Oops! Homesteader

Oops! Homesteader

While I was visiting my brother  in Florida, he showed me his latest
toy, a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill. A huge hickory log was mounted on
the cutting platform. Sawdust puffed as the blade effortlessly sliced a
3" thick section from the top of the log. "That was the 'clean cut'," he
said. "The next cut will be the first lumber-maker." He pushed the
blade back into the log, and in only five minutes, we were stacking a
beautiful 10' long board.

My brother was pulling the saw back to make another pass through the
log when, only inches from his hand, a small red, yellow and black
striped snake wriggled out of an old woodpecker hole. “Yikes! That’s a
coral snake!” I thought, remembering the old cautionary rhyme “red on
yellow, kill a fellow.”

Fortunately, my brother wasn't fazed. "Give me that shovel," he
said. “I forgot—I usually probe holes like this one with a wire before I
cut." I expected him to bash the snake, as we would have done as kids,
but instead, he scoped it up and tossed it back into the woods. "Coral
snakes eat mice and other vermin," he explained calmly, even as I was
taking deep, cleansing breaths and trying to swallow.