Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Monty What? This is NOT a British comedy!

When getting ready to post the next e-mail update we made from Uganda, I realized it was everyone's favorite story. Now I look back and laugh, but at the time it was so NOT funny.

Then while checking out the news online this morning, I saw this story that has to do with someone else's not so fun experience.

Which brought to mind what happened shortly after we left Uganda. Several of the single Ugandan ladies on staff moved into our old house and one of them had tethered a baby goat to the porch. They heard some serious bleating and ran out to find said baby goat being swallowed by a big ole python. This happened AT OUR HOUSE, as in WHERE WE LIVED for almost a year!

So for those with serious snake phobias, read no further. For the following is a disturbing account of my up-close-and-personal encounter with the biggest slithery creature to ever cross my path. Literally.

August 10, 2001
I was in a hurry, so I took the car instead of walking over to secondary side to see Steve and Sally. I’d just turned onto the drive that leads back to their house when I saw a log across the road.

You know how sometimes one thought is followed by another and another, so rapidly you’re left reeling?

In the course of about ten seconds, I see this log but then immediately think, “Boy, it’s a funny color for a log.” And that was followed by, “The log is moving!” And finally the realization, “Oh my goodness, it’s a SNAKE!!!”

A really BIG snake. The head was already in the bushes on the right hand side of the road and the tail still in the bushes on the left. Now the road is probably 14-16 feet wide so you do the math! And the beast was at least 10” around.

I just stopped the car, in shock, heart racing faster than I thought possible. Boy, was I ever glad I was IN MY CAR and not walking. The python quickly slithered across and disappeared into the dense bush. Shaking in my Reboks, I released the brake and gunned the car forward, kicking up some serious dust.

I raced back home, ran in to tell Ivan and Tina about my scary experience, expecting some modicum of comfort. But did I find any? NO! Ivan wanted to rush out and hunt it down. Tina couldn’t understand why I didn’t just run it over. (Duh! I didn’t want to hurt the car – after all, it isn’t even ours. And that snake was a big sucker. I’m sure it would have bent something on the car if I’d tried to run it over. After all, doesn't she remember hearing about Chondia and the python? Chondia's the strongest person we know; he can carry a 30 gallon container of water, for goodness sake! And he hit a python as hard as he could with a metal hoe and the hoe simply bounced off the snake's back without even making a dent!) Both of them were upset that they didn’t get to see it, and neither of them expressed any concern over my tender feelings!

And it didn’t make me feel any better when I learned that it was probably a pregnant python because of its size (normal pythons are apparently only 4” around). Oh goody, that means there will soon be even more pythons slithering around on secondary side.

Less than two months in Africa and my first snake sighting. Hope it’s my last!

So this isn't the python I saw, but it could definitely be its cousin!

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