Snake Bite

A snake stopped my leaf-crunching progression along the footpath this afternoon. A flame-colored necklace adorned his nine-inch black body, a hint at his similarly tinted underbelly. He was no bigger around than a haricot vert, his head smaller than my pinky nail.

At first inspection, I thought him to be some sort of worm and was surprised to find he possessed the much more imposing nomenclature of “snake”. I softly prodded him on his tail and off he scuttled into the surrounding oak leaves.

Our encounter led me into a contemplation of our language’s inability to describe our world properly. “Snake” is used to describe a 10 ft python, a well-camouflaged yet easily distinguishable rattler as well as my little companion today. How can we expect relationships to flourish when my “love” may be of the python variety and yours may be along the lines of a little black haricot vert?


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