• 64°

To eliminate the venom, first find the snake

A mouse peered through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package.

What food might the package contain, the mouse quizzed to himself. He was aghast to discover that it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard the mouse proclaimed the warning: &uot;There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!&uot;

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, &uot;Excuse me, Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.&uot;

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, &uot;There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!&uot;

&uot;I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse,&uot; sympathized the pig, &uot;but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers.&uot;

The mouse turned to the cow. She said, &uot;You say, Mr. Mouse. A mouse trap? Like I am in grave danger….NOT!&uot;

So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mouse trap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

His wife’s sickness continued, so much to the point that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer’s wife did not get well and a few days later she passed away. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat.

The moral of this story is that the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we all may be at risk. We are all one family on this planet Earth.

As I searched my soul over the weekend to find just the right words to say concerning the ongoing war in Iraq, I stumbled across the above story that came to me in an e-mail from a mysterious source. Upon reading the moral, I had the exact fodder I was seeking.

I’m in agreement that no one likes war, but yet these terrible conflicts over the centuries have helped the shape and define the world in which we live. Plus, judging from the sorry cast of characters the United States has butted heads with during recent memory, sometimes war simply becomes a necessary evil.

Now is one of those times. Sure, Saddam Hussein has been removed from power, but there are others ready, willing and more than able to carry out acts of terrorism upon innocent people. The faster our brave men and women in the military can root out these terrorists then the quicker we can reduce the cost of American casualties.

While I do not agree with them, I respect the rights of people worldwide who are protesting our military presence in Iraq or any other location where terrorists may choose to hide. My only wish for them is to please refrain from being anti-military. I do not respect anyone who places the weight of the problem squarely on the shoulders of those who are placing their lives on the line every day so we may live in freedom.

Our armed forces answer to the Commander-In-Chief, our president, as well as those who advise him of the best course of action. We can only hope and pray that those we have elected as our leaders are making the right decisions.

Hussein isn’t the only &uot;snake.&uot; Rather, he’s just the first that the United States and its allies targeted for extinction. When we leave Iraq, and I hope it’s very soon, that doesn’t end terrorism. That country isn’t the lone harbor of terrorists. We will find ourselves heading to other foreign lands, seeking out those who hold the world hostage with their acts of terror.

Like the above fable, terrorism affects each and every one of us, from each and every corner of the world. Just because it isn’t currently staring you in the face doesn’t mean it’s not there.

In order to eliminate the venom, you first must find the snake and either remove its fangs or chop off its head.