"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Snake Tale

Interestingly enough, there are no poisonous snakes on the Olympic Peninsula...or so they say. I run across snakes in the grass every now and then when I am out searching for the most succulent blades (before Ella can get to them), and I've never actually seen snakes do much except slither away. Slithering. Seems like a singularly inept way of getting around, if you ask me. After all, everyone knows four legs are required, at the very least, for maximum efficiency. Anyway, all we have, here, are little garter snakes (Thamnophis odinoides for my caninaturalist friend, Ari), unless you count those un-goatly HUGE slugs that are everywhere and, to my mind, every bit as large as any snake. At least the real garden snakes don't leave the grass all slimy. I tell you, it's like eating okra. Oy and eewwwww.

Anyhow, yesterday the goatmother was out working in her flower/herb garden. She was busy moving some plants that didn't like it very well down by the pond. As she stepped over to the spot she had decided to transplant the unhappy vegetation into, a garter snake startled her. She, naturally, yelled and began waving her arms telling the snake to go on about its business - elsewhere. The goatfather told her the snake was beneficial. Of course the goatmother already knew that, but contended that the snake could just go about being beneficial somewhere else. Now the odd thing was, the snake didn't 'shoosh' as it should have. This snake decided it actually liked the goatmother, so it proceeded to turn around, push the upper part of its body slighty under some grass, and stick its head up to watch. Now you are probably thinking this is not really odd behavior, until I tell you that the goatmother could have reached out and touched this snake. It was that close. So, the goatmother shrugged and continued to dig her holes and replant her plants. After a long while the snake got tired and, without further ado, slithered away. Most likely digging seems pretty tiresome to a snake. Nonetheless, one can't help but wonder what he was thinking. Perhaps he was merely considering this: "Through the years of experience I have found that air offers less resistance than dirt." - Jack Nicklaus

I have to suspect a snake would tend to look at things that way.

1 comment:

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Dear Marigold, I hope you praised the goatmother highly for maintaining her calm and cool demeanor when the garter snake didn't "shoosh" as requested. It takes an evolved human not to continue the arm flapping movements and screeching noises when reptiles don't heed our commands! Those garter snakes may be harmless, but I've seen some of the biggest ones of my life out here in the country. They can be quite startling! Now, be a dear and go tell her "good girl". Betcha you'll get a peanut.