“Awwww man, I’m not going to believe that!” Tommy said. “Just because you found these old bones doesn’t mean a ten foot green glowing snake ate it.” He broke off a stick, moved closer to the bones and poked at them.
“Yeah!” Dianna said. “I won’t either.”
Tommy kicked leaves out of the way. “Besides, there aren’t any guts left laying around here anywhere.”
“Won’t be,” Sammy said, “snakes swallow whatever they eat whole… snakes can’t digest bones, then they throw up and the bones come back out.”
Tommy picked up the skull of the rabbit and pointed it at Dianna. She screamed backing away. “”Who told you that? That’s not true!” He tossed the skull to Sammy.
The backpack slipped off his arms. It fell to the warm sun-soaked sand. Kneeling, he pulled back the top of it and pushed the skull into the bottom corner. Scooping up the large feet bones, he placed them carefully next to the skull.
Tommy banged the stick over the rib cage, tossing the bones helter-skelter. “What’re you going to do with those?”
“I’m taking them home. I’m going to study them under my microscope.”
“Why?” Dianna asked.
“To see if there’s any snake saliva left on them.” Sammy was confident both his friends would believe that. He grabbed the rib cage before Tommy delivered the next blow.
“No way! You don’t know how long these have been laying here… and you don’t know that snake ate it.”
“So? I don’t need to know,” Sammy said, “My microscope is really powerful, it’ll show me just about anything left on these bones.”
“And then what? What’s that going to prove?” Tommy asked, looking around the shore for more bones. “It don’t mean your giant snake ate it… or was even around here, like you said.”
“I saw it!”
“You really did?” Dianna asked, her eyes wide, astounded there could be such a thing. She twirled her blond pony tails around her nose, trying to block the smell.
“No man, you didn’t see it. You just made this whole thing up so’s we’d come down here with you,” Tommy said. “You’re too scared to come down here by yourself. There’s no such thing as a ten foot green glowing snake around this lake. I’m asking my Dad!”
(Continued…) “You’d better not,” Sammy said in a tone of voice that he knew more than Tommy did. “You know your Dad gets angry about you being down here by the water.”
“Yeah well, I know there ain’t no such glowing ten foot snake around here!”
“Sure there is… , I’ll prove it.” Sammy said.
“How? How can you?”
“Yeah, how?” Dianna asked, watching the two boys stand chest to chest.
“OK Tommy, you come over to my house, stay over tomorrow night. We’ll get up early before the sun rises and watch… it’ll come out. I promise.”
“What about me?” Dianna asked.
“You can’t. We don’t want a ‘girl’ staying overnight,” Sammy said. “But you can come down to the lake with us on Saturday, meet us under the bridge right after lunch.”
“Yeah, that’s OK,” Tommy said. “Maybe we should have pictures. Can you shoot them with your new digital camera.”
“Yeeeaaahhh, then we can make scary postcards and send them to our friends. Show them what we found.”
“Cool,” Tommy said, “we can alter the size of the snake on your computer, make it look forty feet long.”
“Can you make some for me, too?” Dianna asked.
“An’, an’ we can stand over it like some of those old hunting photos in your Dad’s really old National Geo’s… the ones of all those guys posing with their foot on the head of the animal they shot in Africa.” Tommy added.
“Oh, way too cool. But first we have to get pictures of the snake.”
“OK. I’ll stay over tomorrow night, I’ll ask Mom,” Tommy said. “She’ll let me. I know.”
“Can you do pictures for me?” Dianna asked. Her attention turned to dried wildflowers lining the shore. Breaking the stems, she bundled several different kinds together.
“What are you going to do with those old dead weeds, Di?”
“They aren’t dead,” Dianna retorted. “Besides, Mom said if we put flowers in a glass of water they’ll start growing again. I’m going to take them home and grow them.”
“Yeah, sure. If that’s true, then I can grow those rabbit bones into a new rabbit, Sammy, gimme that skull.”
“No way,” Sammy yelled, turning and running through the brush, back toward the path. “I’m studying it with my microscope. You ain’t getting it.”
Tommy ran after him, yelling and laughing, both of them forgot about Dianna.
She clutched her flowers and ran after them. A broken branch tripped her mid stride. She fell face down into the brackish water. It covered her face, hair and yellow blouse. She sat up, screamed and started sobbing.
Tommy and Sammy stopped when they heard her scream; “The snake! It’s got her. It’s eating her.”
“Get a big stick to beat it. Hurry.” Sammy said, struggling to break a branch.
When they found her, Dianna was sitting, her legs crossed, pulling slimy moss from her hair and sobbing uncontrollably. Moss hung from her hair and covered her face and eyes. Both boys burst into laughter. “She’s the funniest looking ‘monster’ I’ve ever seen.” Her sobbing added to their hysterics.