Monday, September 25, 2006

Speaking of Snakes

In grammar school a kid that was a year or so ahead of me found that his back yard was a haven for snakes under rocks and junk. They were little garden snakes, between 3 and 5 inches long probably. His name was Ronny. Ronny “seized the opportunity” as they say and brought some to school to sell. Naturally, I had to have one.

I somehow had some kind of container I brought it home. Before I was in the house good and going through the refrigerator looking for a snack my mother found the little snake and carried the container out in the back yard and dumped the snake out and chopped its head off with a hoe.

I would run into Ronnie off and on until he graduated from high school. One time I showed him a novelty shop in town that he didn’t know about. It was a little small shop, with a quiet young woman behind the counter . I remember they had fake vomit, fake dog turds, and other novelties. One of the things they had was a little 4” tall rubber woman doll in a bathing suit. You squeeze her and the top of her bathing suit flaps down and her boobs pops out. Ronnie turned around to the quiet female and said, “Can you do this?”

Which took me surprise. I don’t think I went back into that store until my aunt took it over and converted it to an antique store.

Ronnie’s family was dirt poor by the way. He was also very intelligent. After high school he was nominated by the local congressman and went to West Point. I wondered what became of him, I never heard of him again after high school. He was aggressive and bold, he probably went far.

There was a creek that ran through the huge Larry Bell Park in front of our house. It was called Manget Creek, after the street we lived on. You pronounce Manget Mun-Jay. It is French. The Manget family that once lived on Manget Street were first generation from France. Based on their tombstones their children were missionaries in China and doctors someplace overseas. One day out of curiosity I ran a google on certain Manget name I read in a letter column who mentioned his folks home town of Marietta and I saw he was a high ranking Federal employee in D.C. – I think C.I.A.

Manget Creek had one wide place with each side about a five foot cliff. We built a dam to dam up the creek for a swimming hole. Surprisingly, our engineering and work paid off. The water rose deep enough where we could float on our backs… not long or wide enough to swim, but we could float on our backs and jump off the small cliff into the water. It was a way to cool off on a summer day.

Once I was jumping into the water, I was in mid-air and just an instant before I hit the water I saw a long black snake just below the water surface twisting its way alone. In mid-air I was not exactly in a position to change my mind about going into the water.

I splashed and got the heck out of the water! We saw no sign of the snake. My father thought it was probably a water moccasin.

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Blogger Button Gwinnett said...

So you're a former snake trader, eh? ;-)

Having grown up out in the country, I've had a few snake experiences myself. Mostly involving me throwing up my arms and screaming while running the opposite direction.

For someone who aims to be as animal and nature friendly as possible, I'm ashamed to say I can barely look at a snake, much less touch one. It surely has its own purpose and place. I just always hope and pray that we don't cross paths.

Unfortunately, I have a thing against llama's too. As a friend of mine once found out at Chehaw Park in Albany, they spit at you!

9:42 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Llamas do indeed spit on you... I think their spit looks something like "tobbaccy juice" or snuff.
I don't know from experience but I had to stand up and give a report on llamas in my 6th grade class...stand - standing in front of a class giving a report makes one retain it.
My aunt invested in a llama farm one time up near Chattanooga and it turned out to be a bad investment.
I'm like you, my relationship with snakes have mostly been running from them - which is the way I aim to keep it.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Harumph. That sexual harrasser probably did very well indeed at West Point and with a military career.

1:04 PM  
Blogger ET said...

You are probably, he probably went up the ladder.

1:08 PM  
Blogger snakeflake said...

Why would anyone in their right mind cut off a defensless garter snakes head with a hoe? People let their ignorance shine when it comes to snakes.

1:49 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I am afraid it was a moment of passion. She hated snakes and had a fear of them.
I should have know better than to bring it home.

1:59 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I am sorry. I addressed you as Snowflake instead of Snakeflake.
I could have sworn it said Snow - but, again, I was wrong.

2:31 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Oh.My.Lord. If I saw a snake in the water when I was in mid-air, I swear I'd try to climb an invisible rope to get away from it!!

4:43 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Believe me I tried.

5:15 PM  

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