The question is: when is a snake an angel? I think I have an answer to this question – but I will let you decide. At our Thanksgiving place, the guest ranch outside of Tubac, we found a pretty big diamond back rattler on the patio right outside the dining room. It was late afternoon when one of our group noticed the snake only a couple of feet away from the ping pong table where the kids had been playing that afternoon. There was a lot of foot traffic all day, in out of the dining room, and then suddenly there was the snake. No one saw him get there; but there he was, stretched out against the wall. We speculated that he was attracted to the warmth of the wall. A crowd gathered around to watch the snake, who really didn’t do much except watch us back. We all waited until the Tubac fire department arrived. The firemen picked up the snake with a special stick with a loop on the end and put it in a box, so that they could relocate it away from people.
We watched them put the box in the fire truck and thought that was the end of the excitement. But when we came back to the main house about fifteen minutes later, the fire truck was still there. I was going to tease the firemen about hanging around until dinner time, but then I noticed that the owner of the ranch, Charlie, was sitting by the truck with several firemen attending to him. It turns out that Charlie hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of days. His family had tried to get him to see a doctor, but he had refused. But on that afternoon, Charlie was feeling worse and since the firemen were there anyway, he agreed to have them take a look at him. They examined him, put him on oxygen and called the paramedics. The paramedics arrived, examined Charlie some more and took him off to St Mary’s Hospital in Tucson.
We all realized that if that snake hadn’t been on the patio, Charlie would never have gotten medical attention at his doorstep. So why was the snake on the patio? Was it just there to get warm? Was it just a coincidence that the snake crawled up on the patio at that particular time? Or was it there so that we would call the fire department and have them send out the firemen just when Charlie needed them? Was the snake just a snake? Or was the snake an angel in disguise, sent to make sure that Charlie got the help he needed? Who knows for sure?
But I know what I prefer to believe — that particular snake was an angel and that it helped take care of Charlie. It’s up to you what you make of this story.
P.S. After being thoroughly checked over at the hospital and getting oxygen, Charlie came back home the next day, looking and feeling much better.