The palm tree stretched a leafy hand into the western sky. The dim rays of the evening sun hovers over the ridge as if fighting desperately to stay above it. I sat at the edge of my beautiful garden enjoying the cool evening breeze. A butterfly made a bee-line to the unusual azure colored hybiscus flower that stood a few feet from where I was, and then abruptly changed direction in mid air and loses itself in the vast sweep of the garden.
A sudden feeling of uneasiness came over me. My creative juices became alive and it was as if I heard the butterfly's bewildered cry; telling me to run! I got up to walk away and a sligt movement to my left caught my attention. That was when I saw the snake. A huge diamond back snake; that was within striking distance of my feet. Petrified, I stood rooted to the spot. Without thinking, I tried to step back, and its head came up, tail quivered, giving off an angry, rattling sound that unnerved me.
That was its only warning, for it lounged at my feet and I froze. Its lips bared, with fangs...there were no fangs, just gums. something, or someone, had somehow removed its teeth, and now it was as if it was smiling at me when it opened its mouth. I breathe a sigh of relief and grinned at myself sheepishly, as the the snake with no teeth, went on its way, cautious, but fearless. That was the most welcoming smile that I had ever see.