Snake Appreciation Day

My first sighting, finally, after years of running in the New Mexico desert. A sunny day turned suddenly cool and cloudy, which must be what made this normally nocturnal creature stir.* I slowed down to let the snake cross the trail and go wherever it was going. What an amazing design. Such graceful motion. It was plain gray, not a speckle (or a rattle) to decorate its slender form. Perfectly silent, it disappeared under a bush with its gentle undulations. I crept past the bush, sneaking a look under it. No snake. I didn’t expect it would have stayed. They’re shy, after all.

As I resumed my run, I marveled at the snakeness of the snake, its directness and simplicity. There I was with how many bones in each foot, moving from one set of tarsals, metatarsals and phalanges to the other, using how many muscles in each leg and hip, with hinge joints and ball-and-socket joints in motion, postural muscles at work … I had to ask myself …

Whose locomotion shows more art?

I have so many moving parts.

But Snake can get along just fine

While being nothing but a spine.


*I looked it up and concluded it was a ringneck snake. They are colored like a gray suit with a bow-tie and are rarely seen during the day. Wikipedia describes them as “dainty and inoffensive.”



Published by

Amber Foxx

Author of Mae Martin psychic mystery series.

4 thoughts on “Snake Appreciation Day”

  1. I also like snakes, and snake-like creatures including fantastical ones like dragons. One of my favorite poems is John Ciardi’s “On being scared by a Rattler while making a Roadside Relief Stop in God’s Country,” which is both humorous and contemplative. The snakes that I encounter, however, are more often of the plush kind, such as my couch-potato buddy Groucho, who I once featured on my blog ( Thanks for sharing your real-life encounter!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If you google “ciardi” and “rattler” you’ll get a link to the page in his Collected Poems. I came across it by accident in a periodical I was cataloguing and liked it so much I photocopied it and put it up over my desk.


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