NANTICOKE INDIAN SNAKE LORE
EASTON STAR DEMOCRAT
Sometimes they call them reptiles when scorpions , salamanders, lizards, were included
in the reports. A red headed 'skink' , whatever that is or was, was thought to be poisonous. The male
fence lizard , a scorpion, was poisonous when its throat was blue, a female, Just a lizard, was not
and children played with them when harnessed in lizard grass nooses. Salamanders were said to be
full of venom and would kill and cats that ate them. Some cat could be saved by feeding it with fat
meat that gave relief to the poison.
The water snake, the hog nose snake, the field viper all were thought to be venomous bu
t were not. The blast racer was the only snake thought not to be poisonous. If a field viper bit itself it
died of its own poison. The copperhead emitted a smell like cucumbers. Black snake skin worn on the
body cured rheumatism. The hoop snake takes its tail by its mouth and rolls like a hoop. A black
snake is thought to suck milk from a cows udder. Hang a dead black snake on a tree branch and it will soon rain.
It was believed that the first spring thunder awoke the snakes from their winter sleep.
When a snake was killed, not long after, its mate come to seek the remains.