Hell

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Today, no matter where we turned, a snake awaited us. Five of them, no two alike. If you ever run out of places to view snakes, head straight to east Oklahoma. This one I stopped to get out of the road. I'm not sure what it is, but not venomous, by the look of that skinny head. Probably just some kind of racer. Of the many snakes that keep popping up, I'm pretty sure one was a cottonmouth. I didn't see his head, but he was too fat to be anything else. Those, and the huge selection of rattlers here, are the most dangerous. 

The strange thing is that I have no personal fear of snakes. I don't like handling them, but I have. And whenever we bump into one, other than the shock if it's a surprise, they don't frighten me. But the fear of Roo being bitten again more than makes up for it. Every minute of the day is about worrying about snakes. They poison me with worry about Roo. Especially here, where the population of them seems so high.  

I was hoping to stick around because it is difficult to work on a book when traveling in that camper. But it's clearly time to move on. I have an opportunity to see one of my oldest friends for a few days if we rendezvous in south Arkansas. Snakewise, it'll be just as bad. Alligatorwise, worse. Roo will just have to tolerate a few days on a leash. I didn't let her run around at all here today.  

When I tell her that the reason why she's not getting to run free is because of the snake, and I touch her arm where she was bitten, she makes a doleful expression. I'm sure she knows exactly what I'm talking about. 

We were going to leave tomorrow, but now there are severe thunderstorms, which created a scene with Roo. They'll end soon, thank God. The atmosphere of fear, these years of it, is not easy. And please, those of you who complain that with a fearful dog I have no right to take her where there are thunderstorms, all I can say is there is no such place in America. None. Not even in the desert, and those are crawling with vipers. So, spare me. 

I just received word about the two strays. Both tested negative for heartworm and are healthy. They're headed to Minnesota in a couple of days. How strangely things work out for some dogs. One minute they're running around an Oklahoma street, the next they're traveling cross country. Or one minute they're on death row in Los Angeles and the next they're swimming in a mountaintop lake. 

Roo would identify.