Ok, so I think it’s going to be 6 groups.

Cool, can you explain how you got there?

You may ask yourself

How did I get here?


I’m in the middle of a zoom, talking division with a student, when something hitting the ground outside the window draws my attention.

Is that a stick

The stick appears to be moving.

Curving across the grass.


Third snake in three days now. Apparently this yard is a Death Eater hot spot.

The first, a green and orange beaut who just wanted to get away.

The second, seen late at night just outside the window, muted colours, greys, greens, blues. A single black stripe the length of its body. This one was big. Like, ‘extend the length of the two-meter window’ big.

In a hurry though, so, quickly seen and quickly gone. I was okay to see it move along.

Some things are best not to ruminate on.

Does it have a home in the vacant green space on the other side of the fence? Does it have a family?

Are there more?

A lot more?

Three snakes in 3 days seems like a lot. But I’m new to the area, and the reactions of locals are encouraging.

I explain to the woman who tends the garden next door that there have been a couple snakes the past couple days.

She is unfazed.

It’ll go away

She points at the undergrowth and says, with her body

Don’t sweat it.

This encourages me.

There is something in these moments.

The ones we choose to notice.

And the moments that notice us.

We sleepwalk through life, so often.

How did I get here

Today, the magical snake flying through the sky and landing on the lawn has me wide awake, eyes wide open, and asking questions.

B, can you hold on a second? A snake just landed on the grass outside my window.


We’re both excited. He reminds me that he asked his folks for a corn snake, without a yes, yet.

What color is it? Is it big?

Nice to have a herpetologist along for the ride.

I attempt to show him, strain to adjust my laptop to get the snake in frame. And as I do am struck by just how invisible this critter is. I’m looking right at it, and still struggle to parse it from grass.

Not to mention, my questions.

Like, where the heck did it come from?

It must have been up, somehow.

I squint into the sun. There’s no tree above where the snake landed. And no chance it could have been on the deck up top.

I am perplexed.

Can the snakes here fly?

Did it leap tall buildings in a single bound?

Tossed by a bird of prey? Dropped by a kite sailor?

The snake suddenly has David Byrne’s voice

You may ask yourself,

how did I get here?

And when you consider that a talking snake would literally be just a talking head

it now somehow seems to fit.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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  1. I love the different voices you bring into this piece. The one in your head, the neighbor’s, your student’s, and yours spoken aloud, steady even as your mind reels with curiosities. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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