What lay on the road was no mere handful of snake. It was
the copperhead at last, golden under the street lamp. I hope
to see everything in this world before I die. I knelt on the
road and stared. Its head was wedge-shaped and fell back to
the unexpected slimness of neck. The body itself was thick,
tense, electric. Clearly this wasn¹t black snake looking down
from the limbs of a tree, or green snake, or the garter, whiz-
zing over the rocks. Where these had, oh, such shyness, this
one had none. When I moved a little, it turned and clamped
its eyes on mine; then it jerked toward me. I jumped back
and watched as it flowed on across the road and down into
the dark. My heart was pounding. I stood a while, listening
to the small sounds of the woods and looking at the stars.
After excitement we are so restful. When the thumb of fear
lifts, we are so alive.