Snakes Name: Institution: SNAKES The bible says in Leviticus 11:29 that the unclean things that swarm the earth are the mouse, the mole, and great lizards. In addition, in verse 31, the bible includes snakes to the animals that are unclean and says that whoever encounters these swarming creatures when they die will become unclean until the onset of the evening…
How many people take the snake for granted? Indeed, how many people respond to snakes the way we did in this story? A few years ago, I paid a visit to a High School friend in Pottsville, New South Wales over my winter break. My friends name was Nimrod and he had another English friend living with him at the time named Gareth. My friend’s home was a somewhat dilapidated weatherboard house that had ample air conditioning in the form of holes. Gareth, on one sunny day, decided to take a bath in the old school and “holey” bathroom where we could make out his joyous renditions of raucous rugby songs. The shriek was totally out of the blue and surprising. “ARRRGGHHH”, he shouted, followed by the slamming of the bathroom door. We saw him run off, naked as a newborn, for the woodheap. He rummaged in the woodheap and retrieved one rather tribal-looking axe before heading back into the bathroom. “I got you, you slimy b****. There is nowhere to slither to,” he cried, accompanied by thumping sounds. Nimrod and I decided to go and see what Gareth was so worked up about. Imagine how horrified we were to see Gareth, axe clasped in hand, standing naked, triumphantly, astride a very large snake that he had chopped into pieces. I looked at Nimrod, and he was as horrified as I was since we knew the snake. He was Oprah, his neighbor’s pet ratter, who was a rather friendly and lugubrious house python, at least two meters in length, and who had a liking for resting beneath Nimrod’s bed. Gareth, seeing our faces, tried incoherently to explain that the snake had come at him from the roof. “Would you have cuddled him?” he queried. Indeed, what would have been your reaction in a situation such as this? It is my reckoning that the snake would have been victim to the same fate in 70% of situations, and many would empathize wholly with Gareth. If this is true, then maybe there is a need to better look at the snake. Earth does not simply have life but a web of life on it. This web stretches and wobbles as the existence of tens of millions of species teeter in a precarious balance with one nurturing resource in the form of earth. Flora, mammals, fishes, birds, reptiles, insects, and all life are interconnected. It is for this reason that science has raised the concern of extinction for many species in the world. Wiping out other species, for example, the less likeable species like snakes, will lead to a significant imbalance in the environment, creating a void in the life web that, eventually, may destroy the web and decimate life, as we know it on earth. Snakes and creatures that humans think are ugly to look at have become a major concern worldwide, especially in habitats that are congested with human habitats overlapping with snake populations. In New South Wales, where Nimrod lives, he told me that the snake habitats had been exploited, and this forced the two species; snakes and humans, to co-exist. In fact, some of them had taken the snakes in and domesticated them. Nimrod was adamant that snakes and humans can co-exist. He told me that early societies in North America had manipulated their environment in a way that allowed human and snake habitats to co-exist and overlap. He showed me a book written by European explorers, soldiers, trappers, and missionaries that affirmed native Indians even ate some of the species before they settled there. ...
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