Snake Charming By Nyoka Eden

April 30, 2015 Comments Off on Snake Charming By Nyoka Eden

I think I know when it changed — my mom’s favorite animal. She used to spend the day at the library printing pictures of tigers. The tigers sat blinking in a photo album. When I was young, she was young too. We had this in common. Her favorite-favorite was the Sumatran tiger, which was framed and hung oddly low so that its feet seemed to rest on the edge of her bed.

The first time she went into the forest, I asked her what she was doing out there. She said she was looking for a pet. That’s when I knew. Her favorite animal was no longer a tiger, it was a snake. When I was blonde, she was blonde too. We had this in common. The forest replaced the tiger album. When this happened, I noticed more things we had in common. Like, we both slept on our stomachs and liked music that made us cry.

She told me that snakes weren’t like other animals. “You can’t just touch them, they have to be respected.” Her room always smelled spicy and the answering machine sat blinking like a trap for men’s voices. She said tigers were killed for being beautiful. Eventually one of the voices escaped and she got married. Mike bought my mom a snake.

For the first time, she uncoiled for a man. I thought about my favorite animal. It was still a tiger. Everything struck so fast back then.

© 2014 Nyoka Eden

Nyoka Eden still likes tigers but now considers herself a moth enthusiast. She and her boyfriend, Quori, are traveling the United States. Keep tabs on them @bbybardot.

 

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