All About Animals: STORY 6. “Snake Story”, by Rob Bullock
Snakes are more common than lots of people think in Britain, although there is only one that is poisonous – the adder. On a summer’s day, they can be found sunning themselves in a quiet spot on a moor, heath or field. Snakes love the heat of the sun; it warms their bodies up and makes them more active. But snakes always stay well away from people. They are sensitive creatures who don’t like noise.
My family used to live in southwest France. In summer, it gets really hot there. It’s so hot that in the middle of the day, people like to go inside their houses, close the shutters and take a nice afternoon nap. This is when snakes like to come outside and sun themselves to wake themselves up so they can find their food.
One sunny morning, my wife and I went to a village fete. Around lunch time, we were heading back to our car to go home when we saw a group of people huddled around. They all seemed really angry and upset and were shouting and screaming. A couple of the people were hitting something with heavy sticks. When we ran over, we saw that they were hitting a big, long, light green snake who was just trying to crawl away!
My wife, who is really small but brave, got to the group before me and pushed all the people away. She told them that the snake was a harmless creature, and he just wanted to get away. Everyone apart from an elderly lady who had metal crutches stopped attacking the snake. But the old lady was so scared of the snake that she wanted to kill him. She tried to hit the snake with the metal crutch, but my wife got between her and the snake. We tried to reason with the lady, but she was so angry. I decided it was best that I tried to move the snake away from the people. Whilst my wife kept the people away from the snake, I ran to my car and took out a car rug, some heavy gloves and a big shopping bag.
When I got back to the people, the old lady was still trying to kill the snake and my wife was still holding her away. Some nice village ladies cleared the crowd back, and I managed to wrap the snake up in the rug. He bit me a little, but he was only trying to protect himself. I bundled him into the bag and told the crowd that I would release the snake somewhere well away from the village.
We got into the car and took the snake to a spot we knew was good for animals a few miles from the village, next to lots of fields. There, we released the snake. The snake gratefully slithered away into the undergrowth.
When we went back to the village, the angry old lady hugged my wife and thanked her for saving her life. We explained that the snake wasn’t dangerous and if you leave snakes alone they always steer clear of people – they just want to be left alone in peace.
Hopefully, the next time this lady sees a snake, she will remember us, how we picked the snake up without being killed and how happy the snake was to be free.
For more information about Rob Bullock and his stories, please visit www.ninnylizard.com.