Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Fig Tree...and the Snake

Can you see it? We are grateful to God that I did.
We have a beautiful fig tree in our orchard. I love having "biblical" trees growing. We also discovered a pomegranate as we were clearing out an overgrown garden.

Before Christmas we went on one of our night walks with all the children and feasted on four or more  very large figs. It was a great delight! We are waiting for the second harvest, which looks like it's going to be huge! The tree is still covered in the bird nest from last season, which is great for keeping the birds at bay.

We went for a night walk this week and Tank and I were just starting to walk around the tree checking the readiness of the second harvest, when I saw something under the tree that didn't look like part of the nets. A snake!

It was very still, and we wondered if it was stuck in the net or dead. The children and I talked through our options on how to check out if the snake was alive, and we decided to spray some water on it from afar. This way we could all stand well away from it and no one was going to be silly enough to touch it with a stick!

A small spray from the hose determined that it was not just alive, but firmly stuck in the net. We took some photos and looked up photos of snakes in our region. We are pretty sure this one was an eastern brown snake. A fairly large one at that...about 1metre 30cm to 1.5metre.

We decided the best course to go was to kill the snake as he was so distressed,  and no proper snake catcher would return our calls. We called a parishioner neighbour, who came around with a gun and a rake. The children got the opportunity to touch the end of the dead snake and feel the way the bones move inside it's body when it moves. We were able to talk about snake anatomy.

It was actually a lovely visit. We were able to learn more about our local neighbours, our congregations, mission work, how home education works, share snake stories (this farmer had been bitten by a brown twice!) and develop friendships too.

Who would have thought one could do farm work, school work and church work whilst killing a snake!?

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