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Michal Scott: It Takes A Snake (Contest)
Friday, July 9th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Cheryl!

It takes a snake? I can already imagine your eyebrows and frowns in disbelief as you respond, “To do what?” Like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a snake to create community. What kind of community you talkin’ ’bout, Willis? The enmity placed between humanity and snakes in Genesis 3:15 is still real. What kind of community could be created by something so villainous as a snake? When I saw one crawling along the wall this week in my backyard I cringed. Yuk and yikes! I breathed a sigh of relief when it slithered away to the front yard. I raked the grounds to make sure there weren’t any others hiding there.

Two days later as I went to get the mail, I noticed a neighbor standing stock-still in front of his garage holding a rake and staring very pointedly at something I couldn’t see on the far side of his car. Sure enough, it was a snake. He didn’t want to kill it because he wasn’t sure what kind it was. “Bull snakes are good snakes,” he said, but if it were a rattler he’d have to kill it. We couldn’t see a rattle on the tail, but then we wondered if it might be a baby without a rattle yet. I stood in solidarity with my neighbor and stared at the slimy intruder. What to do, what to do?

At that moment my husband—traveling to visit family—called to say goodnight. I told him what was happening, and he said, “Call Spence. He knows all about snakes.” Spence is a good friend and fellow church member. I took a picture and messaged it to him. He called right back and said it was a baby king snake. Definitely non-venomous. Spence said you can tell venomous snakes from non-venomous ones by the shape of their pupils. Venomous snakes have slit pupils like cat’s eyes. Non-venomous ones have round pupils like dogs. I don’t think my cat Scully would appreciate the comparison. My neighbor and I peered at the photo and agreed the eyes looked round. Spence said he’d be over in fifteen minutes to take the snake back to the desert.

By now my neighbor’s wife had joined us. She helped trap the snake beneath a bucket. We introduced ourselves—me, Anna, he and she, John and Jeanette. We shared how long we’d lived on the block, where we were from, our experiences, and lack thereof, with snakes and our mutual hatred of the creatures.

Spence arrived, picked the little guy up and told us how it could grow to six or eight feet long. Shudder. He put it in a pillowcase and assured us it would be happier in the desert. John, Jeanette, and I wholeheartedly agreed. Spence drove off, John and Jeanette went back into their snake-free house, and I continued on to pick up the mail. It took a snake to create community between us.

So for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments about an encounter where you got to know a neighbor better.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Excerpt from One Breath Away…

On the rise overlooking Harvest Home, Banker Judah Little sat, his mouth stretched in horror.

“My God, what’s wrong with her?” He stared transfixed at the cabin, his hands clasped and shaking.

“No doubt reliving the torment of death.” A grudging smile graced Judge Aaron “Hangman” Denton’s face. “No one who cheats the hangman enjoys any kind of peace

After hundreds of pronouncements and hundreds of executions, he’d seen it all. He preferred these civil hangings to the military executions by firing squad he’d ordered during the War of Northern Aggression. Bullets brought death so quickly, he always felt cheated. But a hanging…His smile broadened. There was so much more to enjoy when there was a hanging.

The snap of the neck.

The sway of the body.

The discharge of the bowels.

He tongued the snuff in his cheek and spat the brown liquid into the dirt. The scents of sage and tobacco laced each breath he took.

Mary Hamilton had been his only failure. Crime deserved punishment. What difference did being a woman make? He’d condemned her to hang. Damn interfering crowd. And where in hell had that horseman come from? She’d be dead now but for him and those bleeding-heart busybodies.

Buy link: Amazon –

Michal Scott Amazon Author Page –

35 comments to “Michal Scott: It Takes A Snake (Contest)”

  1. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 10:47 am · Link

    Thanks for hosting me, Delilah.

  2. Delores E Stewart
    · July 9th, 2021 at 12:00 pm · Link

    A great story of how something we share in common can bring us closer together. Thanks for sharing Anna, and I’m glad your encounter had a happy ending.

  3. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 12:04 pm · Link

    Me too, Delores. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Jennifer Wilck
    · July 9th, 2021 at 12:21 pm · Link

    (Not necessary to enter me into the contest) I met our neighbor across the street when I saw a fire in his backyard and called the fire department. I put a note in his mailbox and eventually, he came over and said thank you (took way too long in my book, and I’m still a little salty about it). Needless to say, we’re not best friends, but we do wave now and then. As for snakes, we have garter snakes in the back yard. Harmless, but don’t tell my daughter because she absolutely hates them!

  5. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 12:50 pm · Link

    Lucky for him you cared enough to help. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.

  6. Colleen C.
    · July 9th, 2021 at 12:51 pm · Link

    When my neighbor moved in, she came over with some baked goods to introduce herself… was very kind of her… as for snakes, we have to be careful near me… rattlers are known to be around.

  7. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 1:12 pm · Link

    Hi Colleen, how cool. When we lived in an apartment building that only had twelve families in it, my husband made banana nut bread and took it to them as a way to say hi. Thanks for sharing. We have rattlers here too, that’s why John and I were super cautious.

  8. Jen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 1:28 pm · Link

    I love that you all met over a snake! Growing up, we got to know our neighbors because people always sped down our street and crashed in front of our house. Pretty gory stuff actually. The neighbors would come out of their houses to help triage and then we’d stand in a pack of people watching the first responders do their work and eventually all catching up on each others’ lives. That part was great. I don’t know why we didn’t just bypass the accident and have a party!

  9. Michelle
    · July 9th, 2021 at 1:49 pm · Link

    Shoveling! Always with the shoveling! With only a few words, as our languages are different, but we always say hello now, all year long 🙂

  10. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 1:54 pm · Link

    So true! Everybody throwing that white stuff into the street and helping to dig one another’s cars out. Thanks for sharing Michelle.

  11. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 3:42 pm · Link

    Wow, Jen. How tragic. At least people came out to help and not just gawk or snap pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Joye I
    · July 9th, 2021 at 4:30 pm · Link

    Where I live we have flood irrigation for our yards. I met a couple of neighbors once when the floodgates were not working and our yards were overflowing with water before they shut if off.

    I would have jumped at finding that snake! and I do not intend to get close enough to one to see what his eyes are like!

  13. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 5:54 pm · Link

    Hi Joye, I’m with you there. We looked at the eyes in the photo I took. : ) Thanks for sharing.

  14. bn100
    · July 9th, 2021 at 6:20 pm · Link

    mowing the lawn

  15. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 6:27 pm · Link

    Cutting grass and conversation have never occurred to me. But then we don’t have grass where I am now and in Brooklyn our front yard was concrete. Thanks for sharing bn100.

  16. Lena Pinto
    · July 9th, 2021 at 6:59 pm · Link

    I hope you all got together for an adult beverage of your choice after this experience. LOL! (Don’t enter me in the contest.)

  17. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 7:04 pm · Link

    Hi Lena, Maybe John and Jeanette kicked back after they went inside. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Mary Preston
    · July 9th, 2021 at 8:32 pm · Link

    When a wild storm swept through our region it brought us all together. Met neighbors I had only seen before. Now we wave and say hello.

  19. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 9th, 2021 at 9:02 pm · Link

    Nature does find ways to bring us together. Thanks for sharing, Mary.

  20. Debra Guyette
    · July 10th, 2021 at 6:00 am · Link

    I loved the story. We met our neighbors when we had to call the fire department. Our house had filled with smelly smoke.

  21. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 10th, 2021 at 8:19 am · Link

    Hi Debra, emergencies seem to be the order of the day for getting acquainted with our neighbors. Thanks for sharing.

  22. flchen1
    · July 10th, 2021 at 3:20 pm · Link

    I was struggling home from the park with my two little ones when a neighbor came out to offer me the loan of a stroller and a glass of water 🙂 That was more than a dozen years ago, and our daughters have just graduated from high school. She’s now a dear friend.

    Funny how a snake brought you closer to your neighbors!

  23. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 10th, 2021 at 3:39 pm · Link

    Your encounter has touched my heart, flchen1. What a wonderful way to make a lifelong friendship. Thanks for sharing.

  24. ButtonsMom2003
    · July 11th, 2021 at 12:10 am · Link

    We got to know our neighbors after a huge snow storm and everyone was digging out the cul-de-sac and their driveways.. The HOA paid to clear the street but that always left a huge mess in front of everyone’s driveway.

    We lived in the same house for 20 years and shoveling snow became kind of a neighborhood thing. Thankfully I now live in Florida – no more snow! Yay!

  25. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 11th, 2021 at 12:37 am · Link

    I hear that, ButtomsMom. I love how in my part of Albuquerque snow is no longer an issue for me either. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Cheryl
    · July 11th, 2021 at 11:49 am · Link

    When I moved into my house, I had an older Rottie that adored kids. The little (8 yr old) neighbor girls would come over and beg to take her for walkies. I got to know their parents to make sure it was OK, and how far they could go. Rosie (the pooch) would relish the walks. Never pulled or anything! When I walked her, if she saw a critter, she was off like a shot, but she was always so calm and gentle with the kids!
    When she crossed the rainbow bridge a couple of years later, the girls wanted their parents to get me a new pup. Their folks told them (and later, me) that they thought it wasn’t a good idea, but I promised them that when I was ready, they could go with me. Now they are in their late teens, and the parents and I chat over the fence often!

  27. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 11th, 2021 at 11:57 am · Link

    How lovely, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Beth
    · July 11th, 2021 at 12:38 pm · Link

    I once lived in an apartment building and the owners did a remodel of the empty units and then all of us still there had two days to move into them so they could do the rest. We all wound up helping each other with the heavier things like couches and beds. After that several of us would get together a couple times a week to play cards, or we would watch each others kids as needed. Things like that. I missed them after I had to move again.

  29. Carol Cox
    · July 11th, 2021 at 1:00 pm · Link

    It’s always good to help others. It comes back to you twofold.

  30. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 11th, 2021 at 2:13 pm · Link

    What a great start! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

  31. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 11th, 2021 at 2:14 pm · Link

    So true Carol! Give and it will come back to you.

  32. Jennifer Beyer
    · July 11th, 2021 at 6:59 pm · Link

    We have an annual block party where we close down a block and everyone brings food. I was wandering around one year and realized I was looking at an old friend from high school! We didn’t realize we lived just a couple of blocks apart. And then we got to talking and I learned that she’s a pretty well-known artist. I didn’t recognize her artwork under her married name.

  33. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · July 11th, 2021 at 7:53 pm · Link

    LOL! I remember block parties like that. What a neat discovery. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Delilah
    · July 17th, 2021 at 9:40 am · Link

    Anna, thanks for a lovely post! It looks like it stirred memories for some!

    The winner of the Amazon gift card is…Cheryl!

  35. Cheryl
    · July 20th, 2021 at 1:44 am · Link

    Thank you so much!!

Comments are closed.