Snakes on the road

At first it looked like a huge rock with two humps and a smooth muddy surface. As we approached, we could see more definition and I knew this was no rock. It was a huge black rhino! Tattered ears and oxpeckers sitting along its back, the rhino seemed rather uneasy. It flicked its head from side to side trying to dislodge the birds that will usually just feed on insects living on large mammals, but will occasionally pick at sore spots as well. Finally the rhino lay down, lifting its huge head up as its rear came down. I got one glimpse of its spectacular face and thin lip, the distinguishing feature of the black rhino. As it lay in the tall grass, all that could be seen was the pointy tip of its horn, which lifted up and down occasionally, like some huge dancing snake.

Not long after seeing the rhino, I found myself actually looking at a snake – a big snake in fact. Sitting right in the middle of the road was a six-foot cobra. It was peacefully sunning and had its hood flared, giving it a look as if it might strike at any moment. It was in fact totally unconcerned with our presence. We stopped the car and waited. Slowly the black snake seemed to notice that it was in the way and decided to retract its hood (making it much less threatening looking) and slithered away.

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