Local teenager delivers when called to action

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For many of those who live in the Bible Belt, Sundays continue to be a day of rest from work.

However, the Good Book does say that, if the ox is in the ditch on Sunday, then man can put his hand to the plow, so to speak.

Chloe Dorrill was enjoying a restful Sunday afternoon in the countryside around her home in the Clay Hill area of the county when the “ox” got in the ditch and she was called to “work.”

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As her mother, Sonja Dorrill, had done many times before, she went to the outside waterspout to get fresh water for the dogs. She “just happened” to see something move in the leaves around a nearby bush. Then, she saw the snake.

Chloe, a ninth-grader at Pike Liberal Arts, came to aid and assist.

“The snake was down in the leaves,” she said. “I couldn’t see its head but it was a snake.

Chloe’s dad, John Dorrill, III, was hauling hay several miles away and she called him to find out “What to do?”

Not knowing the kind of the snake or the danger it posed, Dorrill instructed his daughter what to do over the phone.

What Chloe did was load a shotgun, take aim and fire.

“I know how to load a rifle because I’ve been hunting but I’d never loaded or shot a shotgun,” she said. “My dad told me how to load the gun and he told me to point the gun down and away from the house. I did. I pulled the trigger and shot the snake and killed it.”

Not only did Chloe kill the snake, she blew about half of it away.

“The snake was longer than it is now,” she said, as she looked at the head and tail portions of the snake. I shot him in the middle and it’s gone.”

The snake was a small rattlesnake and its body parts were still twitching after it should have long been dead. Chloe stayed back.

“I don’t like snakes,” she said. “I’m scared of them.”

Chloe was the hero on a bright, sunny November Sunday. And her mother was content to ride shotgun and leave the shooting to Chloe.

“My mom’s a scaredy cat,” Chloe said, laughing. “But I had shot a gun before. A rifle. I went deer hunting but I only shot a coyote.”

Grant Lyons, Pike County extension coordinator, said that it’s wise to be cautious of snakes, even the small ones.

Even though it’s small in size, the bite of a rattlesnake can be dangerous because it usually releases all of its venom in a single bite.

“That’s not to say that a baby rattler is more dangerous than an adult rattlesnake,” Lyons said. “It’s just that a baby snake is more likely to inject all of its venom because it has a smaller capacity. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is stay away from snakes and you need to learn to identify them.”

There are four types of poisonous snakes that live in Alabama – the rattlesnake, water moccasin, coral and copperhead.

“You should be able to identify these poisonous snakes and you should continue to watch for snakes because, with the warm weather we are having, snakes are crawling,” Lyons said. “You can never be too careful.”