Willie Nod and Benny Rattler

This poem was not part of the original book i created for Sam in 2014. i keep finding strays like this one and will post them here if they are “pretty good” enough. i think Sarah had some accompanying drawings,but i can’t find them this morning.

Willie Nod and Benny Rattler

Willie Nod finally stayed home for a while.
His parents had a nice home with a large hill at the end of the backyard.
Willie Nod liked to walk up to the top of the hill.
He thought he could see the world from the top of the hill.

One day in the heat of summer, Willie Nod walked up the hill to see the world.
He heard the sound first.
It sounded like a high speed drill his daddy would sometime use in his workshop,
But then Willie spotted the rattlesnake.
The snake was coiled up with his rattlers on his tail shaking and forked tongue hissing.

Now Willie Nod, as we know, had the ability to talk to many animals,
But he had never talked to a snake, especially a rattling, hissing, poisonous one.
Willie Nod had heard snakes can’t hear, so he was worried.
Without many other options, Willie Nod decided to hiss
Because he didn’t think he could rattle.
He still didn’t know if the snake could hear or understand his hissing if the snake could hear.

Surprisingly, the hissing worked. He began talking to the rattlesnake:
“Snake, how come you are being so hostile?
“Why are you acting like you want to bite me with your poison fangs?”
The snake replied,
“I don’t want to hurt you;
“I just want to see the world from the top of my hill.”

The snake relaxed a little bit from his coiling and the rattling ceased.
“I’m not being hostile,” the snake said in his hissing way,
“I’m just being defensive;
“After all, it looked like you were going to step on me
“While i lay on this path with the sun warming me,
“And that would hurt, if not kill me.”

You see, snakes are cold blooded so they like to be warm
like to bathe in the sun when it’s shining to keep warm.

He continued, “And don’t call me ‘Snake’;
“My name is Benny Rattler
“And i’m proud of it.”

“Okay, Benny Rattler,” Willie Nod returned the hissing,
“Then why is it everyone talks about how dangerous you are?”
“Well, you see,” the snake responded,
“We snakes are dangerous when we are threatened.
“I’ve got my wife snake with twelve little rattler babies
“Down in that hole a ground squirrel dug for us;
“If i have to protect them, i am very dangerous.
“But most of the time, i’m just trying to get along
“And not cause any more trouble than a normal snake.”

“Of course,” Benny Rattler continued, “We have a few of us
“Who mess everything up for the rest of us,
“Always trying to cause trouble, hurt people when they haven’t done anything.
“These bad act snakes think they are most important
“And keep trying to prove how big they are when they really are
“Very, very small, not big at all;
“Just big bullies.”

“And then,” Benny Rattler continued and continued,
“A lot of people think all of us are like the bad snakes,
“And they make up tales about us,
“And tell stories about people falling into snake pits,
“And then make movies about us,
“And it scares a lot of folks, especially women,
“But all we really want is to be left alone.”

“Do you want me to leave you alone, Benny Rattler?” Willie Nod asked.
“No, Willie Nod,” Benny Rattler exclaimed,
“I like you.”

So almost every day, Willie Nod walked to the top of the hill.
In addition to seeing the world, Willie Nod and Benny Rattler
Would meet at the top and hiss about all of the things
You think a little boy and a rattlesnake would talk about,
they became good friends.

But Willie Nod never, ever tried to scare Benny Rattler
Nor make him think he was in danger.
their friendship lasted a long, long time.



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