Nose

At a cocktail party, a middle-aged gentleman told his fishing story. It was about a snake; not about the colossus that got away. He said that the incident had happened years ago but was one of those life moments, which haunts forever. Apparently, he was doing some deep-water wading when he felt a long slimy body slither between his legs. He instinctively knew that this was not a fish. Then, his eyes agog, he told of his subsequent horror when a six-foot-long water snake reared out of the water to stare at him with cold unblinking eyes. Its head was a few inches from his nose. Thoughts flashed through his mind, “If it bites me on the nose, and I survive will I have a deformed face with no nose?” and “What should I do to survive even if I do lose my nose?”

The man paused to take a sip, and I looked at him skeptically. His nose was intact. I wondered whether he was exaggerating the size of the snake, for most do in an attempt to validate fear. A snake enthusiast in our group commented this was probably a benign water snake; easily distinguished, he said, because the poisonous Cottonmouths are aggressive and have fatter bodies. The gentleman looked at us, gauging our disbelief and went on to tell how he managed to keep his cool demeanor and slowly raise his hand to cover his vulnerable nose while he gently blew in the snake’s face. To his relief, the snake took his suggestion. It backed off and swam away almost as though it were as scared as he. As for the type, he said that he was too frightened to be able to distinguish what kind of snake it was. I don’t blame him.

Jane Stansfeld 296 words

6 thoughts on “Nose

  1. Ian’s tale gave me a good chuckle. Sorry, Ian – but it was funny 🙂

    Now, that gentleman in Jane’s story did spin a tall tale 🙂

    The moment he claimed the snake reared out of the water… well, well, well. Naughty author, Jane 🙂

    Unlike their land-based cousins, sea snakes cannot lift themselves up out of the water. In fact, the “easy” and “safe” mode to handle a sea snake is to hold it up by its tail and it will hang down. Of course, that does not mean it cannot lunge and strike. But you get the picture.

    Succinct story and quite enjoyed it.

    Cheers!
    Eric

  2. Reminds me of the time I was milking a cow and a large Eastern Brown snake slithered between my legs past the bucket and by that time my fight or flight mechanism came into play. I decided on flight and leaped into the air and took off for the sanctuary of a stairway nearby. My sudden flight frightened Tiny the cow who leaped in the air and came down with her leg in the bucket of milk running off with the bucket clanking away in her contrail. The one most frightened though was the snake. It took off at lightning speed. LOL. I can assure you it’s a true story.

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