Rattlesnake Kung Fu
A Fantastic Work Out to You All!
For the rest of your life.
I was driving along the road up here,
far side of the valley,
and all of the sudden,
out of a ditch about thirty feet to the right,
I see this hulking,
Looked like a gargoyle or something,
and it was moving,
it spread wing
and the biggest darn gold eagle i have EVER seen,
lurched into the air.
His body looked thicker than my 100 pound labbie,
and the wing spread,
It was majestic,
It flew in front of the car,
six feet off the ground,
wheeled across the valley
and disappeared over a ridge.
Ben Franklin said the national bird
should be a turkey.
Said eagles were scavengers,
turkeys were much more noble.
I always think about that.
Was he pulling our chain?
I try not to think about the politicians in Washington
when I think about that.
I would opt for the turkey.
that bit of humor aside,
I wondered about the eagle.
He hadn’t gone up,
just sailed sideways,
and i wondered if he was sick.
I have heard that birds prey upon snakes,
I don’t know,
seems sort of dangerous.
I’ve heard the story about the tai chi bird fending off the snake,
or the other way around,
but how would the bird kill the snake?
Take it into the air and drop it?
Watch it splatter on the hard rocks a thousand feet below?
Take that, snakey fellow…grrr.
I had been walking on that same stretch of fire trail,
more like cow path,
a month ago,
and I had killed my first rattle snake up here.
I had always wondered about killing a snake.
What do you do if you have no weapons?
Some of the things I had heard…
you just drop a rock on the head.
But there had been no big rocks around.
you shoot it with snake shot,
which is really bird shot,
but I didn’t have a gun with me.
one of the neighbors,
a mountain man name of George,
said he shot a snake once,
and he missed the head and hit the body,
aznd the snake had charged him,
actually chased him down the road.
So how do you kill a snake
when you have no weapons?
When I was a child of 4
I had seen some teenagers kill a snake.
It was back in Ohio,
I think a black snake?
I don’t remember much,
but I do remember this kid
grabbing the snake by the tail
swinging it around his head,
and cracking it like a whip.
Snapped its brains right out.
Did I have what it took to grab a rattler by the tail?
But when you see a snake up here
you HAVE to kill it.
That snake will bite you,
and it will bite your dog,
and it will cause slow, agonizing death.
If you’re a liberal greenie…
take a hike.
Animals will be harmed in the making of Monkeyland.
And animals will be saved,
and we will have a preserve,
and it will be happy…
IF we kill the snakes.
So I’m walking along the road this day,
and I see a three foot rattler crawling across the road.
All the stories go through my head,
rocks and snakeshot and snapping a whip.
I had no tools.
I had to kill the snake.
So I grabbed a two foot length of board
that was laying on the side of the road,
and a stick,
and I laid the board across the snake’s neck and stepped on it.
The snake hissed and snarled.
Opened his mouth and looked at me,
showed it’s fangs.
but the sight of the fangs,
and the way the snake looked at me,
I knew I had to be successful,
or Mr. Snake was going to be chasing me down the road.
So I took the stick and bashed its brains in.
the head was soft,
a big rock would have worked.
A snap of the whip would have worked.
But for a beginner,
a board and a stick worked.
And I wondered,
could I jump up in the air and land on the snake’s neck?
If I was wrong,
the snake would bite me.
The smaller the snake
the more deadly.
And snakes are fast.
But I could swing a stick,
maybe a pail if I was carrying water or lunch,
Top of the food chain here.
I think about Snake kung fu.
I watch the movies.
I see people training,
the way they go still,
the way they coil,
tense up and get ready to thrust.
that’s humans acting like they think a snake would act.
A little right,
a little wrong.
When you’re standing on a board,
with a snake snapping at you,
you know the right and the wrong.
whether your training is movie oriented or not,
is to practice that stillness,
practice opening your eyes,
because the key is to see it before it sees you,
and the key is to remain calm and do what you have to,
because the key is to see the tension in the body
before the strike,
then you can strike before the strike.
never pick a snake for a friend.
life is grand up here at Monkeyland,
at the ‘sky dojo,’
my temple in the clouds.
in the fifth book of
‘Matrixing Karate: Master,’
I list the concepts of Matrixing,
and how they were seen and accumulated and included
in the science of Matrixing.
you guys and gals,
the dojo awaits,
whether it is down the block, in your backyard,
or next to your computer…
so hit it,
and have a GREAT work out!