Sunday, December 15, 2013

Afraid of Snakes 1986

Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakesCare must also be taken to differentiate people who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom or the inherent danger involved. An ophidiophobic would not only fear them when in live contact but also dreads to think about them or even see them on TV or in pictures.  Wikipedia

Blackrock, New Mexico sits at the edge of the village of Zuni on the Zuni Indian Reservation.   It's where the Indian Health Service Hospital is located, and a small community of about twenty non-Zuni families reside there in basic homes provided by the tribe. It's about three miles outside the village, and sits atop a beautiful mesa, with a lovely reservoir to the East, and a steep canyon to the North.  It's isolated, but not, since the houses sit on small lots right next to each other, and it's urban, but not, since a one minute walk puts you into the surrounding high desert wilderness.

Every so often, a neighbor would have some kind of a run in with a snake.  We had two neighbors, both men, and both doctors at the hospital, who were terrified of snakes.  Interestingly, it seemed that all the wayward snakes found a way to their homes, and no one else's.   One morning, one of the doctors walked around his Isuzu, parked in the driveway, to get in, and found a large rattle snake curled up in the exposed roots of an elm tree that grew next to his driveway.  Fortunately, It was early morning and the snake was sluggish.  Later that same year, I got a call from this same man, his voice pinched and tight, asking if my husband could help get a snake out of his house. Since my husband wasn't home, I came over, and armed with a broom, chased/swept the small bull snake out the back door.  The other doctor, who lived across the street, found a nest of baby rattlers under his house.  He shot most of them with his rifle.  However, to combat his fear, he decided to put one in a mason jar to show us that he could deal with it.  He managed to get it into the mason jar, but the snake was able to force the lid off with his head and escaped back under the house.  The snake, of course, was never found. 

1 comment:

  1. Great painting and perfectly illustrates how I feel about spiders. Snakes, I like; spiders give me the screaming heebie-jeebies. Love the shadow. Too bad for the poor snakes that they insisted on going to those two houses.

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