From "The Guardian" as published in Feed Your Brain.
The Guardian moves in circles, round and round, beside the road. She is not coiling, not preparing to strike, just circling. Is she injured by a passing car? Is she warming up, absorbing heat from the pavement? Is she preparing to give birth?
I stop the car but don’t get out. I don’t want to meet the guardian. I have no wish to uncurl the scaly body and take an accurate measurement of the guardian’s length. I have enough woodsman’s knowledge to have a healthy respect for the power of a mature timber rattlesnake.