The Red Snake in the Microwave   I was in my old childhood house in Bocage, in New Orleans. I had come downstairs and into the Kitchen, where I saw that Mère, having already left, had closed a red Snake in Sarah’s microwave, wanting to trap it to keep it from hurting anyone, but not having the time to stop and kill it, as she'd had me do to the garden snake we found in the siding of the cottage. I was startled and afraid and almost fascinated. I somehow knew that Mère had gone out the laundry room door, but didn't see her leave. I remember that I didn’t know why Mère was living with us.

Then I knew or saw that she was carrying something, or two things, a black purse and a plastic grocery bag, leaving in a hurry, maybe to go to stores. I turned back to the snake. The microwave door was partially open because part of the snake and something like a dishrag were closed in the door. It’s Sarah’s microwave.

I remembered Stacey’s (my first true love, and most painful breakup) rhyme : “Red touches black, he’s okay, Jack – Red touches yellow, he’s a dangerous fellow.” Its yellow and black stripes on red confirmed that it was a deadly coral snake. I turned on the microwave and the tail end of the Snake sizzled into a bubble and popped. The midsection swelled up and exploded blood all over the inside of the microwave, killing the snake.

I felt bad for having killed the snake, but I also felt relief as I and my family were now safe from the almost certain death of the poison of the red snake. (2006-03-02)
posted by batman on 2008-03-27
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