My wife was making a lot of fuss the other day – some story about a snake in the house. She had seen it come through the back door and given it a wallop or two as it disappeared behind a bookcase. Nuts, I said, snakes don’t crawl about in the winter, they are cold-blooded animals.
She must have been seeing things. Women are always a bit peculiar about snakes and one has to humour them on these occasions. I took the bookcase apart – of course there was no nest of crazed serpents there plotting our downfall (although a few interesting books I hadn’t read for a while, plus a lot of dust).
Anyhow, yesterday afternoon, a snake came through the same door. I saw it and, having in the past watched all those shows made by the Australian naturalist Steve Whatwashisname, grabbed it by the tail and, as it hung there writhing energetically, I danced about shouting Snoike, what a beautiful Snoike.
It was a metre-long grass snake as far as I know, although and despite there not being any poisonous snakes around here, one never likes to be proved wrong – especially by some maddened viper.
Anyhow, I put him safely somewhere in the garden to cries coming from inside the house:
Now, can you have a proper look behind the goddamn bookcase?