Matthew Nettle was my great grandfather. He was a farmer in Franklin Co. MO from about the time of the Civil War through WWI, I think. A man with a twinkle in his eye and a love for things that little boys are made of such as snips, and snails and puppy dog tails.
Mom (Blanche H. Campbell Downs) tells that Grandpa would come into the kitchen with his shirt rippling and a big grin on his face. He would pull out little green snakes or big black snakes, curling them around his arms and stroking them lovingly. Grandma Nettle was not fond of things that crawl, but her only admonishment would be a tiny shake of the head and a sad "Why, Matthew..." I suspect she had learned that a greater reaction brought larger incursions...in true little boy fashion. But we'll never know, now, will we?