Title: Based on a true story . . .
created on 25 May 20

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Comments on this picture (73):
1. chelydra wrote:
 ...which I will gladly tell eventually but now it's past my bedtime. Note that the identities of the main characters have been slightly altered to protect their privacy.
2. chelydra wrote:
 But I can reveal that's me in the foreground, observing.
3. Hazer wrote:
 Do tell...
4. chelydra wrote:
 So once upon a time, when being in Australia seemed to be mainly about getting used to gray foliage, dry soil, everything hot and bleak, there was an afternoon down at the waterhole...
5. chelydra wrote:
 cool, clean, lovely water it was back then, when the creeks were still free-flowing, before the Regional Council installed a big pump upstream (to create the illusion of abundant water available for new developments)
6. chelydra wrote:
 (But don't let me get started on all that or we'll lose the original story of that delightful afternoon by the waterhole.)
7. chelydra wrote:
 So me and Mvmxxiii, along with her #ii and #iii, had swum and sunned on the rocky slopes under the canyon wall, next to where a little waterfall swirls and burbles down into the deep mysterious little lake below.
8. chelydra wrote:
 Lo and behold, a fluorescent green tree snake, fabulously long and skinny and beautiful, was slowly wending its sinuous way through the branches of a little tree-like thing, like a calligrapher on acid very slowly drawing mad curly-queues
9. chelydra wrote:
 ...and there on the rock below the branches a delightfully cute and sweet little water dragon, barely out of diapers, innocently basked in the crystalline afternoon light
10. chelydra wrote:
 and if I didn't know better, I'd have sworn this snake must have studied the strategic theories of Captain Basil Henry Liddell-Hart...
11. chelydra wrote:
 because his casual nonchalant offhandishly relaxed sinuosities were, on closer examination, perhaps not quite so aimless and amiable as they at first appeared...
12. chelydra wrote:
 [to be continued]
13. Hazer wrote:
 go on...please!
14. chelydra wrote:
 With almost imperceptible little currents and wavelets of contractions and relaxations, this astonishingly handsome serpent, millimeter by millimeter, was millimetering closer...
15. chelydra wrote:
 (I would saying "inching" closer but that would be inaccurate, far to gross, clumsy, and bull-in-a-china-shoppish to describe this infinitely patient & graceful stealth)
16. chelydra wrote:
 too
17. chelydra wrote:
 ...but not closer to the target itself (like I said, this creature was a consummate strategist, and even the most naive and unsuspecting of prey would have be alarm and fled the scene as soon as the first strong whiff of snake oil wafted by his elegant li
18. chelydra wrote:
 [beEN alarmED] ... little nostrils), but rather towards the pivotal strategic point, as Gen Meade surreptitiously marched his troops and artillery up to the summit of Little Round Top, from which he would control the action to come...
19. chelydra wrote:
 Now you might not believe that a baby water dragon with somehow have acquired (or been born with) an almost clairvoyant awareness of battlefield conditions that would make Robt E Lee himself look like a rank amateur...
20. chelydra wrote:
 ...but we're getting ahead of ourselves... (and WITH needs to corrected to WOULD)
21. chelydra wrote:
 (I know, I know, the entire reading public for this story is 100% Canadian, and the educational system up there is more concerning with training future citizens to shovel snow and suck up sludge out of tar sands . . .
22. chelydra wrote:
 . . . than with imbuing the youth with an appreciation of the heroic deeds of your neighbors across the border, and names like Meade, Little Round Top and perhaps even Robert E Lee may mean nothing to you...
23. chelydra wrote:
 ...but bear with me, okay?) (Back up a couple of hatboxes, please turn concernING into concernED)
24. chelydra wrote:
 So anyway, after about ten or fifteen minutes of incredibly patient positioning, this amazingly beautiful snake is finally ready... everything is where it must be to ensure a good result (from snake's p.o.v.) . . .
25. chelydra wrote:
 Almost invisibly, the snake tenses like a compressed shock absorber on 1951 Studebaker (Our spell checker refuses to believe there is such a thing as a Studebaker! Surely you remember the last of the breed was bred on Canadian soil, not all that kong ago
26. chelydra wrote:
 (kong>long) anyway, for a breathless eternity (c.f. Blake, "to experience eternity in an eggshell and infinity in a snakeskin" or however it goes—that's what it was like; indeed, I feel that moment is resonating yet— 3 or 4 yrs later & 9,000 miles awa
27. chelydra wrote:
 y. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Let me know if you're still interested and if we're lucky it will be done in one o two more installments. I must rest up now, to prepare for what's to come!.
28. chelydra wrote:
 (In chatbox #23, the autocorrection system gave us hatboxes, and I better send this off before it happens again)
29. Hazer wrote:
 Fortunately, spring has come to the Rockies,the snow has melted, and the covid-19 bondage is slowly lightening it's grasp. Canadian's have been out and about,
30. Hazer wrote:
 keeping a wary eye on the rising waters that threaten to over run the river banks, whist peering at the ground
31. Hazer wrote:
 (whilst peering)in great anticipation of the appearance of tiny seedlings, planted lovingly, several weeks earlier.
32. Hazer wrote:
 But in spite of this flurry of activity, there remains the irresistible desire to read on...even at 4 am.
33. chelydra wrote:
 I sat there on that smooth basalt rock, exercising all the will power I could access to suppress my Christian duty of alerting this innocent babe of a water dragon to...
34. chelydra wrote:
 ...the ghastly fate about to shoot out of the sky (the branch overhead, which might as well be sky from a baby water dragon's point of view I presumed)
35. chelydra wrote:
 Quicker than a Stuka dive bomber, a whole lot quieter, and just as merciless! I vividly foresaw the drama about to open and close in the next few seconds, and cursed the laws of nature that we all supposedly must respect.
36. chelydra wrote:
 (I feared my residue of sanity might not survive another catastrophic encounter with reptilian carnage (the box turtle tangled up in the lawn mower, the mayor's tire-iron assault on a wandering snapping turtle outside the annual church fair)
37. chelydra wrote:
 but I knew my hosts and witnesses would condemn me as a misguided wuss if I didn't quietly let Mother Nature have her way.)
38. chelydra wrote:
 (So that's what I did.) But Mother Nature is a clever old witch, and her witchcraft takes unexpected twists and turns! There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, as Hamlet put it.
39. chelydra wrote:
 In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, my all-time favorite aphorism: "The world is so full of a number of things, that I think we all should happy as kings!"
40. chelydra wrote:
 be
41. chelydra wrote:
 Mustn't forget that Be. Without it, how could we ever "Be. Here. Now."? How would we "Don't Worry! Be Happy!" Or appreciate that "A poem should not mean but be"?
42. chelydra wrote:
 And it was from that state of Being and Acceptance, surrendering to fate, respecting the will of the universe and what I assumed would be the predictable sadistic whims of Mother Nature...
43. chelydra wrote:
 ...settled quietly in my front row seat (well actually on the edge of it, gritting teeth, clenching fists, wanted to look away but unable to resist the snuff film about to be projected onto my oversensitive yet irrepressible memory...
44. chelydra wrote:
 For a full ten minutes this snake had got herself (her? why not) into striking distance, and for another minute or so had slowly slowly stretched her form like a taut crossbow, and was just pulling the trigger when...
45. chelydra wrote:
 ...which leaves us exactly where we were twenty (count 'em —twenty!) hatboxes (Hatboxes, @#$%!!!) CCCCCChatboxes dammit) ago...
46. chelydra wrote:
 ...when our little friend the water dragon hopped sideways about 8-10 inches in one quarter of second, cool as a moose and quiet as a miniature Rolls-Royce.
47. chelydra wrote:
 Little Dragon basked in sun, as before, relaxed as only a baby water dragon in the sun can be.
48. chelydra wrote:
 Long Snake was nonplussed, stuck in that taut striking pose that was no longer optimum striking distance. What had been an artful manifestation of majesty and omnipotence now looked a bit silly.
49. chelydra wrote:
 Little Dragon nonchalantly feigned ignorance of the psychological breakdown threatening to explode in the branches overhead, blinking happily in the still-warm still-bright sun.
50. chelydra wrote:
 Well, that was just Act One, because as the spider in the cave advised Robert the Bruce, 'If at first you don't succeed, try they again'.
51. chelydra wrote:
 Another ten minutes of surreptitiously sinuous slithering and tweaking ensued. Once again, the ideal position was established, and once again, the striking pose was finally perfect and...
52. chelydra wrote:
 ...once again Little Dragon hopped sideways, once again taking care to land on one of the remaining warm bright parts of the sun-splashed rock.
53. chelydra wrote:
 It's VERY important here to mention a typo in (C)hatbox #50, in which "try, try again" became "try they again"—because it wasn't just one try again.
54. chelydra wrote:
 And so after another brief intermission the curtain rose on Act Three, which turned out to be an exact repeat of Act One and Act Two.
55. chelydra wrote:
 A faint trace of discouragement now clouded the once-confident smiling face of Long Snake. That lovely smile looked a bit forced, then faded. The afternoon sunsplashes were less bright and less warm. on the sloping stone balcony overlooking the water hole
56. chelydra wrote:
 Soon we would succumb to shade, as the grown-ups of the dragon clan enjoyed another hour or two of full sun on the vertical rockfall across the water.
57. chelydra wrote:
 Exactly how did it end? To be truthful, I don't remember which one of us three departed first. It was like the end of an all-night high-stakes poker game when dawn pales the curtains...
58. chelydra wrote:
 ...a garbage truck makes its rounds and a robin or two gloatingly chirps about early worms gotten, when win, lose or draw, the participants feel mostly just exhaustion...
59. chelydra wrote:
 ...after investing so much energy for so long into maintaining their composure, their expressions of benign indifference, their illegible body language.
60. chelydra wrote:
 All together we rose, stretched, snuffed out a cigar butt, put on a hat, grumbled inaudibly about having better luck next time...
61. chelydra wrote:
 ...the undefeated champion trying not to smirk too offensively, but unable to suppress a little twinkle in that heavy-lidded all-knowing eye...
62. chelydra wrote:
 ...and we all shuffled off to bed... Mercifully unhaunted by memories of a murder in our midst...dreaming instead of row on row of happy seedlings taking root...
63. chelydra wrote:
 And the only thing I need to add is that each time, Little Dragon waiting until Long Snake appeared to be within on second of pouncing... Neither snake nor I transmitted any signal to LD. LS's movements did not come faster or louder.
64. chelydra wrote:
 I was, meanwhile, faithfully upholding my responsibility to Let Nature Take its Course, careful to not suddenly breathe heavily or twitch as I saw LS get almost imperceptibly ready for the kill.
65. chelydra wrote:
 And each time, LD's sideways movement was just a single little hop, executed calmly and flawlessly, with an absolute minimum or movement, and going the absolute minimum distance that would outwit the complex geometry (or trigonometry?) of LS's intended tr
66. chelydra wrote:
 trajectory. (OR movement should say OF movement.) It was like trick photography or special effects—you would see NO jumping movements, just an instantaneous relocation.
67. chelydra wrote:
 Do reptiles have psychic powers? You already know the answer I'm sure, which is of course: Those who know don't say and those who say don't know. The End
68. Hazer wrote:
 Entertaining, as always. I have witnessed similar scenarios with different actors. Well told. Look forward to more adventures.
69. chelydra wrote:
 Thanks... I'll have to get out and seek some new adventures I guess. Although I suppose I have lifetimes worth of yarns about adventures in computer games (current showcase)...
70. Hazer wrote:
 wish I could draw but adobe flash is blocked on my computer. Apparently it was the source of viruses and hackers.
71. KliaMia wrote:
 Delightful and witty tale! It's always a pleasure reading your comments and viewing your drawings.
72. chelydra wrote:
 Thank you KliaMia, and it's also delightful that you found time to drop in!
73. chelydra wrote:
 Hazer— the adobe flash business may be frustrating, but you can probably find a preferences menu someplace. I will put this in a Forum as a new topic (unless I can find a discussion already started).



User: chelydra

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Date joined: 9 May 2009

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