Close Call


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.

8 Responses to “Close Call”

  1. roberta Says:


  2. R. Sherman Says:

    Ditto Roberta’s reaction.

    Reminds me of the time I ran across a Copperhead nest in my parents’ firewood pile. Of course, my mom just told me to get a machete and clear them out.


  3. roberta Says:

    R Sherman:

    I once carried a load of dirty laundry to my basement: wearing shorts and barefooted. There, stretched across the cool cement was the biggest damn copperhead I’d ever seen.

    Husband dispatched it promptly, but I didn’t do laundry for a week.

  4. Potty Mummy Says:

    Snakes? Snakes? Bleeeruuuurrghhh.

    RM – you are a better woman than I to live in such hazardous environment. The only dangerous things here are the yummy mummies talking too much on their mobiles as they try to drive their 4 x 4’s round the streets of K&C. Come to think of it though, wellies won’t protect me from them. Maybe you have got the better deal after all…

  5. cinnamon gurl Says:

    Yikes! That’s terrifying.

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