He was right there in front of my house, and so beautiful.
I’d been warned, of course. We’re right off the edge of the woods here in Angelborough, and so far we’ve seen rabbits, wood chucks, orange squirrels, chipmunks, and a weasel. This was the first time I’d seen the snake.
Kiddo#3 had been biking on the driveway when he suddenly pulled up and said, “Momma, a neek!” and it took a moment to translate my son’s strange but beautiful language into English. I told him to get away from it, and I came closer to see. As I approached, I saw something slip off the driveway, and I stood about five feet from it to watch.
He lay in the brown leaves and sticks, in a place where we have no grass because it’s beneath the pine trees. His head was up, and he lay in perfect tension, completely still. I doubt he was venomous, as venomous snakes are rare here. He was about as thick as my pinky and maybe twelve inches long, which is kind of silly when you consider he had no feet.
(That’s a pun, for those of you following along at home. My apologies.)
A chilly day, he must have been sunning himself on the driveway until my speed demon barrelled down with his bike.
For about five minutes, I watched him as he slipped away from us. We never got close (I’m not stupid) but as he moved, I found him a fascinating beauty, a thing of magic and awe. Because there he was, gliding forward and with no means of propulsion at all. He might as well have been pulled by the nose with a nylon thread.
Although I could sit here and tell you that snakes move forward by means of undulating the muscles in their long abdomens and bellies, I saw no movement on him whatsoever. He’d be still, and then he’d be just as still but sliding forward.
Just so etherially pretty. Beguiling. You could sense why Eve would eat anything he told her to, distracted by the strangeness. The power of a thing that moves without a mover, telling her she could move without her Mover too.