Archive for December 30th, 2007

Close Call

December 30, 2007


Yesterday evening walking on the dam, the edges of which are now thick with bush and long grass on account of recent rain so it is increasingly difficult to find a clear path, I trod on a puff adder. I was wearing flip flops. I didn’t even notice. Except for a deep hiss emanating somewhere below me and my husband’s alarmed voice behind me:

Ohmigod! You’ve just trodden on a puff adder.

I stepped right on its middle with my flat and almost bare foot.

It moved off slowly whilst my children gaped. And I tried to gather my nerves.

I was pleased to get home and pour myself a very large glass of wine.  The puff adder is responsible for more deaths in Africa than any other snake. Though fatly lethargic, it’s also the quickest to strike under pressure.

Tomorrow I am going to the market to buy myself a pair of wellies to walk the bush in.

Husband says that given the laws of probability I shan’t need them: it’ll be forty years before you tread on another venomous snake, he says.

Except that this is the third I’ve trodden on in five years. The other two were cobras.

Think I’d be wiser to heed my brother’s words, ”how many lives you got left then, Sis?” than dear husband’s.

That and watch my step.

And get those wellies, of course.