Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nanna's Bedtime Story


Sydney Snake – The Tale of a Reputable Reptile

Each morning when the sun was up and the ground comfortably warm but still glistening with dew Syd Snake would slither down to the pond, gaze into the water and have a chat with his old friend. Syd loved to chat, in fact he would do all the chatting, his friend was the best of listeners. His friend had heard of Syd's heroics for some years now, how he had been bailed up by a ferocious hissing tiger cat, how Syd had stood his ground and looked the cat in both eyes, flickered his tongue and.... this was Syd's favourite bit, the cat had arched its back and Syd had sprung like a flash of sun, quick as a snap of twig, sudden as a leaping trout...... Syd had lots of similes.

Then to the Epic Battle. How Syd's mouth had latched onto the nose of the cat, how his fangs had sunk into the side of its mouth, breathing its hot cat breath, how its scream had torn and tissued the air. Now, everyone knows that snakes are deaf but Syd could feel and sense the rent he said, the shaking trees he said, who watched with the birds, the insects, the reptiles and rocks, and how the sky, in fact the whole firmament was hushed in awe. And when it was over and a tattered and bloody victorious Syd had inched away from the supine feline with its mouth open to the sky and the fire leached from its eyes, the trees had cracked with approval, the birds sang with applause, the boulders rumbled and all the snakes in tree hollows, under rocks and those in the holes of the bowels of the earth all hissed as one with praise, SSSSSSSSydney,SSSSSSSSydney!

Then Syd was onto his conquests. I'm a shameless philanderer he said. I admit it. Another one last night. They come to me like sunbeams to flowers, like bees to blossom, like dew kissing the earth. I say to myself 'Sydney, you are incorrigible'. I am helpless and hopeless before them. They tantalise and entice, I am unable to resist. And why would I? They all fascinate and allure and I cherish each sweet heavenly curve. And you might ask Sydney what is your secret? And I reply that I am merely me and can only be myself. Oh and I always flatter the lady. Sincere flattery mind, for how could it be otherwise? They all know where to find a good cuddle: Sydney Snake, Pondside Rock, Cooleman Ridge.

Syd had lived at Pondside Rock as long as he could remember, and longer. He knew its inhabitants as they knew him, all the frogs, the dragonflies, the lizards, the turtles and birds, in fact years back these creatures had been wary around Pondside Rock. Now Syd, if he was lucky, might catch a dragonfly who had hovered ten ticks too long, an indiscreet young frog ''here I am so, here I am so'', a forgetful duckling who playfully poked around the pond bank and if Syd's luck was out, tree grubs.

These days Syd was not as agile, not that he realised it, and he was inclined to grumble. In fact he was grumbling to his friend right now, having finished the heroics and female conquests, that each morning he is awakened by loud footsteps of ''one of those infernal walkers with white hair and glasses'', not unlike this author, as he tromped loudly past Syd's rock. Now Syd resolved to do or die, he resolved to give the inconsiderate human a bite he wouldn't forget. And so it is that each morning Syd launches out of his hole with mouth agape and lands flat on his belly. He is just too slow. And then he slithers to the pond to cheer himself up by recounting his conquests to his old friend. And each evening he turns to his tail, blinks myopically and smiles a wide fangy Sydney charmer, saying “well hello you gorgeous creature! Sydney, you are indeed blessed... once again.”

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