I’m A Snake St. Patrick Drove Out Of Ireland: This Time Of Year Is Hard For Me
Patrick was acting distant. He had cut his hair and always carried a heavy book with him called the Bible.
It feels just like yesterday I was jolted out of a peaceful 2 a.m. REM cycle and beaten with a stick by someone I considered to be my friend. I was not only forced to burrow out from underneath my rock: I was forced to leave the country I called home. This traitor’s name? Patrick. The home? Ireland. The rock? My only source of refuge.
Hi. My name is Murphy McSlither, and growing up, I always knew I was different. The other kids had arms and legs and non-forked tongues. I hoped that maybe if I learned enough Gaelic or showed them I could dance without moving my arms too they might accept me. Not the case.
The only exception? This floppy-haired Brit named Patrick. He had been abducted by Irish pirates from a young age, and no one understood him. I had a rattle glued to my butt. We were instant pals.
Patrick and I went everywhere together: the meadow, the road, the road near the meadow. He splashed me as we swam in the lake, and always raced me, even though he couldn’t keep up with my pencil-like body! We’d laugh together, and sometimes just scream into the abyss. We were on top of the world!
Then one day, things changed. Patrick got a scholarship to attend a Christian summer camp. I applied too, but they only had funding for warm-blooded individuals. Patrick promised me that nothing would change; that he’d write to me every day. And at first, that was true! I’d eagerly slither out to see if any letters had arrived. But the days started to turn into weeks, and still no word from Patrick.
School started up again in the fall and Patrick was acting distant. He’d cut his hair and always carried a heavy book with him called the Bible. I couldn’t carry anything, but I told him I’d check it out ASAP. Well, I don’t have to tell you how offensive that document is! On page one, I saw the only representation of myself in the media being blamed for destroying paradise. I’d seen enough.
Patrick’s hate-mongering was contagious. Suddenly, people were listening to him and blaming me for things I didn’t even know about. The milk money is missing? Blame the snake! Someone tied the teacher’s shoelaces together? Classic McSlither! Who ate the classroom rat? Okay, that one was actually me. Soon, everyone in town and the entire country was pushing out my kinfolk.
I knew things were bad, but I thought Patrick would make an exception for me. So I went to sleep that fateful night imagining I might awaken to a brighter tomorrow. Not the case.
After I was ousted from my homeland, I spent days swimming around, until I finally made it to England. At least, I thought it was England, until someone was like, “Welcome to the Isle of Man!” And I was like, “No. Fuck this, I just came from an island of man!’ I swam for several more days until I reached actual England. I collapsed near some shallow reeds. For weeks, I shed my skin of the past, of my friendship with Patrick.
I’ve set up a good life for myself here in Brighton. I’m a barrister now, and the wife and I have laid some eggs. There are times when I think of my former world, of the green meadows, and yes, even Patrick. Now they’re calling him a Saint. I guess his “miracle” was betraying his former best friend. They’re even starting to celebrate him with this god-forsaken annual holiday.
Sometimes I look out my window at the tacky green hats and drunken tomfoolery, and I find myself transported back to a simpler time. To a time when I trusted fully, and I knew I could always count on my friend. They say he drove all the snakes out of Ireland, but if you ask me, there’s still one left.