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The Young Woman and the Snake - a fable in 392 words

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lescaster



Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Posts: 34
Location: Minnesota
The Young Woman and the Snake - a fable in 392 words  Reply with quote  

On her way to work one early October morning a young woman found a half-frozen snake along side the road. The snake lifted his head the best he was able and in sibilant serpentine tones hissed out, “Please help me,” and collapsed. The young woman was over come with compassion for the hapless reptile and though she knew better, the colors and the shine of his scales were enough to overcome her fears. She gathered the snake in her arms and carried it home. She ran a towel over the length of his body drying him as best she was able being careful not to mar or damage any of those magnificent scales and put him in a box, covered him with a blanket and, not knowing all that much about snakes and what they ate, placed a saucer of warm milk next to him. Then she called a cab, the diversion of the snake had taken too much time, she had missed her bus, and if she wanted to get to work on time she needed to spend the money for a ride.
All day long the thought of that snake sustained her. The way the scales glis-tened, the patterns, the length, the girth – as frightening as the snake was, she experienced little chills of anticipation as she thought about what waited her when she got home.
The bus ride at the end of the day was a pleasant agony and she had thought about hailing another taxi, but, being a working girl, the cost of two cab rides in a single day was more than her budget would allow.
She entered her apartment and found the snake still in the box, lying on top of the blanket, the milk gone. Now she was even more sure she had done the correct thing, the right thing. The color of his scales was truly remarkable and he was even bigger than she had first thought. He layered himself, coil upon coil, raised his triangular head and said,
“Thank you for saving my life,” his tongue flicked in and out, his head waved side-to-side, “How can I repay you?”
She rushed to the box and lifted him out and clutched him to her bosom.
“I didn’t know how I was going to afford a belt to match my snake-skin shoes,” she said.
And then she snapped his neck.
_________________
'I'm a sack of broken eggs,
And I always have an un-made bed.
Don't you?"

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