Woman still battling live-in snake

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 11, 1999

After three years of battling a slithering intruder, Vera Williams is still trying new ideas for getting rid of a snake in her house.

&uot;It’s the same old thing,&uot; Williams said Tuesday. &uot;Everything I try goes nowhere.&uot;

Williams first noticed the snake on&160;May 30, 1996, when it stuck its head through a tile wall in her bedroom. She placed a 911 call and and from then on, police, fire and wildlife officials have tried to help Williams catch the snake with no success.

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Retired from the Natchez-Adams School District just prior to that original sighting of the snake, Williams has continued to try creative solutions of her own to encourage the snake to leave her house on Lumber Street.

Mothballs, sprays, chicken wire, traps and numerous hunting expeditions by neighbors, concerned friends and strangers have yielded no positive results.

The efforts to capture the snake have only drained Williams’ modest savings.

Meanwhile, the snake continues to grow.

The wooden beams of her roof and walls creak and pop under the weight of the snake moving through the house. Williams had a carpenter build double ceilings in many rooms of the house, so the snake can’t fall through.

The snake is most active at night, Williams said, waiting until the hours when she should be sleeping to crawl through the ceilings, walls and basement crawl spaces of her Victorian-era home.

Sleeping with a television or radio playing at top volume to drown out the sounds of the snake, Williams said she continues to suffer emotional stress from the constant presence of this unwelcome intruder in her home.

Most recently, Williams has tried to capture the snake with a trap specially built for her by a zoologist at the Alexandra, La., zoo.

&uot;So far, we’ve used a rabbit and a rat as bait,&uot; she said, &uot;but the snake didn’t do a thing.&uot;

The special trap has a sizable compartment in which live bait can be placed. The trap mechanism is designed to trap the snake before it can reach the bait, saving the animal caged within.

Her next bait animal for the trap will be a chicken.

&uot;One man called me and said that the snake wouldn’t go for the bait unless it was big enough to fill him up but small enough to fit in his mouth,&uot; Williams said. This leaves her trying different sizes and types of bait in her trap.

Some other friends have tried to lure the snake in cold weather to a warm room in the house, but the snake wouldn’t take that bait, either.

The one constant in this ongoing nightmare for Williams has been the kindness of virtual strangers.

Literally dozens of people have called Williams home to offer help, advice, emotional support, hot meals and just a friendly voice.

&uot;People have been really good to me,&uot; she said. &uot;The Lord is going to work it out.&uot;