Sunday, September 20, 2009


My experience of snakes, in the wild, has been limited to small brown, dozy-looking things, which I have not found very terrifying. Since I have been in Grahamstown I have heard stories of preachers refusing to go into pulpits (understandably!) because of the presence of a snake. This morning I was out at one of the farm societies and had my own snake experience. It wasn't actually very dramatic, but did make me realise that snakes are a bit scary!
It was right at the end of the service, after doing Communion. The stewards had unintentionally blocked the way back to the pulpit with the Communion table and I was quite happy just to finish the service from the front. Then suddenly the people sitting in the choir section started shrieking and pointing at the pulpit, into which they were convinced a snake had just made its way. I was quite happy to let the snake have the pulpit and we continued with the notices - then the snake was spotted in the roof. A creepy looking sinuous green-yellow beasty. I thought I was ok with snakes, but this one I didn't like. It appeared on and off between the corrugated iron sheets over the next hour or so. The people shrieked and laughed after the service.
One of the congregation who either works for a vet or has a friend who does (I couldn't quite get which) said that it was a boomslang. Apparently dogs are often bitten and there is nothing that they can do for them. But we all stayed in the building and ate a meal, although some were seen to be watching constantly and one old lady refused to sit down at all.
So I learnt something. And life goes on, even when faced with a real danger!


Anonymous said...

Mark 16:18.


I'm just kidding. Don't try this at home!

Anonymous said...

Eek! That is frrreaky. You must start wearing a hat to preach if there're going to be boomslangs, mkay?

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Mark - you joke, but it does put you as the minister on the spot. You've just stood there proclaiming Jesus with authority and then you are challenged by a dangerous snake. What does faith say? 'Don't worry, God will look after us?' Anyhow, my faith said, 'this is cool, I have never seen a boomslang like this and I wish I could see it better', probably not in the Bible like that, but anyhow!
Charli - I was glad of my boots! But summer brings sandals... It's adventure!