“What is it, what is it?” Sadie asked, trying to squeeze through the crowd of boys.
“Get back, get back,” Tim said. He waved his arms at them. “Get me a stick or somethin’.”
Through the excited murmur, Sadie guessed they had found a critter. She shoved between the Anderson twins.
“I wanna see.” Fat boy caught her. “Let me see, ” she said, squirming in his grip.
“Sadie, get out of here,” Tim said. He took on his big brother tone, “This is no place for little kids.”
“I ain’t little, I’m fun sized.”
He pinched his nose and accepted a wooden towel rod from Clint.
“Kill it, kilL it!”
“No!” Sadie howled and kicked Fat boy in the jewels. She managed to get to the middle of the circle. Her eyes widened.
Seeing her, Tim hesitated, too long. The snake whipped out and bit him. It was five feet between Sadie and her big brother, but it felt like five miles.
He brought the rod down hard, severing the head, and then collapsed. Sadie jumped over the wriggling tail.
“Is it a king snake?” One of the boys asked.
Sadie cried as Tim began to roll his pant leg up.
“Red and yellow, kill a fellow,” the Anderson twins sang.
“What’s red and black?” Sadie asked.
“It means it ain’t poisonous.”
Tim grimaced. “Still hurts like hell though.”