Twice Bitten

Over the course of my 44 years I've been bitten twice. The first time was when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was sitting on my front lawn playing with a snake and it bit me on the finger. I screamed ... and I quickly discovered that it wasn't about to let go, so I screamed again. I envisioned it swallowing me whole, finger first! I swung my hand around wildly and finally had to pry the snake's little fangs from my finger. Since then I've had a fear of snakes.

The second time I was bitten was in a nursing home where I worked during my college years. I was helping a nurse hold down a 97-year old woman so that she could be given a shot. The woman had three personalities - one being German. She was very frail, or so it seemed, so it didn't seem like a big job on my part. Anyway, within seconds she turned her head and bit me on the arm. (I think it was the German personality that bit me!) I screamed! Thankfully, she didn't have a tooth in her head, and all she left - once the nurse peeled her jaws off my arm - was a bruise.

I was almost bitten a third time by a squirrel that I cornered in my living room one Christmas season. It leapt out of the fireplace like Rocky the Squirrel, landing on my lap. Again, I screamed! And then spent the next hour trying to get it out of the house.

But the best kind of "bitten" is when you get bitten by the book bug. I remember when I first realized I enjoyed books - it was when I read the children's book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina as a young lad. I still pick it up every once in while for a chuckle - I'm a sucker for anything with a monkey in it (or in this case, a whole bunch of monkeys).

Jack Sheedy welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on