Monday, December 3, 2012

The serpent

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made."
-Genesis 3:1

Yesterday I rode through Paradise.  Those golden roads, flanked by rivers and forests, that is the route from Yea, via Highlands, to Ruffy.  I lost myself in the place and forget my toil.  

Beyond Ruffy I explored a dirt road in the sun, that light which is the colour of joy, and when a fork appeared I pulled over to photograph the bike.  

As I came slowly to a stop I was going to let the bike roll forward a few feet and put my foot down.  Here, in this sunny paradise, I was all at ease. Then I saw where I was about to put my foot...on a snake!  

I don't find snakes subtle.  But I do find them devilish.  Having grown up in the Mallee I have encountered my fair share and experienced some close calls.  The cretins make me shiver.  I have no sense that these are God's creatures, great or small.  They are monsters.  One of my pet fears is being bitten by a snake while separated from civilisation by a motorcycle and a long twisty road.  Imagine the catch-twenty-two: you only have so much time before your balance and vision goes; you want to ride as quickly as possible to a hospital, or at least town; but the faster you ride, the more you arouse your adrenalin and raise your heartbeat.  Damn you, serpents!   

But my foot did not land on the snake.  And so I sat there, engine running in case it was aggressive, and we watched each other.  I do not believe for a moment that it was more frightened of me than I was of it.  Slowly it slithered off toward some cows, and I rode on, shivering, to the place where I took the above photo.  

The experience was a good reminder that summer is here and dangers lie in many places when out motorcycling.    


  1. Well, when in paradise expect the snake ;-)

    I wish I could be cool about snakes but I am not. I am scared of them.

    Here we have bears, and although they come with a "cute factor" they are just as dangerous as your creepy crawlers...

  2. That was a wise move. I hate snakes too, actually am terrified of them.