Thursday, November 05, 2009
It's Tough to be a Snake.
I was born without the "snakes are creepy" gene.
Silverfish are creepy. Centipedes are creepy. Worms are creepy.
Not snakes. Since I was little, they were colorful ribbons of wonder. As a kid, I didn't get why people disliked them.
I knew some snakes were trouble. Rattlesnakes, for example. They sometimes wandered into our quasi-rural yard and promptly got whacked by my dad's shovel. I felt a little bad for them, but their fang baring, tail buzzing shtick (and the fact that they could hurt you) didn't make them sympathetic.
What shocked me was that some neighbors gave any snake the shovel. I couldn't believe it. They know those aren't rattlesnakes. I thought. Why are they killing them? That's mean!
I checked out some snake books at the library. I discovered the truth.
Most of the world hated snakes.
The books pointed out that most were harmless, and in fact, beneficial. People either didn't understand this, or didn't care. One book had a realistic drawing of a man attacking a harmless one with a shovel. This upset me. That's not fair, I thought, fighting tears. The snake didn't do anything wrong!