Not A Stick!

Pssst! Launch day for A Reason To Forget: Training Games is April 9, 2021!

I live out. Way out! Trees, crops, cattle, and a plethora of wildlife surround my house. If you’ve read previous blog posts, you’ve seen some of the less-lethal animals that share our space, or is it the other way around?

My daily exercise consists of four 10-minute loops through what must have been a pasture decades ago, but my husband has planted evergreens and pin and willow oaks to complement the landscape. While walking, I ramp up my exercise by dancing around like an idiot and tossing stray limbs into the woods.

One evening, after the sun had dropped low in the sky, I needed a second walk. That late in the day, I decided to trudge through my second route, boring twenty 2-minute loops on the driveway and front walk. Ugh.

Usually, when darkness drops around me, I’m automatically on high alert. But, for some reason, I was hyperactive, bouncing and walking at a clip, rounding the corners like a race car. I had no flashlight, but that’s not important. What could happen? I’m on concrete.

Sun. Warmed. Concrete.

I whipped around at the street and sped back down the drive. The trees were silhouettes now. My eyes scanned the beauty of the sky, chin high, gauging my trajectory by my relationship to the roofline. From the driveway, I skipped onto the front walk and spied a pesky stick across my path.

Hmm, it must have been blown onto the walkway by a storm—I thought. But there were no storms today or anytime this week. Odd. I shrugged and decided to dance around like an idiot, pick it up, and toss it in the woods.

Then God screamed, “STOP! That’s not a stick!”


My body froze in place. Just before I reached down to pick up . . . a snake!

Yes, that’s the stick. My camera is zoomed in on the little fellow.

Published by C. L. Giles

Author of the upper middle-grade/young adult novel, A Reason To Forget: Training Games, Book 1 in the Firestorm series.

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