By Lorry Myers
My brothers both were paperboys, back when they were kids. On cold days and hot days and all the days in between, they would deliver the evening news. Friday was payday and these boys always had a plan for their money. While my brother, Greg, is a saver for big things, David, who loves the great outdoors, preferred to spend his money on stink bait and pet food.
“Come see what I got,” David announced one day, more animated than usual. So, the whole family followed David outside and gathered around our picnic table. There he had an old breadbox he had filled with grass and a kitchen towel. Cautiously, he opened the breadbox door while we encircled him in silent watch. David turned his back and reached inside, blocking our view so we couldn’t see. Slowly he turned and there it was wrapped around his skinny wrist.
A snake. “A snake!” My mother screeched, disbelief on her face. It wasn’t a fat snake, but a snake is a snake after all! Coiled around my brother’s arm, its head arched up just like the sphinx, tongue flickering it’s hello. It was a snake of the garden variety, labeled “harmless” by our dad. “I want to keep it!” David begged and keep it he could, but only if it stayed outside. From that day on they were a team.
That snake and my little brother.
Those two would go everywhere together, the snake wrapping around David’s handlebars just like it did his wrist. David would just ride, taking that reptile wherever he went. Together, they’d go to the library, the snake tucked in my brothers backpack. They would go fishing, the snake curled among the rubber worms in the bottom of his tackle box.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard