The day of the snake

I learnt something about the Italian language today…not all snakes are “vipere” , only vipers are “vipere”, all the others are “serpente”. It may not sound much but it is VERY important. If you phone your friend and say that you have seen 6 vipere today and can she tell you anything about them, she panics and comes rushing up the hill to check you are still OK. If, instead you use the correct word serpente she remains a little calmer, translates and tells you that they won’t eat your chickens, in fact ( as we discovered later) your chickens will eat them!
To return to the beginning… Dave summoned me down the hill this morning…I arrived to discover he had seen a large black snake which had then disappeared, me in birkenstocks, not very relaxed or amused. Then a large green one… I went back up the hill quickly.
Very small stripey snake in a grass pile I was trying to move to the compost heap followed closely by another big black one on the path as was trying to escape the little stripey one ( still in birkenstocks but likely to be wearing wellies as of tomorrow). I then made the fateful phonecall to Laura and found out that the black ones are called BISCI, western whip snakes in English,the green one is a montpelier snake and the little stripey one is a baby something. Shrortly after Laura had calmed me down about the safety of my chickens I went back up to the orchard to find Octavia running rapidly downhill, pursued by Antonia, with a snake in her beak. She got it to the concrete in front of the stables so it couldn’t escape into the grass, pecked at it a bit and promptly had it stolen by Antonia who ran off into the grass to finish it off. Octavia was not happy and what followed can only be described as the chicken olympic relay trials. I think it got eaten in the end, but I have no idea who by!
I find myself less nervous and better educated at the end of the day, can’t get much better than that!

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4 responses to “The day of the snake

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