Snake Charmer
Snake Charmer
Posted by cj-LNOFB - Tagged , , , , ,
Do you believe in the power of metaphors? As a writer, I love reading them on the printed page in all their rhetorical splendor, but in life, I'm more of a nuts and bolts girl. So the metaphorical connection between unrelated things had never played center stage for me until I asked my husband of 27 years to leave our home. The year was 2013: The Chinese zodiac year of the Snake.

In the early summer before our split, I glimpsed a shadowy movement around the topiary on our front porch, just after the sun had set. With my nose almost touching the glass of the porch window, I saw the leaves of the topiary begin to flutter. I'd watched for weeks as a mama robin magically transformed twigs, mud and leaves into a rock solid home there for her three turquoise eggs, the size of fat jelly beans. "Oh, good," I thought. "It must be the baby, the only one that hatched, getting ready for its flying lessons."

As the porch flooded with light when I flipped the switch, I sucked in air and jumped back from the window, a cold tingle brushing the back of my neck. A black snake as thick as the top of my arm was coiled up the two-feet tall flower pot, around the base of the topiary, its head at the top where the nest was perched. The flutter was the snake's tongue, flicking in and out, reaching for the nest--and its contents.

Ready to gag from the thought of it, I smacked the window as hard as I could until my palm burned red. "Get out of here, you asshole!! Leave them alone!" I switched the light off and on, off and on, and slammed the shutters closed after I watched the snake begin its retreat. By the time I had the nerve to open the door for a closer look, there was no sign of the snake, the mama or the baby. I told myself they'd flown away before the snake got to them, but I'll never know exactly how their drama ended.

My drama, and snake sightings, however, had only just begun.

Click to read the next post: "Unknowing"
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