Letters to the Editor

Snake tales

     Recently the Campus Community News a monthly publication of the Chinese University Women’s Organization, ran a list of poisonous snakes to be avoided, including kraits, cobras and whatnot. I have seen most of these species on the Chinese University campus, especially around dawn in the autumn months. But missing from the list was the most common poisonous snake around the Chinese University, and this is the bamboo snake.
     People disagree on how poisonous it really is, but one local resident told me years ago that a person cannot take more than eight steps, after a bite, before dying (an exaggeration, I learned later, but a good yarn anyway).
     It is a fairly small snake whose solid green colour is identical that of some bamboo species on the campus.
     Speaking of snakes, the caretaker of my building once saw a king cobra slither into the parking area under my car. He called security officers, who spent about two hours unsuccessfully looking for the snake. Unfortunately, I’d left my car windows open, and I was terrified to drive the car for about two days afterwards, thinking the snake was coiled up inside the dash or someplace. The moral of the story is this: Never leave your car windows open when parking on the Chinese University campus.

                                                      Name withheld by request

   Letter 1    Letter 2

November 1997

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