04 May, 2009

In Defence of Slitheren....

It pains me to see the attitude that most people have towards snakes; the most common notion being - "You see a snake, you kill it". I mean, what did the poor slitherer ever do to us? Fear almost always stems from ignorance. We are scared of snakes because we don't understand them. Yes, some of them are poisonous enough to wipe out a village and yes, some people may find them mean and slimy but that is still not enough reason to "kill" them.Do you even realize how many venomous (metaphorically of course), mean and slimy people you are surrounded with? Do you kill them just because you don't like them? And yeah, they don't even protect your crops from rodents!

Snakes in reality are extremely gentle and timid creatures, just that they command oodles of respect from humans. I fell in love with snakes the first time I held one in my arms and felt weirdly tuned in to its body language. You gotta hold a snake the way IT likes to be held and not the way YOU would like to hold it. That element of respect makes snakes the magnificent creatures that they are.When you hold a snake, you have to leave it free enough to curl around you otherwise they get kinda edgy. If they click with you, they can be extremely friendly (even cuddly) and easy to handle. However, poisonous ones have to be held slightly above the neck. My very first 'body-contact' encounter with a snake was with two pythons and their hatchings. They did not feel the slightest bit intimidated; rather,as cold-blooded creatures, they seemed to enjoy the warmth of a mammalian body.

Some idiots may argue on behalf of the many people who have died of snake bites. Its not the snake's fault! Most snake bites happen in wilderness which is supposed to be THEIR territory, not ours. When you invade someone's space, you do so at your own risk and then, you have no right to complain if you are driven out! If snakes happen to wander into human settlements, it is only because we have not left enough wilderness for them to dwell in peace. A snake will never harm a human unless it is gravely threatened. When faced by a bigger animal, its first instinct is to escape. However, if it is cornered, it has only its venom for self-defense.Then too, it issues multiple warnings by hissing and spatting before going in for the final strike. Can you blame a poor creature for that? Why don't people back off when they see a snake? Why do they have to raise hell and summon a crowd armed with sticks? What is a snake supposed to do when it is faced by an armed mob?

Snakes are beautiful animals and vital to the ecosystem.Once we understand that snakes are as scared of us than we are of them (if not more), the two species may be able to find themselves on the same page. Thats the reason I want to train professionally as a snake-handler so that I can do my bit to spread awareness and help snakes in distress. Hail Slitheren!


  1. OMG!!! I could never ever do that!

    Though I liked the cobra gang and would have probably landed up in Slytherin house, but I could never let those slimy things wrap around me!

    You surely are one adventurous woman. Good-luck for becoming a snake handler.

  2. I think one of the most common phobias is for reptiles, phobia for snakes being Ophidiophobia. I am terrified of snakes, there used to be a time when I couldn't bear to even look at a tv show of snakes or touch a paper with a snake's picture printed on it. All this is for no apparent reason :), snakes somehow scare the bejesus out of me.

    Good luck on being a snake handler.

    By the way, I have been browsing through your hub pages and website, very impressed with the quality of articles. I am an aspiring freelancer myself and hope to learn from you.


Have Something to say?