There was a little farmhouse that sat alone amidst a sea of trees.
In the house lived a small family of a mother, her son, and her daughter.
The house wasn’t very big,
There were two bedrooms, a closet-sized bathroom, and a kitchen that only fit one body.
Though small, it was a home to this little family.
The son was the mother’s second son.
The eldest brother had since gone away with a woman and started his own family.
The second child was younger by six years and lacking in good sense at times.
The son was not easy to work with, but he meant well and had the best of intentions.
He had friends and no time for his little sister.
The daughter was the youngest child and the one who expanded outside of their little farmhouse.
She went to school, watched the sky, and played alone in their front yard.
The daughter was different from her brother, a difference that caused tension between them.
She thought like a philosopher, acted both like an adult and a child.
She was without friends and all the time in the world.
The mother loved her children to a fault.
A mother’s love was always unconditional, but that wasn’t healthy for this mother.
Her children had their faults, their problems, their little quirks.
But she loved them dearly, for they were a part of her.
They represented pieces of her.
One day, while out playing in the yard,
The daughter heard a peculiar sound coming from the grass.
From where she sat, she could not see where it was,
But she knew what it was.
It was a snake.
It was not a long snake, nor did it seem to be an older snake.
It was younger and curious about this girl that sat in its way.
It would not strike the daughter, it merely tilted its head and slithered away.
It came back sometime later, timidly approaching the anxious girl.
When she left it, the snake did not think badly of the daughter.
The daughter was not fond of the Snake, at first.
She had thought of it as strange and that made her uncomfortable around it.
Over time, she grew accustomed to the slithering creature.
They would play little games and she would kindly talk to it.
It knew her secrets, her struggles, her pain and sorrow
Eventually, the daughter thought herself a friend to the snake and snake did not protest,
If anything, the snake thought itself her friend as well.
The girl introduced the snake to her family,
The creature was well-received and welcomed into the family as a friend.
For years, the snake was a part of their lives until the snake showed its true self to them.
It had started when the daughter noticed that the snake was getting too close to her brother.
The snake was always following him, trailing him.
The daughter did not want to believe that the snake had ill-intentions toward the family,
She thought that the snake knew better.
The Snake was arrogant, it was manipulative, it had its own agenda.
The son fell ill one day,
His skin was changing from pale to red,
His muscles spasmed uncontrollably,
And his face would swell.
He was hardly recognizable to his sister and mother.
When the doctor assessed the young man, he found that the boy had bite marks.
The marks of a snake.
The mother didn’t want to believe it, she refused to believe it.
The snake continued to slither through the farmhouse, despite the warnings to get rid of the beast.
The snake continued to kill the son.
The daughter saw it for herself, she saw the snake strike her brother.
She tried to warn her mother, but she couldn’t prove the snake’s guilty crimes.
“I brought this creature into our house.” The daughter thought
“I welcomed it, now I must get rid of it.”
That night, the girl stole away from the farmhouse, out to the den of the snake.
The snake was not yet asleep, it was slithering around for no apparent reason.
The girl found it preparing to strike a helpless rabbit.
The daughter took the shovel she brought with her
And carefully pressed it against the spine of the snake,
where she could deliver a fatal blow.
The snake remained still,
It knew who was pressing the bladed end of a shovel against it.
If it could talk, it would coolly ask what the daughter thought she was doing,
Why was she playing around with such a dangerous tool,
But it could not talk, only hiss.
The next day, the daughter sat quietly at the table.
The mother was too busy with her son to notice that her daughter was alone.
When she did notice, she asked what happened to her friend.
The daughter pointed outside, toward the forest.
When the mother followed with her eyes, she only saw the shovel.
“It was only a snake.”
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