Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snakes eaten

I ate a red snake once.  That was the first snake I ate.  I found it on the driveway, splatted with a big tire print through the middle of it.  Its eyes were all bugged out.  It was hot and sunny out so it was already kind of baked and smelled like jerky.  I picked it up to throw it in the woods and I was like, well, that which comes from God should not be wasted, right?

I've eaten many brown snakes.  That's probably the color snake most eaten by me.  I find them laid out on the stone walkway in the backyard all the time, big bite marks in them.  The dog gets them and shakes them out until they stop wriggling, but I guess she finds she doesn't like them and she just drops them there.  This is not learned behavior because I never taught her how to do it.  But I take them inside and prepare the meat and eat it over a salad or something.  I like a very vinegary dressing.

I saw a blue snake once.  A deep, bright ocean blue -- I almost came to tears just looking at it.  It was wriggling around -- looked like it was hurt or confused.  I saw a bulldozer pull out from this empty lot down the street and it started barreling right towards it.  I tried to flag down the dozer, but it didn't see me and it rolled right over that blue snake.  The snake got caught up in its treads and the bulldozer just took it away -- God knows where it peeled off, if it didn't get ripped up so bad it just disintegrated eventually.  Left a stain on the pavement and not much else -- nothing worth eating, to be sure.  I could live another hundred years and I don't know if I'll ever have another chance to eat a snake that blue, so it's a shame that opportunity went by the boards and I would stop just short of calling it a "true tragedy."

I ate a green snake, just recently.  It was curled up in my mailbox, making a home of my mail.  I didn't know it was in there, I opened the door, it lunged at me.  Got me right on the arm, but it didn't have any fangs.  Someone must have pulled his fangs out -- must have been a pet or a school thing.  I closed it back in there then came back an hour later with a sack.  Once I got it to jump into the sack I slammed it against the curb until it stopped thrashing around.  I think I boiled the green one -- it was all right.  The water shimmered green when I poured it down the sink.

People ask me what it tastes like and I say it tastes like nothing.  I guess that's what I like most about it though.  It reminds you not everything has to be something.  Some stuff can just be around, and you can eat it if you want, but there's no particular reason to.

I made a real feast out of a bunch of yellow snakes I nabbed from the pet store next town over.  I was picking up a pizza at the place next door, Hometown or whatever it's called, and they had this big like tank of yellow ones right in the front window.  So I went down there the next day and there was just some little sixteen-year-old girl behind the counter, so I went in there with a plastic shopping bag and scooped out a bunch of yellow snakes and just booked it.  I don't even think she chased me.  When I got home I just tied the sack around the exhaust pipe of the van and started the engine and blasted them for a little while.  It's safe -- I read about it.  It was like ten minutes and they were groggy but definitely still alive so I had to snap my necks with their hands and I threw them on the grill and I ate all I think there were fourteen of them even though I was well full after six or so.

I saw a pink snake out on the sidewalk outside the church the other day.  Already dead and nice and fat and pink, the way I like them.  It was another hot day and it had been sitting on the sidewalk for God knows how long so I said, what the heck, it's been baking out here all day maybe?  I'll just take a bite out of it.  So I did, I bit right into the neck below the head and what happened was all this colored confetti shot out from the backside and there was a loud horn-honking sound that I would compare to something out of a clown show.  And I was standing there trying to figure out what was going on and these local guys who I always see around but I don't know their names popped up from around the corner and were laughing at me in a very derisive laughter, from which I eventually gathered that they had planted a false snake on the sidewalk with the explicit intention of making me appear foolish.  I didn't even know I was known for my eating snakes and here were these men making sport out of me for it!  I told them I didn't understand why a man would be teased for enjoying an eaten snake every now and then.  Is it not a natural animal, made of meat as cows and lamb are, made by God for the pleasure and consumption of man as all things are?  They only laughed more though, and threw at me some nearby trash they found.  I went home after that, stung and bitter.  After a long night I made a promise to myself to never eat another snake again, no matter the color, and no matter how tempted I might find myself in the future.  It's a promise I've kept, and the men in town don't sneer at me anymore and even let me idle near them at the convenience store soda machine and in line for punch at church and other such places, and I know it's a good thing I don't eat snakes of any color anymore although I am not happy.

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