Excuse me waiter, but there’s a snake in my soup!

Most people don’t pee on snakes like I do. They tend to leave them alone. Or if they live in a country where a snake bite can kill you more quickly than you can say, “I’ve been bitten!” then the inhabitants are trained from birth to kill them (the snakes, not the people shouting “I’ve been bitten.”)

Such was the case in China. Many a time the shout would be heard, “Snake!” and people would rush out of their classrooms with sticks to chase the snake away.

But not all snakes managed to escape — as this unfortunate story goes to show…

When I lived in China, I had the upstairs flat; the other VSO volunteer lived downstairs and also on the ground floor was a room housing our two interpreters.

One night as I was dozing in the heavy, drowsy heat of summer, I heard a terrible shouting.

I rushed downstairs to the interpreters’ room just in time to see an enormous green tree python snaking its way in through the window.

Pythons are not poisonous, so together with the girls’ boyfriends, we took brooms and chased the snake out of the door and outside.

Where we hoped it would do the sensible thing and find another shady tree to lie in.

I went upstairs and fell asleep.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The loudspeakers woke me up, as usual, at 5 am and I groggily jogged downstairs to go to the university sports arena to do early morning exercises with my students.

Imagine my surprise when the sight of a fat green python greeted me at the bottom of the stairs!

I almost died of fright until I realized that the snake already had (died, that is).

Apparently, it had decided to slither back into the room – under the door – and got very aggressive when it got stuck and the boys had killed it. (Somehow, I managed to sleep through all the screaming that accompanied this event…)

After teaching morning lessons, my eager students returned to the flat with me as they all knew that there was a surprise waiting for me in the fridge. (A huge luxury, I know, and one that worked as long as we had electricity – which wasn’t very often.)

I opened the fridge and there, in my honour (after all, I was called Plofessor Peony by my students) was the skeleton of the python curled up in its own fat. Just heat it up and it would be snake soup, I was told.

Not my cup of tea soup, so I invited my students to lunch.

And before you could say, “I’ve been bitten!” they had polished off the entire contents of that bowl… well, apart from the skeleton, of course.

More animal stories over at Camera Critters.

38 responses

  1. Blu

    oh souper! UGRHHHHHH


    August 21, 2010 at 17:04

  2. This is freaking me out!!


    August 21, 2010 at 17:04

  3. I really don’t think I could eat snake soup. Funny what different cultures regard as delicacies.


    August 21, 2010 at 17:13

  4. i have eaten king cobra…so i just might try the soup…but if it got in the house…i just dont know…smiles.


    August 21, 2010 at 17:22

  5. Oh my word!! What an experience…you are a brave soul! Great post, though!


    August 21, 2010 at 17:23

  6. Di

    Hubby had to kill a rattle snake in our backyard 2 summers ago that had bitten our dog and then would not leave our property. He tossed the dead snake over the fence to let the birds have it. A neighbor said that if we ever see and kill another one to let him know since he likes rattlesnake meat. ugh.



    August 21, 2010 at 17:51

    • That’s scary! Hope your dog survived the bite.


      August 21, 2010 at 18:33

  7. cat

    What a story! I would not have eaten that soup either.


    August 21, 2010 at 18:07

  8. Crikey!


    August 21, 2010 at 18:35

  9. What’s the saying…when you’re given lemons, make lemonade…so when you’re given a snake, make snake soup.
    Not my cup of soup though either. Aside from the ‘ewww’ factor, my reason=vegetarian.


    August 21, 2010 at 18:46

    • I became vegetarian after my first year in China!


      August 22, 2010 at 06:46

  10. lilalia

    Ugh! I like snakes and had a boa for a few years in my teens. I don’t know what I would have done opening up a fridge and seeing a snake ready to serve for lunch… sure think your reaction was smart though.


    August 21, 2010 at 18:49

  11. Lady Fi, You amaze me..what a story..I now understand you being a vegetarian:)


    August 21, 2010 at 18:53

  12. Clive

    Great story – really enjoyed it!

    Glad though that St Patrick rid us of snakes here a long time ago!


    August 21, 2010 at 21:19

  13. What an interesting story. Thanks for sharing it.
    An English Girl Rambles


    August 21, 2010 at 21:59

  14. If the snake looked like the one in the picture I would have been a little freaked. Dodger and I ran into a small snake on our walk last night. He wanted to make friends, I just wanted to get away as fast as I could.
    I’m not sure about the snake soup….I might try it.


    August 21, 2010 at 22:26

  15. OH MY! So…did you make soup? 🙂


    August 21, 2010 at 22:31

  16. Oh gosh, I am terrified of snakes!

    My Camera Critters


    August 21, 2010 at 22:49

  17. Nice photos.


    August 22, 2010 at 01:00

  18. I don’t care if they are NOT poisonous. A snake is a snake is a snake and this one is just too scary.


    August 22, 2010 at 02:11

  19. Eds

    OMG! I hate snakes! I think I’ll die if I see in person 😦 But its amazing how u captured ur cat flying with fear. lol!!!

    Amazing Ants Building Bridge


    August 22, 2010 at 02:56

  20. LadyFi: What a great story to share. I don’t like snakes, much less a python.


    August 22, 2010 at 03:23

  21. I admire your courage. And you do make me laugh. Still, the real deal….


    August 22, 2010 at 05:47

  22. Love the new look of your bog.

    So, as well as being fluent in Swedish you can also manage some Chinese. You polyglot you.


    August 22, 2010 at 08:54

  23. wow that was a fascinating tale!


    August 22, 2010 at 09:38

  24. Great story, but ewwwwwwwww *shudder*


    August 22, 2010 at 10:51

  25. Yes, I remember the chinese restaurants in Bangkok offering up some odd dishes! The one that springs to mind was bird nest soup…the acutal nest was boiled to make the broth…which meant that you were actually eating bird spit as that is what they used to ‘glue’ their nest together! Eeeewww

    C x


    August 22, 2010 at 12:02

  26. You’ve had some adventures, haven’t you!

    And no, i don’t think I could have faced that soup either!


    August 22, 2010 at 18:14

  27. that’s the richness of living elsewhere and living as others do for a while. even if we don’t participate fully in the others’ culture, we are close enough to be a part of it, somehow. i’m envious, in a good way:)
    that photo of a green python is so beautiful.


    August 22, 2010 at 19:31

  28. well, snake soup? I must be VERY hungry then. But a great story.


    August 22, 2010 at 21:30

  29. Now that is something I can do without thinking about.


    August 23, 2010 at 07:35

  30. We don’t have snakes here in New Zealand so I don’t have a cause to fear them. I guess the venemous ones can be a worry! – Dave


    August 23, 2010 at 12:12

  31. Yikes. That would leave an impression.

    The Mrs. almost jumped into the sky when she encountered a small garter snake in her mulch bags–I don’t want to think what she would do with a real snake like a python.


    August 23, 2010 at 13:10

  32. I’ve always been intrigued by snakes. I rather like them. Not so much the rattlers, of course and we do have some of those around here. I think I’ll pass on eating one though. And I don’t like handbags and shoes made out of them either. Their skin is prettiest when it’s on their bodies.


    August 23, 2010 at 17:01

  33. Great story…
    I won’t eat snake soup…
    Thanks for dropping by


    August 23, 2010 at 17:46

  34. Not likely that I’ll ever try snake soup! 🙂


    August 24, 2010 at 03:09

  35. Wonderful story! Sharing is supposed to mean more to the giver than the receiver — and in this case it sure did.


    August 24, 2010 at 05:28

  36. IF I did not know about your journeys as a young adult, I would totally think this was FICTION! However, I know it really must have happened!


    August 25, 2010 at 17:37

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