No you can’t come in
As I stood doing the washing up, drifting off into a near meditative state, probably the last thing I expected my wife to shout at me was “Hebi! Hebi!” (“Snake! Snake!”)
Assuming this to be some elaborate but rather obscure gag, I turned and looked at her, frowning in incomprehension. She was waving vaguely in the direction of the kitchen window. Still dripping sudsy water over the kitchen floor, I turned back around and had a gander. It took a moment to find the source of the excitement, particularly as my repeated question “Where? Where?” went unanswered by the Mrs who’d by this point run away. But sure enough, wound around the security grill outside the kitchen window was the unmistakeable form of a snake, the white underside of his head bobbing about against the window pane.
Nothing to fret about though. One window was open, but the screens were shut. He wasn’t getting in.
My curiosity got the better of me. I gently slid the other window open to get a look at him. Alas, he’d started to slither off, leaving me with just a glimpse of his final six inches or so.
In hindsight this possibly wasn’t the wisest course of action. It was dark out, and the window is slightly frosted glass, so I wasn’t exactly sure where his business end was prior to opening it. If he hadn’t moved, or had decided to come back, he would have about an inch from the window. And my hand.
No idea what sort of snake he was, but it was about a foot and a half long, not a giant.
So I went back to the washing up. And after about ten minutes, as I was finishing up, and long after I’d forgotten about the snake, a little voice behind me said, “Is it safe?”
I’d assumed that she was off doing something else. But no, the quarter of an hour of complete silence was down to the fact she was hiding behind the living room door.
Having grown up in England, a country not overly populated by venomous snakes, I have no inbuilt terror of them. Unlike pretty much everyone who grew up in Japan, which is apparently replete with any number of serpents that can quite easily finish you off. Hence while I find them fascinating, my wife can’t bear to look at a picture of one. But between us, it appears we can at least stop them getting in the kitchen window.