A Narrow Fellow In The Grass

Yellow rat snakeYellow Rat Snake

 

I always loved this poem by Emily Dickinson, and think it really evokes that shiver down the spine feeling you get when you glimpse a snake gliding by, even when  you love them like I do, and know it is a harmless species.  Still, they are animals of graceful mystery and they never fail to stop me in my tracks for a moment, with a slight quickening of my heartbeat.  Or as Miss Dickinson referred to it, “…tighter breathing and zero at the bone.”

Hope some of you enjoy this:

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides--
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 Boy, and Barefoot--
I more than once at Noon

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
Of cordiality--

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without a tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone--*

            Emily Dickinson
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2 thoughts on “A Narrow Fellow In The Grass

  1. I nearly trod on a coiled up King Brown once… not only did that zero me to bone but I was like a cartoon character running mid air. It took a long time for my heart beat to settle!

    Like

  2. Hahaha. I can just picture you treading air like Wile E. Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons. Funny, NOW, but probably terrifying, at the time! I can imagine your bones zeroed out to the freezing point, at least!

    I would love to visit Australia, but always figured I would need a guide to take me trekking anywhere, as unfamiliar as I would be with what’s dangerous and what’s not. Still, such a beautiful and interesting country.

    Like

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