My Most Frightening Encounter 

Martha Yarborough DiPalma

© Copyright 2020 by Martha Yarborough DiPalma


Photo of a snake.

I loved growing up in a small southern town with the woods around me. The birdsong showers that greeted me at the dawns were a delight. There was a lot for my brother and me to explore. We spent hours in the woods across the street during the summers and after school. Our family property consisted of a three-bedroom wood frame house with a front yard on a steep terrace rising about 10 feet above the street level, a sidewalk about 20 feet long leading up more steps to the porch and front door, and a steep driveway with a rock wall on both sides. While standing on the front porch, I could look to my right and see a lot full of trees, which towered way above the roof. Beyond the lot was a house peering through the trees. Across the street straight ahead, I could see more towering trees. Beyond the trees was a creek hidden among the trees.

When I looked out into the back yard, I could see a mound to the left with a large oak tree on it, a larger sweet gum tree in the back part of the yard, several other oaks, and a fence, which separated our yard from two neighbors’ yards.

One bright sunny day when we were down in the woods by the creek, I had the most frightening encounter of my life.

As I led the way along the ledge and the high dirt bank that bounded the creek, I was poking the wall with a dead limb when it suddenly broke through and there staring me right in the eye with his tongue sticking out of his mouth was a snake! The only thing I remembered was scrambling along the creek ledge as fast and furiously as I could, yelling to my brother to run the other way. It was a long time before we ventured down to the creek again.

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