What We Fear

“Want to see a snake?” asked my neighbor.

“Sure!” I answered and hurried over to where she stood.

My expectation was to see a live snake, but what I saw instead was a small snake that was gasping it’s last.  Blood dotted the driveway pavement.  It’s neck, just behind its head, was crushed.

My neighbor picked up the spade and stabbed the snake in the neck. Then, when it opened its mouth, she stabbed its lower lip and held it fast against the pavement.

“It’s a bad snake, yes?” she said, more than asked.

I shook my head, “Not bad…good. Eats mice and rats.”

“Eats mice? Rats?” she quizzed.

I nodded, “yes….”

“Not good snake for yard,” she said. “No, not good for snake to be in yard.”

I looked at the little snake and agreed, “no, not good for snake to be in yard.”

Poor baby snake.

Earlier I had been working in my front yard…not 8 feet from where the snake lay dying.

I wondered if the snake had been in my yard, hiding amongst the fallen leaves and had slipped into her yard to escape.

I was sad, so sad…for the snake and what it had suffered and for my neighbor and others like her who fear what they don’t understand and who strike out in response to that fear.

My neighbor and others like her…. Better include me in that. I’m as guilty as anyone else.

What about you?

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