The other evening, after a pretty good day ~ nice brushing, good dinner, etc. etc., I was out munching on my hay, when Mother came out to give me my goodbye kiss and treats.
Usually she carries the Herballs in her hand, or in a pocket, I suppose, and a few times even in a bag, but this time she was holding a small plastic container. OK.
She kissed me on my schnozzle, and as she straightened up and offered her hand holding the treats, I heard it:
Tat tat TAt TATAT Tat.
I leapt backwards a horse's length, spun around, leapt one more stride then spun around again to spot the rattler and to check on Mother's welfare. After all, I did just kind of leave her there when I heard the shake of his scales.
If I didn't know better, it almost sounded like it was coming from Mother.
Mother looked pained. Oh, no! Was she bitten? Then I realized it was because she was trying not to laugh. Not the reaction I was expecting...
She advanced toward me, right over the place where the snake obviously had to be, and I heard the subtle rustle of the rattle again as Mother moved. She offered me a few treats. I was concerned, and ready to run if the snake made it's location known, but I ate the Herballs.
Mother then proceeded to Belle, where I swear I heard the rattler again (Is it following Mother?), but Belle seemed unruffled as she accepted a few treats. Mother made her way back to me. I regarded the whole situation with suspicion, but finished up the treats she offered.
Mother reassured me it was OK, she only had treats, that the sound was coming from the Herballs in the plastic container moving about. Um, no. Are you trying to train me that rattlesnakes have treats?!?
I don't think so.
It was a very stressful experience.
Mother laughs that "You can take the horse out of the feral, but you can't take the feral out of the horse". Um, I believe you are using an adjective as a noun, and anyway, that's not being feral, that's just good common sense to stay away from rattlesnakes. I have no idea what she is talking about. And her saying that there are no rattlesnakes where we live is just plain foolhardy.
You can never be too cautious.