The Snake

A group of Arapaho Indian boys decided it was time to prove to the tribe elders that they were old enough to be considered men. By custom, the rite of manhood included living alone for one week in the wilderness. Each boy was instructed to only take a knife with him and come back seven days later and tell of his adventures. One boy, wanting to prove that he was more of a man than the others, decided that he would climb the snow-capped mountains for his week of adventure. Surely, living in the snow and cold is a hardship that the elders must agree that only a man could endure. So, he walked an entire day across the plains to the foot of the mountains. He climbed halfway up the mountains to the snowline when a snake spoke to him.

"Help me," the snake cried.

"Why should I help you, a rattlesnake? You are known to bite and kill people," replied the Arapaho brave.

"I am cold and almost frozen. Please put me in your warm shirt and take me down the mountain to where it is warm where I can survive," said the rattlesnake.

"How do I know that you are not going to bite and kill me?" asked the brave.

"Why should I bite the person who saves my life?" replies the snake.

"Ok. I do not like to see anyone die. Promise you won't bite me?" asked the brave.

"I Promise," replied the snake.

So the Indian boy placed the snake in his shirt and walked down the mountain. As he opened his shirt to let the snake out, the rattlesnake bit him.

"WHY DID YOU BITE ME? You promised you wouldn't bite and kill me!" yelled the young brave.

The snake replied, "You knew who I was when you picked me up. You have nobody to blame for your death but yourself."

Today Scouts, one doesn't prove his maturity by living alone in the wilderness anymore but instead shows that he is a man by living wisely in the streets and making good decisions by himself. There are rattlesnakes hiding in the streets today that go by the names of marijuana, cocaine, crack, speed, acid, ...drugs. Drugs will falsely promise a lot of good times and laughs, but will instead lie to you, get you to steal and break the law in other ways, and if not kill you, rob you of your health and brains. The few hours of chemical-induced pleasure may cost you the rest of your life in permanent brain damage and physical disability.

When you decide to prove to others that you are mature enough to be a man, prove it by making the right choice not to do any drugs and stick to that decision. Ok?

-- Thanks to H. Alan Schup


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