You may have met him,--did you not,
His notice sudden is.
The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.
He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,
Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,--
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.
Several of nature's people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.
This particular narrow fellow is harmless -- except to mice and the occasional small bird. But oh! how Emily nails that feeling I get when surprised by any snake. The monkey mind screams danger and I shudder.
The feeling passes quickly -- once I've made sure it's not a poisonous snake. I can pick up a big blacksnake when necessary to get him out of the chicken house (or the house -- yes, it's happened.)
But I have to quiet the monkey mind and remind myself that the snake is a fellow creature with every right to go about his business -- though when that business is eating chicken eggs, that when I step in to relocate him.
Fascinating and beautiful creatures -- and so very other.