One day, while the men were dismounted and eating what little food they had with them, we horses were let loose to forage around on the dry, stiff grasses. I let my whiskers tell me if I came upon something edible. Even still, whatever I came upon was a poor excuse for food, I must say. Molly, a mare that Slim had picked up in Wyoming, was grazing beside me. She was a pretty little thing, but having been born and raised on a horse ranch in Ohio, she was not much accustomed to the sparse conditions in which we now found ourselves. She moved away from me in search of something decent to eat when I heard a rattling sound. I lifted my head and turned in the direction from which the sound came. Molly heard it, too. I watched her prick her ears forward and swish her tail. Raising her muzzle just slightly off the clump of grass on which she was nibbling, she stepped forward.
“I wonder what that strange sound is,” she said. “I think I’ll check it out.”
In one sudden flash of brown and gray, a large snake lurched forward and sunk its fangs into her nose. Molly reared back, the snake still dangling from her muzzle. Shaking her head, the snake dropped to the ground and slithered off toward a cluster of rocks.
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