Snakes are slimy creepy creatures, often misunderstood say those who love them. Our nephew plans to become a snake specialist when he’s older – I’m not yet convinced but am pleased his mother has refused him having one for a pet.
More often though, snakes are used for description purposes, not least by Gabriela Harding – words curl like snakes as do paths and roads in Sai-ko. John Samson has varicose veins and other such items snaking in Cold Fiction, while in How to be a Popular Crew by Dave Robson, ropes coiled on a boat floor are compared to snakes.
You might wonder what inspired this post on snakes – it was On Call in Africa, the memoirs of Norman Parsons Jewell who wrote of his time in East Africa during World War 1. A camp near Massassi had an abundance of snake life to the extent the doctors were treating up to six snake bites a day. I don’t think I’ve seen that many snakes in all my bush wandering in Africa, although I have seen a few – some amazing specimens alive and dead. They remain for me a fascinating creature, but one where I keep my distance.
Another World War 1 snake related encounter can be found in the Lake Tanganyika Expedition. The commander Spicer Simson had tatoos of snakes which moved when he flexed his arms. This apparently capivated the locals and they attributed him some mystical powers.
Thanks to Pablo for the image