my grandparents were raised in the back woods of the Ozarks. there is a picture taken by an itinerate photographer of my grand father as a teenager with his four brothers hitched to the front of a plow and my great grandfather behind the plow. lucky enough to have known my great granfather he once told me while we looked at that picture that he sure was glad that times got better and that he was able to afford a horse by the time his boys had grown up and left home. My grandfather's response was that he was glad that he grew up with enough sense to move far enough away so that he wouldn't be around at plowing time.
My great grandparents kept a BIG bullsnake around the farm yard "to eat the timber rattlers" also. I never really knew if that worked or if it was just one of those old tales. but i remember as a kid hearing Great grandma scream as if she had been shot when she would step on or trip over that snake as she went out to hang up the laundry. We kids would run around the house and she the laundry spilled on the yard and grandma holding her hand over her heart saying through her clinched teeth. "thank you for being her and protecting the younguns." then she would storm off to the house hollering, "y'all kids get that laundry hung up and bring me in that basket." We weren't allowed to laugh. that snake was very tame.