Vol. 11


Cold-Blooded Savior

c. 1977; Goldsboro, North Carolina, USA"Cold-Blooded Savior" illustration: A boy is riding his bike with his pet snake around his neck when he meets a threatening gang..

It was a warm summer Saturday. I had just wolfed down my breakfast, for I was eager to go on my weekly bike ride to downtown. I was going to get a donut for myself, and a white mouse for my four-foot pet rat snake. I had caught him earlier in the spring in my neighbor’s garden. I would normally have taken this ride alone, but today I took my snake, because it was such a warm, beautiful day.

I started riding the three-mile journey to Mickey’s Pastry Shop. It was a long trek over hills and train tracks, under a bridge, and through a bad section of town. My snake, a gorgeous brownish-green pattern, was draped around my neck, resting his head on my chest.

As I went under the bridge and out the other side, I saw movement in the trees to my right. I looked a little closer and saw a gang of five teenage boys up to no good. One of the boys noticed me and pointed at me with menacing eyes. The whole gang turned and started aggressively marching towards me, blocking my path. I brought my bike to a sudden halt, my hands quivering as I tightly gripped the handlebars.

I tried to think of something to say or do that would help me, but all I managed to eke out was a meek, high-pitched “Hey, fellas.” Being a skinny eleven-year-old boy, I thought that all hope was lost. As the gang closed in on me, my snake lifted his head from my chest to see why I had stopped. Suddenly the lead gang member stopped dead in his tracks. With wide eyes he pointed in fear and yelled out, “He got a bo’ ’strictor!”

I saw panic in all of their faces as they scattered in all directions. My snake and I were all alone, and a huge sense of relief filled me. My harmless rat snake had just unknowingly saved both of our lives. He got an extra fat mouse that day.

Sofia Brantley, daughter of the narrator; North Carolina, USA

Illustrator: Rachel Benitez Borrego; Missouri, USA



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story and/or illustration in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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