There are a lot of things that come to our door–some of them welcomed and others not-so-welcomed. This was the latter.
As two kids, ages 9 and 5, were shouting “Ssssss-nake! Ssssss-nake!” at our front door, I first wondered how long it took them to remember that English word from school.
I was really hoping it was a little bitty snake. We’d kill it in a minute, and there was no need to worry. It’s a part of living here, right?
Not so simple.
Not so small, not so easy to kill, and not so concluded.
It was about three feet long. It was brown and slithery with it’s tongue in and out, just as you’d expect. It’s trickier than you think to kill a snake among the mess of children and bicycles and trash that we call our front yard.
The first time, we missed him. But we discovered his little home.
We were more prepared the second time we heard “Sssss-nake! Sssss-nake!” Stephen managed to get one hit with a hoe and a man from the neighborhood hit him a slingshot. He continued into the wood pile in our front yard that used to be our neighbors houses. The wood pile that we started storing “for one month” in June.
How many other snakes are living in there, we wonder? Or rats or mice?
We never caught him. We have learned the word for snake in Burmese, and the kids have learned it in English. We all know what to say when we see it, and the hoes are ready and waiting by the door. Steps are taken quickly and cautiously as we run to and fro our motorbike.
Because really, this is worse case scenario. If we didn’t know he was there, we’d be naive of his presence and walking our slow little unprotected way. If we had killed him quickly, we would think there was just one and we’d outsmarted him; an unfortunate side story of our lives here.
Instead, curiosity has the best of me, and we now have snakes and mice and rats under every bed and bookshelf, multiply in our wood pile of houses, and threatening bites and sickness and trips to the hospital.
Oh, sssssnake, you won.