Guide Snake Tales for Kids: Four Magical Fairy Stories About Snakes for Children

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Little Bab-ba used to play on the verandah with his pets, Mioux-Mioux, the cat, and Wooff-Wooff, the dog, and they both loved him very dearly. Mioux-Mioux never scratched him when he accidentally pulled her tail, although she felt very much like doing so; and Wooff-Wooff used to stand on his hind legs and perform all sorts of funny tricks to make Bab-ba laugh.

Every morning after breakfast Bab-ba threw bread crumbs out to the little birds on the lawn, and they used to sit in the trees and watch for him, and sing about him till he came out of the house. Mioux-Mioux used to watch them out of the corner of her eyes, but she never attempted to catch them because she knew that Bab-ba loved them; and Wooff-Wooff used to sit with his head on one side and wonder however they managed with only two legs and not four like his.

But one day when Bab-ba was feeding the birdies, the big snake Hoodo, who lived in the garden, came creeping under the verandah and tried to catch some of the birds while they were eating, but Bab-ba saw him and called out! When she saw Hoodo, the big snake, she caught Bab-ba up in her arms and ran with him into the house, and two of the men came out with big sticks and beat Hoodo over the head and body till he could hardly crawl away again into his hole under a big tree in the garden.

Now Hoodo was a very wicked snake, and was very angry about all this, and he thought and thought about it, and wondered how he could be revenged on little Bab-ba, for he put all that had occurred down to him, and so one day, after he had got better he went out into the jungle to see an old friend of his, Tig, the Tiger, and talk the matter over with him. A little further on Hoodo met Bluf, the big brown Bear, and he asked him what he would do if he met a little fat baby in the jungle. Very nice, very nice indeed! Then Hoodo came sliding out of his hole very quickly and stood before the verandah, waving his head backwards and forwards, and shooting out his little tongue, while the sun showed all the colours of the rainbow on his smooth shiny skin.

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Then Hoodo laughed and drew back quickly into the thick part of the garden, with Bab-ba running after him. Wooff-Wooff went over to where Mioux-Mioux was sitting, and talked the matter over with her. While they were talking, some little birds overhead called out to them to attract their attention. You boast we're the world's most venomous snakes. It's true Australian snakes are very venomous: You don't have a good way of testing how toxic my venom is and so you test it on rodents.

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Not surprisingly, my venom is fatal to them because they're the very prey it was designed for. I doubt I'm as dangerous to you; mice are not necessarily a good guide. After all, adult mice don't react to funnel-web venom. I wouldn't rely on that mob if I were you. We're the demons alright. We've even been used to strike fear into the hearts of refugees.

Your government made three videos to show people who might try to sail to Australia the horrors of a land surrounded by sharks, burnt by fire and infested with venomous snakes. I feel such videos say more about you, Drover's Wife, than about Australia. In countries where people have lived with snakes for a long time, they coexist well. The cobra coils under the house, the python sleeps in the rafters, keeping down the rats.

Cobra venom is rated 1 on the scale of toxicity. My cousin, the Inland Taipan, is rated I myself am thought less dangerous only than the Taipan, not for toxicity but for the amount I inject. Our reasons are good for having so much venom and making it so potent. We used to be massive constricting creatures, like the anaconda or the boa.

We don't need all that muscle now; our venom means we can be lighter, faster.

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Just as well your mob never met wonambi ; those fellas grew up to six metres long, as long as a small bus. They lived in Australia from million years ago until about thirty thousand years ago. Some say wonambi inspired tales of the rainbow serpent. A prehistoric South American snake 43 metres long, or almost as long as an Olympic swimming pool, she weighed in at a mighty kilograms.

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You might want to consider this though: That wouldn't mean much to you, Drover's Wife: Vipers have folding teeth. They pack them away neatly in their mouths and then when they strike the fangs spring up and out, a far more efficient venom delivery than my cousins and I use. Our fangs are fixed so we must bite our prey. Some part of its flesh must be between our upper and lower fangs for the venom to be injected. Would it help if I told you my teeth are quite small? They can't penetrate jeans or shoes.

A simple strike will not do for us.

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Many of our strikes fail or are intentionally 'dry'. We're just warning you. Don't tread on me. Which brings me back to you, Drover's Wife. Do you have a name? You call me a black brute — seems to me there are quite a few black brutes that you and that Drover husband of yours would prefer not to have around cluttering up the landscape. I am also described as having 'an evil pair of small, bright beadlike eyes'. The same snake-hating religion that said you were the door for all evil into this world said the same of me. I'm a snake, no symbol for anything.

You are a woman, no symbol for anything. I am curled up behind your wall, not inside your kitchen. If I come out at night to hunt I won't bite you or your babies. I can smell where you are and though I'm no pit viper, with their oh-so-fancy heat-locating facial pits, I can still feel your heat. That's how I know your size and that I can't eat you. If you stopped to think about it, Drover's Wife, you'd see I'm a blessing to your hut, to your shed, to your barn, eating the vermin, the rats and mice that destroy your food and spread disease.

Your farmers are finding that the more of us they kill, the more severe the plagues of rats and mice eating their crops. You protect your crops in one way, destroy them in another. People in India live with cobras under their homes. Cobras are powerful, good luck. If you can't see us without a symbol standing in between us, let us be like the cobra. Let us be Shiva, destroying, regenerating. Let us be protectors of the Buddha, bringers of rain, thunder, fertility.

Carved in Hawkesbury River sandstone, we will guard the entrances to your temples, your churches. You could celebrate the lunar holiday of Nag Panchami and refrain from your plowing and field work out of respect for us. We are cosmic, ranging across the universe.

Scientists recently described the Milky Way as 'a pit of writhing snakes.

Your scientists are persistent, I'll give them that. Took them thirty years to capture an image of the gas snakes. Cosmic gas snakes help stars form, make the galaxy and the universe magnetic and spread warmth around. We snakes all need heat from the stars. To bring things down to earth: Men are bitten when they try to kill one of us while drunk. One man lost his arm and said I made the stupid mistake of grabbing a wild King Brown with my left hand because I was holding a beer in my right one!

You mammals are not rational creatures — too hotblooded. A thousand things in this land are more dangerous than I. The sun itself invades your skin, poisoning your cells. Men that pass your hut. A picture on a page stuck to the wall of your hut shows Mary, infant in arms, crushing a serpent beneath her heel. Do you see yourself this way? It is you yourself you crush. Mr Lawson said my eyes were evil. Evil to him who evil thinks.

He said that wretched dog shook me as if he felt the original curse in common with all mankind. The same curse that oppresses you then, woman, vessel of evil? Crushing me, you side with those who hate you. I am not an enemy nor The Enemy. I expected more of you. How do I shed this fusty skin of fear and walk with artfully reckless bared ankles? At least when Mr Lawson wrote there were no cane toads. Some say up to 90 per cent of my mob are now gone because of cane toads. Others say toads make us adapt, that evolution is proceeding swiftly because of this pressure.

The writers who followed Mr Lawson, the man and woman who took up the story from him, understood me no better, I feel. The man said my grace and beauty symbolised a human penis; the comparison leaves me speechless. The vainest man alive could not be so arrogant. What could be more feminine, if it comes to that, then my shining flow? No one who has seen our coils loop one on another so effortlessly could think of such a thing without laughing.

I've been here harmlessly behind the wall before, enjoying the heat from your tiny captive sun. Turn off email alerts. Skip to main content. Refine your search for snake books for kids. Refine more Format Format. Best Match Best Match. Items in search results. Format see all Format.