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image of a black snake

There are those of us who cannot stand the thought of meeting a snake face to face. Some won’t even watch wildlife programs on TV that feature snakes. And there are those who would never in a million years contemplate handling a snake. I don’t, I hasten to add, fit in any of those catergories. I have handled snakes, several times and several species. I’ve come head to head with snakes and I’ve even trained as a snake charmer… okay, the last bit is a little exaggeration on my part . If you’ve read my book, A Pat on his Back which is about our move from the UK to Cyprus then you will have read the chapter Snake Charming for Beginners. It’s worth a read for the spectacle of seeing me dressed like a an Indiana Jones type hero, but without the heroics. You see snakes and Cyprus go together, hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.

Unlike the Caribbean island of Antigua, where they used to have snakes and they are now all gone, thanks to the introduction of the Mongoose. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi came. He saw. He wiped out the snakes. What am I prattling about? Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a short story by British author Rudyard Kipling, he of Jungle Book fame. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a mongoose and some species of mongoose are famous for killing snakes. So in Antigua the snakes are gone and many tourists complain that Antigua is rat infested, when what they are actually seeing is a Mongoose. The cute Meerkat belongs to the Mongoose family.

The point I’m trying to make is that we should consider ourselves lucky, here in Cyprus, that we have a rich diversity of creatures, but that’s not to say I would be too happy about the deadly Blunt-Nosed Viper setting up home in my garden, which is apparently what a snake of some type did this winter.

image of a snake skin

The picture above was taken today after our pool cleaner had finished his job. He noticed the snake skin, couldn’t miss it really, and called me over to point it out. The skin lay on top of the filter, which means the snake had been sleeping in the bowels of the pool pump and filter housing. Then, as it got warmer it climbed up (yes, some snakes can climb) to lay on the filter and the closed lid of the plastic housing would have warmed it until it was ready to slough its skin.

I’m now actively seeking to have fly-screens fitted to all doors… I ain’t afraid of no snakes!

Copyright Tom Kane © 2018

Read a free sample of  my books Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

The Brittle Sea
“This book has everything Romance, Murder, Mystery which automatically hooks you to the story making you want to read it in one sitting. I found it hard to put down as I was desperate to know how the story played out.”

The Titanic disaster is the catalyst that sparks a bloody feud between two families in early 20th century America.

An expats odd and sometimes crazy life in Cyprus

World War 2 action adventure


A Roman Travelogue

A Perth, Western Australia, Travelogue

Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

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