This is the snake who bit me yesterday. His name is Dave. He is a Florida king snake.
He is the beloved pet of my brother Dan, whom I am currently visiting in Wales for a few days. See how innocent Dave looks with him.
Whenever I visit Dan, I pop into the room where Dave is kept, and take him out and play with him for a bit. Yesterday, a rat was defrosting in there, and when I began to open the terrarium door, Dave was unusually keen to spring out onto me. He flickered his tongue all up and down my bare arms. Snakes can’t alter their facial expressions, but Dave had a look in his eye that seemed to say, “FOODFOODFOODFOOD! WHERE IS IT? WHERE?”
I kept my fingers clear of his mouth in case he mistook them for mice, but the aroma of the rat was pervading the room, and Dave was extremely excited. The look in his unchangeable eye suddenly said, “ah, what the heck,” and he opened his mouth very wide and clamped it onto my arm.
I suppose you could say it was more of a vehement suck than a vicious bite, but as I have never been bitten by a snake before, I am milking it for all it’s worth. Those raised semicircles show the outline of his jaws.
I stood there for a while, waiting for him to let go, but he didn’t, and the avid look didn’t leave him. He hadn’t eaten for a few days, and was hungrier than usual, but the rat wasn’t defrosted yet. I tried blowing gently on his face to encourage him to let go. He responded by puncturing my top layers of skin with the two tiny fangs he’s got in the roof of his mouth. He sucked and sucked and sucked. I had the sensation of being given a hickey.
I reached under his jaw, and gently prized it open. He relaxed hs mouth and released my arm. I felt a bit guilty for having teased him so and then not fed him. I had inadvertently begun his habitual feeding ritual. I placed him back in his tank and left him to it.
By today, the rat was completely digested. Dave emerged slowly along my arm from his terrarium, and remained docile and curious as I caressed him.