Sage's serpents this summer



We live in an area where snakes are reviled and feared and killed on sight.
And in my presence is a 12 year old child whose love for snakes is so contagious that the village calls him upon sighting a serpent (sas) instead of killing it.

So on Saturday, some kids were in an abandoned house (don't even let your mind wander there) and they found a puff adder and they all thought of Sage.
So a contingent arrived to fetch him.
And he gathered this puff adder into his care.
It was night time and he wanted to release him in the mountains and so agreed to keeping him for the night.

A friend of mine , the absolutely beautifully insane Siberian, who is known to sleep in the snow, tells me that I am insane. She asks how I can allow such venom into the living area of our home.
And of course it is totally fucking insane and it is also just the way it is.
Such is this programming that it was never ever questioned.


The next morning Sage comes to call me to watch the snake.
He opens the lid and puts in a white rat - a young one.
I don't see the majesty of the meeting I merely see the open tank door and the puff adder inside.






A huge apprehension lurched and clutched at my solar plexus but awareness went back to simply the watching of the snake and the rat.
This solid serpent lying very still , with a shaft of sunlight falling on him. Looking as content as God herself.

And the rat had not been to school and learnt about snakes and how dangerous they were. He was simply in a different space and in a usual rat fashion was intent on discovering every mm of space there was.
Which included walking and scurrying all over Oscar.
And for a seeming eternity Oscar just remained unaffected.
And then before you could see anything he struck the rat, so fast his fangs were not seen, and the next thing rat was flat on his back, with his mouth opening and closing a few times and then stillness.

Now both were still.
And they lay there for another eternity, and we were all in awe of the speed of strike. At the effectiveness of venom.
There was no pity - there was just a witnessing.
Oscar then ate his meal.

He was released in a river bed.
Sluggish from his feast he had to be edged into the bushes.

The next morning via the bush telegraph I hear that there is a boomslang on Sage's bed.
And sure enough I go there and she is.
Stretched out the length of his mattress.
Not a care in the world.

We take her to a dried out dam.
She is far more feisty, she dances away.







The very next day I hear someone calling urgently from the garden.
I head outside and discover that there is a nearly two meter cobra in the guinea hok.
He has bitten one, which died instantly and the others are running around squeeling.
Bugsy, the much loved rabbit is very close to the snake, but he remains absolutely still. Does not move a muscle. And then again Sage comes along and scoops the serpent up with his homemade stick.
We take her higher up in the mountains , to another dried out river bed. But the fires had not reached here. There was still life.

She slid off through the leaves into the cave.





We got home and a friend arrived. He had just found a pregnant cobra and wanted Sage to help him release it.
They wanted to take photos so they took her up to the empty lei water dam.
She was heavily pregnant and there were no bushes for her to hide, so first she sped over to Tao, then changed direction and went for Clint and then moved towards Sage.
And then she found her way away from the vulnerability of open space.

What a profound happening it has been to come so close to such potential.

It brought all my maternal fears out.
And they are without my strongest trigger in identification.
And yet upon examination, there fears were discovered to be worthless.

Is there any other liberation worth having....


Comments

Pangolin said…
It's a true victory to preserve life where destruction is the norm. The smaller snakes are eating garden pests and keeping the rodent population in check and suddenly there is a cobra big enough to scare an adult.

I live in a suburban neighborhood where the snakes have all been chased off and the mice run rampant. Rats too, where they can find a foothold.

Thank Sage for me.
su said…
Thanks abashedly received.
nina said…
The little victim is Sylvia's progeny, oui?
It must be a long strange trip for Guinea Pigs to populate South Africa, they are indigenous to the Andes Plains of South America. The story of their export goes something like this: the explorers (exploiters) of the new (old) world thought they were cute and took them home to their women and children. They were useful as pocket warmers for cold hands when there was not room around the fireplace in those huge stone dwellings of the English countryside. They were sold at the seaports for a guinea apiece and thus known as Guinea Pigs. (Maybe a better fate than being cultivated for the delicacy they are still considered in South America.)

You are brave. And Sage, what a cool reputation to have among the people! Snake mystic.

Love to all.
nobody said…
I thought this was cool. A reputation in the neighbourhood? That's not nothing. Any number of callings start this way.

Or it may all come to nothing! Either way, it's still cool. And what-the-hell-would-I-know-but, I reckon chicks would dig a guy who can handle a snake and not be afraid.

Your son doesn't read here does he? We wouldn't want to give him a swell head or anything...
su said…
Nina,
Yesterday I was gearing the guinea cage up for winter. hessian sacking up, tunnel tubing etc.
I have finally realised what it is about guineas that captures me every time - apart from their ability to release laughter just on sighting. They are the most trusting beings I have ever come upon. Each and every one of them is pure trust and surrender.

Chose two good handwarmers for this winter.

Nobody,
Sage is never indoors long enough to read much, apart from reference books on insects and reptiles.
At the age of 6 he decided that he will one day have a snake park with an eatery attached to it.
His other love is baking. Yesterday he made lemon tart and coffee/almond tarts.
Whipped it up effortlessly served it to the mob and then escaped into the mountains where he was going to spend the night with a friend.
Of course cleaning up the kitchen did not happen.......
chickory said…
sage is an amazing person. as are you. you are great at letting things unfold with trust and it seems to work out. i hate the little guinea pig thing was killed though. she looks so dear. black snakes, which are harmless, live in my attic in the summer and keep out the field mice, which is great because they carry the tick that causes lyme disease. your sidebar is my favorite thing.
Anon said…
Brilliant writing.

- Aangirfan.

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