|Hurt no living thing|
|Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless [snakes] that creep.
I used to teach my first and second grade children this poem every year. It was a favorite of mine and soon became a favorite of theirs when we learned about insects. The thing is, that I really do believe this philosophy. I try very hard to coexist with the creatures in my environment. Hence, when faced with a situation such as this snake I found trapped in bird netting in my chicken yard… well, I just had to set it free.
The poor thing! Its face and neck (do snakes have necks?) were completely entangled in the netting. It had apparently tried to chew its way through and made things worse. Miraculously, it was not cut by the tightly wound filament!
It took some work to get my little embroidery scissors under the strands and not puncture its skin, but eventually I got it loose. I then took it to the back fence and set it free in the weeds on the other side. I told it if it wanted to thank me, then it should live a long life and go eat lots of mice and voles!