The Chicken Eating Snake

My yard has an ecology and it is not kind.
Our home sits on a long, easy slope, closer to the mountains than the city. It is surrounded by terraced rice fields but some of the land has been abandoned. So it has the typical collection of trees and vines and exotic plants that probably dine on stray Americans.
We put hollowblock walls around the place to keep large two-legged creatures at bay. Here and there at the base of the hollowblocks are iron grilles that permit natural waterflow to come in and out of the property without washing either us or the neighbors into the Biliran Straits.
The center of the property is largely grass with some tall trees. It is park-like, quite delightful and fun for mowing and chopping and raking of leaves. The west side of the property is a vertical garden. There is some tall shit there. Like timber bamboo and trees with leaves the size of small umbrellas and fan palms and jack fruit trees, which are the perverts of the fruit family, I figure.  They grow watermelon-sized fruit on their trunks. Boy is that bizarre.
I don’t go to the west side of the property at night.
A killer snake hunts there. He is poisonous, kills his prey then sucks the head off.
Yes.
I know.
It’s gruesome.
As I said, it is not kind.
So far, we’ve wracked up the carcasses of three rats, two lizards and my brother-in-law’s young fighting chicken. Same MO, as Sherlock Holmes would observe. Dead. No head.
Now all these creatures play some role in the ecology of the yard. The rats keep the population of bigger bugs under control. You know, those cockroaches four inches long. The kind you can hear as they tromp across the kitchen counter. The lizards help in that regard, and the frogs. And the snake evidently keeps all the mid-sized creatures from overrunning the place.
We have a lot of frogs. They aren’t very bright. They are fat and warty and mostly just sit there thinking you can’t see them. Nevermind that they are on the terrace and not in the jungle. One hopped up and peed on my wife’s foot and now she is horrified that she might get warts on her toes.
As I said, it is not kind.
Also helping in the bug control department are these little birds, swallows I suppose, that dart in and out through the trees right at face level. They are like a video game gone mad and one is inclined to fall into the same kind of trance watching them dart about.
Lots of other birds hang out, including that one asshole that keeps yelling “fire in the boat, fire in the boat” all day long long. I like the whooper. It goes “whoop whoop whoop” like a broken bassoon in heat. And it is answered by a whooper from way over there.
The neighbor’s chickens march through the water grilles like they owned the place. Mama hen guides her chicks through digging for this bug and that.
You know, as I write this, I must acknowledge that the Philippines certainly has a lot of bugs. They dine on each other, too. My wife shrieked one day as she was cleaning out the wasp nests on the iron window panes. A huge centipede-like worm had crawled inside to dine on the baby wasps.
As I said . . .
Now the wasps alone are worthy of note. They are huge black critters about two inches long. Shaped a little like a woman, now that I reflect on it. Big of chest and big of butt. But their legs are less than glamorous. Skinny and shot. And they have a few extras, compared to women. These bugs could be used by the military as spy planes if they could get them to fly right. They might even be able to pack a missile or two.
And I won’t talk about those leggy worms because there is only so much creepiness I am willing to put into a blog that kids might accidentally stumble upon.
But enough of this.
Back to the ecology of a Senate courtroom  . . .
Comments
2 Responses to “The Chicken Eating Snake”
  1. Ah, the bugs in the province that gave my former American boyfriend sleepless nights whenever he's there…especially the mosquitoes.He should have experienced the chicken-eating snake and those exotic plants that probably would dine on stray Americans though. I bet, the more he would call my province — 'a jungle', when to me it's the place of serenity and repose.Interesting how people can see things in completely contrasting perspectives.

  2. ah, lostforwords101, I suspect you are a poet, eh? For me the distinction is day or night. I agree that the daytime jungle is wonderful, assuming there is a path to go down. I formerly lived adjacent to a wonderfully rich jungle with tidal ponds, monitor lizards, and trees with huge roots, housing white ladies. Some of the local guys would go through at night sticking their hands down crab holes to pull out the big ones.Ummm, that is a culture I will never try to assimilate . . .

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