Friday, April 16, 2010
Imagine you're hurriedly walking into an unused room and as soon as you open the door, you see this.
'This' was a harmless Rat Snake but the fright it gave me must surely be reverberating through the DNA of at least the coming 3 generations of my family!
Rewind : A couple of months ago a crew of painters and their hangers-on had taken over my house. The destruction they brought in their wake still has me tearing my hair out. In one particular bathroom they ended up cracking tilework and leaving big splotches of white cement trying to patch up more broken tiles. In retrospect, their finishing touch must've been pulling out the drain cover and then casually placing it back without bothering to cement it down.
In any case, the end result was that it looked so bad that we closed up that room till we find the time to fix it up again.
The other day, I remembered that I had to check on some stuff there and hurriedly went in. Only to realise that something was not quite right. And there to my left, just 2 feet away was this very scared Rat Snake, obviously thinking the same thing! He had climbed up on the sink and was literally trying to climb the wall.
I freaked out! Now I'm used to seeing snakes in the garden and actually enjoy it (from a safe distance) but I have never ever had one of them actually inside my house. I think I was more startled because it was so totally unexpected.
It didn't really register in my mind that it was only a harmless Rat Snake but all I could think at that moment was there's a snake in my house and that's crossing all lines that we've drawn down the years.
In all my years of living here, they've never done that but preferred to stay in the garden, chasing frogs or rats or whatever else took their fancy. And I've been thankful to them for that. But it has always been "you stay in your space and I'll stick to my space" between us. So why had that changed now?
The answer to that was a big frog lying near the drain. It had obviously come up through the loose drain cover and the snake had followed it in. I wonder what he thought of this strange new territory ...
Anyway, our helper came in armed with a long stick and flicked it down on to the floor near the drain. The speed with which it zipped back down that drain was amazing!
Poor little snake! He had come in looking for a nice quiet meal and all he got was gatecrashing humans!
Posted by Sunita Mohan at 9:15 AM