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Showing posts with label snake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snake. Show all posts

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Week of Critters

Yes, that's what it has been around here lately. Last weekend after a heavy rain, I came home to find a box turtle meandering across the road. I parked the car and donned my garden gloves. He drew in his hind legs as I approached, but turned his head to peer at me. I stepped closer and he drew in his forelegs. As I reached to pick him up (my hands well back from his front parts just in case I had misidentified his species), his head disappeared into the armored shell. I carried him into the back yard, down the steps to the creek and set him down on the creek bank. He shot into the water at a speed any hare would be proud to claim. I forgot to get his picture, but this is what he looked like.

Near my house there's a wonderful city park with a two-mile walking trail around the lake (reservoir). It's about a three block walk to a patch of woods where a trail cuts through into the back side of the park. I was coming up the trail to head back home, my mind doing all the meandering it does when I walk, and I nearly stepped on this guy.
I sent the picture to my science teacher friend who identified it as a gray rat snake. So after regaining my breath, I stood there for a while trying to decide what to do. There is a second path that I could take to the main road if I backtracked a few feet and detoured around him. But that seemed a silly thing to do. We had a staring match for a few minutes. I didn't think I could safely step over him, even though he's not poisonous, he could still be aggressive. I looked around and found a stick. A very long stick. And I prodded him gently. He didn't move, just sat there and looked at me. So I prodded a bit harder and finally, he turned around and wound himself back into the undergrowth. And I came home. 


Then my husband found this hole with cracked open egg shells by the walkway in our back yard. 




My friend said, "I guess it could be anything from a chipmunk to a snake...now if you stick your hand down it..." 


I didn't. 


So, Happy Poetry Friday! After my week of critters, I definitely needed a critter poem. 


Stop over at TeacherDance where Linda is hosting the roundup for more poetry. 



Snake

by D.H. Lawrence

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Silently.

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Read the rest here.