Caution: If You’re Afraid of Snakes

Recently, I met a blogger dedicated to educating folks about snakes and lizards. That inspired me to tell you about Eagle and me meeting snakes in Milwaukee.

When we went to the Schlitz Audubon Center last month, as we entered the building, a volunteer was holding a snake. She turned, greeted us and asked, “Would you like to hold a snake?”

My first thought was, “No, thank you.” The person next to me was braver. Eagle accepted the challenge, learning to hold out their hands, palms up to receive the snake. As they held the serpent, I touched its scales. They were soft. First Eagle held a gopher snake, then a rosy boa.

When I touched the boa’s side, it felt like I was caressing glass beads on a necklace. After that, I wanted to hold the snake. I extended my hands and the naturalist lowered the boa onto them. The snake was calm, she wriggled a bit but slowly, and kept leaning toward Eagle, preferring their company! The snake was all muscle, I could feel her flex against my hand. I held the boa for at least five minutes.

Rosy Boa Photo: Eagle

My first Flamenca poem, to describe my novel experience. Preview of the form for next week’s poetry challenge. I included six lines below, I’ve discovered it should be five.

If a serpent were placed

in my two outstretched hands

would I scream, recoil

or would she enchant me

her undulating beads

curving through my fingers?

– Rebecca Cuningham 12/3/21

Just the facts: Gopher snakes are native to Wisconsin, Rosy Boas are native to the Southwestern US and Mexico. Both are non-poisonous.

How do you feel about snakes and lizards? You can visit Dawn Renee at Lizard Planet to learn more about our lizard friends!

Thanks for stopping by today! ¡Olé! –Rebecca

This post celebrates Six Word Saturday.


Rosy Boa Close Up Photo: Eagle
Rebecca Cuningham

25 thoughts on “Caution: If You’re Afraid of Snakes

  1. These positive experiences are ones I’m unlikely to experience, as we have few snakes, and only the very elusive adder is poisonous. But I’ve just been reading about flamenca poems (love yours!) and am looking forward to joining in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I thought Black Adder was just a TV program. 😉 Good for you, already studying Flamenca poems! Glad you liked my first attempt. The December challenge themes will be the solstice, equinox and change of seasons; I know you like a bit of time before the deadline. This is your early hint, Poets. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No, I still can’t relate to snakes or handle them. I did lose some of my initial fear of the snake after reading D.H. Lawrence’s poem but that just gave me a new way of looking at it, I’m still scared and won’t even go to the reptile house in a Zoo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mari. I have lived in places with very few venemous snakes for most of my life. I am open to holding small snakes. I think that fearing snakes is a phobia that makes a lot of sense, especially places where there dangerous ones in the wild.


    1. Thanks, helped to have my teen’s encouragement. Gartner snakes can be surprising when they suddenly move in the grass and startle me, but at least they’re good little rodent eaters. Copperheads might not seem as friendly, since they are venemous.


  3. Oh Rebecca!! I am honored! You have brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. Thank you so much for this. People have have left such kind comments saying that Murph and I have changed their views, and literally thanked us for showing them that these beings are beautiful and sentient!
    But, this – to see a beautiful person’s mind toward reptiles having been changed this way, and read your words is beyond wonderful! I never thought someone would show proof, and say, “You and Murph helped make this happen.” I simply can’t thank you enough. May we, in turn, share this post and link to your site?

    “Caressing glass beads on a necklace” is the perfect simile! Look at you, you look like a natural!! : ) That you held sweet Rosy Boa for more than five minutes is so neat to know. They do feel amazing! They seem so strong yet fragile simultaneously. I love and love the Flamenco poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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