XXX. A vicious snake strikes, a mountain lion visits
by Bill Hunt
Overhead, a bald eagle flies by looking like a huge bomber bird. Two rusty hawks regularly visit my back field where I pasture a herd of goats. The prime purpose of the herd is to keep the grass short to discourage the presence of Florida's poisonous snakes. I've encountered rattlesnakes, coral snakes, and water moccasins in turn.
In the far front corner of the wild property is a ravine overgrown with bushes and leafy trees. It's a deep, dark, murky pool of water in the rainy season. One day I trudged there to fix the barbed wire fence line built around the property.
As I came close to a woody fence post, I heard the tail rattling of a nervous snake, noisy in the dried grasses. Looking carefully, I caught a glimpse of him stretched out barely seen near the fence line. He looked like a rattlesnake, but I saw rows of long sharp teeth.
Being too close, I turned my back to step away from the post.
WHACK! That snake struck at my leg with a mighty force! But he bit the fence post instead.
This was a miracle! Snakes see with infrared type eyes, and he confused the fence post for my leg, which was exactly behind the post. The snake's teeth stuck hard in the wood post for a few moments as he struggled to free himself with his figure eight coiling body.
I raised my long handled shovel to strike at him, but in a flash he disappeared as I shifted my feet to make the hit. I walked away trembling with double layer goosebumps. I felt frightened and alone. But the still, soothing voice of the Lord spoke to me calmly and echoed through my whole being.
"I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV).
Later, I learned the snake was likely a Florida Banded Watersnake. With his rows of long, razor sharp teeth, he can tear a cube of flesh out of man's leg.
Preachers often have trouble with the snake scripture.
"And these signs will accompany those who believe:… they will pick up snakes with their hands…it will not hurt them at all” (Mark 16:17-18 NIV). But I've had my encounters a few times, and I believe it!
One evening, the growls of a mountain lion interrupted my sleep about midnight.
I rushed into my clothes and headed up the other end of the house to the back door, barefoot. In the light of my flashlight, I could see the big, bright eyes of a male Texas Panther. The lions had been transplanted into Northern Florida for a time as an experiment in change of habitat.
He continued to growl repeatedly, looking at me not a hundred feet away. Then the worst possible thing happened. My entire herd of goats came rushing out of their hutch to see what was happening.
Goats are very, very curious. I was in panic, and knew I had to act fast. I possessed no gun.
"Shall I fight the lion barehanded like David with a kitchen knife?" I thought, as I looked back through the kitchen door at the knife drawer.
"No, that's not a good idea!"
Running out of the house, I jumped into my small car, an old Chevrolet Cavalier, and drove it onto my woods road, honking the horn, and flashing the lights wildly.
Mister Lion actually backed off toward the snake ravine and remained in that area, growling demonstratively through the hours of the night.
The blessing for the shepherd was this: none of my goats were harmed. No lamb chops! And the grumpy midnight mountain lion on his rounds never came back!
"My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions” (Daniel 6:22).
(True story #30 in series “100 Million Miracles.”)
Lions, and snakes, and goats oh my!!! I am so happy to hear your yellow brick road was paved with His angels to protect the shepherd and his flock of goats.
Every time I read one of your miracle stories, I see mine too; sometimes we are just too busy to realize just how many times we are being protected by His angels.
God Bless you my friend,