Monday, January 21, 2008
Since we're studying Book of Mormon history history in Sunday School, it was only natural that the subject of the New York Sacred Grove came up. As our teacher talked about the miraculous feeling in the grove, my mind skittered backwards to my childhood days when I visited the grove with my family. While we were there, looking up into the heavens and wondering about the events from so long ago, my two brothers had their eyes on the ground, and each one managed to catch a small snake from those sacred grounds. I don't recall if they asked our parents or if they smuggled them in their pockets, but those snakes made it home.
My younger brother's snake was a mild gray color, and eventually had a batch of teeny little baby snakes which we discovered wrapped around the vents on the back of the old black and white TV set. (No, I don't know how they got onto the TV.) When I first saw them, I thought they were little black wires and I touched one. It was soft and it squirmed. I don't remember exactly what happened to them, but I believe my mother gathered them up into a shoe box, and then my memory fails me.
My older brother's snake was a dusky red color, and with a fiery temper to match, was aptly named, "Bad Red." My brother would hold Bad Red's mouth up to his ear and let the snake bite his earlobe, then walk around the house to show off his snake earring. I thought he was terribly brave.
Then, one day, Bad Red went missing. We looked for him, but had no luck until my mother went downstairs to get a load of laundry out of the washing machine. Her scream rose three stories, and brought my brother running. "Did you find my snake?" he asked. She had, right with the clothes flattened to the side of the tub by the spin cycle. The miracle is that Bad Red was still alive, and very much in the mood for biting earlobes. If you think a boy and his dog are a touching sight, you haven't seen a boy and his snake earring.
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