Speaking in Parseltongue

the snake

Maureen Dowd:

On her way to work one morning,
down the path along the lake,
a tenderhearted woman
saw a rich, coldhearted, frozen snake.

His tangerine skin was all caked with makeup
and his bald spot was frosted with the dew.
“Poor thing,” she cried,
“I’ll take you in, and I’ll take care of you.” …

She wrapped him up all cozy,
tucking in his absurdly long tie of silk, a
nd laid him by her fireside with two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish,
and a chocolate shake of milk.

She hurried home that night from holding up a torch on Liberty Island,
and soon as she arrived,
she found that the freaky snake, transfixed by his own image on TV,
had been revived. …

She stroked his puffy Velveeta scales again,
and kissed and held him tight.
But instead of saying thank you, that grabby snake wrapped around her you-know-what
and gave her a vicious bite. …

“I saved you,” cried the woman.
“And you’ve bitten me. Heavens, why?
You know your bite is poisonous,
and now I’m going to die.”

“Oh, shut up, silly woman,”
said the serpent with a grin.
“You knew damn well I was a snake
before you took me in.”