A Snake Up Your Sleeve
I occur to have a girlfriend, Tana, who collects reptiles. She significantly loves lovely snakes, and sooner or later she lucked into an actual prize: a high quality massive reticulated python that had been raised since egg-hood as a pet. The snake was very tame, and preferred to cuddle with good, heat people. It by no means bit, by no means punched individuals with its nostril and by no means squeezed onerous, nevertheless it did prefer to cuddle and discover sleeves.
Tana was delighted together with her python, however she had a small downside: nowhere to maintain it. She requested me to babysit her new pet for the remainder of the day, and presumably in a single day, till she may purchase and arrange a correct cage for it. The snake would not be any downside, she insisted; it had been fed just a few days earlier than and had simply had water, so it would not want any explicit look after awhile. I agreed to babysit the snake, since I had a chilly and wasn’t going wherever. I supposed to spend the remainder of the day and night time wrapped up in heat pajamas and a heat wooly gown, doing nothing however sitting in an easy-chair, watching tv and swallowing chilly capsules.
This association was high quality with the snake, who was joyful to wrap round my waist below the wooly gown and benefit from the cuddling. So there we each sat within the easy-chair, myself and the python, watching TV and protecting heat. After awhile the snake felt at residence sufficient to do some exploring: up my aspect, throughout my shoulder and into the left sleeve of the gown. I did not significantly thoughts, since there was loads of room for each of us within the unfastened sleeve.
After which any individual got here knocking on the door. I let my roommate reply it, which was a mistake as a result of he was a mild-mannered soul who could not say no when the — you guessed it — pesky religion-salesmen insisted on pushing their method into the home. He simply pointed the spiritual pests at me, gave me an apologetic look, and fled.
I used to be making an attempt to think about a well mannered strategy to inform them to go away after they began into their spiel. About then I felt the snake inch its head previous my elbow, and that gave me a greater thought.
“Maintain it,” I mentioned. “Thanks, however I have already got a faith that fits me simply high quality. I am…a witch.” Properly, I knew some individuals who had been, anyway.
This being in California, the place the witch-religion — referred to as Wicca — has authorized standing, the religion-salesmen a minimum of had higher sense than to say that I used to be going straight to hell. As an alternative they tried insisting that their faith was a greater deal and supplied much better advantages.
In the meantime, the snake was working its method right down to my wrist.
“However my faith,” I put in, “Teaches me the way to do magic — actual magic.”
What kind of magic, they wished to know.
“For one factor, transformations,” I mentioned, as I clasped my arms and pulled the ends of the sleeves collectively. “I can become creatures apart from human.”
After all the spiritual pests expressed doubt that I may do that.
In the meantime, out of sight, I pulled my left arm again up the unfastened sleeve in order that my hand was lined by the material. Now the python’s head got here poking out of the sleeve-end and commenced poking into the appropriate sleeve.
“Oh, however I can,” I insisted, after which began chanting the names of assorted goddesses from historic mythology: “Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana — Isis!”
As I reached the final title, I pulled my arms — and the sleeves — aside and raised my arms. Sure, there was my proper hand, the identical as all the time…
However the place my left hand ought to have been, the python’s head and a very good six inches of neck stood out of the sleeve. The snake added to the impact by flicking its tongue on the religion-salesmen. Properly, they left somewhat rapidly. I needed to name my roommate to return shut the entrance door after them.
After that I tucked the python’s head again into the waist of my gown, swallowed one other cold-pill and went channel-surfing till I got here throughout a rerun of “Star Trek”. Tana confirmed up earlier than the present was over, having discovered and arrange a very good snake-cage rather a lot sooner than she’d anticipated. We unwound the snake from me, wound it round her waist as a substitute, and she or he put her coat on over it.
As she headed for the door she thought to ask: “Was Snakey any bother?”
“Oh no,” I grinned. “He was very well-behaved, actually.”
Useless so as to add, pesky religion-salesmen did not come knocking on my door once more.