Snakes!! A Pirates tale
Well, this isnt a sailing story, but here goes:
Back in my younger days, when I was but a wee lad of 14 or so and just beginning to have adventures, I was involved with a group of rogue scoundrels known as the Boy Scouts.
While galavanting about the countryside in the Pennsylvania Appalachian Mountains with this band of ne''er-do-wellers, I harkened to a call of nature of the variety which requires what we affectionately called ATP, or All-Terrain-Paper.
Deciding that a crevice between two rocks was a suitable locale, I assumed the position. Not a moment later I heard a most unnatural sound, not unlike that of a drugged bullfrog. Turning my head slowly, I discovered thats exactly what it was, the largest bullfrog Id ever seen, most of the aft end of which was in the mouth of the largest water moccassin Id ever seen.
The frog stared at me with a glassy-eyed expression, the snake stared at me with an expression of pure purpose, and I stared back at both with an expression which must have belied my thoughts that its only this half-dead frog which stands between those venom-dripping fangs and my awkwardly balanced and completely exposed posterior.
After a moment of contemplating the wonders and mysteries of life, and deciding the farther away from that snake I was, the longer Id be able to continue such contemplation, I ran back to camp as fast as my pants-around-the-knees legs would carry me, and opened my handy Scout Manual to read about how to dig a cathole.
Its only at moments like this, I reflected later, that one feels truly and completely alive... especially when one comes to the sudden realization that this isnt necessarily a permanent condition.