Monday, February 11, 2013

Oh gosh, slithery encounters on the first day of the Snake Year?

I am not superstitious and I do not observe taboos, so I shall tell the story as it is.

You know how it is that this year is the Year of the Snake and people send wishes saying "May the Year of the Water Snake bring you....(all the blessings for a good year)"?

Well, late last night, as I was closing the patio door, I saw Rosie, Daffodil, Timmy and Ginger surrounding a dead snake near the patio.


Yes, again.

And this one was big. Not huge, just bigger than the last one.

As I have a phobia of snakes, dead, alive or cartoon drawings, luckily both my children were around to take care of things. I knew it was dead as it wasn't moving at all and all four cats were surrounding it and poking at it.

So my children went out and managed to put the carcass into a plastic bag.

By then, my husband was back, so the three of them went across the road to bury the carcass.

As they were burying the carcass, Timmy was found tossing another small snake into the air.

Yes, another one. Also dead and with a triangle head.

I suspect there is a nest nearby or a neighbour might have killed the snakes, tossed them across the road and the cats found them?

Just then, I remembered that kampung folks never bury snake carcasses. They usually either burn them or put the carcass on the highway.  The belief is that the entire family will come looking for the dead one if there is a scent. This may be a myth (I'm told it is, but I'd rather be safe than sorry).

So to be safe, I told my husband to dig up the two carcasses and throw them far away, away from any inhabited area.

That was done last night and this morning, we poured chlorox over the burial plot of the first snake (two weeks ago).  That's what an elderly headmaster taught me last time. He said to use chlorox - they are afraid of the strong scent.

I have alerted the whole neighbourhood about this incident and one of the neighbours said he might get Bomba to help locate the nest.

The following might help too:

Getting rid of:
Low-growing hiding spots near your house (shrubs, plants, etc.)
Thickly-planted gardens
Mulch (especially straw mulch) in the gardens
Tall grass
Bird feeders (which attract mice & insects, which attract snakes)
Ground-level water sources (birdbaths, ponds, puddles, etc.)
Compost piles
Wood and brush piles (any wood on the ground where they can hide)

And so, may all beings be well and happy, keep to their own habitat and live and let live.

And may this New Year keep everyone safe and healthy.


Joey said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai!! Wow! A real year of the snake for you, lol. Sorry, didnt mean to laugh.

Hmm.... sounds like a nest of snakes somewhere nearby. Any abandoned bushy spots in the neighbourhood? If the small snakes are coming out, there might be a daddy and mummy snake nearby. They might not be happy to have the kitties tossing their dead babies around. Keep safe.

chankahyein said...

Thanks for all the information, Joy! Sure appreciate it lots and thanks for letting me know that link has pictures too (yikes!). Friends have been helping with identification (from the description) and it led to the possibility of it being a King Cobra (oh my goodness!) because the two small ones were black and the bigger one was brown, but another friend found out that King Cobra hatchlings are 14 inches long and must have the hood, so it cannot be (phew!!). We figured maybe the nest is in the nearby monsoon drain.

Joy E. Saga said...

Be careful ya! Especially for your brave patio furmily

chankahyein said...

That's the thing. I don't know how to make it safer for them. Any ideas? My garden has been cleared of possible hiding places.

Joy E. Saga said...

I was googling up for you... there were several interesting suggestions like :
- throw mothball around your yard
- get a mongoose for a pet
- spray a solution of garlic paste and water

But most interesting of the lot was plant a NEEM tree! I think that is the safest to try. Perhaps get a couple of NEEM (curry leaf) plants and plant at your yard... perhaps the smell of curry will deter the snakes?

chankahyein said...

Thanks, Joy, but neem is not curry leaf, is it?

Joy E. Saga said...

Neem is curry leaf :-) It's the indian name for it

chankahyein said...

I see...thanks. There is also a large tree called the Neem. That's a different species altogether. I have curry leaf.

Joy E. Saga said...

My mom has a curry leaf plant (Neem) that grew into a tree :-)