Dream of: 16 February 1997 (3) "Cobra"

I was driving a car along Route 140, the paved state road which stretches between Portsmouth and Oak Hill, Ohio, and I was headed in the direction of Portsmouth. Suddenly something in the road caught my attention, and I realized I had just passed by a black cobra sitting with its head and a portion of its body raised up about a foot, resting on the rest of its body wrapped in a coil on the ground.

I was just about to continue driving past, when suddenly I put on the brakes and came to a stop. I jumped out of the car, anxious to take a closer look at the cobra. But I was also concerned about the cobra's sitting in the road. I knew this was an unusual snake for this area, as I had certainly never seen one around here before, and I wanted to scare it off the road so it wouldn't be run over. As I stood about six feet away from it, I saw just how beautiful it was. It was completely black with its scales offset in dull gray.

But now I was in for yet another surprise: not fifteen feet away, also on the road, were yet two more cobras, sitting in identical positions – their heads raised about a foot off the ground. Looking now more closely at the cobras, I realized they all appeared to be quite young, perhaps just born from a nearby nest. More than ever I saw that I needed to scare them off the road so they wouldn't be run over.

However a new problem now confronted me: I had left the door to the car open, and Picasso and Chaucer had jumped out and were running around close to the cobras. Frantically I began calling to the dogs and trying to scare away the cobras at the same time. I was soon successful at the latter endeavor, as all three cobras suddenly slithered off the road into the weeds. I noticed that they were much shorter than I had anticipated – another sign that they were quite young.

My calling the dogs however wasn't quite as successful. Both dogs continued to ignore my calls as they ran back and forth across the road. Now I was becoming quite worried. I had stopped at a bend in the road, and if a car suddenly came around the curve, it might run over the dogs. I realized I had made a mistake by stopping. It was true that the cobras had been beautiful, and that they needed to be scared off the road. But I should have thought first about the dogs. I certainly didn't want to see them injured or killed, and it had been foolish of me not to first think about them.

As harshly as I could, I screamed "Come here! Come here!" I knew that sometimes the dogs could detect the earnestness in my voice when I spoke harshly to them, and were more likely to respond. And indeed, they did finally turn and head toward me.

I now realized I was riding a bicycle instead of a car, and I motioned for the dogs to jump into a basket which I had on the front of the bicycle. I knew it was going to be cramped for them there, but it was all I had for them at the moment.

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