« Tabby To the Rescue | Main | Under the Beechwood Trees »

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Adventures of Snake Boy

By Alan Ginocchio of The Cyberspace Dawdler

Snake boy XL 01 01

It all began innocently enough from my point of view when I would, as a young boy around ten or eleven, bring snakes home in my “big jar” (an essential snake-hunting tool) that I had captured from my numerous snake-hunting adventures and then let them go in my backyard after making them miserable for a dayor two with a little stick-poking.

Now all this was pretty much unbeknownst to mom, of course, since even at that young age I wasn’t totally devoid of any sense.

With regard to these types of adventures as a young boy, none are more memorable or hold a more enduring place in my heart than that which I will relate and in so doing, finally disclose publicly my true identity – hidden for these many, many years.

Now, as previously noted, I did have a passion as a young boy for going out and hunting and catching snakes. Usually my victims were of the garden variety for the most part although there were those few times when I would take on a small venomous critter and coral him into the “big jar.”

And yep, I would let those go in the back yard also so you can see why I kept mom out of the loop on this issue.

Many of my snake adventures as a young boy used to take me into an area along a particular street where quite a few black families lived at the time. There was an old concrete storm drain in ill repair about 10 foot wide with 6- or 7-foot high sides that ran along the subject street for a number of blocks tunneling under the side streets as it made its way to wherever it was going.

There were lots of weeds and saplings growing within the old drain and little tiny ponds of standing water with all sorts of critters and tiny fish in them. This is where a number of my adventures took place.

Some of the black kids used to follow me around when I was in the neighborhood walking inside the storm drain on my snake hunts. We would all be in the stealth mode in my quest for snakes but as soon as one of the creatures made an appearance I would find myself quite alone. This phenomenon actually became quite predictable.

First there was whispering amongst me and my companions, then silence as I would lift a large piece of wood or rock, then blood curdling screams in unison from my traveling companions when the snake would make its initial appearance. Even after I had safely secured the little critter in my “big jar,” my entourage was nowhere to be found. Later I might see one of my ex-companions sheepishly wave from their front porch but that was about it.

And now this is where this adventure takes on a legend proportion. It didn’t take any time whatsoever for the black kids to start calling the little white kid “Snake Boy.” And one can only imagine how my head filled with visions from my new-found fame and stature in the world.

Every now and then I would make a trip down to High Street and none of the kids would show up. If after a little while no one showed up, Snake Boy would just drop his head and mope home totally devoid of any reinforcement of his true identity. The snakes would be safe this time from the dreaded Snake Boy!

Disappointingly as it turns out, in my own neighborhood I was simply known as “Alan” or “A.E” as mom used to call me. That was my first and middle initial. But just as Superman had to deal with his secret identity, I too had such a burden that had been thrust upon me at such an early age.

The black neighborhood quickly became my favorite place to go for adventure, needless to say. Sure, there may have been a Frank Buck, there may have even been a Tarzan, but there was only one Snake Boy!

My true identity has been well hidden for all these years but now as I reach the autumn of my life, it is finally time to come out of the “Snake Boy” closet! Now that the world will come to know my true identity by these public disclosures, there will surely be autobiographies and movie deals to clutter my life. And from now on even you will be able to brag to your family and friends that you really knew Snake Boy!

In fact, if you go down to that area of the subject street, even today there is still a portion of that storm drain in existence. Perhaps after reading my story, someone in my old hometown will suggest marking it with an historical marker. You think?

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Snake Boy Lives!

Sounds like a new Marvel Comic superhero!

Say, you don't fly much, do you?

(Snakes on Planes, guffaw)

Native Texans are well-versed in the art of snake co-existence, ya know.

Hey, Snake Boy, are you the one that used to chase me with one of those wiggly things whipping back and forth? I think the boys liked to hear the girls scream and see them run. Actually, I was not afraid of snakes, to the big disappointment of the boys, but they soon found an alternative that would make me head for home. Chicken feet being opened and closed with the tendons got me moving every time.

The comments to this entry are closed.