“Dad, it’s Drake.”
“There’s a snake … in our house.”
“Come again? Where’s the snake?”
“In our house. Under the couch.”
To quote Indiana Jones, “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes? I hate snakes!”
There I was, on the other side of Chiang Mai city when Drake called to tell me there was a snake IN our house UNDER the couch!
“Maybe about two feet long.”“OK, son. Get my bamboo walking stick and just keep an eye on it. Whatever you do, don’t let it get away and hide somewhere in the house!”
Pedal to the medal, rushing home, but it would take at least 20 minutes. Start praying. Then, in answer to my prayer, God gave me inspiration: “That’s what friends are for!” Yes! I immediately called a good friend and fellow ZOE missionary whom I knew to be working at home that day. No answer! Well, I have more than one friend (at least I did until I called him about the snake). My second call was answered.
“Dave, it’s Ron. Are you home?”
“No, I’m working on someone’s house today, why?”
After explaining that Drake and Elli were home alone – with a snake – Dave said he was dropping his tools and heading to my house pronto. “I’ll be there in 5 minutes,” he said.
I was a minute away when my phone rang: “Ron, it’s Dave. Don’t hurry. The snake’s dead.”
Great! I started my car back up and pulled around the corner and into my driveway.
(Just kidding …)
When I arrived, Dave treated the kids and me to a lesson in herpetology. It turned out (rather unfortunately if you want my opinion), that the snake was a cobra. A “baby” cobra as Dave put it but one that nevertheless measured almost a yard long. Dave showed us the telltale signs of a poisonous viper and how to distinguish these deadly reptiles from the relatively harmless ones (though most snakes can inflict a painful bite when provoked).I suggested (rather hopefully) that if a “baby” snake like this one bit you it wouldn’t be as bad as if you were nicked by a full grown cobra (they average about 12 feet in length). But Dave explained that a young snake can, in fact, be more deadly than a mature one. That’s because an adult snake will inject just enough poison to make its enemy back off whereas a less experienced “baby” snake tends to latch on and dump it’s full load of venom into its victim.
All of this excitement came on the heels of me chasing a snake through our yard about two weeks ago only to succeed in causing it to slither into our fish pond. I don’t think the fish appreciated it and it definitely kept me on my toes for the next week or so as I fed the fish every morning.
So once we effusively thanked Dave and he was on his way, Drake and I made a beeline for the local HomePro to pick up some anti-snake stuff. We bought and installed heavy duty weather stripping on all the doors which we reckon is how the snake got in since at least one door had a 3/4 inch gap under it. (Is it a coincidence that this was the door right next to the fish pond?!) We also bought a top-of-the-line “Acme 3000 High-Tensile Strength, Tempered Alloy, Precision Milled Snake De-Activator” (pictured below).
Next time, we’ll be ready (because I now have Dave’s number on speed-dial)!