The Snake

May 13, 2012

You may have guessed that I’m still down south. These trips are always a whirlwind, even though I stay for several weeks: for one thing, I have peeps here. They’re really important to me. So I try to see them when I’m in town. Seeing someone once or twice a year is hardly enough to maintain a friendship, but I’m more of a few-good-friends type of person, and I’m absolutely unwilling to lose any of them if I can help it. So I go to parties, I go to dinner, I go to brunch. Also, I have one sister that I’m very close with. You don’t need to tell me what a gift that is. I know.

Plus, I work while I’m here. Most days I take myself off to the coffee shop, settle down with my laptop and a latte (yes, I am one of those people), and am grateful for the change of scenery. Sometimes I walk to work. On these days, this is my commute:

Note the tree branch hanging over the path.

On the morning in question, I was maybe twenty feet from this tree when something fell off of the branch onto the path ahead. At first assumed it was a stick, but it had made a thumping sound that wouldn’t be right for a stick, and from that distance it didn’t look stick-like. In fact, it looked rather snake-like. But it was too far away to see well.

Now, I don’t like to think of myself as the kind of person who’s afraid of snakes. I grew up in the country. But one of the things you learn as a kid in the country is that snakes are sometimes dangerous. Poisonous snakes in particular can be aggressive. Even if you’re not the squealing-and-running-away sort, it doesn’t pay to be stupid.

I stood there for a few minutes, wondering if I could safely walk by this thing that just fell in the path. Despite its suspiciously organic shape, the thing didn’t move, so I crept closer. While I was waiting, the snake (for that, dear readers, is what it was) apparently decided that it had played dead long enough and it was safe to move. It uncoiled itself and- be still my heart- slithered towards the grass.



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