Sam and the snakes
The wildlife here is amazing. We have seen, heard and experienced a lot of things for the first time:
- A green woodpecker on the way to school
- Urban hares in the yard outside the apartment
- Deer, Shrews & a polecat see A year in Sweden for more details
- Snakes, lots of them, mostly grass snakes beautifully curled up and basking in the sun…
Well, I say mostly, because they are basking in the sun until Sam comes along. After that they are quite often in a very different condition and position. Sam is one of our dogs, he’s a dozy, fluffy half breed Husky/Jack Russell (yes, this is odd, and no, it wasn’t planned, it was a farm dog accident and the Mum was the Jack Russell… I’ll leave you trying to imagine that).
Anyway, Sam likes chasing stuff, but he’s not usually very good at catching anything on account of him being so loud, clumsy and having short legs. So, imagine his delight when he discovers that there are some things that you can catch which don’t have legs and ergo, cannot run away… yes, I think you are following me here.
We were out walking by the local river, a regular route for us, and there were no other dogs about, so ours were off the lead. They were sniffing around as usual and we were ahead of them chatting about Nexo knights (what else?) and enjoying the sunshine, when #1 son happens to look backwards and starts screaming hysterically. Oh my god, I think, what the bloody hell is happening and then I turn around (and I can remember this as if it were in slo-mo on a film), and I see the problem. Sam has found a nest of snakes, the Mum and at least 3 babies are now engaged in a sort of gory, horrific, car crash carnage of a scene, whereby Sam is trying to eat them all at once a bit at a time. This is all happening whilst #1 stands rooted to the spot, terrified and still screaming and crying, #2 is looking on goggle-eyed and I join in with the chaos by shouting
Sam, stop it, Sam, Sam, put the snake down, Sam, no, SAM PUT THE FUCKING SNAKE DOWN…
The mother snake will not leave the babies and has raised herself up spitting and hissing to defend them, too late for one who has been broken in half and then the worst thing ever happens. Sam bites the mother in half and the top half is waving in one direction and the bottom half waggling around in another part of the grass. At this point, I have had enough and I drag the boys (still rooted to the spot), in the direction of home. After we have created a suitable distance, Sam, sensing that the fun is over, abandons his new toy and potters off after us, fur splattered in blood, looking very pleased with himself.
It is only now that I realise that we have left the leads by the bridge over the river where we were playing Poohsticks 10 minutes before. Given the choice of having to revisit the scene of the massacre or come back for the leads another time, I opt for the latter and tie Sam to the straps on my rucksack to stop him enjoying any more wildlife and we proceed home looking like we have just emerged from a war zone.
To the family who were sitting on the other side of the river, enjoying a picnic (I emphasis, were) – I apologise profusely.