes close to what we seen.
Many,many days and night's i spent their after this happened,and not one snake did i see.
I was glad that for once i wasn't a lone. Someone else seen it too,and still talk about it to this day.
On this home page, I'll introduce myself and talk about my reasons for wanting a web site. I might put a picture of myself
on this page...or just a picture that I especially like.