Limbless, flexible reptiles with overlapping scales,
lidless wonders that swallow food whole.
and did you know they shed their skin?
Neither did I!
And their skin so dry.
Not slimy as the snake-haters claim.
They’re carnivorous, of course, and I make no apology,
they’re in perfect tune with reptilian ecology.
With flexible jaws, their prey can be huge.
Deer? No sweat – for an anaconda,
and even a jaguar’s not beyond her
- capacity to swallow.
She’s able to unhinge her jaw, you see.
Quite a feat.
And with three thousand species
they’re common-old beasties.
And did I mention their ears are internal?
Not like our unwieldy flaps, collecting dust and filling with wax.
You’ll find them in deserts, forests and trees,
hunkered in lakes and skimming the seas.
I love them, each and every one,
even the few that bite.
But I have to admit it is disconcerting
to come home and find a brown snake inserting
itself in a hole in my skirting.
Even I object to that!