On the surface, "The Snake" by D.H. Lawrence is about an encounter with a serpent on a hot day in Sicily. It deals with the themes of prejudice, equality and what Lawrence has elsewhere termed "blood-consciousness," or man's primordial unity with the natural world.
The encounter takes place by a water trough in the shade of a carob tree, where both the narrator and the snake have come to drink.
Upon seeing the yellow-brown color of the snake, the narrator understands it to be venomous but is too frightened to kill it. Eventually, as the snake is already leaving, the narrator throws a log that startles the snake before immediately regretting his own pettiness.