Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 23:46:50 -0700
From: Randall N Johnson
Subject: Snake Stories
I don't believe either of these two stories, but I'm curious as to how widespread they are. Both involve venomous North American snakes. I've heard variations on them enough times to be convinced that they are authentic urban legends.
A water skier wipes out, and when the boat comes around to pick him up he is dead. The coroner finds twenty to one-hundred (depending on the source) bites on his body. The verdict is that he fell into a school (or nest) of water moccasins.
I have heard this story told as having happened in bodies of water that are hundreds of miles from the northernmost range of water moccasins. Even if the story takes place in the range of the snakes, they simply do not float en masse out in open bodies of water.
The other story involves a man fishing from a river bank.
A passer-by asks him how the fishing is. The fisherman replies that the fishing is all right, but his "worms" keep biting him. When the passer-by returns later in the day the fisherman is lying on the bank dead. Upon investigation, it is discovered that his "worms" are actually new-born copperheads.
How anybody could believe this one is beyond me, but at least one person who told me the story swears that it is true.