Yesterday as we walked by the house from the chicken coop, eggs in hand, Romneya (my 2 year old son) stepped on a copperhead. Rome was naked- he is learning to use the potty and a farm boy so this should not surprise- the snake struck him twice on his bare legs before Karl, the both of us screaming and bellowing, leapt into action. After I had Rome in arm Karl killed the dread snake with a shovel.
Miraculously, the snake had not managed to pierce Rome with his strikes. I spent a solid 20 minutes searching for damage, but Rome was completely unharmed. Thank God.
Karl and Rome spent some quality time over the dead body of the viper, Karl explaining how bad this snake was, how Rome should run and get daddy or mommy if he ever saw another. These snakes are known- especially this time of year- for traveling in pairs. I believe the snake we killed was a male, and his female counterpart is bound to show up in the next few days.
You can read about this snake, which is very common where we live, at Wikipedia. "Dry bites" and warning bites are common, I am told- something I have never known because I have never been so close to one of these snakes.
Since we moved here we have killed 9, I think, but the first 8 were before we had livestock guardian dogs. This snake must have come from across the road to be in our yard by our house. It was literally two feet from the house, next to the trampoline.