Originally Published: June 12, 2017 6 a.m.
I touched a snake. Actually, I grabbed onto the beast thinking he was a garden hose and picked him up. Once I realized the writhing, evil monster in my grip was not a hose, I screamed and tossed him to the ground. Running up to the house, heart pounding and still yelling, my husband, Doug, came out to see who was murdering me. When I told him what happened all he could do was laugh! A husband should not laugh when a wife is screaming!
“What kind of a snake was it,” Doug asks. Gee, how would I know? But it was the gold color of a rattler, fat like a python, with fangs like a cobra, red eyes like a devil serpent and forked tongue like a viper! Oh, and it was twisting and turning in my hand probably trying to sink his fangs into me or possibly wrap around my body to squeeze me to death. Yikes, it is a miracle that I am alive!
Evidently I am not alone in my disdain for snakes. About one in four people (in the world) are scared to death of the slithering reptiles. The second most common phobia to have is ophidiophobia, which is the abnormal fear of snakes. What is “abnormal” about a fear of reptiles that slide around on their bellies and can bite you filling you your veins with venom? Of course, one “snake expert” pointed out that half of the people who are frightened by the reptiles have never actually seen one “up close and personal.” Which he went on to say is very “sad,” because why should people hate a creature that doesn’t bother them?
Okay, so this “expert” has a point. But I would say that I am also very afraid of quick sand and I can’t say that I ever seen the wicked goo, much less stepped into it. (Well, I guess I would not be writing this column if I had walked into quick sand). There are many things we can fear without actually encountering them. And happily, most folks will never inadvertently pick up a snake.
Some horses are afraid of snakes. I had a horse named Angel who would buck, kick, grunt and spin around in a circle, then run off in a panic if she ever saw one. And this is not a pleasant experience if you happened to be riding her on a trail when this happened. My old horse, Baxter, would stand still like a statue (he could do this for ten minutes) whenever he saw a snake. Even after the snake was long gone, Baxter would not move.
Getting back to my “snake experience,” I have decided I better pay closer to attention to what I am grabbing when I am in the “great outdoors.” I should be wearing my boots and not little sandals when I am coming face to face with nature. It is summertime and snakes are part of the landscape (I guess). Be careful, Dear Readers, when you go to pick up a garden hose. If it moves in your hands, run!
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at email@example.com.