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Prairie Rattlesnake

By John I. Blair

When I was a lad
I went fishing with my Dad
In the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas.

The beautiful land
Was green and grand
And covered with waving bunchgrass.

We parked in a meadow
Full of sun without shadow
And toted our tackle to the water

Where we spent happy hours
In cottonwood bowers
Coaxing catfish to the slaughter.

At day's demise
With satisfied sighs
We walked back to our Desoto,

But on the way Dad said
Snakes like to make their bed
In a shady spot under an auto.

I gave careful thought
How to keep from being caught
And my heart was all a-thumping,

So taking maximum stride
I really really tried
For a record in broad jumping.

I shuddered to think
I'd have been to the brink
If I hadn't had my Dad as warden;

How quickly Eden goes
When some serpent sticks its nose
And the rest of it into the garden!

2002 John I. Blair  

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