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!
Would you like to learn more about fear? Download the activity sheet below and have a go. If you’re a member of Children’s University, this activity is worth 30 minutes in your Passport to Learning.