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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Snake

I posted this yesterday on Facebook for David - it's an old tale, but perfect for people with bad boyfriends, crazy relatives, looney neighbors, etc. that will occasionally make a Guest Star Appearance in your life, traumatize you and then exit Stage Left. I lifted it from Dr. Sanity's blog since he did such an excellent job retelling it

Once upon a time there was a serpent who was badly injured in a fight with another animal. It managed to slither away to safety but would have surely died if a benevolent man had not seen it suffering by the side of the road. The goodly man carefully wrapped the snake up and took it to his house, where he bestowed the kindest and gentlest care on the snake until it was healed and could return to the wild. Just as the man was releasing the serpent back into the grass, the ungrateful snake turned and bit him on the hand.

"What did you do that for?" cried the man, who knew that the bite of this particular snake was usually fatal. "Didn't I take care of you when no one else would?"

The snake shrugged (no small feat for a snake!) and replied to the benevolent--and now doomed-- man, "What did you expect? You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

David lent money to a co-worker and now can't get his money back. It's a small amount, but you know if you've ever lent money to someone - it's galling that you were nice enough to bail them out and then they keep the money it can really make you feel taken advantage of. But I've pointed out the guy has a reputation and since you already knew that, just chalk it up to lesson learned and move on. That is where the snake comes in - I remember this story every time I'm tempted to restart bad relationships, order from a company I had a bad experience with, any time I know in my gut before I do it, I'm making a mistake.

1 comment:

Donna said...

That's one of my favorite stories; I heard it told as a native American tale, and read it in Guideposts and Reader's Digest, as well as other places. Cliff and I are often saying to one another, "You knew what he was when you picked him up."