Saturday, July 26, 2008


I was cycling by the snake man’s yesterday and he called me in. he had a 10 foot boa curled up below the sink in his bathroom. She was beautiful; fat, sleek, almost marbled in her scales, curled elegantly with her head resting upon her tail. I could feel her smoothness and her weight just in looking at her. someone had seen her below his house, he was very happy to be rid of her: his cats had been disappearing. It was lucky he hadn’t killed her, perhaps because she really was big. The snake man said when he grabbed behind her head she simply pushed her head back and trapped his hand – tightly – between her head and her spine. It took two men to carry her. She certainly looked strong and very heavy. She was a chocolate brown with tawny patches above, a creamy mottled with lichen green below. He was going to take her far out into the forest. She’s the second boa I’ve seen here.

The first was on a walk home last year. It was when I lived in Guanacaste and wasn’t so wary of snakes. I was scrambling up the hill path I used every evening. Hoss was before me and a friend visiting from the States was behind. Suddenly Hoss stopped and his energy changed from forward scout to cautious uncertainty. I pulled him back and there just by the path was a big boa, maybe 7 feet. His head was up and he was moving it from side to side. I think Hoss was happy to be pushed behind me. I shone my torch directly at him and slowly he receded. He was no threat to us. Beautiful though, very creamy colouring with large uneven patches of a greenish toned brown.

I found a dead snail eating snake on the path. He was about 20 inches long, dark grey with black stripes, below a cream flecked with black. I didn’t look too closely – the ants had found him also.