Recollections of a resident Puff Adder

Without attempting to mislead my vast readership, it is I who recall the resident Puff Adder, not vice versa. Puff Adders have a remarkably short memory capacity.

When I was at school, I temporarily shared my bedroom with a Puff Adder in a fish

Puff Adder under observation

tank in my bedroom (look, I lived in the bedroom and the Puff Adder lived in the fish tank, okay? Are you sure you’re up to reading this?) – much to the consternation of my family. During this time, my parents employed a temporary maid. One day while using a carpet sweeper (we didn’t have a vacuum cleaner in those days), the dear woman accidentally put the handle of the sweeper through the glass of the tank.

The snake grabbed the opportunity with both…er… oh forget it – and affected an escape, preceded by the maid, with a volume, velocity and agility unexpected from someone of her bulk. With bulging eyes, the howling woman high-stepped it out of the house and could not be tranquilised or coaxed back into the house for anything.

My long suffering mother’s patience, by this time, had run out completely and I was told, “Either that snake goes, or I go!” To which I replied, “Can I help you pack?”

The hiding I received thereupon, was one of the more lively I can remember and I concede, it was thoroughly deserved.


About Freud Fission Chips

Despite the banality of the name, FFC has led an intensely varied life. Grateful for surviving almost three years as a 'troepie' (soldier for non-South African Readers) in the Angolan war, he determined to wring as much out of life as possible. Currently providing Business Analysis services, trading on the stock market and developing web pages to pay the bills, FFC also dabbles in wildlife, landscape and people photography, writing, and far too many interests for his own good. He has also travelled extensively in southern Africa (working on the sound theory that a moving target is more dificult to hit). These peregrinations also include over 1500kms on foot through some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. It hasn't all been plain sailing, beer and skittles, and endless beds of roses... Chief amongst the prerequisites for surviving Africa, with its mind-bending characteristics, is an appropriate sense of humour.... So, for now, he will be recounting the amusing among the annoying, the frustrating wrapped in the funny and extracting the mirth from the melancholy... Oh yes, there might be some alliteration too.
This entry was posted in Herpetology - that's Snakes, Humour - or humor. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Recollections of a resident Puff Adder

  1. The Lass, Sass says:

    When I was a little girl (meaning age not size……well size too but I mean…….

    When I was about 8 years old I used to get confused between a Night Adder and a Puff Adder and resorted to calling it a Night Puffer. Somewhat of a random comment. But I like it.

    • A great nickname for it – seeing as they both have a tendency to show their displeasure by hissing away at intruders. I will put up some pics of a Night Adder for you and the readers to compare. Interestingly they are from different families and have different toxic properties. The Night Adder’s posh name is Causus rhombeatus – whereas the Puffy answers to the posh name of Bitis Arietans – meaning they probably wouldn’t greet each other in the street.
      The Night Adder has little or no effect on humans, save for a bit of a headache, whilw we South Africans are only too aware that the Puff Adder has a powerful and fatal (approximately 100 000 people die each year in Africa from thePuffy bite) cyto-toxic (affects tissue) bite.

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