On the way to the garbage pit the other day, I stumbled across a snake in the grass.
I was almost on top of him before I noticed the opalescent blue of his skin and stopped to process.
There was a long delay in my brain as I flipped through the rolodex of “blue things”... and “long, skinny things”.... and “things lying in grass”. But even after a good 20 seconds, it still hadn’t come to a definite conclusion.
It had never seen anything like it... and so naturally my brain made a new rolodex card and informed me that the best guess was “snake”.
At this news, it mounted the appropriate alarm, shooting gobs of adrenaline through my veins, and causing my body to jerk back with an involuntary jolt.
High on adrenaline, I was then alert enough to ‘play possum’. So I froze in my gum boots and waited.
Absolutely nothing raced through my mind.
All I could do was stare at this thin, blue, ribbon-esc thing in the grass and hope it wouldn’t bite me.
I was transfixed.
An embarrassing amount of time went by before I realized it was dead.
Its head was intact... and its body was whole, but its tail was unnaturally short. Something had chewed it down to a crumbled nob, then just left it there.
Eventually, I leaned in to inspect it closer and saw slight indentations on its body, as if something had knocked it about... or squeezed it about its center.
Had you been there you would have laughed at the loud sigh of relief I made.
Then somehow my feet worked again and I continued down the path to the garbage dump.
However on the way back from the dump, I decided to pick it up and take it home.
In my brain, Logic argued with Reason insisting that ‘since it was dead, I should just reach down and pick it up with my hand’.
But Reason would have none of that and started screaming, “No! Whatever you do...you never touch snakes. NEVER. Especially ones you don’t know.”
And again... I stood there hesitating over the lumpy, half-chewed beast.
Eventually, Reason won the argument and I found a long stick. Using it, I picked up my new blue ribbon by its middle, and carried it home with me.
Half way home, Lumpy, the white pregnant cat, came to greet me. And I laid the blue ribbon in front of her thinking she might enjoy a snack.
She is always scrounging for new treats and often comes to beg.
However when she approached my “gift”, she too did the same involuntary jolt, jumping back a good three inches.
Apparently, even pregnant cats have their limits and this was it! She would not eat it. Instead, she sat several feet away and watched it out of the corner of her eye.
Eventually she left it undisturbed on my porch for one of the orphans to find.
He he he...