Gopher snakebecause my foot had already committed to the step. All I saw was tan and black coiled up and thought "Rattler!" and felt that yucky squish under my foot. Each hand held a kid and I threw them as far as I could and jumped off of the snake's coils. Elaina landed on her feet and ran, Sawyer landed on his back 2 feet from the snake and in all the confusion didn't know which way to roll to get away from it. I ran back and grabbed him and sprinted out of there. I prayed quickly that no one had been bit and checked each of our legs. We watched the dazed and confused snake slither away. I was relieved to see that the head wasn't the right shape for a rattler nor did he have rattle. After a solid adrenaline rush and trying to shake it off, I thanked God that it wasn't a rattler and that if it was poisonous, God had probably helped me step on the poor guy's head because he didn't retaliate. I realized this was one of those great teachable moments for the kids on the human relationship with serpents from Genesis 3. I did google the snake later, and evidently gopher snakes ARE often mistaken for rattlers because of their coloring :)
"You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:14b-15
So there, ya nasty old beast!