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The Too-Talkative Garden Snake and the Flying Worm

Updated on June 18, 2015
Little too-talkative garden snake trying to swallow its own tongue
Little too-talkative garden snake trying to swallow its own tongue | Source

Sometimes, I suppose, when a person gets old enough, their minds are rather unpredictable. They think things which only other old people think. Maybe thoughts they had as little children come back for today's action. If they are lucky enough, they might even remember something just told to them. Doubtful, but always possible.

So it is for the talkative garden snake and the flying worm. Surely that is a childish thought. Well, maybe not. Maybe it was something you just said to me. I am unsure. Often, however, the best kind of tale is the unsure tale. Did that really happen? Might it happen again while "I am watching?"

Turning the table on the snake

Not too many years back, someone told me a funny story about a little green snake that got inside a building on one of the military bases. That little snake caused more problems than a whole roomful of naughty children might cause - or even more problems than would the whole of Congress cause over there in Washington, D.C.

As I sat here, remembering some (not all) of that funny story, the idea of turning the table on an ordinarily problem-causing garden snake seemed as though it might be a fun thing to do.

Would not a worm need to grow wings?

Yes. Flying ordinarily requires that a critter have wings - flapping wings, gliding wings, some sort of wings. Let your mind think about that for a moment. Flying squirrels don't have wings. Bats don't have wings. People don't have wings. They all find ways which permit them to fly. OK. Worms can fly, too - wings not required. Make you a bet on it, too.

Don't talk with your mouth full

Do you remember when your mama told you to "be quiet and eat your supper?" There you were, seated at the dinner table with a plate in front of you, loaded down with good grits - but you wanted to talk, talk, talk. Sometimes they'd take the plate away from in front of you just to shut you up. You had a choice. Talk or eat.

Little garden snakes and huge boa constrictors run into the same problem. Talk or eat. Snakes really don't have a choice of "talk or eat." Once a snake starts to eat, it cannot talk.

Some day soon

I promise you this - I will try to remember the funny story about the little green snake on the military base that caused so much trouble there. If you are a practiced student of word usage, you will have noticed that I did not promise to tell you the story, only to try to remember it. Much like "talk or eat," is "remember before telling." I remind you of the similarity there in the event you have a belief that I am on the worm's side. No. I am not the little garden snake's pal, either. I go for the birdie. It not only had wings, it seems that it also had an afterburner.

The other day I was reminded of that feature of high-speed birds when afterburner presence was once again proven to me by birdie text on the windshield of my little red pickup truck. Birds have afterburners. Most of the time, however, those afterburners don't burn hot enough.

Not simply made-up nonsense

Whenever I put a little rhyme together, I stick to the facts. Some folks construct doggerel such that it is plain foolishness. My stuff is straight from the book. Experimentally verified. You will see.

The Too-Talkative Garden
Snake and the Flying Worm

Wishing on a worm. Wishing on a worm.
Tasty critters. How they squirm.
On worms is how we snakes get fed.
we even eat 'em 'fore they're dead.

Put worm on a leaf for eating.
Sunshine on it - enough heating.
"Worm," asked I, "are you done yet?
If not already - soon I'll bet."

Worm was smarter than are most.
The hot sun caused its rump to roast.
Never knew that worms could fly.
My worm did - flipped way up high.

That worm left me - wanted out.
Woulda' starved me, have no doubt.
As my worm sped through the air,
It did not see the birdies there.

Well, birds are snakes, but with two feet
and wings to get around. They're neat.
For me, for birds, worms make a meal,
but flying worms? A real strange deal.

Birdies don't much like surprises.
Yet, worms for real make tasty prizes.
Robin Redbreast saw worm coming.
High speed on - and two wings humming.

Garden Snakes don't ever cry
about things flying in the sky,
'cept tasty worms that get away,
"Eat 'fore talking. Then they'll stay."


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