A while ago I did a few posts about recent unexpected encounters with snakes as reported in the news. One was about a pilot and the unqualified assistant in the cockpit who appeared mid-flight. The other post was a duet, one poor woman had been bitten on the foot while driving, then tossed the snake out onto the road, while another woman returned to her car to find a hitchhiking reptile sunning itself on her dashboard*.
In the comments that followed one of my regulars and I mentioned a story we had heard regarding the running over of a snake in your car. We discussed the possibility that it might tangle in the undercarriage or such and be carried along to your destination to exact its revenge when you step out of the car door.
Although we were unsure as to whether this was a true story or an urban myth we are very happy to never find out first hand.
Over the weekend I found this article which, while not confirming our fears, certainly makes me glad that any snake I have unintentionally run over has been left lying partially squashed on the road, and not gone all Cape Fear on me.
The O’Brien family were out driving in 1918 when a wheel of their gig passed over a brown snake, catching it up and throwing it onto the floor. Their young son was on the floor of the gig and the snake coiled around his neck and bit him on the bottom lip. Mrs. O’Brien bravely grabbed the snake and threw it back onto the road, being bitten herself in the process.
The O’Brien family were very lucky, brown snakes are extremely poisonous and still cause deaths in Australia. I suspect it was a less dangerous species and they mistook it for a brown snake. Understandable, because, quite frankly, if there was a snake wrapped around one of my kids necks accurate identification would be quite far from my mind!
*A few days after posting about those unwanted encounters I was excited to receive an unexpected and very interesting comment from a certain Lady Vox, who was the victim of the sunbathing snake, telling us more details about her ordeal and confirming my thoughts on the liberal use of bug bombs to de-snakefy her car for future use.
De-snakefy, another new word you heard here first. We say de-spidefy and de-webbify regularly at home, fortunately there has been no need for de-snakefy yet. 🙂