Monday, April 16, 2007


Of course I was and am afraid of snakes.

I do not have the gift of being able to spot animals and birds in nature.

When you don’t see a snake he is at his most dangerous. Snakes want, with few exceptions, nothing more than to get away from you as quickly as possible. They only attack when they are cornered.

Once I was standing by the house of our colleague in Serti. I was working with another colleague on building a water system. Suddenly he began striking the ground next to my feet with a piece of pipe. A puff adder lay right next to my right foot. I never saw him.

That same colleague went on furlough for six months. We lived in their house. During that whole time, I never saw a single snake. The afternoon he returned he killed a snake in our front yard.

We got to know the spitting cobra. It is really true that they can spit their venom. Their search for food brought them often to our chicken house, and one had to watch carefully before going in to get the eggs.

We always had a cat, to warn us when snakes, scorpions or other unwanted animals came into our house. Our kids played on the floor, so that was very helpful. One day we heard our cat making a terrible noise behind the house, and, sure enough, he had been spit at by a cobra. We washed his eyes out under the faucet, and he spent a week sitting on a sugar sack, recovering. He did recover.

Did you know that frogs make more noises than only croaking? When they are terrified for their life – for example, when they are getting eaten by a snake – they make a cry that cuts to the marrow of your bones. Terrible.

To my knowledge, I’ve never eaten snake.
They say it tastes like chicken, as they say about every strange kind of meat.
I’m sure that’s true.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Uncle Norman,
I ate snake for the first time last year in April, at the Texas Rattlesnake Roundup. I have some really awful pictures of live snakes in huge pits, all the way to the gutting and cooking and even leather accessories. It was awful! That's what they do in Texas. Weird.