Saturday, November 8, 2008

Snakes in a swamp

My aunt Corinne was a good story teller. Once she told me a story about being a little girl in Louisiana and crossing a river by walking across a tree that had fallen across it…I guess the banks were high, because the tree was four or five feet above the water. At one point, as she was balancing her way across, Corinne looked down and saw a water moccasin in the water, paralleling her journey across the tree, just waiting, it seemed, to see if she’d fall.

In a word, creepy.

All of this is to explain why I idly googled “louisiana” and “snakes” just a bit ago, and discovered that there are four different species of poisonous snakes in North America, and Louisiana is home to them all: the copperhead, the cottonmouth water moccasin, the eastern coral snake, and the rattlesnake. Louisiana boasts three varieties of rattlesnake: the pygmy rattlesnake, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (reputed to be the most dangerous snake in North America) and the timber rattlesnake.

The same website mentioned that Louisiana is also home to two venomous spiders: the black widow and the brown recluse.

Living in an apartment in NYC, the closest I get to snakes is in the pet store next door, which houses teeny tiny snakes in aquariums dressed up with fake rocks and rubber plants. Henry loves them. I think they’re kind of cute—as long as they’re behind glass and not coming home with me. Sounds like in Louisiana, you don’t have all that much choice. Yikes. Do I really want to live here?

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