Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Why did God make rattlesnakes..

Sometimes I ponder this question about certain creatures. The ones that hurt and prey on people or dogs. What is it's purpose on the planet other than scare the crap out of us? They even made a movie about this "Snakes on a Plane". Even the title creeps me out..

The other day I hiked with a man and a dog who had been bitten by a rattlesnake in the past. The dog was bit last weekend on La Luz trail. The man was bitten several years ago in California while hiking (great)..the man was able to tell me more about his story than the dog. He stepped on a rattler by accident of course and was bitten not once but TWICE in the leg. He managed to hike out 12 miles to help. He didn't die only because part of the hike back was in a stream and I guess the cold water kept the venom from spreading. (Note to self: If bit by a rattler find a STREAM to hike back in.). He got the anti venom and has no residual from it although some people do-the ones who live to tell about it. I decided then it was REALLY not a good idea to bushwhack (go where hiking trails are not).

The dog just was being a dog and got bit. After a nightmare experience at the 24 hour vet clinic up on Montgomery, my friend got her dog and she lived too. She looked pretty darn perky the other day so don't think she had any residual left either.

I have had limited encounters with rattlesnakes. One was a couple of years ago on the trail i walk my dog on near my house. I saw him near the path-I think he was dead but since I walked about 2 miles around it with my dog, I never could tell. Days later, it did appear someone had cut it in half (I guess one half can live or grow?). The other time I was on a a "Vision Quest" 2 years ago at Canyon De Chelly in Arizona with a medicine woman and some student and teachers from my grad school. The picture above is him or her. We were told there were no snakes in this particular side canyon..then I almost stepped on HIM! Of course being a Vision Quest and all, I was told snakes are a sign of change or transition. I didn't buy that too much. All I knew is now I had signed up to go out by myself for 4 days without food in order to experience some kind of clarity in the wilderness. This seemed like a good idea until I saw HIM (picture above). I was scared out of my mind. We did a few days preparation together then I did it. Now I didn't see any visions ot anything. I think I had some insight about my mom the last day but mostly I was hungry and looking for snakes and other wildlife to stay away from. I would do it again only if I could eat, which really defeats the purpose of a Vision Quest I think. Maybe the snake was a sign of things to come. Closing my practice the following year for instance was a transition (duh). So maybe the rattler is valuable after all..


Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I saw a statistic once that said most of those were men involved with the use of alcohol. So I figure, the odds are in my favor to NOT be bitten. :)

Vickie said...

And then there is the Chinese year of the Snake, which is a year I was born in. Does that mean my life is always in transition? Sometimes, it seems so.

Jay River said...

Here is a film clip laced with history from Canyon De Chelly:


It's from a dvd on Edward S. Curtis, which bears on other Indian lands as well.

More info:

ES Curtis Film Clip

The Indian Picture Opera