Saturday, February 2
The "rolinha" dove made a nest and layed eggs inside the trellis in the veranda where Ginny had tended to the blue flowered morning glory vine. Niece, nephew, grand-nephews and grand-niece were overjoyed. They checked on the progress of the eggs, fed them grapes and loaves of bread, appreciated the daily visits of the "rolinho", the he-dove. In the last day of their stay at the beach the eggs hatched. Isn't life great!?
Family left the next morning and we were overjoyed with the silent time to cook a little shrimp, a little rice, a sprinkling of some lemon on hearts of palm, cold, cold beer. We had been there for a week now, still one week to go before we had to stand in line once again!
Then there came the snake, a meter long, gray, round headed, thin tailed.
"No problem", says
kill it, it is not poisonous, I KNOW!"
I had to convince them all. They all wanted to kill that snake, poisonous or not, because to their eyes, it deserved to be killed. To my eyes, it had round eyes, a tail rounded at the end, no sharpness to its demeanor. I was sure of it, it was not a poisonous snake.
We went to check on the status of the newborn. We were just about to place a mirror near the nest to see the birds. I had just removed a bunch of offending grapes and a huge stale bun from the nest.
The snake met us eye to eye.She snatched the birds right there.
No broom would stop her, she was seriously committed. She had waited for two days hidden in the yard, at the corner of that trellis, biding her time, waiting for the children to leave.
So we went to the beach to tell the story. Business was very slow, we the only customers sitting outside the Italian restaurant by the water. Chatting away with Monica and Renata. Gordon had baked some ciabatta and with some of the leftover dough, he had baked some bread sticks.
Fernando, the roofer, came by and told us these thin gray snakes are the very, very dangerous "preguicosa", the lazy one, and so we should proceed very carefully around her.
"Oh, great!" I think, "and I though it was just a garden snake!"
Vilma, the cook joined us to tell us that this snake is "the very, very dangerous "cipó" snake. For sure, it is the infamous ‘'vine" snake!"
She tells us an uncle of hers died suffocated by a "cipó" snake, right inside his house. They make themselves very, very thin like a pencil and then wrap themselves around your neck and suffocate you while you sleep, "while you're not even paying attention."
According to Vilma, all snakes are to be killed. All snakes are very dangerous. Most will jump at you. Like scorpions, they will kill on contact. We were not talking about scorpions, but out of the blue Vilma tells us she had a brother who was married to a woman who died from the bite of a scorpion."But", I said, "scorpions, yes, but not all snakes are dangerous?! You mean to say all snakes will kill you? "
"Yes", said Vilma with absolute faith. "I have no doubt, whatsoever!"Then she did something extraordinary. She went to the kitchen for a while and came back with one of the bread sticks carefully painted as a snake. Perfect scales, eyes, fangs, this adorable and dangerous blue and tan magic marker painted bread stick snake.
She fondled her stick. "I named this one "Augustostrictor", after my boyfriend!"
She had no doubts. All snakes needed to be killed.