Charlotte (vilasy) wrote,
Yesterday, I was sealing my kitchen floor (how's that for adventurous) when there was shouting and commotion at the staff houses. I ran over, barefoot, to find Sandries swinging a rake at something. Snake.

I hate to generalize, but in most African cultures, snakes are seen as evil and to be killed. All snakes are dangerous, I've been told by so many. Even a little house snake will kill you. Even a dead one. It must be burned immediately.

I take a different view, with the possible exception of mambas. Snakes are beautiful, fascinating, and more importantly, a valuable part of our ecosystem. I've told Blackson and Sandries this many times, and to call me to deal with snakes, and just get incredulous laughter.

Funny how you can talk about how you gently catch them and release them all you want, but when you are faced with a cornered spitting cobra, you start to waver. This one was fairly small, but as I approached him with a bag and a rake, he indicated that he wasn't in a very good mood.

Mozambican spitting cobras are fairly common here. They have potent venom that they spit into the eyes of whoever annoys them with surprising accuracy from about 10-15 feet. This venom can blind you. I ran back to the house to get good snake boots, an easy to close and secure bag, and goggles. Due to the chaos of building, however, I emerged a few
minutes later with sunglasses, heels, and a laptop bag. The snake wasn't very pleased about my whole catch and release idea. I told him that it was a choice between the laptop bag and the rake, he replied with some very foul language, telling me exactly where I could shove that bag. I told him he was a beautiful creature that belonged out in the veldt, and not in Sandries' bathroom, he called me the c word.

Eventually, I nudged him into the bag with the rake. After much bungling, I flipped thhe bag closed, and threw a blanket over it. After some terrified grappling with the blanket, I shoved it into a black plastic bag, well inflated to give him air, and taped it firmly shut. The bathroom was warily inspected and pronounced snake free. Hooray! The staff think I'm certifiably insane.

Brevis came home half an hour later and we put the bag in the car to go release him. We drove out to a remote part of our reserve, and with a great deal of trepidation, cut open the bag and shook out the bundle.

Then shook out the bag. Then shook it out again. Then shook out the blanket. Then looked at each other in confusion. Then slowly turned to the car.

I'm driving the other car this week, thanks.
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