Stop what you are doing; gather your children. It’s time for a snake story from More Amazon Adventures with Pilot Bennie.
Three hundred nineteen kinds of snakes live in Brazil. They slither over the ground; swim in creeks, rivers, and swamps; and even live in trees! Some, like the huge anacondas and other boa types, wrap themselves around their prey and squeeze it to death. The poisonous ones, such as the tree and pit vipers, rattlers, coral snakes, bushmaster (surucucu), fer-de-lance (jararaca), and cobras kill by biting and injecting poison into their victims.
Encountering a Snake
Pilot Bennie has met several kinds of these creatures. At the floating hangar when no one is around, a snake sometimes crawls into an opening and enjoys the heat radiating from the engine. On two different times, Bennie went to the floating hangar and discovered that a snake had curled itself on top of the cylinders of the engine behind the propeller of the Cessna 206 floatplane.
One time, Pilot Bennie arrived at the floating hangar for an early morning flight.
This big poisonous snake lifted his head. The snake’s head was only a foot away from Bennie’s face.
As he climbed into the plane, a snake stuck its head out and tasted the air with its tongue.
“Get ready!” Bennie shouted to his night watchman who was standing by. Bennie touched the starter of the engine. The whirling propeller caught and pitched that snake to the opposite side of the hangar where the watchman killed it. Bennie never found a snake in the cabin of the airplane, but he kept the doors closed just in case.
A Riveting Snake Story
Pilot Bennie had stacked some canvas cots on a shelf in the hangar’s storage room. One day he needed one of those cots. When he opened the door of this dark room and started to move the top cot, a surucucu, or bushmaster, stirred from its sleep. This big poisonous snake lifted his head. The snake’s head was only a foot away from Bennie’s face. . .
To be continued next week.
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