"What's wrong Charlotte? Are you feeling sick again?" asked Mama. "There - there - there's the sn-snake's tail!" She pointed to the wall. "Where? Where is it?" Wanda jumped up quickly and looked, first in her chair, and then under her feet. Daddy brought the lantern, and when he moved it the tail moved too, out of sight. "See, it is the snake!"squealed Wanda. Daddy looked again and said if it was the snake it had gone back into the rocks. He thought the storm was over and we could go back to the house.
Wanda asked Charlotte when they got back into bed, "Did you really see something moving in the cellar?" "Yes," said Charlotte, "and I don't think it was a shadow! It flicked just like a snake's tongue!"
One more time during the night Mama got them out of bed and they sloshed toward the cellar. The girls didn't want to go this time; they weren't as afraid of the storm as they were of the snake in the wall. "That's just a shadow," Daddy told them. "See, there's a cobweb waving in the air, and the light from the lantern makes it cast a shadow on the wall." He reached up and swept away the cobweb and the wiggling on the wall stopped.
When morning came the sun was shining and Mr. Johnson came to ask if they would like to ride in his truck to see damage caused by a tornado the night before. They all piled into the back of the truck and as they got closer, they began to see trees with their limbs stripped off and pieces of metal roofing scattered in the pastures. Three people had been killed and nothing much was left of the house where they had been when the storm hit. Broken bits of furniture and windows were scattered in the path of the storm. A few confused hens and roosters roamed about the yard, pecking at this and that. "Look, Mama," said Charlotte, "there's some one's dress hanging on the fence."
That night Wanda and Charlotte talked about the things they had seen at the place where the storm hit. "I'm glad we have a cellar to go to," said Wanda. "Me too," said Charlotte, "even if it does have a snake in it!"