In the dim glow at the edge of the area lit by his flashlight, he could see a dark, corkscrew shape dangling from a tree like a huge snake—an anaconda or a boa constrictor. Instinctively, Fort stepped back, but the snake was already slipping across his neck!
Yelling and arms thrashing, he tried to swat the serpent away. Instead, he felt himself entangled in moist, scaly coils. He swung his flashlight like a club as the snake wrapped itself around him. The light arced through the darkness in a crazy pattern as he thrashed at the reptile.
The snake slithered across his neck. He thrust it away and jumped to the side. His feet caught on something, and he stumbled into a writhing mass of serpent. Arms windmilling, legs kicking, Fort wrestled the rough-scaled body as it twisted on the ground. He screamed like a trapped animal as he imagined being crushed and swallowed, as in the nature shows on TV.
“Fort!” yelled one of his brothers. “What’s going on out there?”
Wishing he had a hunting knife to stab into the snake’s brain, Fort rolled and grabbed a stout section of the serpent’s body. Clutching it tightly with one hand, he swung the flashlight in the other hand.
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