Monday, October 7, 2013
Things I Have Seen (Or Not)
Yesterday in the garden I saw the biggest snake. It was black with yellow stripes which allowed me instantly to identify it as a black yellow-striped snake. (I use a similar method of identification on birds.) Anyway, I trotted back to the house and told my sister Chris - who happens to be visiting - to come quickly. I didn't tell her what the surprise was, because I wanted her to see for herself. Anyway, when we got back to the spot, we saw a snake.
Here's the thing: it was definitely the same snake I'd seen before, black with yellow stripes, but somehow in the intervening moments, it had grown much smaller. This snake was about the size of a deluxe rubber snake you used to buy at Woolworths, and not the super-deluxe, either, just the deluxe. The snake I had seen, however, was at least as thick around as my wrist and as long as my arm. I had picked up my chicken Sorche out of a decent concern for her safety around such a behemoth, and in fact, I'd all but concluded the snake had come into our yard in the first place on a chicken-hunting expedition.
The snake my sister saw, however, and she admitted it was "impressive" in the same tone of voice you might use to praise someone's new Ford Focus, was, let's admit it, not all that impressive.
Nor is the snake episode is not the first time my senses have been betrayed this way. I will, for example, see an absolutely hilarious You Tube Video and insist Nancy drop whatever she's doing to come see, and then when she watches this absolutely hilarious, must-see, side-splitting video, it's... amusing.
"That's nice, dear," she'll say patiently, and return to repaving the driveway or whatever she'd been about, but she only saw the actual video, she didn't see it as it played out in my head, just as Chris only saw the snake in the garden, not the one in my head. But try telling someone, "You've got to come quick and see the snake in my head!" That only leads to confusion.