(From the Journal: 2021_05_16).
I hit a snake today. Rusty and roughly eight feet in length. The guy in the gray Jeep ahead hit it first but I kept the idea in play. After the first hit, the snake became frantic and moved in ways I’ve never seen a snake move. It wasn’t so much panic but something more sinister, something beyond, deeper and darker. Foreshadowing via light and dark, the scorch of hot pavement and the cool of the river no longer in reach. I knicked it. Felt and heard it. The guy behind me in a cab-only, eighteen-wheeler was tailgating and my guess is he finished the job without ever knowing his crime. The snake was red. Not blood or fire engine but that of the Earth, terracotta, sandstone, southwest, amber, burnt sienna, or even Western Australia. How long did it take to get that size? What chapters opened and closed before this final ending? Sorry, my friend. I can’t undo it.
That is a horrendous feeling; ending an animal’s life. I remember watching a guy who ran over a cat, without even stopping. I’m not sure if he even noticed, but I did. And I watched as the cat twisted and moved in very desperate ways. It was afwul.
I still remember every bit of it.
I feel for the snake, for you, and for the other two drivers.
Las culebras (serpientes) son animales incomprendidos, como la mayoría de los predadores. No son asesinos viciosos, ni están a la espera de atacar a cuanto humano se les aparezca, como nos han hecho creer. Escribo este último párrafo en español para ayudarte un poco a practicar, Milnor. Un abrazo.
Yes, it is dramatic and leaves me with a haunted feeling.