Tagged snakes

“Blurtso hears a whisper” (IV)

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Harlan? said Blurtso. Yes? said Harlan. Why are elephants afraid of mice? We’re not afraid, said Harlan, we just don’t like to step on them. Oh, said Blurtso, that’s understandable. There’s nothing that breaks an elephant’s heart, said Harlan, like stepping on a mouse. Elephants are very sensitive, said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan.

“Blurtso hears a whisper” (III)

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Harlan? said Blurtso. What? said Harlan. I’ve been thinking, said Blurtso, that we shouldn’t get a mongoose. Why not? said Harlan. Because, said Blurtso, it might make the snakes angry. You may be right, said Harlan. And the last thing we want, said Blurtso, is a barn full of angry snakes. That’s for sure, said Harlan. Right now, said Blurtso, they’re not bothering anyone, and they scarcely make a sound and always keep out of sight. That’s true, said Harlan. I’ve never even seen one, said Blurtso. Neither have I, said Harlan. I wonder if it’s sad to be a snake, said Blurtso, always keeping quiet and staying out of sight? I wouldn’t know, said Harlan, I’m never out of sight. Yes that’s true, said Blurtso, is it hard to be so noticeable? Sometimes, said Harlan. Do you ever wish you were a snake? said Blurtso. No, said Harlan. I guess snakes have it pretty good, said Blurtso, never being noticed. Yes, said Harlan, I suppose they do. Except, said Blurtso, that everyone hates them. Yes, said Harlan, there is that.

“Blurtso hears a whisper” (II)

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Harlan? said Blurtso. What? said Harlan. Did you hear that? Yes, said Harlan. Do you think our snake is back? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan. What do you think he’s doing? said Blurtso. I don’t know, said Harlan. Why do you suppose, said Blurtso, that people hate snakes? I don’t know, said Harlan. Have you ever been bitten by one? said Blurtso. No, said Harlan. I suppose they don’t all bite, said Blurtso. No, said Harlan, I suppose they don’t. What animals do snakes dislike? said Blurtso. I’ve heard, said Harlan, that snakes dislike mongeese. Have you ever seen a mongoose? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan. What do they look like? said Blurtso. They’re like ferrets, said Harlan, only bigger and with mean-looking noses. Do you think we should get one? said Blurtso. I’m not sure, said Harlan, we might be happier with snakes.

“Blurtso hears a whisper” (I)

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Harlan? said Blurtso. What? said Harlan. Did you hear that? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan. What do you think it is? said Blurtso. I don’t know, said Harlan. It’s coming from downstairs, said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan. Can you hear any breathing? said Blurtso No, said Harlan. It must be very small, said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan, maybe it’s a bird, or a snake. A snake? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan. Don’t they go south? said Blurtso. I’m not sure, said Harlan. They must, said Blurtso, Boston is too cold for a snake. Unless he’s in a barn, said Harlan. Yes, said Blurtso, with solar heating and laminated windows. You have laminated windows? said Harlan. Yes, said Blurtso. No wonder it’s so warm, said Harlan. Can snakes climb ladders? said Blurtso. I don’t think so, said Harlan, unless they’re circus snakes. Circus snakes? said Blurtso. Yes, said Harlan. Hey, said Blurtso, there he goes again! Yes, said Harlan. But that was a jerky sound, said Blurtso, it didn’t sound like a snake at all. No it didn’t, said Harlan. Unless, said Blurtso, it was a circus snake imitating another animal. Yes, said Harlan. Did you hear that? said Blurtso. No, said Harlan. That’s what I mean, said Blurtso, I think our snake has gone. I don’t know, said Harlan, snakes can be very quiet. That’s true, said Blurtso, we could have a barnful of snakes and not even know it. Yes, said Harlan. Maybe I should pull up the ladder, said Blurtso. There, can you hear anything now? No, said Harlan. Neither can I, said Blurtso. Maybe we should get some sleep, said Harlan. It’s going to be hard, said Blurtso, with the silence of the snakes.