A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.

– John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men, Chapter 6. With the use of powerful imagery and symbolism, Steinbeck paints a picture of the predatory nature of life and foreshadows Lennie’s imminent death.