I’ve been a bit behind on chronicling my recent life events, so just like my last post, this one is over a week past the incident. But I could not let it go by without sharing it with you. Warning: it’s not for the squeamish!
Some time back, a friend of Bill & Elaine’s came to visit. Her name was Samantha and she was from Texas. We became friends too, and so some other friends here nicknamed her “Feisty Texas” and me “Little Texas.”
Not long after that, I met my friend Terry, and in our times of running around together, I kept telling him I wanted a machete. I was a woman living alone (still am) and thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have such a thing handy. He kept telling me he would get one for me, and eventually presented it to me for my birthday.
So now you have the background for this story…
I was coming down my stairs first thing in the morning, and paused at the first landing to open Charcoal’s bay window. Just then I looked out in my yard to see this:
A snake slithering in and out of my bamboo fence. I froze and my mind went through a list of several possible actions. Finally, without taking my eyes off the snake, I called my neighbor, Ed, and asked, “Can you come kill this snake in my yard?” “I’ll be right there,” was his response. However, it became apparent as the minutes passed, that Ed’s “right there” was based on Ecuadorian time. As I waited, I continued to watch this thing slowly slither its way around and across my fence, and make a turn towards my house. It wasn’t going to be long before I lost it from my sight line out the window. Knowing there were some potted plants, large rocks and various other spaces there that it could disappear into, and still seeing no sign of Ed’s vehicle headed my way, I did the only other thing I could think of. Go back up to my bedroom and get this:
I paused at my front door to consider whether flip flops were appropriate foot wear for snake killing. I took a look at the length of my machete and decided time was of the essence, rather than appropriate footwear. I carefully rounded the corner and found the snake was halfway under some large rocks next to my house. Only its back half was showing. I knew everyone had always told me you were supposed to cut off the head. But with a thought of what I would have to do to get at its head, and wondering how swiftly it would move once I disturbed it, I decided the best course of action was surprise attack wherever I could. I raised my machete over my head and brought it down as hard as I could across the snake’s back (if there is such a thing). Unfortunately, it didn’t have the result I wanted. Apparently, when they sell you a machete, they leave it rather dull for the store and sale handling, and expect you to sharpen it later. Rather than severing the snake, it merely injured it. After one more whack, the snake brought its head out. I then attempted to chop off its head, to no avail. It took numerous hackings to get the thing dead. When it was all over, with heart racing and hands shaking, I looked at the bloody machete – it felt like a scene from a horror movie.
I then called Ed to let him off the hook. He scolded me for not waiting and said he’d be down anyway. When he arrived, I explained that the snake was on the move and headed for my house. We then found a new hole, just under my window next to my house. Apparently the snake had recently made it his home and was headed that way. Ed then said I did the right thing.
Ed and subsequently several others (my friend Terry, our gardener Jaime, and my Ecuadorian friend Luis) identified it as a boa constrictor. They tried to convince me it was a “good” snake. I felt a little guilty for just a moment, but then remembered that the Bible never calls any snake good. I am a redeemed daughter of Eve and I HATE SNAKES!!!
There is a snake here in Ecuador, called the Echis, that is one of the most deadly in the world. A bite from one will kill you in ten minutes. I encountered one at my first rental, just a few months after I arrived, when I opened the door to find it on the door frame! Its head was eye level with mine. I slowly stepped back and called upstairs to Bill on their balcony. When he came down and saw it, he took a step back in astonishment. The goal was to get it gone without damaging the door. After some thought and little weaponry, he hit it with a broom and it fell off and disappeared in an instant. I suspected at the time and later identified what it was. Since then, some of my volunteer workers recently made another suspected siting of one in our development. So my reaction to snakes is to kill first and ask “what” later. Fortunately, constrictors move slowly and are harmless. Echis are very fast and highly aggressive. So I take this all as a lesson to sharpen my machete!
Did I happen to mention that I HATE SNAKES!!!