Piece Work

13 Nov

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Last night, when the sun was down, I rounded the corner of our house and heard a rattling sound. The sound stopped – then started again – the unmistakable sound of a rattlesnake. Even if I have only heard it in movies, I knew what it was and I froze. Looking down I saw a coiled rattlesnake only a few feet from my leg.

I backed away, and ran towards the basement for a spade, intending to slice it in two. By the time I got back it was gone.

Like my character Grizz said in my screenplay Swallow, “It’s always something…”

Two days later, I heard a cry from outside. I ran out and saw Denisse, the kids and the dogs circling the same rattlesnake in the dirt road in front of our house.

This time I was quicker with the spade, and sliced the snake into thirds and buried it under a rock.

Three days later my neighbor asked if he could have the body of the dead snake, to make “medicine.”


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