Monday, March 9, 2009

Cold blooded murder

I was woken up to a jolt from my missus. I glanced at the alarm clock and it was close to midnight. I went to sleep a little earlier than usual that night.. what with being Sunday night and all,.. I had to wake up before dawn to get my eldest ready for school. Anyway,…

“Uh? What’s going on?” I asked. She said “I was putting Matisse out and saw a mean looking snake”. I must tell you here that “Matisse” is our 4 year old Golden Retriever. And of course all snakes look mean! As a typical bloke (woken up at midnight) I replied “So?”. “We need to do something”. And by “We” I knew she meant me. And by “something” I suspected she meant “kill it or whatever”.

“Oh just leave it alone and it will go away”. I turned to the other side. “But the kids…” she said. And I knew there was no point arguing,.. the sooner I do something about it, the sooner I can go back to sleep. But the mention of kids did make me take it seriously too. I got into my flip-flops, took the emergency light in one hand and went downstairs.

Sure enough, it was a mean looking thing,… small and spotted it was moving slowly on our back lawn – which I remember someone once told me was a sign of a venomous snake. It sure didn’t look like any rat snake I’ve seen before. By this time, I had made up my mind that it ain’t a rat snake, and that I was going to kill it. Incidentally, rat snakes (a.k.a. Garandiyas) can grow fairly large but completely harmless. It was trying to climb the boundary wall. Closest weapon around was a shovel we normally use to remove doggy poo whenever Matisse wanted to show us who the real boss was.

We were ready, two grown adults, one holding an emergency lamp, the other pointing a shovel with a bit of doggy poo at the end. I felt like a pigmy holding a blow gun with a poisoned dart. Our enemy? A one and a half feet long brown snake with white spots. We weren’t even sure if it was poisonous or not. I took careful aim and let ‘em have it. The attack was savage but swift. The poor thing didn’t know what hit ‘em. We couldn’t take a chance and burnt the body then and there.

I distinctly saw one of my neighbors peering into her window curious of us lighting a fire in the middle of the night. I’m sure she will have a few imaginative stories to tell the other neighbors next day. I kinda like to fuel these things too.

By the time the whole episode was over, I was covered in sweat. I had a quick wash and jumped in the bed. That’s enough killing for one night I thought. I fought back guilt as I tried my best to sleep. I think I eventually dozed off around 2.30 in the morning.

That was my evil deed for 2009.


Bimal said...

I was quite worried that I killed a non-venomous snake. But after going through many pictures of snakes on the net, I can safely confirm that the one I killed was a Common Krait. It is said to be 15 times more venomous than a Cobra.

Perhaps it is some vindication for killing it?

santhoshi said...

oh my god u mean these things are found in colombo! U should get some pest control. Put some sulphur powder around the garden. That might not be safe with the dog around know?

Bimal said...

Apparently Colombo was one of the best marshlands back in the day. So I guess some of the original inhabitants are still around.

Kokila said...

I could lend you my dogs Bimal. They specialize in hunting anything that crawls!

Bimal said...

Hmm,.. that's a thought.

Even my fella would have gone after the snake had we not tied him up beforehand. The problem is he has no sense of what is dangerous and what is not... he'll just go at just about anything.