I was in Zambia for the Christmas and had a great time visiting my friend and family. I came back rejuvenated after spending a few days back home.
I stayed with my parents on their smallholding. One day I was awoken by a sound of someone spraying insecticide at around 2.00 am. I then heard the excited barking of the dogs. I went to check what was going on and found my mother by the kitchen door and my father exiting the storage room outside the kitchen. They were both looking at something on the veranda that the dogs had gathered around.
Mum told me that Spike (the most vicious of the dogs) had bitten a snake and thrown it around while the other dogs had followed up with their own attacks and barking. I peeped outside and saw a big snake, about 1 meter long. I got scared and went back to my room. I was so scared and could not even take a photo of the “beast that moves on its belly and eats dust”. I am not proud to say this because I should have helped elderly dad make sure that the serpent was really dead and would not slither off. The snake was disposed in a deep hole where the dogs would not drag it back home, as they like doing with various items.
One thing came to mind about my reaction – I have lost touch with seeing and killing snakes. When I was young, my family was one of the pioneer families in the township I grew up in and we had to displace some wildlife, mostly snakes. I was wary of them, but certainly not afraid. In fact, I just loved killing them and my friends would regularly call me to kill one if it was near the area we were playing at. How times have changed!
I pray that my family is continually safe from dangers from nature.