Ask anybody: they'll tell you the worst thing about Mars is the snakes.
     They didn't know about the ancient snake larvae running all
through the frozen aquifer when they melted it to terraform the planet.
Now there's not a goddamn thing they could do about it. Except maybe
send St. Patrick, but he's been dead for a couple thousand years. They
could find his grave and regenerate him, but nobody knows where his
grave is. And anyway, that's a myth, there never were any snakes in
     But there sure are snakes on goddamned Mars.
     One time the snake repellent field made an angry noise on the
monitor. One of the conducting towers had blown over in the wind,
exposing a corner of the pasture. Just so happened one of my heifers
liked to go out to that very corner and scratch up against the fence
there. There she was now, standing by the rough hewn logs. Something
odd in the way she stood there. When I got within a few feet, she
rolled her eyes plaintively toward me. I will not try to describe the
horror of what happened next. A person's got to be rough and sorta
stupid to try and homestead on Mars, but above all, a person's got to
let go the past.
     Still, when I see a snake, I blow its goddamn head off.