News and Views by the Editor and Correspondents of the Days

After Things to Do with Nuts

   After Things to Do with Nuts we should have known better, or Des Donnelly ought.  Carnbeg Central and unbridled Mother Nature don't get on together very well.  Memories - to make one shudder - of last year's class on foraging in the hedgerows. 
   It was 'hosted' (a D.D. term) by hunky TV naturalist Bo Bowman.  How unfortunate that the snake he brought along should have been in such a thoroughly bad temper when one of the participants repeatedly prodded it with a stick as it was sleeping.  Its instinct was to find somewhere quiet, and warm, where it could get back to sweet dreams - perhaps of some paradise garden.  By its heat-seeking radar it went slithering across the floor, making for the radiator pipes.  How unfortunate, then, that the coiled metal pipes resembled a huge snake wrapped round and round itself.  'Our' snake took exception, in its territorial way, and there was a lot of spitting and hissing.  (All this while the naturalist was nowhere to be found - in fact. He was round the corner, slaking his thirst in the Howff, clearly a man without pride.)  Response came there none from the radiator, so the snake had another thought, if snakes could be said to have dirty minds and responsibility for them.  The radiator changed sex in the eyes of the snake: she seemed to be inviting a closer relationship.
   When the naturalist returned, he had a job and a half to extricate the snake from the back 'business' end of the radiator.  The snake adder didn't take kindly to being interrupted, and - on a hiding to nothing (with a diversion to the lizard handbag which Library-second Louise bought from the Oxfam shop, which she had left on the floor next to her chair) - he made a bolt for it, out of the door and down the front steps.  The matter, out on the common pavement, then became a police matter.
   A 'lost' reptile, as it happened.  The escapee must have hopped into the hold of the Edinburgh express coach standing there, preparing for departure, while the baggage handler's back was turned and just before he closed the hatch.
   But that is another story.

November 11, 2011