There are snakes in my garden. Quick, come and see.
Eyes that are lidless are looking at me.
Silently slithering. Slip-sliding free.
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 vast.
And a striking snake is surprisingly fast.
Deer? No sweat – for an anaconda,
and even a jaguar’s not beyond her.
She’s able to unhinge her jaw, you see.
An impossible feat for you or me.
Their ears are internal, not farcical flaps,
collecting dust and filling with wax.
And with three thousand species,
they’re common-old beasties.
You’ll find them in deserts, forests and trees,
deep down in lakes or skimming the seas.
I love them all from fang to tail,
each sparkling spot, each armoured scale.
But I have to admit it IS disconcerting
to wake up and find a small snake inserting
itself in a hole in my skirting.
Even I object to that!
FINDING OUT ABOUT FEAR
Everyone’s afraid of something. Luckily, I’m not afraid of snakes. In fact, I like them. Which is lucky because I sometimes see snakes in our garden. Complete the two activities below for a 30 minute stamp in your Passport. Don’t forget to upload your answers to the Children’s University website or print them out and take them to your in-school coordinator.
Did you Know: Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. If you see ‘Phobia‘ at the end of a word, it means ‘extreme fear of something’. For example Genu = knee. So Genuphobia means a fear of knees.
Fear Activity 1: Can you connect these fears with their phobia-word?
Fear activity 2:
What are your friends most afraid of? Butterflies? Spiders or maybe even elevators? Find out what scares them most. You might be surprised. Can you think of any strategies (plans) to help them stop being so scared? I’d love to hear them. In this activity, you need to come up with at least 6 strategies for overcoming fear! Don’t forget to upload your answers to the Children’s University website.