I am not, in general, afraid of snakes. An old roommate of mine had a ball python that an ex of hers had left her and I used to have to feed it because the whole mouse thing freaked her out. Snakes are cool.
I do, however, have some particular primal fear of cobras from watching Rikki Tikki Tavi too many times as a little kid. Of course, being afraid of cobras is perfectly reasonable except for the part that there aren’t any in North America (other than zoos) so who really cares, even if I did have a lot of nightmares about them as a child.
So in short: snakes good; cobras bad. Not really something I think about that much.
Until I call Patty in Gujarat and she’s like “So hey, I was sitting by the trench talking to Judy and the older woman who works in my trench started screaming and I was like ‘what what?’ and then I turned around and there was a snake slithering behind me and she threw dirt on it and then it went over by some trees. But it’s the trees where people take their tea breaks so everyone was really freaked. But they found it and killed it later and hung it in the tree.”
So, I, of course, inquired as to the type of snake. Something poisonous, presumably.
Patty said it was either a cobra or not a cobra, but because she doesn’t speak the local language and her Hindi is pretty basic still and it’s hard to translate between snake types she wasn’t really sure. But she was, however, pretty sure cobra-status was discussed, she just wasn’t sure if it was or it wasn’t. So I asked her, based on my Rikki Tikki Tavi expertise, about various markings on it.
“Well, first it was behind me, and then it was dead, so I didn’t look that closely.”
By the time I next speak to Patty this will probably have ceased to be interesting to her. I, however, will be talking about it FOREVER.
SNAKE NEAR TRENCHES. COBRA STATUS UNKNOWN. DEAD AND DISPLAYED IN TREE.
Also, is it mongooses or mongeese?