Snakes and ladders

.

LORI WELBOURNE

Guest Columnist

My fear of heights is only slightly outweighed by my fear of snakes, so when my eight-year-old daughter asked me to chase after a guy covered in the long limbless reptiles one day at the beach, I was less than keen.

“No way,” I told her. “I’m too afraid of them.”

“Why?” she asked.

Well, I wasn’t exactly sure why. Their slithering, hissing and attacking ways just scared the heck out of me. But Daisy wasn’t the least bit afraid and wanted to see one up close. So off we went down the boardwalk searching for a guy I didn’t particularly want to meet.

It was a busy day at the beach and people were swarmed around this man and his snakes. I’m not sure how many he was holding, but he had a range of sizes coiled around his arms, neck and chest.

My daughter immediately wanted to hold one and asked if she could touch the skin of the baby snake in his hand. The man said yes and asked me if I wanted to touch it as well. I told him I was too scared and he asked me the same question Daisy had: “Why?”

“I guess I don’t want to get bit,” I said.

“Unless you smell like a rat or a rabbit or something else yummy, these snakes won’t be interested in biting you,” he said. “You’re safe, I wouldn’t have them out here if you weren’t.”

That made me feel slightly more comfortable. But it was my daughter’s fascination with them that made me curious about my long-time fear.

Since I’d never had a bad experience with them personally, I had chalked it up to an instinctual feeling that I imagined most rational human beings would also have. But clearly that wasn’t the case if my very own offspring wanted to hold them.

My dad used to say that the best way to conquer a fear was to learn more about it. When it came to snakes, he was absolutely right: the more I learned and the more time I spent around them, the less frightened I became.

Just Posted

Stettler provincial court briefs

Full docket with everything from sexual assault and aggravated assault to death threats and theft

Stettler woman faces drug trafficking charges

Trial set in Red Deer Court of Queens Bench

Stettler Health Foundation has a lot to smile about

Stettler Tim Hortons donates $2,994 Smile Cookie proceeds to local health foundation

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Most Read