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was condemned to dig turf all his days. The fine imposed upon him was one pound of tobacco.

          The next person to take the deacon's seat was Patrick Sheeron, whose clear blue eyes took in every detail of his surroundings, and whose every move, showed birth and breeding. He made careful inquiry as to whether the boss was present, because his story concerned the company for which he worked and he thought it best not to have "that certain party" present. Finding that the boss was not present, he began his tale:

THE   HOOP   SNAKE

          "Gentlemen, down in the southern part of the state, not wishing to mention the place, our family lived neighbors to our present employers. Our homes were about two miles apart, so we grew up like brothers, and that friendship continues the same to-day as it did when we traded bows and arrows during our school days.
          Showing the turns that the fates decree, or in other words, to illustrate what a small accident it takes to change the destiny of people, I am telling this story. At this early date, our country was infested with snakes                                                                             .
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of every description, pine snakes, copper heads, blue snake, grass snake, water adder, black snake, striped and green snake. We also had the rattler and the hoop snake, the latter greatly feared, because its bite meant almost instant death to man or beast.

          Its mode of locomotion was to catch its tail in its mouth and roll like a hoop, letting go of its tail and striking its victim with its poisonous fangs, with force enough to kill a deer. If by chance, it should miss and strike a tree or sapling, which ever was struck would swell up and die.

          I shall never forget one occasion, when I was a lad about ten years old. I had driven an ox team attached to a lumber wagon, minus a seat, to the grist mill some thirty miles distant from my home. I was on my homeward journey and had reached a point about five miles from our farm, when my attention was suddenly aroused by a moving object in the center of the road, directly in my path. My sense of danger was aroused, for the oxen had become restless and fright-ened and were plunging awkwardly about. I suddenly realized that a hoop snake was approaching almost with lightning speed. The snake let go of his tail and struck, hit                                                                             .
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The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps, Written by Lake Shore Kearney
(Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Press, 1928) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
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