The Nation: Fangs a Lot

Four times in the past year, John Fretwell's air-conditioning equipment company in Dallas was broken into and robbed. Fretwell took to renting a Doberman pinscher watchdog for weekend duty, but at $75 a weekend, the protection itself seemed little better than petty larceny.

Then Fretwell went up to Oklahoma a month or so ago for a snake hunt, and he brought back what may be the ultimate in burglar protection: seven diamondback rattlesnakes. During business hours, he cages the snakes in the window of his business office, labeled with a sign: DANGER: SNAKES BITE....

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