As I rode through the desert all around me, were cactus and sand with lizards and scorpions scurrying to avoid me.
With the sun in my eyes and the heat on my back, I was looking for a place to settle in for the night.
A long scaly old rattlesnake with green piercing eyes was lying underneath an old oak tree.
He rattled his tail as I started to stop, sitting on top of my horse "Dude" who was nervous as hell seeing the venomous old rattlesnake.
I looked around and there was no outcrop of rock to hide me from the glare of the sun.
I needed a rest and the sun glaring in my eyes, I just couldn't find a spot to hide.
This was the place I'd have to camp for the night, with no room for the snake and me together throughout the night.
I hated to vie for a fight but there was no choice with the hot sand around me.
I knew that it had to be his life or mine to lose, you see.
His frightening rattled warning was enough for me.
That shady spot I so desperately needed, I knew I would have to leave.
"Rattlers' have no mind to share, he whispered to me with a long lasting stare.
I could keep right on going was all that he cared.
My thought to pull my trusty Colt forty-five and skin him alive was only that.
As I eyed him he sat up and spat straight at my eyes.
He'd seen too many cowboys and now he was wise tht I would try to steal his hide.
The scales on his hide a belt he could make, worth more than the money in my pocket, could I shake.
I had him in my sight, thinking what a dinner I would devour tonight.
I pulled the trigger thinking that I could take him down, when all of a sudden he jumped straight up at me.
He grabbed my saddlebag between his fangs and hung on with his eyes glaring at mine, telling me to move on and leave him behind.
We were staring eye to eye with him daring me to try.
I sat there shaking and reading his mind, wondering if I should dare to try.
He was saying "Put down your gun, and I'll release my bite. My hide, I am sure I will keep tonight."
Shaking in my tattered chaps, I rattled my lucky old spurs loud and hard.
They were rusted on my old cowboy boots as I prayed that this quick trick would really work.
If this didn't work then I wouldn't have a bite to eat or any place to camp and sleep.
This fight I was in for I did not want, so I jangled them loud and hard sounding just like an old rattlesnake.
The sound they made were of an old rattler looking for a fight.
This was the last thing that I wanted tonight.
His response was to let go and slither away, not looking back sure that I wouldn't stay.
I hadn't thought about my next move, I just reached for my Colt forty-five and shot him right through the head just praying to God and hoping that he was dead.
Dismounting my dear old horse I said, "Dude, you'd better pray that he is dead."
Dude knickered with a sigh knowing that I had a good eye and could shoot a fly right out of the sky.
I strode over to the snake and poked him with a long pointed stake; waiting for him to shake that tail that I feared, but as I looked down I could see that he was dead.
His Spirit lie there waiting for me to give thanks and offer him to the Universe and the Sun.
His only wish was to let his Spirit be one with the world as his thoughts disappeared into the Universe.
In the game of life it is an honor to preserve the Soul if you lose the game of life and give up without a fight. He knew that it was his time to leave life behind.
I immediately pulled out my trusty old knife and carefully skinned his hide as I admired it with love. I hung out his hide to dry to make myself a belt. This belt would remind me of this terrible fight and the delicous dinner that I would have tonight.
His meat was nice and tender and just what I needed, for I hadn't had a decent dinner since I left my wife back home for the night.
Playing in my mind just what I would share with her about this terrifying fight,
I pulled my blankets off of Dude and tied him to the tree, thanking God that my life I could keep.
I knew that he would be safe standing beside me as I slept and dreamed of the old rattlesnake and how he lost his precious life.
Written by: Tamara Lesley