Friday, December 5, 2008


My missus has a touch of ophidiophobia, although she would disagree that it is a phobia. In her opinion, a phobia is an irrational fear, and fear of snakes is completely rational as they're poisonous and in some cases big enough to eat you. Not many people are ridiculed for being a touch nervous around tigers.

It's a good point. However, it's not just coral snakes and anacondas she's scared of, but anything which slithers along the ground or does a vaguely relaistic impression of a snake.

I often forget this, and recently found these delightful critters resting 'neath a slab in my garden:

Two slow-worms and a grass snake. Now, I'm daft enough to still get excited by these sorts of things and I then want to share my ebullience with the person I share the rest of my life. Hence my trotting happily over to her with two fistfuls of squirming captives.

It didn't go well. The shriek was audible in Tehran, and echoed around the fields and churches of our rural county for about an hour. Bats dropped out of the sky, stunned, whilst dogs ate their own ears.

Apparently, pointing out that slow-worms are legless lizards, not snakes, doesn't help, and niether does remonstrating with her for scaring them with her banshee wails.

I felt we both learnt something that day. She learned that she actually suffers from herpetophobia, not ophidiophobia, and I leaned that we have a very comfortable sofa to spend the night on.


  1. We do Douglas, we do, often its just the hard way... LOL @ heard in Tehran! Sent all the muslims to prayer I would imagine.

    Anacondas are cool (pun intended) I used to find them aplenty in the Pantanal on tourist trips and tourists are generlly more adventurous types who, in the main, didn't mind playing with medium size anacondas (up to about 4 metres) they got a bit nervous if I managed a bigger one, over 6 metres was not unusual, but thay do take a bit of handling, there's a lot of writhing muscle involved there.


  2. 6 metres! Blimey - that's a lot of snake.

  3. YUCK!! Just the photo made me eek a little. I'm with the deserved a night on the couch for that one!!


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