Monday, September 2, 2013

Foxes or Snakes

Foxes or Snakes

    My little friend Lori walks our path several times a day. In fact that is where we met, we have walked it many, many times together. Nobody has walked this path, or knows it better than Lori. When this girl tells me something about the path, I believe it.

      Last spring she announced to me that there were ticks in the tall grass on the sides of the trail from spring to fall and that while laying in her bed the night before, she had found one crawling up her leg. I took this news so seriously, that when returning from our walk, I would completely strip in the garage (apologies to the neighbors) and run to the shower! The clothes would stay out there  for the day in a heap, giving all ticks opportunity to exit the premises.

     Summer goes by.

     I stay on the dirt path and out of the grass, with exception of a couple brazen dashes to a tree to grab a bird nest (because seriously… who can resist a good bird nest?) I really, really, don't like ticks. If you have ever had one of the things attached to you or your child… you hear what I'm saying!! Ew!

    My son came home from camp when he was a kid. Hanging from his chest, filled with his blood was a big fat tick! He came out of the bathroom yelling… "Moooom!!! What IS this??" Like any mature parent, I went screaming to the neighbors for help cause, I wasn't touching it!

Nope. Don't like ticks.

    Recently Lori and I had lunch together. As she calmly took a bite of her chick pea salad, she says to me; "You know that there are a couple of four foot long snakes that live on the path… right?"
My toes instantly curl up in my sandals, both my hands have slapped the sides of my face and my mouth is hanging wide open as I gasp in horror at this terrifying revelation!

  "NO!! Say it isn't so! Not our beloved path... our path has robins, and finches and deer and turtles and foxes… how did SNAKES enter into this peaceful place??!!" Just saying the word has curled me up in the fetal position! "How do you know this terrible thing?"
I was pretty sure I did not want to hear her answer! She told me  anyway.

Foxes or Snakes

 Apparently she and a friend were coming around the bend before the lake, when he pointed out there was a large snake hanging in the willow tree, (AUUGH!!!) which caused them almost to step on the large one that was stretched out across the path at their feet!!!  (AUUGH!!!) She told me not to worry. that if we came upon one while walking together, she would simply pick it up and fling it back into the grass! The visual this creates in my mind has just been entered into my nightmare file for all time.

I have had nightmares all my life about them, used to jump from the center of my room to my bed… just in case one was underneath. I realize some of you may like snakes. One of my best friends likes snakes. WE… are not from the same planet! Anything that has the words slither, hiss, fang, in its description… are you kidding me? If I would have come upon that dangling snake in the tree, I would have thought I was eye to beady eye with the devil himself!! (Hey! I've read Genesis chapter 3, this guy is bad news! If I would have been Eve, I would have high-tailed it in reverse so fast the apple would not have been eaten!)

     When I was in high school, I stayed with my best friend more than I was home. Now Jean was a prankster with a capitol P! She would spend hours planning schemes, building contraptions, just to scare the dickens out of me. (I know you are asking the question… "then why did you stay there?")

     One Friday night, I went into her  bathroom to shower before going to the football game, locking the door behind me, because I'm telling you the girl cant be trusted!
 I am lathering up my hair with Herbal Essence Shampoo when just I get this feeling.....
I open my eyes just a teensy and at the same moment I SEE the
snake dangling in front of my eyes, it BUMPS me in the forehead! Flailing and screaming, shampoo burning through my eyeballs to my brain, I wrestle my way through the shower curtain to the floor outside of tub, where I of course, find Jean laying on the floor in hysterics holding a rubber snake on a stick. Jean knows how to pick locks.

 Now it seems I have gotten off track of my story by sharing a bit of my snake history… so back to the present situation.

     Am I still going to walk this path every day with my friend the snake slinger?… or switch to dragging my dog through the paved streets of our neighborhood…

I decide to put on my big girl snake proof panties and hit the trail as usual.

  This first day back was different though. Instead of wandering along with my head in the clouds, watching the sun rising in all its glory, watching for the fox, or the deer, hearing the birds sing, smelling the cool morning air... I was watching for a SNAKE laying across my path by golly!!

With toes curled tightly in my shoes, I kept my eyes in the dirt, glancing up now and then, just in case there was a low hanging reptile swinging from a tree, that would bump into my forehead (thanks for that, Jean.)  

 Relief swept over me as I rounded the dreaded bend and made it  
through the snake infested zone.
I glanced up and there in the field were the two fox pups sitting side by side, just watching me. I went to pull out my camera, but when I looked up they were gone. A fellow path walker came around the corner all excited and grinning from ear to ear… "Did  you see the 6 deer back there?!"                                                 
I sadly replied "no." I did not admit I had my eyes on the dirt watching for cobras or pythons. The sun had now risen high and hot. I had missed the sunrise too.

I was once accused by a friend of "living in my happy little world" and not realizing all the frightening things that were going on around me on the planet.

 I do know.
I watch the news.

But, I can't stay there.
Those of you who move and shake the world, I thank you.
But if I focus too long on the frightening, the poisonous, the hissing,
I miss the beauty and peace and joy of a simple life. Right here. Right now.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
Philippians 4:4


  1. I love this post. I could sense that by watching for snakes you would miss out on something great. I'm not so bad about snakes but spiders - yuk! I think caution is necessary but not to the point where we don't appreciate what's really going on around us.

    Thanks so much for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  2. I think it is all about balance isn't it? We all want to be carefree but we have to be careful but then if we are too careful, we miss all the good stuff.


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