When the Girds moved to the Rancho in Fallbrook, their children were young adults. My grandmother, Ellen, had graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1879, and the following year they were in Fallbrook. They had lived in a rural situation in Los Angeles, but this was even more remote.
One of the stories my mother [Annie (LAMB) HINDORFF]
related to me was about their "pet". The Gird children had been warned
to be cautious of Rattlesnakes. They would kill them if they ran across
them, but one day they found a small, cute little Rattlesnake. They knew
it was a Rattlesnake. It had a botton on the end of the tail, similar to
the tail ends of the larger ones they had killed. They decided that if
they would pull its teeth, it couldn't bite them, and they would have a
pet. They had the little snake for a pet and fed it in the yard and of
course it stayed around. They saw it often for several months and would
pick it up to play with it or show to their parents.
One day a stranger came to the Ranch. He saw the snake in the yard and killed it. Then he told the Girds that he had seen a small Rattle Snake in their yard and killed it. The children were sad to have lost their pet, so decided to skin him for a keepsake. They could dry the skin and have that to remember their fun with it.
When they skinned the snake they found that the snake had grown more teeth. From that day forward they didn't try to be friendly with snakes. They killed all Rattlesnakes whenever they found them.
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