Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chapter 11 by Martin Ross: In The Bag

Copperspots blamed himself for his current predicament.

It had been a cold morning, so he had decided to sun himself on a rather large rock. The stone had been much warmer than the sand and soothed his aching bones quite a bit. Unfortunately his midmorning slumber had also kept him from hearing the two legs until it was too late. Before he knew what was going on, Copperspots had found himself scooped up and thrown into a heavy burlap bag. This of course made him quite angry and he let the two legs know of his displeasure with much shaking of his rattle. However, despite his best efforts, the two legs ignored his threats.

"I'm getting old," Copperspots thought.

It was harder to catch mice than it used to be.

Harder to slither unseen in the rocks.

Harder to avoid the two legs when they went poking about in their clumsy bounce-stepping way.

Although, he could at least ease his mind with the thought that the two legs which had caught him this morning was much quieter than the ones that normally came clodding into his domain.

Yes. This two legs seemed to move with a more natural grace than the ones Copperspots had seen on previous occasions. Like this one was more at home with the great land.

The bag was dark and warm. Copperspots could tell the two legs was traveling by horse now, as the bag rocked at bit in a slow rhythm that two legs were incapable of. Copperspots could also smell the horse. A warm scent which reminded him of the summer he had spent hunting mice in a barn. Horses were not so bad, if one was careful to avoid their huge tramping feet. All in all, Copperspots had to admit, it wasn’t the most unpleasant place to be confined. In time, he found himself falling asleep.

He awoke with a thud.

The bag had been thrown loose onto the ground. Carefully, Copperspots slithered out of the burlap. Once out, he regretted leaving the bag instantly. He was now in some sort of shed. The foulest smelling place Copperspots had ever encountered. It pained him every time he flicked his tongue. This place was dark, with wood walls and the smallest hole of to let light in. Behind him he heard a surprising sound. It was a snake’s chuckle.

“Ssssoo! They got you too!”

Copperspots twisted around and saw old Redstrips, his longtime friend from the southern side. Beside Redstrips was several other snakes he knew: Longtail, Sundots, Quicktongue and the ever beautiful Roseback. She was an older snake like himself, who lived on the farthest side of the Great Rocks. They had met once when he was young and he had always regretted not choosing her as a mate. Since then, he had gone mateless all his life. From what he had heard, she had never chosen a mate either. Seeing Roseback gave Copperspots a bit of inspiration to pretend to be more confident than he actually felt.

“Yesssss, but it doesssssn’t ssssurprise me that he caught you firssst.” Copperspots chuckled back.

At this Roseback’s mouth curved into a shape that only a snake would recognize as a smile.

Copperspots could feel boldness rising in him. He wanted to show Roseback that he still had enough speed and courage to be a good mate for her. However, in this wretched smelling place, there wasn’t much opportunity to prove his mettle.

Just then the door swung open letting in a blinding blast of morning sun. All of the snakes moved back nervously as a large, oafish two-legs walked into the shed. He shut the door and proceeded to pull down his pants.

“Opportunity,” thought Copperspots “has presented itself.”

© 2010 Martin Ross

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