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well,their was this sneaky moccasin at the wates edge,and,folks,I'm here to tell you,it was A bad day for that 'lil feller.
I was about 11, balmy,it was aout 6:30 a.m.,summetime and the clicker was doin his mornin stroll around the south lake of the westwoods in miami.he'd started at the Bellecki dock about A 1/2 hr. earlier.he didn't cut no ice when it came to makin his way around to the mouth of the lake where the canal was that joined the 2 lakes.
he was A good fisherman,and A better swimmer.he'd bee raised up on that lake.his mom had allowed him and his brother to start their galavantin rather young,or early however you'd call it.she'd been walkin them to it for A couple of years now.when they were about 5 and 6 Big marge had taken them to Mae's house,out to the dock,and with out A word,other than sayin to look in the water to see if they could see some fish,she reached over and kicked them both in.she looked down and told them to do what she'd been showin them to do in the bath tub.up until then they'd been to the lake but never really allowed to swim.we could never get wet.
ya see,when they'd be takin baths she'd fill the tub up,an one at A time she'd have them to act as if they were swimmin, strokin their arms and kickin their legs.she must have felt right good about her learnin time,cause them 2 boys went straight down,then came sputterin back up.and in her not so nice voice she told them to swim,cause if they didn't they'd drown and that were that.
well, that lesson was A study,which would haunt them for their entire childhood.Big Marge was A study in mankind.
she didn't play when it came to right,wrong and the delivery of A message or A lesson.so them boys had that big woman sayin to them,sink or swim you sob's and I don't care which you choose.so them boys,they flailed,and choked and stroked.By all that ain't right about this though,they swam.and when they got back on the dock she cuffed them on the head and told them to jump in and swim.they kinda looked at her sideways so she went and got A stick.now,this woman knew her mess.
she walked back out onto that dock,reached into her jean shorts pocket and produced A hand full of nickles.she told them matter of fact like what was gonna happen.she was gonna throw the stick and they were gonna race to the end of the dock,the first to dive in and get the stick would get A nickle.
so it was on.she threw the stick about 5 ft.and my little brother,who was faster on his feet(he'd always been more fleet our whole lives)dove in and got it.she did it again and he got that one also.and again short,he got it and again.I didn't give up,momma always admired me for that feature.so she threw it way out there.we both watched it splash way out,it seemed like half across the lake.my brother and I looked at each other,it was then,I knew how his fear looked on his face.I smiled and he smiled,he set this one out.I ran,and I ran fast,I felt like Johnny Weismuller,I dove like he did,an I imitated him,them big long strokes and powerful kicks.when we'd watch Tarzan on TV momma would tell us to see how he did it.I didn't know then what the mechanics to swimming was and didn't learn that was what it was until i joined the HS swimming team.
I swam,I was only 6 but I felt good doing it.I got to that stick,and treadin water I grabbed it,and without hesitation threw it further out,and I swam to get it.I turned around with that stick and headed in.
when I got to that dock momma snatched me outta the water grabbed me by my chin,looked down at me and then she smiled,I'd touht she was gonna whop me good,she just told me I was he!! on fire.shegave me 5 nickles,and my brother another one.when we got hom she told us to ride to 7/11 and spnd ou whole 5 nickles.7/11 was on Miller rd. and 107,we lived on 49 terr. and 107.we were allowed to ride our bikes there and had been for awhile,and now we could go to the lake without anyone to watch us.
so I was fishin all the holes.I knew where they were cause old man Don Velasquez used to say ya had to know where the drops and holes were.so I took my mask,and for years would watch fish in the holes and drops along that lake.
so I'm makin my way around to the cut,I'd caught several bass.I'd fnally made my way arund to thelast house.it had A lot that had at least 250 ft. of shoreline along the lake and 75 ft. along the canal.
the lady that lived there lived alone.and her yard waslike A jungle.she had every tree imaginable that'd grow in rural dade,every hedge and every bush.and when she mowed it she'd just cut paths between everything.
so,i'm walkin along this shoreline,castin to the few holes from all 3 angls I could get from shore.I'm not payin much attention to where I'm puttin my feet.and it happens,I'd stepped over A moccasin,bein sneaky like he's jsut covered by the grass along the bank.
the thing about this yard for us as kids back then was it's jungle look.it was he first yard we'd seen cuban chamelons in,it was the best yard for catchin the buffo toads we' sell to the shed pet store and their was always snakes almighty there.
on this day the snake God must have been on my side,cause I don't know how it came to be or where it came from but this big blue/black streak came from the bush behind me,that mocc was A breath from snatchin ahold of my leg and that savior of an indigo got 'im.don't ask me what happened next,I didn't bother to look back or down.I got from 'roun them parts with A quick fashion.
then I felt the warmth on my leg,andthe doom set in, it'd happened,or so I'd thought.I'd thought that mocc got me.
I looked down,knowin I'd see my blood mixed with venom around my ankle. yet their was no blood,their was no venom,
folks,I'd p'd my pants.
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