The Snakes – Matt Swaffer

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The Snakes – Matt Swaffer
Living in Missouri we all got used to some of the “mid-western” wildlife. There were the very large (and ugly) banana spiders, the nightly howling of the coyotes, and of course… snakes. There were the occasional water moccasins in the creeks and from time to time Paul would kill a copper head. For the most part though, it was just plain old garter snakes. Now I have always been slightly
annoyed with any kind of snake… well OK I am pretty much afraid of snakes… but Becky was absolutely terrified of snakes. It didn’t matter if the snake was a harmless garter snake, she believed that they were the worst living creature possible (well… unless maybe it was the shrew… but that’s another story.)

One day we were out playing a game, I believe it was volleyball. We sometimes set up the net near the side lawn area of the church because it was more convenient.During the course of the game Becky happened to look down and saw that she was
nearly standing on a garter snake. She screamed and jumped… it seemed like 3 feet…and when she landed unbelievably she landed right on another garter snake.

I suppose that her classmates and I should have been more sympathetic to her fears, or perhaps we should have been more “manly” and intervened with the snake… but of course none of that occurred to us at the time. All I remember is Becky lliterally running, jumping and screaming all the way back to the church building looking down at every place her feet touched just KNOWING that there were more snakes coming after her. And all the while the rest of us were laughing at our unbelievably good fortune at seeing her step on not one… but two snakes at nearly the same time.

Becky of course was always a pretty courageous young lady but that day the snakes definitely got the best of her!