Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Snakes I Wrote . . . The Story Behind the Story of The Dream Bucket

Snakes in The Dream Bucket

I don’t like snakes. No wonder my mother named me Mary Lou. My skin is crawling as I tell you about this. How does it make you feel to think about water moccasins?

iStock 04-15-09 © ConnieMaher
A photographer found the water moccasin shown here in Silver Springs, Florida. When I was in my twenties, my mother-in-law and I found one on her front porch in Madison, MS. It was a damp evening. She and I were preparing supper. We went out to the porch to get some things out of the chest freezer. When she placed her foot, which was clad in a sandal-style bedroom slipper outside the front door, she stepped next to a fat water moccasin. I was standing behind her. We held our breath. I stepped back and she backed away too. We closed the door.

The way Mary B. Cheatham, my mother-in-law, described the experience and the way both of us felt inspired Elvin's encounter. 

Also I used to go swimming at Madison in the small lake with my late husband Bobby and his deceased brother Jimmy until the water moccasins scared me away.

Elvin Trutledge, one of my favorite villains, found a snake like this in a tree on a sandbar in the Mississippi River.

iStock 07-13-08 © Dewitt

An excerpt from The Dream Bucket:
Elvin, an intruder in a territory not claimed by human beings, slithered deeper into the thick water until he met a serpent face-to-face. A fat green-gray snake on a limb turned to face Elvin. Quick as a blaze, the creature stuck out his needle-thin tongue, retreated it, and opened his white mouth. Fangs aimed for Elvin as the moccasin slapped his jaws shut. 
iStock 06-10-08 © the4js

How he dodged the snake he wasn’t sure. “Lord! I’m calling out to you . . .  like I never have before. Save me. Oh, please save me. Deliver me from this snake. I’ll be good to my wife and children. I’ll stop cussing and stealing.”
The moccasin didn’t move again.

“I’ll head back home right now, dear God. Just send this snake somewheres else.” 

Elvin Trutledge found more water moccasins that day as he ran away from home and shirked his responsibilities. Read more about Elvin's adventures in The Dream Bucket.

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