I attended the Central Virginia Writing Project at The University of Virginia circa 1994. Among the first assignments made to the Fellows was to write a story about a snake. Recalling an incident concerning a snake being carried into my parents’ bedroom early one morning by two proud young hunters, I wrote about that incident, and used Mckee as the foil for Willie’s problems. In doing so I realized I had found the staging for my desire to explore some of my observations of children during thirty years of teaching. Willie and Mckee and their adventures arise from an author’s desire to have the book flow into some channels rather than others as the book was being written. Willie ends up telling the story, not me, while Mckee dictated many of its terms after Willie had written me into a spot from which there seemed little escape. Characters, you see, live lives of their own, regardless of the author’s intent. I hope readers grow to appreciate these characters as I did.