Excerpt for "The Guardian," first section of my unpublished book, Guardians and Other Sightings.
The guardian has a thick body, like the biceps of a body builder. Her body is filled with membranous eggs without shells. They hatch when expelled, snakes born alive.
The young snakes will have a rattle, just like mom. They will shake their rattle as a warning. Beware their presence as you stop to admire a pink lady’s slipper orchid or a Catesby’s trillium with delicate, lavender, recurved petals. The guardians may be there, just off the trail saying, “Don’t tread on me.”