Earlier this week, a relatively warm afternoon somehow wedged itself between cold fronts. I enjoyed the simple pleasure of walking the hundred yards to my mailbox. Afterward, while making a beeline for the garbage can with a handful of credit card offers and other ways to spend money, I saw a roadrunner, but that’s not out of the ordinary since a pair of them live nearby and are neighbors year-round.
What brought me to a standstill was that the bird had a live long snake in its beak. It was obvious that the skinny serpent had no desire to be its lunch. And, it was clear that the roadrunner did not care for its proximity to me. It ran, or so it tried. It was, at first, very comical.
The snake encircled the bird’s legs and tripped it. The roadrunner had gained enough momentum that it slid on its beak before recouping balance and taking off again. This repeated several times in quick succession. That poor roadrunner floundered but refused to release its prey even as it approached a barbed wire fence with a dense stand of dried weeds along it. It appeared impassable.
Well, dear chaparral, it would seem you’ve met your match and might consider shorter snakes in the future, I thought.
The bird suddenly found footing, stood and took wing—snake still clutched and dangling like the tail of a kite. It was a genuine spectacle of nature.
As it disappeared behind a cedar tree to enjoy its meal, my smile faded away as I thought on what I had just witnessed. That bird refused to give. The snake refused to give up. But, in the end, there could be only one winner.
That’s life. That’s what we, as humans, do everyday—try to progress positives in measurable ways, defeating whatever downsides stand in our way.
So, tomorrow when you’re eating breakfast thinking about your day, ask yourself: Today, will I be the roadrunner or will I be the snake?
Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/Spring 2010
"Anne Bonny, Where Are You?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/May 2010