Summer Scales (the Snake & the Bear)

    Your winter coat thickens as I shed my summer scales. It's been months since the sun shone on my back & we lay side-by-side on the rocks by the river and ate berries from the bush.

    We met when that same sun was sleeping & I as well had been sleeping with my eyes open for far long before.

    You lay me around your shoulders as we walk on over the mountain & reach the summit. I was thirsty so I drank water from that little crevice between your ribs. I am cold without the sun’s rays so you wrap me in your furry arms & we sleep till morning.

    In my dreams, the rabbit and the owl tell me that the bear is no friend for a little snake like me. But why should I, a wise serpent, heed the advice of a bird with a one track mind or rabbit who never takes the time to slow down and listen. "what happens when one day he accidentally steps on you and you bite him? When you realize that you're just too different? That you live different lives? ". And I said “do the bear and I not both drink water from the same river? Do we not both eat the berries from the same bush? Do we not both sleep in the holes? Because I shed skin and he sheds fur, do we not both become renewed?” then, my scales begin to burst off & a bright light shines out from within me, I writhe in pain as the rabbit and the owl collect my scales from the ground and run off with them.

   “But those are my protection!” I am just a soft slimy body without my scales & will be chewed apart by flies. I wake up screaming but the bear is already holding me tight to his chest. I look down to check that i still have my scales and to my surprise, I have already finished shedding.


Epilogue (3 months after finish date)

I hope you get a snake bite and think of me