This poem speaks of a "narrow fellow" that rides through the grass. Emily never refers to the "fellow" as a snake, but eludes to it with her descriptions. The way the "grass divides, closes as your feet then opens further on" describes the motion as a snake may be slithering through the grass as well as the "whip-lash" and "unbraiding in the sun." Snakes love to sun themselves and the movement of their tail can be whip like. She goes on to say that she knows several of nature's people and they know her on a cordial basis, but when it comes to meeting "this fellow" whether alone or with others, she is always taken back with fear. Could it be she's really referring to a man she may have known all of her life?
Hester is only human. She feels like many of us would in her position. Pearl is her salvation. Under stress she thinks maybe Pearl would be better of in "heaven," but haven't we all been there at some point in our lives thinking we'd be better off......? But because of Pearl Hester keeps from going off the deep end.