“Snake!” yowls my cat from the kitchen.  I sit on the living room sofa, pretending I did not hear her correctly.  “Snake!” she yowls again.  I assume my imagination is playing tricks on me.  Surely my cat is not yowling about a snake.  “SNAKE!” yowls the cat yet again.  “Come see!”

I reluctantly lift my tired bulk from the couch to go and see what all the kitty fuss is about. To my surprise, I find my brave cat standing victoriously over a worm lying very still on the kitchen floor.  My proud cat stares up at me and yowls, “See, I told you it was a snake.”

“Good kitty, brave kitty,” I praise her, as I pick up the motionless worm with a paper towel.  I think to myself that she must have brought the worm up from the basement as a gift.

I carry the worm’s small corpse outside, preparing to drop it over the deck railing.  Before, I can do so, a small Brownie man points out to me that the worm is not really dead, but faking it.   Suddenly, the Lazarus worm returns from the dead and begins to slither around inside the paper towel.

Startled at the worm’s sudden revival and mindful of my kitty’s yowls of “Snake,” I drop the wriggling worm onto the hot planks of the deck.

“Need dark, damp earth to crawl into, away from burning sun,” gasps the unhappy worm.

I quickly pluck the worm up from the deck and drop it into the cool, dark moistness of the miniature forest of green plants that dwell within a flower box perched upon the deck railing.

“Nicely done, lad,” remarks a second Brownie man.

“I told you he was faking his death,” the first Brownie man reminds me.

“Nay, he was not faking it.  Poor wee thing passed out from fright,” announced the second Brownie man.

“Nay, he is a clever thing,” retorts the first Brownie.  “He was only pretending to be dead.”

“He was either stunned or the poor fellow fainted,” the second Brownie declared firmly.

Shaking my head, I leave the two Brownies to their philosophical discussion of the cleverness of the worm and return to the cool interior of the house, where my brave snake catching kitty awaits me.

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