Snakes on a Model Plane

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Bob Richardson Central Arkansas This happened a few years ago when I went to the Central Arkansas Model Aviators Association (CAMAA) flying field to socialize, get some flying in, and watch the other guys fly. Nobody was there, so I said to myself, it would be a good time to mow the grass and not interfere with anyone's flying. So I mount the riding mower, cranked her up, and headed out to the green pasture. I am mowing the area between the pit fence and the dirt mound, then I move onto the runway and start around the end. Looking back at what I had just mowed, I saw a stump with a knot on the end of it sticking out of the ground. I thought, how could I have missed that? That could snag an airplane real good. So I turned around and headed back to the stump. As I approached to within a couple of feet, I noticed it was not a stump at all! Instead it was the head and about 5 inches of snake sticking out of the ground! It was a pretty good sized snake too! Too late to stop, I ran over it, or at least I thought I did. Unfortunately I was only to find out there were more belts going around the top of the mower deck than the manufacturer put there, and one of them was after me! I guess he didn't like me running over the door of his house. By this time I had applied the brake and stopped the mower as the snake headed out to the front of the mower toward the brush on the dirt mound. This is nothing new—I have chased down snakes before on my mower at home and sent them on their way to wherever dead snakes go. So I said to myself, this snake is history! But I quickly noticed that the snake was outrunning the mower by quite a bit. Then I realized that this mower is so slow. And not only can I not catch the snake and send him on his way, but I can't outrun the snake, if he decides he doesn't like me again. So, in the end, the snake got away, but at least the grass got mowed. And when we have to purchase a new mower, I recommend the following equipment be installed on it: grenade and rocket launchers, Jetex rocket boosters, enclosed air-conditioned snake-proof cabin, or just a faster mower! The snake was not of a poisonous variety (I don't think), just a black snake. But a snake's a snake! The moral of this story is, don't stick your finger down any holes at the field, you may not want to know what's down there! P.S. A local newspaper columnist, a friend of mine, published this story in the newspaper along with a characterization he drew of me on a bicycle-type mower with an old reel-type mower for a front wheel! Bob Richardson, President Central Arkansas Model Aviators Association

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Ha, ha, funny story. I mean NOW it is; you weren't laughing too hard when you were chasing the snake.

Why did you want to kill it? They keep the rodent population down!

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