by Letty Watt
The funniest picture I never took happened the moment I threw out some old tuna salad. Now, you ask, why would throwing out tuna salad be a funny picture. The answer is easy. We lived in the country, and I often “juiced” our breakfast meal. So I had left over pulp that I took outside for the critters that lived around our country home East of Norman, Oklahoma. I had selected an area covered with low bushes and grasses very near the corner of our stonewall. On a regular basis I would take the pulp, peelings, or other tasty morsels outside past the stone wall and toss them to critters that could hide under the bushes and eat them.
One day I found a young deer sitting there, as if it were waiting on a treat. I sat quietly at the wall and just watched in silence. It was a quiet moment that I reflect on often to still my heart, but then that is not the funny picture. One energetic morning I decided to clean out the refrigerator, and that’s when I found the stale tuna salad bowl in the back of the shelf. It only smelled slightly of aging fish, so why would I waste it, knowing that some raccoon or opossum would delight in the aroma and taste.
With the refrigerator cleaned, I stepped out passed our stonewall to the bushes and tossed the aromatic bowl of tuna. Usually, the food hit the leaves of the bushes and settle down to the ground. On that day, at that moment it hit a snake squarely in the face as the snake lay resting on the bush. The snake reared his head first, in shock I’m sure. I yelped in surprise and jumped back hitting the stonewall that stopped my retreat. The two of us then stared at each other in wonder until I absolutely broke into laughter. I must have been the only person in the world to have ever laughed at a snake face covered in smelly tuna. The snake sent his fangs out, as if licking the tuna, then shook its head much like a dog shaking off water. Silently he slithered away humiliated, leaving me laughing out loud as I sat on the wall alone with nature at my side.
We’ve moved to Kansas since then, I miss those moments of country life, but I have the memories, and they restore my soul.
Letty Watt is a retired librarian/teacher and now spend as much time outside in nature as possible by gardening, playing golf, walking the dog, and studying the stars from her hot tub. Winter months bring her inside and she writes daily collecting stories that mutter around in her head.