Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Friday, May 2, 2008
Through a Glass Darkly
My younger son called me to come see this big fella -- a huge blacksnake, probably a six-footer or more -- just about ready to shed his skin. His old skin is dusty brown and the lenses that cover his eyes are clouded, rendering him almost blind and therefore, vulnerable. Blacksnakes are reportedly irritable at this stage of their existence, like some grouchy old folks. But this one seems torpid in the May sun and ignores me as I get closer and closer.
Unlike old folks though, soon the blacksnake will rouse himself and, twining and writhing through the crevices of the stump he's on, will slide out of his dead skin to emerge -- a beautiful shining ebony stream. Renewed, vision restored, he'll get on with his snaky life. And he'll repeat the cycle, over and over.
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