Boomslang and other assorted visitors

23 Dec

The Boomslang

Yesterday, I was sitting with the old leg up, as per doctor’s orders, when I heard a sort of scuffling noise outside the bus. At first on looking out the window I saw Sasha, next doors’ dog, seemingly having a mad five minutes – as animals sometimes do. When I focussed though, the picture changed and I realised that she was attacking a snake. Biting it on its back to be precise.

“Snake” I yelled and John was off like a shot, grabbing his snake-stick on the way. He raced round to the side of the bus where all the action was, shooed Sasha away and got a grip of the snake with said stick.

John in snake mode

I don’t recognise snakes and am in awe of them. It could have been a Black Mamba for all I know. My heart was fair thumping and I feared for John’s safety though he did seem to be in control and know what he was doing.

Kerfuffle over, John told me that it was a Boomslang (literal translation tree snake). Whilst the venom is pretty deadly, they rarely attack unprovoked and its fangs are right at the back the mouth. They can, however, open up their mouths to 90 degrees, which may not be the flip-top head of a Puff Adder, but enough to shoot the deadly juice.

Given that Sasha was trying to bite it in half, this must have been one thoroughly pissed off pussy-cat.

Later, when John had returned our uninvited guest to its natural habitat – a tree, but far from the bus – we debated from where it had come. Seems in cooler weather, they hole up in the nests of Weaver Birds – two of which we have hanging from the tree right above the bus. If this was the case, it might well have dropped down onto the bus roof as it warmed up and from there just slithered down to the ground.

The stuff of nightmares and James Bond movies eh?

I didn’t see a single solitary snake when here last year but am still vigilant when outdoors as I have been told there are many around and about. Given that I’ve now seen two, in as many weeks, I am inclined to believe this. My eyes are permanently peeled.

On a less dramatic note, the neighbours’animals have adopted us. The afore-mentioned Sasha, together with her companion of unknown name and dubious pedigree, now run to greet us as we arrive home in the car. Sasha sleeps under the bus as if protecting us from intruders. It’s all we can do to keep her from moving in.

Our favourite black and white cat

Sasha and roadkill

Also a couple of  cats – a ginger, and our favourite black and white – come to visit. The latter has just had kittens, as yet unseen and hidden in the bush. Best it stays that way probably…

I think it’s cupboard love though. They get the scraps from the braai and the odd glass of milk. Not to mention a go at the road kill we picked up on the way to Kleinmond the other day – a guinea fowl which is destined for the pot.

Pregnant and hungry little lion

Guinea head

Don’t Guineas have amazing heads? Just look at the colours.

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