Monday, July 20, 2009

Mark Twain Speaks III

Along outside of the front fence ran the country road, dusty in the Summertime, and a good place for snakes - they liked to lie in it and sun themselves; when they were rattlesnakes or puff adders we killed them; when they were black snakes or races, or belonged to the fabled "hoop" breed we fled, without shame; when they were "house snakes" or "garters" we carried them home and put them in Aunt Patsy's work basket for a surprise; for she was prejudiced against snakes, and always when she took the basket in her lap and they began to climb out of it, it disordered her mind. She never could seem to get used to them; her opportunities went for nothing. And she was always cold toward bats, too, and could not bear them; and yet I think a bat is as friendly a bird as there is. My mother was Aunt Patsy's sister and had the same wild superstitions. A bat is beautifully soft and silky; I do not know any creature that is pleasanter to the touch or is more grateful for caressings, if offered in the right spirit.