Late in the afternoon yesterday as I was putting equipment back in the shop I noticed a large bull snake lying on the apron in front of one of the overhead doors. I tried to shoo him OUT but of course he decided to go IN. Rather than search for him I decided to leave him for the night and deal with him the next day. Besides, a night in the shop was sure to result in a reduction in the mouse demographic.
I didn't see him again until I was putting the Rhino away tonight, with dogs aboard. The next thing I knew Jack and Emma were deeply interested in something under one of the downspouts. Emma reached in and pulled out the snake. She shook it and tossed it into the grass in front of the shop and they both went for it. It was medium sized, about four feet, and plenty mad.
I was yelling at both dogs and Jack was mostly paying attention. (All that "Get back!" training had an effect.) Not Em of course, who hates snakes above all things. Jack would do a feint and the snake would strike, missing him, but he would jump back and be reluctant to move in again. Smart boy! Emma dived in and got it by the tail and flung it again, but this time when it hit the ground she was in range and it nailed her on the butt. She jumped and moved away and THEN started to listen to my "EMMA, NO!" I managed to get them away from it and inside. There appeared to be some minor laceration back toward the tail but nothing that looked really serious. I'm hoping he wasn't badly injured.
Emma might have learned something. I dunno. The combination of seeing Jack back off and then getting bitten may have given her something to think about. Not that Em thinks too much when she sees snakes.