A Snake in the Brush: Respect to Whom Respect is Due

He jogged along the trail
scaring up a small snake.
He put his hiking stick in
the brush to catch a glimpse
and the little guy struck
at the stick and slithered
away. He acted bravely
because it was Michigan
and there are no poisonous
snakes where he lives and
there is no swamp for an
Eastern Massasauga swamp
rattler to swim, the area
having been cleared for
farming by the Dutch set-
tlers, but if this had been
the Phoenix Mountain Preserve
out his winter back door,
he would have just stood
perfectly still and watched
the snake slide by and he
wouldn’t even have dared
bow before the magnifi-
cent Tiger Rattler with
the very pretty rattle
and very large fangs
and a significant
supply of very potent
venom.

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