Jake came about as a result of a gift given to me by my sister at our 50th high school reunion. A rubber snake. Knowing full well my aversion to snakes, she tossed it down on the table, literally beneath my nose. Although I’m still not particularly fond of snakes, Jake has helped soften my stance somewhat.
This is the story of how a little snake named Jake came to live with Brother BudPie, a courageous, noble, stunningly handsome, soft-spoken, yet humble guy.
One time, not too long ago, not too far from here, there was a little snake named Jake. He didn’t remember being born, or much of his early snakehood, but he did remember a kind and loving person called Lemon Lady. She loved Jake, and he loved her. They went everywhere together. She even removed all the cold, hard coins from her coin purse, just so Jake had a safe and comfortable place to ride.
Lemon Lady, wise in the ways of little snakes, would let Jake roam around the house and eat spiders, for everyone knows that snakes love spiders. And Jake was no different. Oh how he loved spiders! Big ones, small ones, green ones, brown ones. And sometimes, if he happened to catch the occasional fly, well that was ok too.
But one day, Lemon Lady took Jake aside, and in a kind, loving voice, told him something that would forever change his life. “My Jakey” she said, because that was her pet name for him, she said “Jakey, my little snakey, I need to tell you something. You’re old enough that you need to know this. I’m not your mother.”
Needless to say, Jake was stunned. He was floored by this revelation. (He was floored most of the time anyway, being a snake and all). “You’re not my mother?” cried Jake, a tear rolling down his face, and splashing a very short distance to the floor. “My poor Jakey, no one knows who your parents are. I found you one day curled up on my doorstep, with a note, a very small note, attached just under your chin. It said ‘Please take care of my little Jake. I can no longer provide for him, as I have two dozen of his siblings that demand all of my time and resources.’ And it was signed ‘Jake’s real Mom'”.
Totally drained and emotionally exhausted, Jake went to bed, in the little woodpile next to the fireplace, where he always slept. He thought to himself, “I’ll never be able to sleep tonight.” But he did. And in the morning, when he woke up, not feeling much better, Lemon Lady was sitting on the floor right beside the woodpile.
“Wakey wakey, Little Jakey, we’re going on an adventure. Some of my very dear friends are meeting at an Old Timer’s Convention in Apple Land, where goodness grows on trees, and the Mexican food is superb. And we’re invited! I haven’t seen some of them in a very long time”. So off they went, Lemon Lady on her ten speed Schwinn bicycle that she won playing bingo at the Lemon Lovers League, with Jake, snug in her coin purse. They rode and rode, and rode some more. After what seemed like a very long time to Jake, they arrived at a beautiful, lush, parklike place, where some people were busy hitting and chasing little white balls. This didn’t make much sense to Jake, but he was young, and not very worldly. He shrugged, as much as he could, not having shoulders, and went inside with Lemon Lady.
A wondrous magical place awaited him there. Rows upon rows of tables, covered in white cloth. People walking to and fro. “Put me down, Lemon Lady, so I can crawl around” said Jake.
“Oh my baby Jake, you’re just a little snake, and a single clumsy foot is all that it would take, to turn my little boy into a skinny long pancake.” So she didn’t.
Not long after that, Jake’s senses were assaulted by a cacophony of sound, and his eyes were bedazzled by people, making weird gyrations in the middle of the room. “What madness is this?” thought Jake, for he had never seen or heard anything like it. Certainly not at Lemon Lady’s house.
But through all the noise and mayhem, Lemon Lady, in a soft, loving voice said “Come along Baby Snakes, there’s someone I’d like you to meet.” And saying that, she walked over to a table, near the back of the room, and carefully placed Jake, the little snake, in front of a tall (all people were tall to Jake), handsome, strong yet gentle, kind, funny, semi bald man. “Jake” said Lemon Lady, “I’d like you to meet Brother BudPie.”
Jake looked up, and up, and up. And all he could see were two large holes, with stuff growing inside. “A guy could get lost in there” thought Jake. But then he realized he was too close to Brother Budpie, and he scooted back. “Ah, much better”, and now his attention was drawn to the most beautiful, large, perfectly shaped, not too hairy, ears.
Jake was enchanted by the wing-like appendages protruding from the sides of Brother BudPie’s enormous head (to Jake, all peoples’ heads were enormous). “I bet you can hear everything!” blurted Jake, before he had a chance to think better of it.
“Yes I can, little snake, and I bet you’re wearing contacts.” said Brother BudPie, with a twinkle in his eye, and a chuckle in his mellow, kind, gentle voice, with just a hint of an accent, that may or may not have been Welsh. “I can hear secrets in the breeze, birds up in the trees, spiders when they talk, and even when they walk.” For Brother BudPie had the annoying habit of talking in rhyme. All the time.
“But” said Jake, with as much of a puzzled expression as he could manage, not having the benefit of eyebrows, “what makes you think I’m wearing contacts?” And Brother BudPie, without missing a beat, said “Because you don’t have any ears, little buddy. Bada bing, bada boom.”
“Hmmm” thought Jake, “sometimes you just have to roll with the flow.” But always on the lookout for a snack, Jake did not miss the reference to spiders. “Are you my dad?” said Jake, a quiver in his voice and longing in his heart. “Are there spiders where you live?” Because, as we now know, Jake loved spiders. “Would it be so bad if I were not your dad? If you would live with me, you soon would come to see, spiders all around, spiders on the ground, spiders on the chair, spiders everywhere.”
Only slightly annoyed, Jake looked up at Lemon Lady, with hope in his eyes, and seeing the loving smile on her angelic face, and the little smudge of lemon frosting on the corner of her mouth that he had come to love, he knew right then that he had found his forever home. And that’s the story of how Jake the Little Snake came to live with Brother BudPie, a staunch advocate for snake’s rights, defender of all critters, big and small, and President of the Local Chapter of Refrigerator Salesmen.