I’m guessing this is a juvenile rat snake, on his way to turning black. He’s well over two feet long already. No fangs. Surprisingly, he lunged repeatedly, very aggressively. Should I feed him to the chickens? I’m sure that snakes taste good in the form of chicken eggs!
Update: The Decision!
Late in the evening, having attentively considered the advocacy for chickens, eggs, snakes, rats, mice, spiders and other eventual beasts even hypothetically involved in the decision of the fates of same, an education experience followed by benevolence toward all seemed the best path upon which to set.
The snake was then forthwith removed from the hermitage. By this time, sensing that mercy would be his, the snake acted as if I was the friendliest creature ever to be found. No lunging with wide open mouth. Just playfulness in crawling about on the arms of yours truly.
I was not to be thwarted from the course. I proceeded to bring him into the lion’s… errrr…. chickens’ den. This made both snake and chickens nervous, including the rooster. I continued to hold the snake before them. By this time the snake knew he was outnumbered and wasn’t about to catch anyone off guard and was writhing about, trying so sling his body around the neck of the rooster. Being a constrictor, this was quite the attack.
The rooster, in turn, backed away three or four times, but then, emboldened, struck like lightning and gave the snake a good peck. Surely painful. The snake learned a lesson. The rooster was totally emboldened and could consider himself the victor.
The humiliated but unhurt snake was transported right to the place where I found him. Having become his rescuer, he was now not at all eager to leave. He eventually slithered out on the deck of the stairs, under some kindling.
He might just stay away from the chickens, and only go after the forest mice and forest rats and such other foresty beasts. If he forgets his lesson, the rooster will have been emboldened to attack him without hesitation.
And all were content to have learned a lesson.