The room was soon crowded with people, some dressed in skirts or silk blouses, the way you might for an art show, and others in hiking boots and cargo pants, ready to hit the trails outside the nature center. We converged around the table in the center to eat chips with hummus, colorful spring rolls, and pieces of homemade ginger cake.
“We should check out the rest of the building,” Beautiful Hair said to me. We’d already looked at all the artwork, hugged our friend Quilt Artist, chatted with her girlfriend, and eaten our fill of the goodies on the table. We breezed through the gift shop and the room where school kids come to do arts & crafts. Nothing too exciting there.
But then in the farthest room, we found something moving, something alive. A northern pine snake. Wide awake and fully grown, she slithered about in a display case that held sand, rubbing herself against an old tree stump as she moved. She butted her head into the sand and then pulled up to shake the sand off. Again and again, she slithered about the case, stopping each time at the corner, where we stood, mesmerized.