Monday, 2 September 2013

Snake Daddy!


Regular readers will recall that I once had a rodent problem which I resolved, not with dangerous poisons, but by introducing snakes into the house.  Marcia, like most people, isn’t desperately keen on snakes so had no hesitation venturing her opinion on my eco friendly pest control solution.  The snakes slithered into the various nooks and crannies and evidently did their hunting at night for we saw not scale nor cast of them but the rats and mice, along with all the cockroaches disappeared.  I was pleased and Marcia obviously forgot she was living in close proximity to half a dozen or so serpents.

We must be on our second generation of Fort Hippos snakes, the first to be born and raised within our humble abode, because they have recently become far to tame for their own good.  Coming out only at night was a good ploy by the original slinky crew but a tactic they sadly failed to pass on to their offspring.  Many times over the last couple of weeks I have caught movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see a beautifully iridescent house snake checking me out with its beady little eyes.  I think they are wonderful.  Marcia, if she saw one, would empty a whole spray can of beastie killer over it.

This afternoon, Dominic and Alex were lying on the sofa watching TV when Dominic noticed movement in the rafters above his head.

‘It’s a snake, Daddy!’ he shouted leaping to his feet.

‘Catch it, Daddy, I want to play with it,’ shouted Alex.

It was only about three and a half feet long and no thicker than a three core electrical flex so was obviously a young snake.  I wondered what it was doing in the rafters, no mice up there, but it carried on unperturbed pausing once or twice to take a look at the gawking trio below before sliding through a hole in the wall I never knew existed and appearing outside on the rafter extension.  The clever little sod had already worked out that I leave the outside light on, the light attracts insects and insects attract snake food.

Dominic, Alex and I were all gazing at it when Marcia arrived. 

Dominic is as lean as the snake!  Not an ounce of fat on him.

What follows is a loose translation from the Portuguese:

‘A COBRA!  No Darling, don’t even think about it!  I am not going into the room until you get rid of the snake!’  Or words to that effect.

‘Marcia,’ I said soothingly, ‘that isn’t a snake, it is a long necked lizard.’

‘You must think I am really stupid,’ said Marcia.

‘Marcia!’ I exclaimed with horror, ‘I would never think you were stupid!' 

Right then I was willing to settle for ‘Gullible’.

In the meantime the baby snake sits there patiently waiting for its supper to arrive.

34 comments:

  1. I'm all for eco friendly solutions, but this one is a bit of a stretch for me. We used chi chaks to eliminate insects, but the downside is they do leave their "residue", so they've now been banished for the time being.

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    1. We have those here too. Last night I counted 16 of them lying in wait by the outside light. The snake was still there this morning.

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  2. Alex wants to play with snakes. Great. Excellent. Makes a mother's heart sing. At least we now have established who he takes after in the risk taking department.

    Should the subject come up again you may swing it with Marcia by reminding her that humans are rarely further away from a rat than 6 meters (particularly in New York - or Hamburg, come to think of it). Which still holds true in your little snug except that the rats are safely tucked away inside a snake (about three meters away).

    I know I have already suggested you reading Le Petit Prince to Alex. Not least, indeed mostly, because of that marvellous drawing and outline of a boa constrictor having swallowed an elephant whole. To the child like unadulterated eye that's obvious. Where the clouded vision of many an adult saw a hat. A HAT? I ask you. Do people have no imagination? Sometimes I wonder what I'd look like inside a snake. Or you.Or anyone.

    U

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    1. Not surprisingly, Marcia has a fit when I let Alex play with snakes...

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  3. FOR MARCIA.

    Dear Marcia.

    May I suggest you read Rudyard Kipling's book 'Rikki Tikki Tarvi'. But don't mention this to either Hippo or the boys!

    Best wishes, Cro xx

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    1. Brilliant book!

      I had my eyes closed when Reading this comment so I haven't seen your cunning advice...

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  4. Snakes eh? Wonderful critters but they do require an awful lot of pastry for an en croute or a Wellington. Perhaps some sort of cobra star-gazey pie may be in order?

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    1. Ian, for reasons not quite clear to me, yet self explanatory, your comment brought on two memories. I'll keep it short. To my uneducated eye an eel is a snake by another name. There is no Freud to be employed here.

      Once upon a time my youngest sister and I (sharing a bed at my grandfather's house) were jumped at by eels, right out of the tank next to our slumber. They were fresh. I give them that. Mainly because my grandfather and his sons (my uncles) always kept their bounty alive (in water) till the pan beckoned. Yes, so that was that. I didn't need to see a psychiatrist to dampen my trauma. Thus fond memories are built.

      Some years later my boss decided I'd be the best person to prepare Champagne Breakfast for her wedding reception. I felt flattered. Till the wedding party had departed to tie the knot and I was inspecting provisions. OH MY GOD. Smoked eel. To be skinned, portioned, whatever. I did it. But don't give me eel. Ever again.

      U

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    2. Great for catering quantities of snake rolls though.

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  5. I confess to being on Marcia's side on this one. I once had a friend who kept snakes many years ago and while visiting, he dropped this big bugger on my lap for a laugh. I guess the snake could smell the sudden residue in my underpants. My brother also had a big snake which my boys were happy to have on their lap. Oh how I laughed.

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    1. Your brother had a big snake? Too much detail...

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  6. I will NEVER. COME. TO. VISIT. YOU. EVER.
    Els

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    1. Not even if I give you the special 'snake' discount?

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  7. My mother used to work at London Zoo, and handled many a python...your house snakes hardly count...I think you should let Marcia know that...

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    1. Maybe you should try talking to her!

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  8. I'll take a snake in the house any day over a rat or mouse. But then we don't have any venomous snakes here in the Willamette valley. I trust Alex can tell friend from foe by now.

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    1. Snakes of Angola
      Venomous snakes of Angola

      Aspidelaps lubricus
      Atheris squamigera
      Atractaspis bibronii
      Atractaspis congica
      Bitis arietans
      Bitis caudalis
      Bitis gabonica
      Bitis heraldica
      Bitis nasicornis
      Bitis peringueyi
      Boiga blandingii
      Boulengerina christyi
      Causus bilineatus
      Causus lichtensteinii
      Causus maculatus
      Causus resimus
      Causus rhombeatus
      Dendroaspis jamesoni
      Dendroaspis polylepis
      Dispholidus typus
      Elapsoidea guentheri
      Elapsoidea semiannulata
      Naja anchietae
      Naja haje
      Naja melanoleuca
      Naja mossambica
      Naja nigricollis
      Parabuthus granulatus
      Paranaja multifasciata
      Pseudohaje goldii
      Thelotornis capensis
      Thelotornis kirtlandii

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    2. A mere handful, clearly nothing to be worried about...

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  9. In the parts of Australia where the crocs roam free - they say everyone has a dog and it is train to walk between the water and the owner - reason being - if you are attacked by a croc - it will take the dog first. Perhaps Marcia would feel better is a similar arrangement could be made. But what would that pet be? I could suggest a Kookaburra as they would have the added advantage of snacking on the occasional snake if it got to close. Also if you could time your witty quips well - it would seem that you always had an appreciative auidence www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0ZbykXlg6Q‎

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    1. For similar reasons, Arab males living in countries visited by the Americans allow their wives to walk ahead of them rather than behind as was customary, 'Progress?' asked a journalist. 'No, landmines'

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  10. That has to be the best form of pest control ever. Do you have anything to control jackdaws in stock?

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  11. When I saw the title "Snake Daddy", I thought you were going to be writing about a well-endowed pornstar! However, it was just about a game of snakes and ladders - with lads but without ladders.

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  12. When I saw the title "Snake Daddy", I thought you were going to be writing about a well-endowed pornstar! However, it was just about a game of snakes and ladders - with lads but without ladders.

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    1. I didn't think you were allowed to start a sentence with 'however'?

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    2. Many people have been taught not to start sentences with However or Hopefully, but that is not true today.

      Hopefully traditionally meant ‘in a hopeful manner’, but its meaning broadened last century to include ‘it is hoped’.

      Hopefully, you will find this grammar tip useful.

      However, when used as a conjunct (a joining word that links without forming a full grammatical link), means ‘but’ or ‘regardless of the fact’.

      When you use however at the beginning of a sentence, you need a comma after it to indicate a pause.

      However, the other alternative looks more attractive.

      When you use however in the middle of a sentence it should be separated from the rest of the sentence with a semicolon and followed by a comma.

      The other alternative looks more attractive; however, we have paid for this one.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. The cats take care of any rodents who decide to come into the house, and i prefer the kitties to snakes. But, i've seen a number of snakes outside, and i appreciate that they help curtail the number of mice, moles, voles, chipmunks, and shrews who get in the house. I've held snakes before but am not in a hurry to do so, and i'd rather we both just wander/slither away from each other than having to have a captor/captured rapport.

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  14. ‘that isn’t a snake, it is a long necked lizard.’

    That made me smile. When holidaying on the Greek island of Symi, Greg and I went for a walk through long grass from one side of the island to the other. On seeing a cat carrying a snake in its mouth, I froze and feared what others could be lying at my feet, if I took another step. Greg said ‘that isn’t a snake, it is a legless lizard.’ It was the only way he could get me to complete our walk across the island. We laughed about it afterwards and it became part of our family folklore!

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  15. Loved it ....
    but you really had to put that foto?
    i look like a skeleton...
    but,again, i loved it...
    love dominic

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  16. Loved it ....
    but you really had to put that foto?
    i look like a skeleton...
    but,again, i loved it...
    love dominic

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    1. You may look like a lanky streak of piss but there is some good muscle definition there Son! I'm jealous!

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.