Hark! The Herald
5am. I open the sliding door to let the German and the Maine Coon out. The German Shepherd, instead of heading off to pee, starts messing about with something under the table. I plod out, barefoot and in my boxers to go save the the frog or toad or whatever it is that she wants to be ‘friends’ with. I get down on my haunches and pull her back gently by her collar, ‘Come, leave the… WOAH’.
Its a snake. Its pitch black and I didn’t bother to turn on any lights, so I can’t see exactly that kind it is, but damn did I get a fright! Drag the German back inside, she doesn’t seem to be bit. But I have the feeling that I need to do… I dunno… something. The cat is still outside… and her sense of predation might get the better of her.
I trot off to the workshop and whack together a snake-wrangling implement. I bend a piece of 5mm stainless in the vice and tape it to a dowel stick with electrical tape. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Snake City on Discovery. I’ve got this.
Eh… maybe. I go back and grab my safety glasses off the workbench… just in case its a spitter. And… you know… put on my slippers (because that’s important).
In any event… I maneuver the snake, who rears up and hisses at me, deftly1 into a plastic crate I had lying around.
 it probably wasn’t that deft. But sphincter tightly puckered sounds lame right?
‘Aren’t you glad you married such a brave and industrious man’, I say to my wife. She shrugs at me, ‘sure’. ‘The website says they are often mistaken for juvenile Mambas or Cape Cobras’…. ‘and it was dark, so I really was quite brave’. ‘Meh, do you want coffee?’ ‘…yeah okay’.
The three year old balls her eyes out when I say I’m letting it go. ‘I want a snake for my birthday’, she wails. The snake… gets tipped out at the bottom of the garden and slithers off under the fence and into the neighbors property. Which I might not have done if it had been a rinkhals or a puffy.
This was on either Facebook or our neighborhood group last week. A record setting Boomslang that a local Snake-catcher removed from a garden about… 300-400 mtrs from us as the crow flies.
Boomslangs are Hemotoxic. So you die bleeding out through all your orifices. As opposed to Puff Adders that are Cytotoxic… where the flesh around the wound, blackens, dies and sloughs away. A Rhinkals is Neurotoxic… and also slightly cytotoxic, so it will blind you, paralyze you and then rot your face off. Ha ha. I mean worst case scenario. I’m being overly dramatic, all of these can be treated post event at a hospital. A black mamba bite, on the other hand, depending on where it is, and you might only have a couple of minutes before you head off towards the light. In any event, I am obviously not as endowed with the titanium testicles as this guy.
I am better with spiders. I say, because now I’m feeling a little emasculated. Took this guy (or maybe girl) off my daughters bedroom ceiling last week.
Not that Rain Spiders are particularly dangerous. Although they will bite you (apparently it feels like a bee-sting).
An experiment was done in 1959 where a Palystes superciliosus was allowed to bite an adult guinea pig on the nose. The guinea pig died within 7 minutes, leading to a belief that the spider’s venom was dangerous. However, further research on anaesthetized guinea pigs showed that the original guinea pig had actually died of shock, rather than as a result of the spider’s venom.
-Wikipedia article on Rain Spiders.
This one got a stern talking to and then got tipped outside my study window. Go forth, and multiply, somewhere else, preferably.
Rain spiders eat lizards. Which eat the bugs. So really, in the circle of life thing, I’m probably on the side of the lizards. Although, for their sins, Rain Spiders are preyed upon by Rain Spider Wasps, that inject their eggs into the Spider… which then hatch… and the larvae then feed off the still living spider. Nom, nom, nom. Nature is lit.