Saturday, March 27, 2021
Out on the range, rattlesnakes don’t bother John R. Erickson much. They’re a part of life on the M-Cross Ranch, Erickson’s home and working cattle operation, in the rough country of the northeastern Texas Panhandle. But the rattler under the porch of his writing cabin is a different story.
“They’re good at killing mice,” he mutters, grabbing his Ruger .22 pistol. “But they’re also good at killing cowdogs.”
Erickson knows from experience: a few years ago, he lost a pup named Bones to a snakebite. He doesn’t intend to let that happen again. Which is why, one morning in July, the 77-year-old writer lowers himself onto his belly until he is eye level with an unhappy coontail rattlesnake.
I liked Texas the one time I've been there, except it's just so miserably hot and humid.