“What are you doing Saturday morning, Sir?”
Forty years ago, that question caused a stir.
“You’ll find many snakes on the Queenstown tip.”
I heard my year five student quip.
“I’ll show you how to catch a snake,” said Ric,
“And I’m happy to show you my technique!”
“I jump up and down on sheets of tin,
To flush out snakes that lurk therein.
When the snake decides to get away,
I tread on its back to make it stay!
I grab its head to keep from harm
As it wraps its length around my arm!”
Ric made catching snakes an art,
It was not something I would start!
Ric brought more tiger snakes to school,
Necessitating, a classroom rule;
We’d keep a snake inside the class, –
If he agreed that snake, would be his last!
The snake in class was a fascination,
Where kids would make their observation.
Snake safe behind glass from curious hands.
Keeping snake helped them to understand
How reptiles tracked and ate their prey,
And never require three meals a day.
Snake would track and strike its prey
Of mice and frogs that came its way.
To swallow them snake stretched its jaw
And kids in class all watched in awe!
Their respect for snakes inevitably grew
Informed by what they each now knew.
Occasionally snake would strike the glass
And the venom released intrigued the class,
As down the pane they watched it trickle,
Hairs on necks would tend to prickle.
Students who observed snake that September,
Through first hand experience, would remember.