One night last week, I needed the exertion of a good run, but it was past sundown by the time I could get out. I consciously left my flashlight at home, though, and headed out into the dark streets around my neighborhood. After my turnaround, headed back down the road, I noticed a car had slowed to a stop at least 20 yards before the next stop sign. I stopped short. The car started moving again, and in its headlights I saw a writhing shape. Carefully, closer, and a snake was dying in my path. It was too dark to determine what kind of snake, so I moved around it and ran home in the middle of the road.
The next day, driving up the road, I slowed to look. The flattened copperhead was there, right where it would have bitten me if that car hadn’t intervened just in time.
The lesson: take your flashlight when running after dark, especially in the spring when you know the snakes are slithering about.
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