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How to kill and butcher a rattler for supper

How does a 16-year-old girl kill an eight-foot rattlesnake? Today’s semi-cute answer is a worn cliche: “Very carefully.”  Actually, despite the simpering intent, it’s accurate. 

Concha Rosales and her eight-year-old cousin, Rosa, were scouting thickly grown, yet-to- be grazed wild plants bordering a horse trail.  They were looking for herbal remedies in the family colt pasture when they encountered an obstacle.  The rattler was handsome and big, both in girth and length.  After a chill night in the rocky foot hill bordering the pasture, it was dozing in the afternoon sun in the middle of the trail.

The populous extended Rosales family was made up of a number of children whose insatiable curiosity distinctly included snakes.  Concha grew up riding horses, and horses did not like snakes;  they reacted to them with bucking-running fear.  Both of these circumstances made poisonous snakes a liability.  Keeping Rosa behind her, Concha stepped off the path and approached the rattler, deciding to kill it.  Too many kids, too much livestock, too many nosy dogs.  Fearful, Rosa began crying.  Concha led her back the brecha and briskly sent her home. Concha then went back toward the snake, whose tail was no longer twitching. She stopped and took up her watcher’s stance.  Snakes are deaf.  They sense the presence of other beings by vibrations.  The handsome large rattler began to relax.  It checked out the disappearance of interlopers, moving its head, flickering a dark tongue, testing for vibrations.  Though Concha carried a trimmed long-bladed machete, she didn’t take it from its sheath.

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