Contributed by Faith James, web design by Susan Stafford

The Pet Bullsnake Saga, by Faith James

My  father homesteaded on a quarter section of land in Seward county Kansas back in 1912. To prove up on a claim it was necessary to live on said claim. Well money was scarce so Dad’s dwelling was a part dugout, part soddy about 8' by 16' with of course a dirt floor.

     Since prairie rattlers were known to be plentiful in the area; Dad decided he would much rather have a bullsnake as a companion than come home to a rattler in his bed he made a pet of a big bullsnake.

     One evening he was getting supper when a cowboy came along looking for work, “don’t have any work, but light down and have some supper” he said. The cowboy was sitting at the table waiting, when the pet bullsnake glided up, put his head above the table and looked around. The cowboy jumped up, knocked his chair over backward and didn’t even take time to pick up his hat before he hit the saddle.

     Mother went to Seward County to be a school teacher in the fall of 1913. The school was five miles from where Dad lived, but that was close to where they had church too, maybe in the same building. They met, kept company with each other and were married in September of 1914. Mother told Dad that yes, she would live in his dugout soddy home, but there was no way she was going to share it with his pet bullsnake. One day Dad saddled his horse, gathered up his snake and rode to the Cimarron River some fourteen miles away. He put the snake down, swung back into his saddle and went home. Dad said the darn fool snake almost beat him home, so he had to take his rifle and shoot his pet bullsnake. Thus ends the bullsnake saga.

sculptured deep red divider line

Articles'     KanColl'