Here are observations and speculations, legends and yarns, even gossip about the habits and dispositions of these extraordinary creatures—rattlesnakes—their reported size, deadliness, and power to charm their natural enemies. Here are descriptions of actual fights to the death between rattlesnakes and other animals and accounts of the strange experiences human beings have had with them, as well as tips on where to find them and how to act when you see one.
Dobie began systematically collecting lore about the rattlesnake world many years ago, using some of it in such regional publications as Southwest Review and incorporating much of it into essays—with the intention of eventually putting together a book about rattlesnakes. Now, in this collection of twenty-two articles, his wish is posthumously fulfilled.
Only Frank Dobie could tell of this fascinating and frightening creature with such wisdom and humor, thereby tempering "the age-old feud between the snake and man." And the rattlesnake—who once aroused fear among even the boldest men in the Old West—can at last be regarded with tolerance, respect, and even affection.