Stripping In The Woods

If your from the country…

then you probably know how or have heard of digging yellow root, ginseng or mayapple.

Some people, in the country dig these roots, lay them in the sun to dry and then sell them for a little extra income.

They are used for medicinal purposes.

When I was a teenager we used to go digging. Ginseng is harder to find, while mayapple is harder to dig, because the roots are so deep. Yellow root was the easiest of the three.

While digging yellow root, I came upon this strange looking worm. I picked it up and noticed the strange coloring under the brown outer skin. I commented to the person I was with about it.

They looked at it for a second or two and asked where I found it.  After I showed them, we looked around and found several more strange colored worms. This is where I was informed it wasn’t a worm.

 It was a baby snake.

Whoa!!! I dropped it instantly.

We decided to move along before the mommy snake came back!

While walking along, I felt something inside my right pants leg, on the back side of my leg  just below the knee.

I stopped walking, brushed at it and waited.


Must’ve been my imagination.

A few more steps and I felt it again on the backside of my knee.

Already spooked by the snake nest I had just dug up, I was beginning to get a little uneasy.

Whatever it was, was climbing up the inside of my pants leg. I grabbed it, pant leg and all. And began to dance around.

By this time I was convinced the mommy snake had found me and was determined to avenge the death of her litter.

I was gonna die a half a mile back in the woods and have to be carried out. Or maybe they would just dig a hole and leave me there.

Whatever it was in my hand, in my pant leg, was wiggling. Causing my heart to skip a beat with each movement.

Letting go was not an option.

The only thing left to do was to take my jeans down.

Have you ever tried to pull down a pair of blue jeans with one hand, while the other hand holds onto a mysterious wiggling wad of who knows what?

I had to have help.

And at this point I didn’t care who helped or who watched, I just wanted those jeans down and that thing out of there before it decided to bite with those 6″ fangs my fear had cooked up in my imagination.

I was stripping in the woods and I didn’t care who knew it!

Carefully, unsnapping, unzipping…. Okay, not carefully.

Jerking the snap open and ripping the zipper down, we pulled down my pants to where my hand was holding the wiggling thing.

Carefully positioning myself so that I could get away from whatever it was in my hand, in my jeans…

I opened my hand…

And out jumped a grasshopper.

I died.

But only for a second.

Then my face turned three shades of red and I pulled my jeans back up.

And I refused to admit that it ever happened.

Ever had something like that happen to you?

15 comments on “Stripping In The Woods

  1. That’s funny Becky. I’ve pulled waspers out of my hair and I’ve stepped bare foot on a snake, but never had a grasshopper in my jeans before. They say my grandpa used yellowroot for stomach pains.

  2. I’ve never found baby snakes.

    I’ve never found a grasshopper in my pants.

    I’ve never dug up those roots you mentioned.

    I HAVE been stung by a scorpion.

    I HAVE had a centipede land on my arm.

    I HAVE eaten a prickly pear cactus.

  3. Oh I am still laughing just picturing you out there dancing around trying to get your pants down all the while imagining that this huge snake with fangs was after your bum. Hilarious. Nope a grasshopper has never tried to enter that zone on me. My pants are too tight. He couldn’t make it.

  4. LOL I would of done the same thing… Snakes and I are not friends!! I would have been paranoid the entire time and maybe just maybe never went back in there!

  5. Becky: Thanks Rhea.

    I’ve never found baby snakes.

    I’ve never found a grasshopper in my pants.

    I’ve never dug up those roots you mentioned but have dug up Sassafras roots for tea.

    I HAVE been stung by a bee ,wasp and a hornet.

    I HAVE had a biting fly land on my arm, it’s dead.

    I HAVE eaten a wild strawberries and chewed wild Teaberry leaves .

  6. I have had crawly grass work up my pants leg and I didn’t know what it was and had to strip down quick to get out whatever was crawling up my leg. Fortunately, no one was around when it happened, but to make sure, after I dug the grass out and got my britches back up I did a double check all around to make sure. I feel your embarrassment. I also had to laugh because it sounded so much like what I would have done. Thank goodness I haven’t found baby snakes. I would have had blatant disregard for God’s little creatures and probably tried to beat them all to death. I don’t like snakes.


  7. Being from the country I’ve also pulled down the jeans and ripped off a blouse. I can’t at this point in time tell you what was in them but I laughed all the way through this – been there done that!

    The snakes are a creepy story here before I go to bed.

  8. I would have died on the spot not matter what kind or what size the creature! I’ve never been attacked by a grasshopper, but camel crickets and I have a very tumultuous relationship!

  9. That was a great story. Thanks for sharing
    My parents both tell stories like this..
    1, my parents were loggers and one time “something” crawled up my dads pant leg and when he would try to grab it, it would shoot up farther.. well he was convinced it was a squirrel and when it finally got to the “danger zone” he too stripped in the woods only to find out that it was a branch of pine needles..
    Luckily for him no one was watching..
    2. my mom on the other hand, tells a story about being in a campground when my older siblings were little, it was early spring and the went for a hike, she looked over and found a tick on my dad. then another on her leg, when she got to looking around the whole ground was moving…. with Ticks….. they had walked into a hatch… YUCK>.. she said she ran back to the truck and jumped in the back and stripped down right there to her unders.. and NOPE she really didn’t care who was watching at that point either..

  10. Well you’ve made me laugh today-thinking of you dancing around in the woods tearing your clothes off! My biggest fear when I feel something crawling around on me-is that its a spider! I hate them. I’d take the snake any day.

    I have found baby snakes in my flower beds-and I’ve chewed on yellow root for one of Pap’s rememdies when I was sick.

  11. I have had something like that happen, but I’m not about to share it.

    Here in the mountains, ginseng patches are closely guarded secrets. Permits are issued for gathering in the national forest and every year lots of folks are arrested for gathering without permits. Who turns them in? The folks with permits.

  12. We where cleaning out under the deck and found a brown worm which did not move like a worm. Yep it was a snake! well I chop the head off and threw it in the wheelbarrel and continued on. Here comes my fearless 5 year old and grabs the body of the worm (he thought) and it wrapped around his finger. He asked me what it is and I informed him a snake! He now is running around shaking his hand trying to get the SNAKE with no head off his finger. The more he shakes the tighter it gets. I have to just about tackle him to pull the snake that is now wrapped very tightly around his finger off. Even in death the 3 inch baby snake can scare the pee out of a fearless 5 year old boy!

  13. Ok mom. I never knew this one, but that was hilarious. Daisy even thought it was funny! Kinda what you did to me with spider. Remember there was a piece of brown yarn on my leg when I was about 10 years old and you told me it was a spider. I still don’t think I have ever swatted at something and jumed on the bed so fast in my life!!!! hahahahaha

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