True confession here. When I was a teenager, I was deathly afraid of snakes. It was so bad that I couldn’t look at pictures of them or watch them on TV. I can even remember one road trip where my family drove through Monument Valley and I was too scared to venture far from the car and walk in the dessert.
I’ve gotten over it pretty much, mainly from experience and the fact that I see them so seldom, even with the amount of hiking I do. I’m not interested in touching or befriending them, but I can sleep in a floorless shelter at night and not worry about a visitation.
When I see a snake, I just give it a wide berth and make lots of noise with my walking poles to scare them off if they’re not slithering away already. I see lots of garter snakes, giant black snakes in New York State and a variety of much rarer snakes in New England.
Fear of snakes is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of: even Indiana Jones suffers from it. The current theory is that it’s an innate reaction programmed into our brains, but I think I probably picked it up from my parents as a learned behavior. How else can you explain the fact that my fear has lessened as I’ve grown older?
How about you?