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

Local woman recalls potentially deadly injury from mowing the lawn

Shannon McTavish underwent extensive surgery after metal piece lodged in her neck

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Children’s book marks literary first for former Stettler resident

Loree Dittrich is celebrating the release of her first book for children called No Home for a Pigeon

Learning the intricate ‘ins and outs’ of TaeKwon-do

Popular form of self-defense extends back to ancient times

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly

Pride divided: Edmonton leadership under pressure as LGBTQ community looks to future

Most of the conflict can be traced back to 2016 Toronto Pride when Black Lives Matter staged a protest

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

High Level on alert, as wildfires put more people on the run in northern Alberta

Thousands in High Level were just allowed back home, and now must get ready to leave again

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Two people arrested after Wetaskiwin vehicle theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to theft of motor vehicle

Most Read