He raised his
right arm from beneath the water. Leaves rattled as a dozen boys took one giant
step backward, for the big cottonmouth, all eight feet, was wrapped around
Wayland T.'s skinny arm. His bony fingers couldn't reach around the midsection
of the snake as he crawled out on the dirt bank, being careful not to pinch or
irritate his captive. The snake didn't appear to be disturbed; his tongue
flicked and darted from his large head; his small eyes seemed to speak. Wayland
T. smiled his funny little smile that revealed no teeth.
wins," someone said.
"Beautiful," said another.
A sack of melted
Hershey bars and two Snickers landed at Wayland's feet. He picked up his faded
Levi's with his left hand and tossed them over his shoulder and, with the
cottonmouth curled round his arm and neck, sloshed upstream. He was licking
melted chocolate from a Hershey wrapper and whispering to his new friend as he
disappeared into the underbrush.
We dressed in
see my dive?" I asked. "I caught the dang thing!"
There was no