This weekend proved to be rather exciting when we were visited by a snake on Sunday. The Bean, being quite a scardy cat discovered it as she was walking into the main cottage and called me. She was really cool-headed as we had taught her to be around snakes, and I was impressed because I didn’t think she would manage to be.
The snake had quite a fright too and took shelter behind a bench on our veranda. Quickly I got out our snake hook and tongs and I tried to catch it. Well – we were quite a sight because at this stage I had not managed to identify it and therefore was being very cautious. We chased him around the corner of the cottage and he climbed a tree and was trying to get onto the roof of the cottage which I did not want to happen. With the help of our swimming pool net we managed to dislodge him from the tree and he went back behind the bench. I pulled the bench away and the silly creature went right up the supporting pole of our veranda roof and into the rafters. I grabbed his tail with the tongs and pulled…….and pulled….and pulled – I thought he was going to snap in half but he wouldn’t budge. As the Bean and I were discussing our next move, a wasp flew onto the veranda and the Bean screamed and ran.
I found this rather hysterical as we were trying to catch a very venomous snake (we had by now identified it as a Boomslang) and she was being so brave and courageous and then this little wasp comes along and freaks her out. She did not laugh at first but my laughter was eventually catching and she had a good giggle. This gave the snake a bit of a breather and he took the opportunity to slither right up into the top of the rafters where he spent the night. He was still peeping out this morning. I hope he leaves today while we are away.
A boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is a relatively small, venomous snake native to sub-Saharan Africa. Its name means “tree snake” in Afrikaans and Dutch. Their diet includes chameleons and other lizards, frogs, and occasionally small mammals, birds and eggs from nesting birds, all of which they swallow whole. During cool weather they will hibernate for moderate periods, often curling up inside the enclosed nests of birds such as weavers. It has a highly potent venom, which it delivers through large fangs that are located in the rear of the jaw. The venom of the boomslang is primarily a hemotoxin. It disables the blood clotting process and the victim may well die as a result of internal and external bleeding.
Shredded skin of a boomslang is one of the ingredients to make the Polyjuice Potion in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets