Friday, 1 July 2011

My mate Sid

I was clearing out the PH Memorial Shed in a rare burst of activity. There were a load of concrete bricks in one corner, damp from a gently leaking pipe. That corner was dark and as I got towards the bottom of the pile, puffing and panting in my ghastly late middle-aged way, I thought I saw something slither. I ran out squeaking, got a serious torch and went back. Yes, there was Sid all curled up amongst mice-chewed newspaper and all sorts of other unmentionable stuff. I would like to say that I was the one who captured him but I thought that it might be better to get someone who knows what a viper looks like. So along came Gianni and his wife Rosella and with a pair of barbecue tongs we got him in a large glass.
He was quite long and struck out a couple of times. After a lot of tooth sucking Gianni declared that this was not a viper but a bicha, a harmless mouse-eating snake (good for you Sid). So I gingerly let him go into the next field and off he slithered happy as Larry Sid.

We have a truly ignorant neighbour who claims on a regular basis to have killed vipers which is almost certainly bollocks. Another neighbour (89 year old Riccardo) has lived here all his life and says he has never seen one; he is probably right. Snakes are good for the countryside although that bloke in Blighty who was bitten by one of his King Cobras this week and then died may well have overstated his affection for them somewhat.


Val S. said...

Eeek! Can't stand snakes. And yet we have an abundance of garter snakes around here. I had two sightings today in our small garden - probably the same one looking for a place to set up after leaving the parents. We have generously sprinkled snake repellent, which is basically naphthalene, so now we have the smell of mothballs to contend with!

Affer said...

I am pleased to live in a country that has but four snakes: the grass snake, the smooth snake, the adder and Mark Serwotka. The latter is the most poisonous.

Vinogirl said...

I love snakes, but I must admit that stepping over a gopher seeking Crotalus oreganus, whilst walking the Vinodogs, really rattled me!