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View from the Front
by Beth Lock
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Thursday, June 26, 2003

The Red Racer

There is a snake that meanders about in the industrial park where I work. I saw it once several years ago when we were in the old building. It's a magnificent coral colored snake.

When I first saw it, it was slithering through the red sand, looking for a hidey hole. Though I'm somewhat scared of snakes, I've always thought they must be more afraid of us than we are of them. Or, perhaps scared is an anthrpomorphic word. After all, do snakes have feelings? It's more likely that they have instincts; danger! slither!

I saw the snake through the window. I never much looked out the window, but just then I happened to do so. "Snake!" I shouted, and ran out the door to see it.

I was awed by it's sensuous beauty. Deep red sand, coral colored snake, nothing between me and it but more sand and a few weeds.

"Snake!" I whispered. It slithered through the sand. Toward me, and I trembled, though I knew it would not harm me. "Snake", I whispered again.

It's snake sense told it to turn and slither away. It was fast, so fast, like red lightning. I opened the door and shouted to the others, "Come see this snake!" By the time they got outside, the Red Racer had gone.

That must have been three years ago or so. Since that time we've moved to a new building, just up the road. Every day I drive to the post office to get the mail, every day around ten am. It's habit. One point five miles down to the post office, and one point five miles back. My morning ritual. Two days ago I was leaving the office to go to the post office. As soon as I hit the main road from the parking lot, the Red Racer slithered across the road in front of my car. It had grown, quite a lot.

"Snake!" I yelled, as I jumped from the car. "Snake!" I watched it move across the hot pavement toward the red sand. Of course, as before, it had no use for me.

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