I’m lying here in this big old hammock looking at my little pond. Yesterday I attacked all the growth around it, to expose the rocks and cement edge. There is a hefty garter snake that lives in there. He was slithering back and forth as I worked as if to protest. What are you doing to my home? He would stay close by and tip up his little head and stare at me with unbelief. The gall! How dare you?
I told him if he tried any funny stuff, or startled me that I would not hesitate to kill him. I explained that he’s lucky I haven’t done so yet, and to be thankful for a place here by the pond at all. He may be gone this morning. The best hiding spots have been trimmed low. But back to the hammock. The past and present were jumbling together again as I press my bare feet in the grass and gently rock back and forth. Suddenly I see myself in my front yard as a kid, sunbathing on one of those yellow plastic lawn chairs. The kind that makes all the clicking sounds as you move the foot rest and head rest, and invariably discover you didn’t get it right when one of the legs collapses and your head crashes to the ground. But this was after all that. I was lying comfortably almost asleep, when I hear my brother call my name from up on the porch. I sit up squinting to see what he wants and notice he is whirling something around his head like a lasso, and just as he releases it and it comes soaring through the air in a circular motion, I realize it is a….…SLAP! It hits me around the chest and neck and falls to the ground and slithers away; a garter snake. I am stunned and my skin stings. I really didn’t freak out except to say, “That HURT!” I guess I was used to these antics.
I was never really afraid of snakes. Brothers on the other hand…..