WHEN I SLICED the water moccasin’s long belly open and looked inside we learned it was an elf the snake had swallowed. Poor elf. Whom I’d apparently also sliced open when I ran my scalpel down the water moccasin. Oops. I’d carved the little guy in half almost—a gash from his nose to his navel.
Tufts of straw protruded at all angles from his deep incision. On the bright side, his blood was entirely coagulated, and he hadn’t lost much stuffing. A quick whip-stitch and he’d be back on his feet in no time. Lucky elf.