Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The day I killed a black mamba, or just your average Sunday

# of black mamba snakes killed: 1

This is the story of how I went up against a black mamba, one of the world's most deadly snakes and emerged victorious. It was a lazy Sunday morning and I had just woken up. Already, 2 little girls were at my door asking to borrow playing cards to play on my porch. I gave them the cards, then went to go make breakfast and begin my morning routine. My village was pretty quiet, everyone was at church. My plan for the day was to do some laundry, clean my house and work in my garden. Just an average Sunday. I put the 5 baby chicks I have outside to let them graze on earthly delights that they enjoy and went inside to make coffee.

I had just finished pouring the hot water into my coffee cup when I heard the girls crying. Normally, I don't run when I hear a child crying as usually they are just fighting and will resolve it themselves. This time the crying was different. I knew that something was really wrong this time. I ran to my porch to see what was going on and saw the girls standing near my door crying hysterically. I quickly scanned the scene to see what was disturbing them so much when I saw it. A small grey snake. At first I was in shock at the situation. Then after 30 seconds or so it registered what kind of snake it was. The grey body color, the way it was moving and lifting its body off the ground, the hissing, the black inside the mouth and the strange way the mouth was open that looked like it was almost smiling. I realized it was a young black mamba. One of the most deadly and aggressive snakes in the world. It didn't run away like most snakes, it stood its ground.

I quickly grabbed my jembe from inside the house(sharp long garden hoe) threw my gum boots on (for leg protection against bites)and ran back outside. As I approached the young snake cautiously, jembe ready to strike, it continued to remain in its position. I quickly smashed it once on the middle body, afraid to get close enough to strike and sever the head area. The blow didn't cut it in half like I expected, so I hit it again this time closer up on the body. The snake began to die, it was suffering and thrashing around because I hadn't smashed the head. Despite it being a very dangerous snake, I felt bad that I didn't provide a quick death for it, so I got one final blow to it's head area and it died right after.

Right after I quickly looked at the girls to see if they were bitten and went to find their mother and explained what happened in swahili. The girls were very lucky that neither of them had been bitten while they were playing.

After the adrenaline wore off a little I realized that the snake was probably hunting one of my little chicks that I had on my porch. It's their favorite food. Then I took some pictures. Of course. At least I didn't reach for my camera instead of my jembe when it was living, right?!?

Some other children came running to see the snake after hearing the news. They began to play with the dead body, so I decided to move it away from my house to a compost pit. Not even 5 minutes after putting the dead snake in the pit, a crow came and carried it off to eat it! Crows will eat just about anything.

And that is the story of how I killed a young black mamba. There's just one more thing I want to know...where's the mother?

The end.