Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow…

…red and black, friend of Jack. The title above is a well known mnemonic to help people remember the difference between a harmless king snake and the venomous coral snake. If red and black touch each other, the snake is a king snake. If the red and yellow stripes touch, the snake is a coral snake. As you can see from the stripes on the snake in this picture, this is the dangerous kind.

My neighbor found this snake in his yard in-between our two houses. He managed to kill it with a shovel. What makes me almost sick to my stomach is he thought that one of our kids could have happened upon this snake first. The good thing is coral snakes are not aggressive and will retreat if given the chance. The bad news is that they are highly venomous and are related to the mamba and cobra.

After my neighbor showed me the dead snake, I bagged it and put it in the refrigerator so that I could show our kids later on in the day. When Becky came home, I did not make it downstairs in time to warn her about our new little refrigerator resident. To her credit, she did not scream or freak out. She was glad I kept it and wanted to make sure that our kids could recognize one on sight and knew to stay away from it.
That is also the reason for this blog. I want you to know that, yes, coral snakes are alive and well in San Antonio. Please warn your kids about them, especially if they are outside in the mornings or evenings.

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One Comment

  1. I'm in Arizona, and our poem ends "red and black, poison lack." I hadn't heard "friend of Jack" before.Same end result, though! ;)—McKay V. Jones (a Mormon)

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