Saturday, 14 March 2009

A Snake in the Hand

I thought it about time l put up some stories of my life as a kid growing up in Rhodesia. Snakes tended to appear unexpectedly in life in Africa and then slide out again.

One day helping my Mum and the gardener move paving slabs l noticed a tiger snake curled up on a slab. I casually said, “Look mum a tiger snake”

“Don’t be silly” said my Mum not looking.

“Yiiiiyeeeeeeeeeee” the scream from the gardener was followed by a crash as he threw away the slab and went into a sprint that an Olympic runner would do justice to.

The noise made my Mum turn round, she headed off in the other direction.

I did what any sensible child would do under the circumstances. I grabbed the snake around the head. He had enough of humans and was about to slide off in the 3rd direction. African Tiger snakes are lovely golden snake with black stripes on goign across the body, they are back fanged and not particular poisonous, this was an adult roughly 2 foot long.

I asked Mum, who was casting dark looks at me and telling me to put it down "NOW", to find a box and punch some holes in the lid.
As l refused to let go the snake she was in a dilemma so took the easy way out and got me a box. I took it round to Mark for his snake collection.

Mark l knew from my class at school used to have a huge snake collection and lived just down the road. I would visit him with Jane, one of my 2 best friends who lived opposite him. Marks parents thought he had a few non poisonous snakes.
The reality was that he had about 40 snakes, some safe, some semi poisonous and moving all the way up to highly venomous like puff adders, various cobras and similar.

He had been known to have one of his semi poisonous snakes give him a bite so he was feeling ill and could miss tests. I guess the moral of the story is that parents should really learn a bit more about kid’s hobbies. Nowadays problems from the internet are easy to deal with, at least that can be solved by pulling a plug.


Annette said...

Wow, you picked up a snake?
You see, I could never pick one up, it's like spiders, they are fine when on telly but in real life???
Good on you for doing that.

Auntie Jane said...

I love snakes... Years ago, we had a Boa Constrictor. She was huge and very heavy to carry.

Vetnurse said...

Annette the trick is to know your limits. I knew Tigers and was happy to pick them up my snake id was pretty good. As l was always poking where l may find them it did help to have a vague idea of them.
Due to non use is is getting rusty nowadays.

What happened to her Jane?.