Tom and Kathy Brown live in
a farm in rural Missouri with their two sons, Kyle, 3, and
Rick, 8. Tom takes care of the farm while his wife works as
a secretary at a local law firm. One Saturday, while cleaning
the house, Kathy notices that the food supplies are low. She
goes into town to buy groceries and leaves Tom to take care
of the kids.
Tom, hot and sweaty after mowing
the lawn, decides to take a quick shower. The boys, eager
to play, sneak outside. Only later does Tom hear the children
screaming from the back yard. He quickly rushes outside
and finds a horrifying scene: Kyle is bleeding from the chin,
while Rick is holding his left forearm. The snake that bit
the children is slithering off into the nearby woods. Tom
fetches a hoe and cuts off the snake's head. He quickly wraps
a tourniquet around Rick's arm and bundles the kids into the
car. Knowing that he will need the snake, he tosses the head
and body into a sack and races toward the hospital.
Sadly, Kyle dies at the hospital, and Rick is placed in critical
condition. The patient chart beside his bed reads, "Diagnosis:
Venomous snake bite. Symptoms: low blood pressure, swelling,
hemorrhaging and initial tissue necrosis in left forearm.
In the meantime, the snake was
sent to the local university. There, a herpetologist examined
the snake and made the following notes.
A couple of days pass, and Rick's condition
improves significantly. Dr. Smith takes the Tom and Kathy
to his office and says, "Rick's condition is very delicate,
but he is recovering. The snake that bit your boys was
not one of the most dangerous species known. However, I've
read some research that talks about how some snakes seem to
be evolving more harmful venoms. I will see if I can find
more information on this issue. The good news is, Rick is
going to be alright!"