Snakey McSnake Face is probably not her real name. I didn’t ask.
On Sunday I had walked to two famous Venetian footbridges up in the Troodos mountains. It was a lovely hike of eight miles or so. I was even presented with my “50 mile badge”. Cracking day.
Things took a turn for the worse once I was back in the car, heading home. A natty electronic display informed me that my back right tyre was losing pressure and that I should deal with it as soon as practicable. As Monday was a public holiday, Tuesday was going to be the first opportunity to get professional help.
Margaret and I sat on the terrace making gloomy estimates of how much money was going to be required to be invested in new rubber, when Spice exploded into a frenzy of alarm-barking. When it became apparent that she was not joking, I walked around the back of the house to investigate.
She stood before an open cupboard door (it had been windy), her eyes fixed on the darkness within, barking incessantly. The hairs on my arm stood to attention. “Snake.” I thought.
Captain Courage that I am, I immediately picked up a broom, put Spice inside the house and began banging about the cupboard. Something moved. Something heavy. My heart-rate spiked, and I beat a retreat. I grabbed a 4 iron. I’m very good with a four iron. The club was small enough to go into the dark gap where I believed Snakey McSnake Face was curled up. I prodded and felt something firm, but yielding. She hissed, and probably marvelled at the speed with which a big man could jump up and vault a fence. With a 4 iron in his hand.
Dusk was approaching and there was only one thing for it. I had stern words (from a safe distance) with Snakey McSnake Face, and repaired to the terrace for a medicinal barrel of wine.
Sleep was fitful. Crushed to death, fatally poisoned, beaten at match play, all by an angry snake, figured in my fevered dreams.
Next morning, Spice, the 4 iron, and I all crept toward the cupboard. Spice was hesitant, but not alarmed. The 4 iron found nothing where Snakey McSnake Face had been. I passed a happy couple of hours banging 137 nails into the cupboard door.
What did I say to her?
That’s between Snakey and me.