Turns out the boy got bit by a snake.
He’d wandered off the back porch, and across the yard, said something about chasing a kitty cat, down the gulley and then made his way along the stream. We found him later that night. Curled up as tight as a snail’s shell, his clothes soaked through, cold to the touch. He woke up, clearly delirious, and said he was too hot as we carried him out to the street.
Doctors said he got there just in time. I think he ended up spending a week in the hospital. Must’ve been hard.