“Sam, you’ve got to see what I just invented,” Smith said excitedly.
Sam, who was busy sunning himself on a nice warm rock, didn’t move. “I’m busy,” he said.
“The rock will still be here later,” Smith said. “Rocks don’t move.”
“But someone could come take my spot,” Sam said. “It’s the perfect rock.” He slowly turned his head. “Wait a moment. Are you trying to trick me into moving so you can take my rock? You are, aren’t you?”
“Of course not,” Smith said. “At least I wasn’t planning on it. Now that you’ve given me the idea, I must admit that I’m tempted.”
“I’m not moving,” Sam said. “Ever.”
“You have to eat sometime,” Smith said.
“I’ll wait until you’re eating,” Sam said.
“If I hide just out of sight, you won’t know when I’m off eating, or when I’m just lying there waiting for you to move,” Smith said.
“I’ll charm my food into coming over here to be eaten,” Sam said. “You’ve heard of snake charming, right? Maybe I’m an expert snake charmer.”
Smith laughed a snakey hissy laugh. “Snake charmers are humans who trick snakes into doing things.”
“I’m not moving,” Sam said. “You can’t make me.”
“Then you’ll never know what I just invented,” Smith said. “You might be missing out on something better than a sun-warmed rock.”
“Impossible,” Sam said. “If it was that good, why share it?”
“Perhaps it’s too good to keep it a secret,” Smith said.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Sam said.
“Secrets are more fun when you have someone to share them with. Then you can whisper about them with your friend and make everyone else jealous. It’s more fun that way,” Smith said.
Sam nodded. “That does sound fun,” he said. He paused. “But if we’re friends, why are you trying to steal my rock?”
Smith sighed. “I told you, I hadn’t even thought about it until you mentioned it. I do have my own favorite spot, you know.”
“But your rock isn’t the right shape,” Sam said. “Of course you want my rock.”
“Let’s stop talking about it,” Smith said. “So, do you want to see my new, amazing, secret invention?”
“Oh, fine,” Sam said. “But if you steal my rock, I’ll steal it back.”
“Fair enough,” Smith said. “Follow me.”
They slithered down into Smith’s subterranean workshop. Standing proudly in the center of the room was an odd contraption made of metal wires and springs. It looked a little like a narrow, hollow table.
“What do you think?” Smith asked. “Isn’t it amazing?”
“What is it?” Sam asked.
Smith huffed. “Prosthetic legs, of course. Watch.” Smith slithered into the device and hobbled slowly around the room.
“That’s ridiculous,” Sam said. “We’re snakes, not lizards.” He paused. “But we could pretend it’s a good invention so that we still have a secret.”
“It is a good invention,” Smith said. He slithered back out of the metal thing.
“Whatever,” Sam said. “I’m going back to my rock.”
“Not if I get there first,” Smith said. And the two snakes raced away, neither of them on foot.