Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reptilian Ramblings

As a child I was petrified of snakes and other creepy-crawlies.
Over the years (seems like a century now), I have overcome them
to a great extent. No doubt it has to do with age. And gardening.
Gardening keeps all your senses alive and encountering creatures
that would otherwise be in the 'ugh' category, changes one's
attitude towards them.
Little snakes almost jump out of their skins when I remove piles
of leaves and grass clippings. They scuttle off sideways and this
movement isn't what you'd associate with a snake! The glide and
the sinuous slither comes with maturity!

A week ago, I opened the front door to let a guest in and what did
I see? A snake, poised, in the middle of the room! But after several
incidents of such sightings(?) I calmly told the guest to sit in the
veranda while I took off to get a bamboo pole. The snake went
hoppity-skippity under a table. When I returned with the pole it went
under the sofa but I managed to gently ease it out of the room with
the bamboo. I think it was one of those harmless aquatic snakes and
it wasn't fully grown. Had it been two weeks later, I'm sure I'd have
said, "There's a SNAKE in the room!' Coming back to my guest, he
told me that he was terrified of snakes! I just hoped later that
the snake would not scare my neighbour. She recently had her
garden fumigated with dried chillies after she saw a cobra near
the steps leading to the first floor of her house. Crushed garlic
is what we normally use in these parts to drive venomous
snakes away!

When my children were very young, a cobra glided up the steps at
the end of the corridor. I was at the kitchen door, about three
feet away.Instinct made me tap on the floor with my foot three
times. The intimidating reptile simply turned and went away.
Since then the belief that snakes do not harm unless they feel
threatened, has been reinforced. Also I feel that becoming a
mother, in order to allay the fears of our children, we fight
and overcome fears of our own!

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