Or teleport. I'm not sure which. I report, you decide.
This happened in Brownwood, Texas, like my other snake encounters. I had just arrived at the bottom of a small hill, and I was thinking about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Why? Why not? Does a man need a reason to think about Reese's?
To tell the truth, though, I did have a reason. A week or so before, in just about that very spot, I'd found a package of Reese's lying in the road. Not just one little double pack, but a big one, with eight or ten of the smaller packs in it.
I have no idea what it was doing there, but I've found stranger things while out running. Naturally I picked it up and took it home with me.
Judy wasn't sure about it. She thought the candy might be poisoned. Even when I pointed out that the big package was still wrapped, as were all the individual packages inside, she continued to have reservations about my eating any of the candy. She said that someone could have injected the poison with a fine needle, although there were not obvious holes in the wrapping.
I wanted to be cautious, but I love Reese's, so I eventually ate it all and didn't suffer any ill effects as far as I know.
But that's not what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about the snake, which I didn't see because I was thinking about the Reese's.
That's not entirely true. I did see the snake. Eventually. I was in mid-stride, the point at which neither foot is touching the ground. I'd just lifted off my right foot, and my left leg was stretched out in front.
I looked down and there was the snake, a rattler as thick as my arm. Admittedly I have skinny arms, but still. . . .
The snake was directly beneath me. I don't know how I'd missed stepping on it. I think he was as surprised as I was by the situation. Maybe he'd been thinking about Reese's, too. I didn't ask.
Anyway, that's when it happened, though I'm still not sure what it was. All I know is that when my left foot hit the ground, and I swear I'm not making this up, I was twenty yards down the road. It sounds impossible, but it's true. One instant I was in mid-air above the snake, and the next instant, when my foot touched down, I was nowhere near it.
For you SF fans, I'll just say that I felt the way Gully Foyle must have felt when he jaunted. It was one of the strangest feelings I've ever had, but I didn't question it. I just kept on running and left the snake far behind.
I've thought about that event often over the years. I can still see the snake below me as clearly as if it had happened yesterday, and I can still feel the oddness of landing so far away from it. It was a great feeling.
I'd love to do it again someday, but without the snake.