And now I will share with you The Most Exciting Thing That Has Happened To Me All Summer.
I was at the park, a place I like to go in the cool of the evening to swing in solitude and ponder deep things, like how it would feel to be very tiny with wings and an abdomen that I could light up at will. This night, however, my ruminations were interrupted when a young girl occupied the swing next to me and told me her name was Tasha. She also told me that she was ten, that she was visiting her grandfather, that her birthday is August 13, that she will be receiving a jack russell puppy, and that she will probably name her puppy “Cookie,” but that there is a slight chance it will be called “Maxine.”
“Oh, nifty!” I offered, and accepted her invitation to be spun on the tire swing.
Big mistake. It felt like my internal organs were playing a lively game of musical chairs and possibly swapping places for good.
Of course, the best cure for vertigo is to dig through garbage cans looking for plastic bottles with which to catch tadpoles in the creek. Those stubborn things just wouldn’t be caught though, and neither would the pond skimmers. But Tasha, an avid Animal Planet watcher, was determined to scare up some wildlife.
When I heard the words “Hey look, a snake!” I expected to see a scaly-looking twig or a blade of grass gliding with the current. However, Tasha certainly knows her flora from her fauna, and when I noticed the red, black, and yellow bands on the creature I wished I was several safe yards away blowing chunks on the tire swing again.
You know that rhyme “Red against black, you’re ok Jack; red against yellow, you’re a dead fellow”? Well, I couldn’t remember if it was Jack or the fellow who was dead. But as I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m still alive, and I came up with my own rhyme which I think is slightly more helpful: “If you ever see a snake, run straight home and bake a cake.” This way, you’ll put a good distance between yourself and he snake, be he venemous or otherwise, and you can sit in the safety of your own kitchen and lick frosting from a bowl.
I came up with a few more rhymes which I thought I’d pass along because I sure would hate to see you maimed by one of these potentially harmful creatures out of ignorance:
“If you see a Komodo dragon, run it over with a station wagon.”
“When a grizzly you should meet, it’s probably best to cross the street.”
“A cat of 15 lbs, that’s just fine; a 300 pounder with half an antelope dangling from its jaws, that’s another feline.”
“Hark! The prairie dog
stops its hole-digging and sniffs;
a sweet breeze wafts by.”
(That last one was just some haiku I threw in to end on a peaceful note. Feel free to comment with any hints you’ve found to be of help when dealing with nature.)