A Snake Deserves No Pity?

Warm weather has brought out the snakes and David has encountered them on two occasions. First, by stepping into a nest of them along Rails to Trails, and second by running over one as we were cycling down the hill to the bike path in Kalispell.


Many more snakes were in this nest, but this was the best picture.


Not much thought was given to his rolling over the snake near the bike path, other than thinking the poor snake was probably scared and angry, and desperately wanted to strike David’s nose in revenge.



David was ahead as we were speeding down the hill to the swamp. Crashing into a fence while blazing downhill into Woodland Park has left me cautious. Therefore, I don’t like riding down hills as fast as some.


My bike and I were bumping over the gravel trail when David stopped suddenly.


“Did you see that?” he asked.


“What?“ Little did I know that I had stopped right before the snake on the ground.


Snake on the bike trail


He then told me about the snake that he had run over. He said he couldn’t avoid it, thought it was badly injured, and probably dying.


Never to miss a photo op, this is when he pulled out his camera, kneeled down, and started taking pictures of the injured snake that was writhing around in the rocks – all the while apologizing for running over and killing him.

Snake on the gravel path.


I stepped aside to a comfortable distance and urged him to quit taking pictures and continue our bike ride. David’s face was probably no more than 3 feet away from the snake, when it opened its mouth for one last breath.



We hopped on our bikes and finished our evening ride.


I gave no additional thought to the snake’s misfortune until I remembered a study involving people in cars showing little mercy for snakes. Evidently people have no qualms about running over snakes in the road. But when confronted with a turtle, people will definitely try to avoid it.


Speculation has it that because of the bad reputation of snakes – perhaps stemming from their evil implication to the devil in the Garden of Eden – people have no problem maiming and killing snakes. I’m not sure if I agree with this reasoning, and am starting to think this sounds like an urban legend.


Which brings me back to the snake on the bike trail. Would my husband have tried harder to avoid the snake had it been a turtle?


After pondering the story of the snake and the turtle, this analogy was brought forth as food for thought.


If you were riding along on your bike, would it be easier to roll over a pencil or a paper weight?


In closing, I’ll leave you with this Yiddish Proverb (which sounds rather cruel and heartless) – “A snake deserves no pity”



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