Monday, December 27, 2004

snakes alive

There are no land snakes in New Zealand. There may be some exotics in zoos, but I don't remember ever seeing them. So because you are unfamiliar with them you grow up on a diet of rattlers in Westerns, asps zapping Cleopatra & snakes in myth & scary movies & end up being shit-scared of them.

It's a fear I brought with me to Australia. & because I have yet to see a snake in the wild I am still afraid of them. I've seen snakes behind glass in zoos here, & loose in displays at local Shows. I found a shed skin when I went walking in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney when I lived there. Here in Rockhampton I once heard the cat yowling at what I thought was the tom next door, went out to shoo it away, found no cat but saw / heard something long & lizard-like slithering away across the dead leaves in the garden. Put it down as a possible sighting.

& yesterday the closest I have come yet, finding a dead snake on one of the pavers next to the path in the back garden. About eighteen inches long, but in two parts. Killed by maybe an owl or a kookaburra or perhaps even the cat, though if it were the latter I would have expected it to have been at least part-eaten. & I don't think the cat has the classical education to sever it in accordance with the principles of the golden mean.

No comments: