I know I shouldn’t, because as Christians, we aren’t supposed to hate anything but I HATE SNAKES. I am a firm believer in the adage that the only good snake is a dead snake and I am not thoroughly convinced that even that snake is a good snake.

Lots of people say, “When I get to heaven I am going to ask God, “Why _____? I am not personally convinced we will ask God about why anything. I think when we arrive in the Kingdom to come, most of us are going to be so excited, trivial questions about things about things that happen to us now will seem trivia. But, if I am wrong and I do want to ask God a why question, my why question will be, “Why snakes?”

When I was a teenager I got bit by a snake much like the one in the picture above. The snake was a buttermilk racer and it was a mean thing. I have mentioned before about the great summer job I had as a 15-year-old kid. I worked for the Forest Service one summer and stomped around the woods all summer. We did real work, it wasn’t play time but I still refer to it as my all-time favorite job. There were only two things I didn’t like, creosote fence posts and snakes. The fence posts were dripping in creosote and when we carried them into the deep woods that messy tar-like stuff came off the posts and onto tree limbs and then onto us. It burned. I was not a fan.

As for the snakes, some of the guys built a cage and they kept snakes in it. That cage had a coachwhip, two pigmy rattlers, a cotton mouth moccasin, and that buttermilk racer. If you know nothing about snakes, cotton mouths can be pretty mean and aggressive, but it was the buttermilk racer that ruled the cage. All the other snakes in the cage were in one corner lying on top of each other. The buttermilk racer had the rest of the cage all to himself.

The truth is, I don’t just hate snakes I have a very real and very irrational fear of snakes. I don’t even want to see snakes on the television screen. That is the definition of an irrational fear. There is no way that snake on TV can get to me, much less hurt me. Still I will sit there with my hand covering my eyes waiting on either Cindy to tell me when its gone or I will peak occasionally attempting to see if it is gone. I HATE SNAKES.

One of my first jobs after leaving the Navy was running the projectors at a Houston area movie theater. When I went to work there, Raiders of the Los Ark was running. Every so often I had to go around and check on all the projectors and make sure they weren’t eating film or something. It seemed like every time I checked on Raiders it was the snake scene. I didn’t spend much time there.

As for those of you who think I am crazy and there are many things more frightening than snakes, would one of those be getting up and speaking in public or needles or mice. Those don’t bother me at all. Just about all of us have something.

I am writing this because of a writers newsletter that I subscribe to gave a writing challenge to write on the thing that scares you most. Well, now you know. And, I wrote on what scares me most. If something scares you, give it a try. I doubt I will like snakes better or be less afraid of them, but somehow there is something therapeutic about writing on things that scare you. Give it a try.

I pray the rest of your day/evening are blessed.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that I HATE SNAKES!!!!

Seeking the Genuine (and non-reptilian),

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission given to the non-commercial use of this material.


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