Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

A snake in the grass is worth two in the bed

By  Jun 04, 2016

“Do you think it is dangerous,” I asked my wife as we looked down in horror at a snake slithering through the grass towards our front door. “I don’t know, I am no snake expert, but I don’t think so,” she answered reaching for her mobile phone. Of course in these modern times if you are unsure of something you simply ask Google. This search engine has replaced our brains; it is our external hard drive, yes you can argue it has made us lazy, even dumb, but it is the easy option.

So with a few photos of the wiggly intruder we asked the online community of Facebook. The answers ranged from “It isn’t poisonous, the dangerous ones aren’t that long,” – “if it was on my doorstep I'd have a heart attack!” and my personal favourite “The way you two have started you will probably adopt it.”

I am neither a fan nor afraid of snakes. I have to be honest the first experience I had of actually seeing a snake up close and personal was in Dubrovnik, the fields of England aren’t really ripe with poisonous snakes. The very first one I saw wasn’t that scary, mainly because it was squashed in the middle of the road.

Then I saw a monster glavor, basically a lizard that has lost its legs over generations! How was I to know that it wasn’t a killer? It was a real monster; I thought it was some python or boa constrictor. As it slithered through the grass you could see all the blades of grass waving under its weight. When I discovered it was basically a legless lizard I wouldn’t be afraid to pick it up. Maybe it is because of their seemingly slow speed, I always think that I could outrun a snake, that I am not afraid.

Of course seeing one on your doorstep it never pleasant, but this one seemed relaxed. About the most dangerous animal that I came across in England in the wild was a hedgehog, and they aren’t known for their attack abilities, although I guess they will give you a nasty prick if you pick one up.

“Do you think it is hungry,” my wife asked me. I knew it; we were going to have another pet! “What do they eat anyway,” she continued. I am not sure what they eat, but I do know what they bite. I had visions of her feeding the snake with dog biscuits or cat Whiskers, would the snake sleep on our bed as well?

And then I saw it had a slippery friend, maybe a distant cousin. This time the rustling sound seemed much louder. Blimey, although this first snake was small, about the size of a large shoe lace, was it possible that it had a bigger friend, even a mother or father. The grass continued to shake; a snake earthquake was coming our way. We could have sold tickets to our snake farm.
“Oh, that is alright, it is my friend,” said my Dr. Doolittle wife. “You have a snake as a friend,” came the answer. A glavor, as thick as my arm, appeared from the long grass. Blimey we were having a snake party. This was a real whopper of a glavor, an adult that looked like he wasn’t hungry.

“How is that thing your friend,” was the obvious question. “Anytime I have leftovers from fruit I throw it to him to eat,” she answered. That solved the question why this glavor was a monster, a Loch Ness monster sized leg-less lizard. Not only were we about to have a snake as a pet, we were on the verge of having a pair!

But wait, where had the little one gone...oh no! “Can you see the other snake,” I asked with a slightly raised voice. A shake of the head was all I got in return. I then looked around to see that the front door of the house was still open. Was the snake already waiting for us one the bed?

The glavor moved on its way, slowly but surely pulling its belly of fresh fruit through the undergrowth. Its little friend was nowhere to be seen. Now I know I told you that I am not afraid of snakes, however finding one curled up under my pillow was not a thought that filled me with pleasure. The messages were still coming on Facebook, “Be careful, Boba. This looks like a copperhead. It is poisonous but mostly not life threatening.” Oh, that’s OK then, mostly not life threatening.

Then I saw the answer to all our problems, and the beginning of the snake’s problems – our cat! She had already hunted down the intruder and, well lets be diplomatic, dealt with our problem. “That’s one less mouth for us to feed,” was what I felt like saying...I held my tongue.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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