I don’t usually think about snakes, but I’ve had a few run-ins in the last couple of days, and I haven’t really had a choice but to think about them. Now, I’m not one of those people who screams like a little girl when he sees a snake (anymore), and when I do happen to think about them, it’s usually because a garter snake is slithering away out in the driveway or curled up on one of the rocks out in the yard.
The other morning, I stepped out of the front door and was handed a small garter snake. My friend had picked the ten inch snake up right outside the door. We each let him run through our hands and then dropped him back into the grass. Now, I know it’s bad to handle wild animals, but it’s nice to feel the soft motion of the snake on your hands. It’s also a reminder that these guys aren’t out to do us any harm, and just want to eat the bugs around the garden.
Later that day, I was testing out the weed eater. The recoil spring had come out of its housing, so after twenty minutes and an extremely cramped hand, I got the thing running and went to test it on some tall grass. The weed eater worked fine, but as the grass fell to the ground, I noticed another snake slithering away pretty quickly. He only went a few feet and as the weed eater ground to a halt, I checked the snake. I was afraid I had hit him with the string and I was right.
There was blood coming from a small cut on his back, and the tip of the tail was bleeding as well. I felt bad and considered grabbing him and putting a couple band-aids on, but that just didn’t seem right. I hate to hurt animals, although I’m not opposed to eating venison and wild turkey. But this snake, which was much larger, almost two feet long, wasn’t going to be dinner. Luckily, the wounds hardly seemed fatal. He slid under a board that was on the ground, and stayed there for a few hours. I would see his head poke out every once in a while as I walked by, and just hoped that he wasn’t hurting too much.
I checked under the board the next morning, and he was gone. I felt good that he hadn’t just died right there, even though I knew he could be dead ten feet away. I worked all day and then in the evening walked over to the fire pit. I thought I saw something on one of the rocks, and upon closer inspection, it was the same snake. I could see the scabbed-over wounds, and he didn’t look any worse for the wear. He hung out for a few minutes, and even let me take some pictures. I was glad he was alive and appeared to be doing well. And there’s not a doubt in my mind, that even though I hurt this snake, he’ll still stick around to eat the bugs and help me out. And that is one very clear example of true forgiveness.