"You don't know where you are going, if you don't know where you came from, and how you got to where you are!" JB 3:16, 9/99

Iron Eyes Cody - The Bite That Kills!


by Iron Eyes Cody.

"I've been in lots of Hollywood movies, playing all kinds of Native American roles.

Warrior, medicine man, chief - I've got lots of stories to tell too.  

Like how my "Keep America Beautiful" TV spot is still running - after 17 years.

Or what it was
to be part of the cast for Ernest Goes To Camp.

But the story I
like to tell best isn't about my acting career. It's an old
legend that has to do with choices.

The Story ...

Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood.

One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, filled with green trees and wild flowers.

As he looked up at the surrounding
mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with snow.


"I will test myself against that mountain," he thought.


He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak.


When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride.


Then he heard a rustle at his feet. Looking down, he saw a snake.


Before he could move, the snake spoke:


"I am about to die," said the snake.


"It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving.

Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley."

"No," said the youth. "I know your kind. You're a rattlesnake.

If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me."

"That is not true!" said the snake. "I will treat you differently.

If you do
this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you."

The youth continued to say no. But the snake was very persuasive and had beautiful markings.

So finally the youth agreed. He tucked the snake under his shirt and carried it down to the valley.

There he laid
it gently on the grass. Suddenly the snake coiled, rattled and leapt, biting him on the leg.

"But you promised!" cried the youth.

"You knew what I was when you picked me up," said the snake as it slithered away.

I tell this story wherever I go, especially to the youth of this nation who might be tempted by drugs.

Don't let anyone fool you. 


Drugs kill!!!


Remember the words of the snake:


"You knew what I was when you picked me up."

Page Comments

Michele Hawes (mhawes@loudounliteracy.org)2012-03-20
Great story! Simple and to the point....Thanks for sharing it on your website.