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Casting Stones

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

When I was almost ten years old my parents started letting me roam at will and I spent a lot of time hiking countryside surrounding the small town we lived in then. I began finding some nice spots with stock tanks where reptile hunting opportunities were ideal, frequently spotting some nice specimens of all sizes. It was always thrilling to almost step on a huge black racer or hear it rattling its tail in dry vegetation after hearing me approaching its spot. I eventually talked my two younger brothers into hiking out to one of the locations with me to hunt for reptiles and amphibians so we set out one Sunday morning toting new backpacks.

Along the way still in town we decided to take a shortcut across the lawn of the Bible Baptist Church. Big mistake. Just as we started cutting across the lawn churchgoers began coming out of the house of worship. One of them was a kid about our age who was immediately enraged by the site of us happily backpacking to the country on such a fine Sunday morning while he had been sitting in church listening to a boring sermon.

He began yelling at us and throwing large chunks of gravel from the church parking lot at us. I shouted to my brothers to run because the stones he was using were big enough to cause some serious damage if he managed to hit any of us. As he was flinging stones at us, I noticed that adults coming out were watching the kid angrily attacking us in his Sunday-go-to-church clothes but did absolutely nothing to intervene in this act of violence. The kid was a terrible shot and we easily escaped injury, giggling hysterically as we dashed out of range.

About a half hour later we were out in the country happily playing around the stock tank at our destination. We found a small water snake sunning near a willow tree and my middle brother easily caught it bare handed. The snake bit him in a web of flesh between fingers which began bleeding profusely and I worried about it being a venomous snake until we carefully pried its mouth open and found it had no fangs. All the same, I kept a close eye on my brother in case he started showing signs of venom poisoning. None ever manifested and we had a good time at the stock tank together. On the way back home we gave the Bible Baptist Church a wide birth and I reflected upon the behavior of the people coming out of it.

I wondered if any of the sorry shits ever learned that basic bible lesson about casting stones.

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