Bill Hartman

For the second time in three months, a Good Samaritan has come to my rescue.

I’ve worn my first story out, but it, too, shows plenty of good people out there who go the extra mile to help others.

In mid-March, I stepped off a sidewalk onto what I thought was a short and solid stretch of grass between my truck and me.

I never imagined the grass was covering a six-inch hole. Down I went, landing on my left leg, snapping both bones below my knee.

Thankfully, my Samaritan was on the way to his truck parked next to mine.

Someone in the store brought out a chair, and my unnamed friend approached me from the back, wrapped his muscular arms around my chest and hoisted me straight up in the air and gently sat me in the seat.

That’s the last time I saw him, as an ambulance and fire truck came speeding into the parking lot. I never got his name.

This week my second hero showed he has grit to spare. I was perched in my home, still tending to my slow healing leg, when the door bell rang.

By the time I scrambled into my wheelchair and opened the door, my visitor was talking to Cody, my fearless and aging Jack Russell terrier.

This friendly guy said, “Sorry to bother you, but my girls and I were driving by, and we saw your dog.

“Then we saw a big snake cross the road, and it went through your fence into that front flower bed. We didn’t want it to get after your pup.”

I thanked him and said, “I’ve never seen Cody back down from any critter, be it four-legged with sharp teeth or claws or the slithering kind, so it could’ve easily been trouble.”

Without asking, he could see I was having mobility problems and wouldn’t be much help.

He said, “I don’t even have a shovel or anything in my truck, or I could get rid of it.”

Here I sat in my wheelchair on my front drive feeling as useless as a guy can get.

I said, “I don’t know how committed you are to this project, but I’ve got hoe around that corner leaning against a post.

“Great,” he said.

Almost as fast as a Nolan Ryan fastball, he went into the flowerbed and “whack, whack,” it was over.

He came back toting a five and a half foot water moccasin on the business end of the hoe. Ugly and smelly.

I knew what it was, because it was a mirror image of pictures I had seen.

I feel terrible that I didn’t get his name, either. I think he said Robert or Bob, but my hearing aids were in a box inside, and I was more intent on hearing about the snake.

I do know he lives somewhere in the neighborhood, and Cody and I will go riding and look for his truck. A better thank you is in order.

After he finished whacking, he also volunteered to dispose of the remains.

What are the odds of two Samaritans coming back-to-back when I really needed help.

If I was a tad more able-bodied, the hunt would have gone slightly different. But then someone would probably have said I broke a rule, and we’d have a hassle.

Somebody up there is keeping an eye on me, because these really great guys keep showing up.

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