Atop Hawk Mountain, Pa., 2010

Atop Hawk Mountain, Pa., 2010
Photo by R.E. Berg-Andersson

Sunday, March 23, 2014


One morning, when Margo awoke from troubled dreams, she found herself transformed into a reptile.

The cold and the dry heat from the furnace had been making her skin scaly and pale all winter. Her balky back made her unable to stand upright so she pulled herself from bed and walked on all fours. She was terribly cold in the early morning so she made her way to her office, pulled herself into her chair and waited for the sun to stream through the shades and warm her.

Her husband would later find her asleep in the chair and scream.

But before then, she wondered how she had gotten into this predicament. After all, she had no desire to eat flies - although she'd never shied away from swatting them out of this life. She was not happy about walking through the dirt of the carpet. There was no way she would be using a vacuum cleaner now. Would her husband? No. She tried to chuckle at the thought.

Reptiles don't laugh, she discovered.

Perhaps she should have put on more cream on more areas of skin as this interminable winter has gone on.

One of the many reptiles of the world, a garter snake. (Margo D. Beller)
She kept hoping for spring but after some fits and starts it still hasn't come. Winter storms are predicted every other week. The flowers are weeks behind in blooming -- but that's ok because she has been weeks behind in getting the garden ready, removing the burlap, putting compost and mulch on the flower beds, cutting back the dried ornamental grasses.

It's been shocking to realize how late spring has been in arriving, even though the calendar says spring started on March 20. What does the calendar know? There is still some piled snow on part of the lawn!

Now, waiting for the sun's warmth. Margo the reptile realizes she won't be able to do any more garden chores.

Strangely, this doesn't upset her. In fact, it makes her feel rather happy. No more balky back, aching muscles in her arms, legs and shoulders.

Do reptiles eat chipmunks? That might be one way of keeping them out of the fenced-in garden plots. Same with the bad insects - not the ladybugs but the aphids that almost annihilated the butterfly weed last year.
Remembrance of springs past (Margo D. Beller)
A reptile won't care about barking dogs and screaming kids. In fact, a really fearsome reptile might scare a few kids out of the yard!

She had no mirror nearby to see how fearsome she looked.

Reptiles live a long time, too. If the world blew itself up tomorrow, she'd survive with the cockroaches. No need to be compelled to buy or pay for health insurance or federal and state taxes. No more bills! Take that utilities, credit cards and dentists! Free as a bird!

And reptiles are related to birds, too - or at least were at one time back in the dinosaur age. She won't be seeking them out in far-off places during spring and fall migration but at least she'll continue to feel a kinship with her winged cousins.

It just gets better and better!

She dozed. Her husband found her and screamed. She woke up.

She was no longer a reptile.