I was away from home. Animal lover, Sarah, was on the other end of the phone line. “Mom, can I ask you a question?” My heart begins to beat a little faster. The heart always speeds up when one asks to ask a question. Question is asked. ” A snake!!” I sputter out in response. “You want to bring your snake over here? Where would you keep it? What is its name? I need to sleep on it. Let me talk to your Dad.”
Fondness for snakes. No. My mind travels to the “farm” where my brother and I played on the weekends. My aunt and uncle lived in the aged house that had crooked floors and walls. In the yard you knew to keep your distance from the snowball bush and the tall grass in the back. You watched your step. On mowing days a snake would usually be chased out where it would meet a clobbering from my uncle. A rope was then tied around the snake and my brother would pull the lifeless snake like a pull toy. Vivid image.
“Does she feed the snake live mice?” I asked my husband. as my mind travels back to the Indiana State Fair. My family is at the Department of Natural Resources display. Aquariums with snakes curled against smooth glass line the walkway. I keep my distance as I walk down the row of aquariums. Then I notice a man walking behind the aquariums. What does he have? A container of mice. It’s feeding time! I can’t escape. There is no place to go. The doomed mouse is placed in the confining small space. My heart pounds in fear for the mouse as it searches frantically for a way out. I’m filled with dread. There is no HOPE for this mouse. I turn my head not able to watch and another feeling rises within me…injustice.
A mother’s love runs deep. Snake is now housed in the “tropical” upstairs bedroom. I keep my distance.
Two classic books come to mind when I think of snakes.