It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, so I decided to do some yard work. As I was on my hands and knees, stretching my arms underneath the hedges to grab all the broken limbs, branches and debris left behind by a nasty winter, I came face to face with a two-foot long and unusually thick garden snake. Startled, I fell back and was quite taken by surprise when the snake curiously asked, “You’re not afraid of snakes, are you?”
Not quite sure of how to answer, I said, “No, at least not the garden variety!”
The snake hissed as if he were laughing at me and then questioned, “Are your friends going to believe you when you tell them you had a conversation with a snake?”
“I suppose not,” I answered.
I imagine the snake must have sensed that I didn’t kill living things, so it didn’t make any attempt in slipping away to escape the likelihood of getting impaled by the teeth of my rake.
“So,” the snake inquired rather smugly, “Why wouldn’t your so-called friends believe you, when for thousands and thousands of years, generations upon generations of you humans clung to the belief that a woman exchanged words with a serpent?”
“I guess we all believe what we want to believe,” I answered.
“Yours is a peculiar species,” replied the snake, “You created a fable accusing a snake as the source of your downfall rather than own up to your own shortcomings. What’s really pathetic is how some of you continue pretending to believe it!”
The snake made a quick and sudden flip, rustling the crisp dead leaves, startling me once again, and then slowly slithered away underneath the chain link fence, disappearing into the neighboring yard. I hesitated for a moment, and then ran into the house, anxious to tell the news to my wife.
“Honey,” I exclaimed excitedly, “You’re never going to believe what I just spoke to.”