I’m not a real snake lover. Matter of fact, just seeing a photo of a snake gives me the eebie-jeebies. Even the mere sight of a simple guarder snake, slithering through the grass on our lawn, will send me to high ground. My kids know this. My husband knows this. Even my dog knows it. So I think it came as a bit of a surprise when we came upon a black mamba on our safari one day and I stood wide-eyed and exclaimed, “Cool!” as I urged my husband to take as many photos of this 9 foot creature before it slithered away.
It was so unexpected. We were speeding along a road through the savannah, trying to make good time so we could make it to the next ferry crossing. Gary and I were standing in the jeep, getting a better view of all of the animals wandering in the distance: elephants, giraffes, kobs, wildebeests, and getting hit by any flying dung beetles that just happened to be in our path. I was remarking to Gary how much of a wuss he was for hiding behind me and using me as a bug deflector when our driver hit the brakes, came to a sudden stop, and exclaimed, “Black mamba!”
Now I don’t know if you know anything about black mambas, but I can tell you this. If you see a black mamba don’t waste your time running. It will see you, it will catch you, and it will kill you. It’s best for you to just stay still, say a short prayer thanking God for your good life, and accept your fate. It is one of the most deadliest snakes and is feared by every creature on earth.
But we were in the safety of our jeep, and had the ultimate position to take a few photos before it slithered into the thick grass, away from the nasty tourists who had just disturbed its afternoon nap.
“Cool,” I said, as I turned to my husband and removed another dung beetle from my hair, “Why don't you get out and get a close up?”
My journey as an author, giving voice to child soldiers.