Posted By Ann

Bob with Ben

Bob, my present day 'horse' is as small as Tommy was large but he smells the same and when I bend down to put my face against his neck I am transported back to a long gone childhood for he is all horse, though in a smaller package, and the magic is still there for me.

In my recent book THE POWER OF THE CAT I have written a lot about the magic of felines but there is a unique magic in all animals and when we come together, for whatever reason, in mutual understanding it is wonderful.  Read Sally van Gent's story of her encounter with a snake in the blog comments and add your own account of a time when this magic was especially potent for you.

6 Comment(s):
Jenny said...
Sally, Very well written and told. Having dealt with the Brown Snake before, I can imagine how you felt. Good on you for letting it live and for helping it. It just goes to show, that their not just eating and sleeping machines. How far back would we have to go to when the human would have looked like an eating and sleeping machine, just the same as the snake. Jen
January 6, 2010 12:40 PM
leonie said...
Ann I so agree with you about older people and young pets. Older animals have had enough life experience to know when and how to react to and with people, especially the elderly. As for Sally's snake story, well... no guts, no glory. Me I not at all fussed about glory!!
December 9, 2009 3:48 PM
Kenn said...
Re: Your recent article in Creatures Corner News, "When pets and people grow old", was well said. This is why I tell my wife and other "older" people Not to adopt kittens as it wouldn't be fair to them (the kittens) to not know thier fate when the owner dies. We have four older cats, raised from kittens, and our "Satchmo" recently died at twenty-five years old. Any kittens we would get now would most probably outlive us and have an uncertain future. People should be aware that most (if not all) living things have feelings and should respect and be responsible for that fact. Happy Holidays to you, Kenn Ash Bennington, Vermont
December 4, 2009 1:22 PM
Louise said...
This is really beautiful - what a truly respectful interaction between two species.
November 11, 2009 3:20 PM
Sarah said...
Thank you for sharing this experience. How wonderful. The honouring of another. Overcoming fear and being totally present to the snake. The snake, in some traditions, a symbol of transformation, creativity. A wonderful exchange. :)
November 9, 2009 1:10 PM
Sally van Gent said...
Yesterday I found a medium sized brown snake caught in one of the apple tree nets at the side of the orchard. I felt really guilty, after all it was my fault, I'd left the net lying there. What could I do? Anyone I knew to call in and help would have knocked it on the head with a spade. I thought about just leaving it alone but I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night, knowing the poor thing was trapped and gradually starving to death in MY net. I had a responsibility to cut it free. So I went to get my sewing scissors. It lay perfectly still and I began to wonder if it was dead. I had slipped the scissors between the strands of netting and the scales, and cut a few layers away when its tail suddenly whipped around. I leaped a mile. Then I looked again and realised its head was completely tangled in the net so it couldn't possibly bite me. After a while I freed its body and had to make the decision of what I would do next. It was a beautiful creature and I could see its little bright eye looking at me -pleading? How could I leave it now? It was really difficult to prize off the last strands from around the head. It must have struggled and I could hardly get the points of the scissors between its skin and the net. As I cut the last bit free I prepared to jump for my life. The snake didn't move. Then it slowly opened its mouth and I could see the soft pink inside. It just lay there looking at me with it's mouth wide open as if it was showing me something. When I crept forward I discovered a last strand of nylon was wrapped around a tooth.I paused for a moment. I'd done quite well so far but I felt dental work on a brown snake was a bit much. It looked up at me and I looked at it. I'd been very gentle so far and I knew it was aware I had been trying to help it. It wasn't going to bite me. Still I didn't want it to kill me by accident, so I found a longish thin stick and carefully lifted the last strand from around it's tooth. There were a few sudden contortions. For a moment It's eye caught mine and then it quietly turned away and set off down to the dam to look for frogs.
November 5, 2009 9:49 PM
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