I was Bitten by a Snake!

3 Aug

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.

14 Responses to “I was Bitten by a Snake!”

  1. NorthernLight August 3, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    I love snakes!! Dave is a beauty!!

  2. tatteredpage August 3, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    I bet there was an apology in that caress. Something along the lines of, “I thought lunch seemed bigger than usual yesterday. Sorry about that!”

  3. Jigme Datse Rasku August 3, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    Oh poor Snailrind, that was one horrible experience, glad you escaped with your life.

    • Snailquake August 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Thank you for the sympathy! You know, I’m amazed my arm didn’t drop off in the night. It hurt so much, I could almost feel it.

  4. SEF August 3, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    The way to a snake’s heart is through his stomach. So remember in which direction to go if a large one should swallow you whole sometime. ;-)

    • Snailquake August 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      I will try to remember that. Thank you.

  5. andavane August 3, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    This anecdote brings up fond memories of the days when I was an amateur herpetologist. King snakes are normally docile, but it’s wise (as you’ll realise now) to feed them first.
    I love their relative the milk snake (red to black, venom lack on the bands) but unfortunately had a hard job keeping them alive.
    I trust you nibble has now healed.
    The owner appears to have a good way keeping a keen hunger on his pets!”

    • Snailquake August 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      Milk snakes are beautiful, I agree.

      My nibble has healed, but if I look really carefully I can still make out where his lower jaw was.

  6. Camila August 3, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Oh dear, Tan! Maybe it would have been wise to not open the door if the rat was in there, lol! Hope you’re ok. What did Dan say? Silly Dave! xx

    • Snailquake August 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      Haha, yeah, I’ll know in future to wait until he’s eaten. I was just enthusiastic about seeing him. Dan wasn’t around at the time – he was working.

      My arm hasn’t dropped off yet, but if it does, I’ll let you know.

      Lovely to see you on my blog, by the way!

  7. astrawally August 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I think myself lucky, I see my brother and get a little moan. You visit yours and are attacked by his pet snake. Now if it was my brother I would almost believe it was planned! Dave is a beauty though

    • Snailquake August 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Hmm, all things considered, I think I’d prefer the occasional snake bite to moaning siblings!

  8. Impybat August 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Oh my gods, OW! Cool snake, though!

    • Snailquake August 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      Heehee, not very ow really, but sympathy is always well-received. Awe at my outstanding bravery also goes down well.

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