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'Susie the Slithering Snake'

June 01, 2003|By E.G. Walker | Special to The Times

Susie Snake and her husband, Sidney, lived in sandy sections by the Salton Sea.

One day Sidney said, "Let's visit my sister Selma overseas."

Susie and Sidney packed their suitcases with several sardine sandwiches and a snack of salami.

They traveled over the mountain, shivering, slipping and sliding in the snow. When they reached the water and a ship, they slunk into a sack that was being shipped across the ocean.

The ship went swish-swash through the salty water. After many sunsets and sunrises, Sidney said, "I say! We've arrived!"

So Susie and Sidney slid out of the sack.

After they found Sister Selma, she asked, "Do you want to go sightseeing in my city?"

The three slithered down the street to a specialty store. One of the shoppers screamed when she saw Susie, Sidney and Selma scampering across the floor. So the three snakes scrambled spryly out the door.

Sidney heard a voice, "Ah, sahib." He saw a sinister cobra swaying in a basket. The cobra hissed, "You can slip inside this basket. People do not fear basket snakes."

Susie, Selma and Sidney curled in the snake charmer's basket and listened to the sad music of the native instrument.

"I guess our sightseeing spree has ended," said Selma sadly. "What shall we do now?"

"Let's go back to the Salton Sea. It's much safer," Susie suggested.

"May I go with you?" asked Selma.

"Sure," Sidney replied.

The three snakes struggled along the street until they arrived at the seaport.

Susie said, "We need to find a skiff that is going to Southern California."

They scampered aboard a ship.

Selma squinted at the sparkling water. "I'm scared," she said. "I can't swim."

"You just sleep while the ship skims across the sea," Sidney said.

Soon they were asleep. They didn't wake until the ship docked in California. Then they slithered back to their sand dune.

Susie, Selma and Sidney were satisfied to live happily forevermore at the seashore near the Salton Sea.

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