The snake by the path had a large frog stuck in his throat. His eyes bulged. He could not swallow.
“He’s been so awhile,” my friend Tom said, his voice calm.
“How unfortunate,” I told him. I did not know what to do.
Tom stepped forward then and crushed the snake’s head under his boot.
I stirred. “Why do that?” I said.
“For mercy.” His voice did not waver when he said it.
I was beside myself. However, I saw the snake was no longer tense. He lay calmly in the grass, his struggle done. Yes, I realized, it was mercy.