26 September 2011


Seven and a half months.  SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS!!  That's how long I've gone without seeing a snake.  When I arrived in Niger, I told God that if I found one in my house, I'd be on the first plane out of here.  And thankfully, He's held up His end of the deal.

This afternoon when I went home for lunch, I was peacefully sitting in my livingroom, when all of a sudden I heard a crazy commotion outside.  I peaked out my window towards all the brouhaha and found a pack of Nigerien men outside of the house next door.

Feeling curious, I went to take a closer look.

The men were all employees at the maintenance shop.  They stood in a circle, and there in the middle was the head mason holding up a thick, long black rope.

I thought that was odd.

But then on second glance, I realized it wasn't a rope, it was a SNAKE!

A Spitting Cobra, to be more precise.

Apparently they can 'stand' pretty tall, and they spit their venom at their prey.  This one was about 6feet tall . . . 2 meters!  His head looked pretty bashed, and there was a big slit down one side where blood was leaking to the ground.

They assured me he was dead . . . but I didn't want to get close enough to be sure.  The way my life goes, they'd hand him to me, he'd pull a The-Exorcist-Move and his head would spin around, he'd flash me a big cobra smile, then eat me alive.  (Okay, so even at thirty I have an over active imagination when it comes to creepy-crawlies!)

But, as if one today wasn't enough, I was walking into town this evening with My Mentor and STA-J, when deep in conversation, My Mentor shrieked and jumped backwards.

There at her feet was a pencil thin, maybe a foot long, brown and beige slitherer.  We booked it out of there, found a guard, and took him back to exterminate the little beast.  The guard started to spear him with a club . . . we started running.

I never knew snakes could jump like kangaroos.  Without feet or legs, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a snake that could compete in the high-jump.

The way I see it, two in one day should be a Get-Out-of-Snake-Free pass for my next two years.


Amanda Hunt said...

When we were living on the Sahel property the maintenance guys caught a spitting cobra and killed it. It was huge! The kids at the dorm decided it would be funny to put it outside our door and leave it there. Thankfully my friend who was the dorm assistant at the time phoned us to warn us. She later found a shoelace sized snake in her bedroom and they started catching baby snakes all over the place. This was all towards the end of our stay at Sahel so I was happy to leave seeing as they didn't find the Mother snake!! You'd think we'd be ok with snakes coming from Australia hey!

Deb. said...


(and can I just say how thankful I am that I read your comment this morning, and NOT last night . . . pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to sleep . . . in her BEDROOM!  Shame!!  Spiders and lizards and cockroaches and scorpions are one thing . . . but SNAKES!  Uh-uh!!)

(and I can't believe those little stinkers put in front of your door!!!)