Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Friday, February 29, 2008


Before lunch, I only had 4 kids in my classroom as the other 8 were off doing an extension programme. The kids were working quietly when a shriek from outside broke the stillness, and seconds later a smallish snake slithered through the gap under our door and hid itself behind the bookshelf.

I stayed calm and so did two of my students, as I told them to get up on the desks and relax. One of my girls went into "what-if" mode, and the other started to panic and hyperventilate. *sigh*

The snake stayed there for about 20 minutes, peeking out from the bookshelf occasionally, while I tried to keep the kids from freaking out. Eventually it slithered back out again and went into an exterior wall vent, so as far as we know it's in our classroom's wall cavity right now. It can't get back into the classroom from there, so we're hoping it stays there until everyone has gone home for the day!

It was actually a rather cute snake in my opinion, but it was probably also reasonably deadly, so I wasn't going to try getting close to it! I took some pictures on my phone but my phone's camera has no zoom, so I don't think I captured it, and I can't get the photos off my phone at this point anyway. If only I'd had my real camera!

It was almost certainly a brown snake of some sort - I'm guessing Dugite or Gwardar - which means potentially (but rarely) fatal venom if bitten. It was a light olive colour on its back and pale and creamy on its belly, and its head was closer to oval than diamond and contiguous with its body lines. It was about 50cm long, so fairly small, probably a youngish snake.

I guess that the odd bit of wildlife in the classroom is Just One Of Those Things about teaching in the bush. And my own primary school wasn't exactly in suburbia, so I've seen the odd bit of intrusive animalia in the classroom before. But dealing with a venomous snake actually in the room with us is a new one on me!


X read this to me last night (the post on BtN) and we just could not stop laughing. Nothing like this would happen in the US (except maybe in rural areas with rattlers) but oh my gosh! It was reaction was "Wow. I never had to worry about that in my years of teaching!" Chalk this up to a story to tell for years and kudos for dealing with it - I think I would have been a little hysterical.

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