Saturday, January 16, 2010

"The snakes here are not sassy."

Yesterday at the campsite, I was peering into the pit latrine, admiring how the four buckets of ash we'd just purchased from enterprising young people had done wonders for the smell and wondering whether or not the ash would kill the maggots (it hasn't).

Out of the corner of my eye, a long black tendril wound its way horizontally out of the palm tree above me and dropped two meters down to the next bunch of palm fronds and slowly disappeared. I checked it's color--black--and it's size--about the thickness of my forearms--and calmly strolled back to the campsite. Actually, I ran--of course I did.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, my sister came back from the latrine and said she'd seen it too, and that it had been peering down at her. She'd gotten a better look at it--black body, yellow head. Ben, who I consider knows about these things, took two friends and ran to the tree the snake was supposed to be up. We ran after them, at a respectable distance because as soon as we spotted it and id-ed it as a spitting cobra, the men starting throwing sticks and coconut husks at it to try to dislodge it from the tree. That's when I ran--just a few meters back--again.

The snake, quite predictably, didn't fall and instead disappeared into the bush, probably rather upset with us, but fair enough--snake should not be so curious. Ben says we should "brush" (or rather, slash) the whole area to make sure the cobra isn't hanging around, but as long as it doesn't spy on people in the latrine, it's fine with me. I asked Ben if we should be worried, and he told us, "Since I've been back in Robertsport, the snakes have not been sassy." I think we're probably okay.

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