Indiana Jones would NOT have wanted to come into our house this morning. No, sir! Why? Because we had a snake in our living room. Yes, INSIDE the house. I am still shuddering at the thought of it. Yes, I love all creatures great and small, but when it slithers and I don’t know enough about it to know whether or not it’s bite will kill me or cause great pain just for looking at it the wrong way, my opinion changes for the moment.
As I opened the door and stepped outside to head for classes this morning, apparently, a snake took that as his invitation to come inside. I have no clue where it came from, I didn’t see it at all… but, Brook did. Not more than 2 steps out the door, he hollered to me that a snake had just come in the house. What?! No way! I didn’t see anything of the sort. Thinking perhaps it was a ball of dust, or a stray thread falling from our curtains, I asked him repeatedly if he was sure (while remaining briefly outside the threshold of the door, of course)…
We both got down on our hands and knees (after I decided to come back inside) looking under the bench, the desk, the book shelf in the corner… and nothing to be found. He was sure he saw a bright green snake slither in past me, and we were determined to find it. 5 minutes later, he saw it under the bookshelf in the corner. So, with him keeping an eye on the creature, I ran to get a my heaviest pot to use to smash its head. You see, at this point, we didn’t know if it was poisonous or not – so, we figured killing it and getting the chance to examine closer after it was no longer moving would be the best course of action. After all, only a few months ago, friends of ours just across town discovered a big bad cobra in their kitchen. (They lived on the edge of a rice paddy, so not a huge surprise… but, still unexpected!)
Anyways, it kept playing hide-n-seek for nearly 20 minutes, before it decided to come out from under Brook’s camera bag (on the lowest shelf of the book rack) and climb straight up the wall. Wait a second. What?! YES, this snake slithered straight up a sheer, smooth, painted wall with little to no effort at all. I have NEVER seen anything like it in my life! It was frightening and awe-inspiring all at the same time. After making its way up to the top of the window frame, it lifted its head and first several inches of its body off of the wall as it poked around the window looking for an opening, I assume.
That’s when my hero made his move, knocking the serpent in the head with the crooked handle of my big umbrella. Just the right length to reach it, and heavy enough to knock it senseless to the ground. Once on the ground, Brook (my aforementioned hero) finished him off quickly with the umbrella, and I stood there watching in amazement as the body continued to writhe, curl, extend, and slither on its own after it was already done for. Snakes are beautiful creatures, yes… but also very dangerous, and we couldn’t take that chance.
Here it is, the freakishly long, skinny, bright green creature that invaded my home this morning, after being immobilized permanently. I was sure to take a few photos so we could later identify just what type of snake it was without having to keep it in the house. (And, I believe the tiles on our floor are 6-inch squares, if that helps you visualize at all.)
We’ve come to learn via internet research and advice from fellow expats in Thailand that this is, in fact, a Golden Tree Snake – also called an Ornate Flying Snake. Incredible creatures they are, they have the unique ability to climb straight up sheer surfaces (as witnessed this morning), as well as fling themselves in such a manner that they seem to fly from branch to branch among the treetops. Also, we were relieved to find out that even though this particular snake is a member of the Viper family, its venom is so mild that it would not be harmful to humans. Other than a painful bite and swollen limb, there would not be worse damage done.
I never enjoy the death of a fellow living creature, but as we weren’t sure of this particular one’s nature, it was the best option. We know now for the future that we don’t need to worry about this type of snake, and that capturing it to release out somewhere else won’t be a dangerous operation. Even though they scare the snot out of me, I do think snakes are beautiful creatures (especially when secured behind thick glass in a tank that has a tight-fitting lid). Just Google this snake and look at the detail in its scales, the bright green color, and the black edging and bands on its body. It’s really incredible! (Even moreso when it’s not in my house… :) )