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A Frightening Encounter

27 January 2003 29 views No Comment

We all have our fears and phobias. For some of us it is heights. Children are usually a little afraid of the dark. Most of us are at least a little uncomfortable around snakes. We have read that most of them are harmless. They eat rats and mice and they are good to have around, but we still are a little uneasy around them.

When he was living, my grandfather use to love to tell stories of things he would do with black snakes when he found them. In that part of the country you would sometimes see them crossing the road or find them in the corn crib. They were often up to three or four feet in length. To my knowledge black snakes were not poisonous but they were impressive because of their size. Grandpa would sometimes pick one up and wrap it around his waist like a belt. He would then walk up to a group of people and wait until someone noticed his unusual attire. He was perfectly at ease. Most of us are not that comfortable around large snakes poisonous or not.

My dad had a frightening encounter in the lower level of his house a few years ago. At the time he lived in southern Ohio. Snakes were common there. Some of them were deadly. Their home had a walk-out basement. The house was near a creek. It was moist and dark down there. Dad had an occasion to go down there in the dim light of early morning. Walking across the cold basement floor barefoot he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. There on the floor along the wall was the form of a long black snake.

The hair on his neck stood up. He moved swiftly to get back to the stairs and out to the garage for a shovel. He hurried back down the stairs without turning on the light. He didn’t want to frighten the snake into hiding. Back in the basement he was relived to see the dark form had not moved. Soon he would have his trophy.

He carefully raised the shovel above his head and brought it swiftly down. His aim was dead on. Sure that he had severed the snake’s head he kept it pinned down with the shovel then he reached over and switched on the light. Only then did he realize he had courageously attacked his own belt.

When you boldly face your fears you will often find they are little more than a product of your imagination. So here is my word of advice when you find yourself in a dark and threatening place. Face your fears. Act boldly. And when you go down in the basement early in the morning, turn the light on.


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