Snake Food My last article was about Annabelle, a little rat we had that changed the way I see life. I'm sorry to have to report that Annabelle died Sunday afternoon May 1st, 2011. But this isn't about her. Today we were in the local pet store to pay a small bill. Out of habit we always end up back in their rat section, not that we need any more, we just always check to see if they have any unique or special ones. It's important that you understand they have two rat sections, the one for pet rats, and the other one for 'feeder rats' . Those poor things are never handled, never shown any love or affection, the only purpose if for them to be sold as food for snakes. I think this is abhorrent and cruel, I should mention that Kim, the manager/owner feels the same way I do and doesn't approve or encourage the practice but has to sell some because some sadistic people insist on only feeding their snakes live rats. Feeder rats, because they have never been involved with people in a positive way are usually psychotic and mean. Today, I happened to see a hooded male with a pretty charcoal color. My next statement will be impossible for a lot of people to understand, but if you have a rat you'll know exactly what I mean. When dogs and cats look at you they seem to look at you, not into you. Rats on the other hand make eye contact, their eyes meet your eyes and something happens. I was looking at this poor rat, thinking about what his fate would be and something snapped in me. I had just lost a rat that I love and I resolved myself that if I could, I would save THIS rat, if I couldn't save any other rat I would save this one from it's fate. Why? I guess partly because I was (am) still in mourning for Annabelle and partly because this guy looked me right in the eye, it was a sad, desperate, hopeless look, something else you won't understand unless you have a rat, and I made up my mind to save it. I reached in the cage, it went crazy. That was expected, I kept my hand there and brushed it over his back as he ran around insanely. Keep in mind this guy was traumatized and would take patience. Usually I'm quite good with them, I've thought about changing my facebook ID to the rat whisperer but that's neither here nor there. After several tries I did something I usually strongly advise against, I picked him up by the tail. This is like picking up a child by an arm and not good, but it was only for a few inches for a second. My plan was to get him in my hands then talk to him softly, breath on them gently, (it helps to relax hem and helps to get to know each other. Dogs have other ways of getting to know each other but I'm not going there, rats are much more civilized. I had hoped that once in my hands he would calm down. If he would calm down I would have taken him in a second. Our rats live like royalty, they get the best of everything and life with us is the pinnacle or high life for a rat. The only problem was that he didn't relax. It soon became apparent that as soon as I relaxed my grip he was going to nail me. It would happen, I just had to accept it. Still I wanted to give him every chance, I just couldn't stand the thought of his fate. Finally I relaxed my grip, he nailed me in two places. None of our rats bite, ever. The only time they bite is by accident, when we hand them something to eat that's small and they like, they grab first then realize it's us and not food. But that isn't their fault. In this case, they were hard deep bites, my hands were bloody and dripping all over the cage and floor, and my shirt and pants. Fortunately there weren't any customers in the store or they would have tripped out and thought rats are mean and vicious, which isn't true. It broke my heart but he was going to be snake food. I wanted to show him compassion and love and all I received was bloody holes in my hands. Then the parallel occurred to me and the pain in my hands felt insignificant. If you're a Christian, you already know where this is going, if you're not I will explain. We were born into a hard cruel mean world, a world full of snakes, snakes bigger than we can fight or run away from. God, being who He is, wanted to show us compassion, to take us home with Him and live like royalty. We had the choice of either to jump in his hands and curl up, or to do what we did. We pierced His hands, we drew blood from the one being in creation that wanted to help us. Actually we did a lot worse to Him but even then He would claim us as His own, take us home, give us the coolest housing, neatest toys, food that we can't imagine. The rat today I can be sure never tried whipped cream or mashed potatoes. He had been raised on dry, hard, tasteless rat blocks. I tried my best to give him a chance, but in the end his fate was the same as before I saw him, to be eaten alive by a snake. God doesn't want to, but if we keep biting Him and fighting Him, our fate will be much the same. Not a snake, but something much much worse. Some people think they can fight the snakes. I see movies all the time, some hideous demon threatens the world and only one person can save it. I always find it interesting that these movies always mention the devil but never mention God. Why? Because we're so arrogant that we can do it without Him, man always wants to be the main character, the hero. The biggest snake, satan, is way too big for us to fight or run from, has no interest in bargaining with us or our allegiance, he wants us dead. Like the rat today, we have one chance for life, one. Here's a clue, biting the hand that wants to save us isn't the way. Trying to beat the devil... well, it ain't going to happen, this nonsense about selling your soul for favors is also nonsense. You soul doesn't belong to you anyway. You didn't make it, it doesn't have your name on it, it isn't yours to sell, and satan knows it. You might think you can offer him some other rats, like you, in exchange for your life. He will eat all of them then you last. No, there is no way to get past him. So we come down to the punch line: Why don't you wise up, stop trying to bite the only hand that can save you, and live forever with whipped cream, cool toys, the neatest house around, and love eternally. You can't beat satan, and you can't join him, all you can do when you hang out with snakes is get eaten. God, like me, will leave you to that fate if it's want you want, but what kind of doofus would want that?
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