By Melinda Copp

Melinda Copp is a writer based in Bluffton, South Carolina, with an MFA in creative writing from Goucher College. She blogs over at


After passing me a beer from the fridge, Kimberly led me to the snakes, which were contained in forty-gallon Rubbermaid bins in her living room. I sat down while she shifted the bins to clear a place on her floor where she and her colleague Jayme could work. As soon as she moved the bin, a warning rattled from within it. That sound could strike fear through any heart, and to calm mine, I took a long swig of my beer. Despite this initial reaction, which I have no doubt evolved to experience, when Kimberly—Dr. Kimberly Andrews, who works for…