There is something about seeing a wild animal in nature that thrills me to no end. Some years back I was hiking with a boyfriend and his son. I usually walked ahead of them and this time was no different. We hiked for about two miles and towards the end of the trail I rounded a corner and saw a snake completely stretched out across the path moving slowly (very slowly) making its way to the other side. I saw a little lump in the middle of the snake’s belly and thought perhaps it had just had a snack or could it possibly be pregnant?!
The snake was as surprised to see me as I was to see it! I stopped dead in my tracks and backtracked a bit to warn my boyfriend and his son to tread lightly. The snake slowly continued its horizontal movement but watched us intently. Usually a snake will quickly slither out of the way but this one did not. We stared at the snake for awhile while it barely moved. After a few minutes, we decided it was time to end our hike. I walked forward. The snake watched me but didn’t flinch. Next my boyfriend’s 11-year old son crossed and the snake had the same reaction to him as to me. When my boyfriend started to move forward, the snake raised its head a bit and intently watched this bearded, long haired, much larger man (who outweighed me and his son by 100 pounds) cross the path next to him. This much larger presence certainly made the snake think twice about turning it’s back on us. I could only conclude it felt threatened by him since the reaction was obviously different.
This experience has left an indelible, very pleasant imprint on my mind. It isn’t often one gets to see a wild creature much less have a positive interaction with it. It was a special encounter with a wild animal with a less than stellar reputation. We respected the snake’s space and in turn, it respected ours.
By Janet D