Advertisement A real Bonehead move on my part. I was feeding my black ratsnake (a five-footer, approximately) I had misplaced my tongs, so I was doing the tail-dangle method, which I do as often as not in any case. The snake made a bad-strike, knocking the thawed mouse from my grasp. here is where the stupid comes in...reflexively I grabbed at the mouse to pick it up to repeat the offer. The snake, being in full hunting mode whirled around and grabbed my hand. And then threw coils over my hand and forearm and began the constriction process. He was on so tight that I couldn't even begin to unwrap him. So, I calmly waked to the bathroom where I had a bucket of clean water and doused my arm in almost up to the elbow. It took a minute or so, but he eventually began to relax and disengaged from the bite. and I was able to uncoil him and return him to his enclosure, where he immediately accepted the re- offered mouse. A couple points to be made. First of course is to never underestimate the speed of a snake, but everybody should know that. Second, while one can afford to be a little sloppy with smaller species, (but shouldn't be because there is risk to the well-being of the snake in this kind of situation) this was a very good example why they should always be careful, triply so with large species and infinitely more so with hot species. Third, if nothing else, the incident underlines why when people exhibit fear of harmless moderate sized species, I always point out that I'd much rather be tagged by my snake than their dog or cat. I compare a bite with my snake as being equivalent to getting scratched thorns like there are on some berry bushes. And I now have photographs to prove my point. Sure it LOOKS kinda gnarly before clean-up, but the damage is superficial. Had it been an angry Chihuahua that latched on, it would have been a different story.