Adam the Adder

  • Sssskilful landing, Buzz, old comrade, – how did you know I was here?

  • You’re hardly difficult to spot from up in the sky, Adam. Those zig zag markings are a dead give-away!

  • Dead’s the word! They’re to warn how deadly poisonoussss I can be. Then other creatures leave me in peace!

  • You adders have got quite a reputation. Human beings certainly keep out of your way, don’t they?

  • Humans have always given snakes a bad presssssss. Ever since Eve blamed the Serpent in the Garden of Eden! And my cousins the grass snakes and smooth snakes are completely harmless. As for slow worms, they’re not even snakes at all!

  • Well, an adder’s bite is very dangerous.

  • Yes. It kills small creatures, admittedly … But it’s not usually fatal for humans. If they get medical treatment. People don’t need to treat us as enemies.

  • So you’re telling me that adders are just misunderstood, peace-loving creatures then?

  • Exssssactly. Look at the facts. We spend half the year hibernating in crevices or holes in the ground. We hardly eat anything: one nice fat vole, frog or baby bird will keep us going for up to a week. And we don’t poison things for fun – only when we’re hungry or attacked, which is usually by people!! Actually, our favourite occupation is sunbathing, soaking up that life-giving warmth. What could be more peace-loving than that? That’s why we like the Quantocks – plenty of rocks to bask on.

  • I know. I see whole groups of you in spring time, when you’ve just come out from hibernation. But, Adam, face up to it, it’s not the whole picture. You and I have got a lot in common.

  • Adders and buzzardssss? What can you mean?

  • We’re both predators – at the top of our food-chains. We can afford to be laid-back. Human beings are our only real enemies.

  • I begin to s-ssee what you’re getting at, my friend.

  • Highly adapted hunters, that’s us. Efficient killing machines!

  • Flatterer!

  • You with your silent, hidden ways, your keen sense of smell, your amazing wide-opening jaws and your venomous fangs….

  • And you with your phenomenal eyesight, vice-like talons, and that deadly accurate, plunging swoop when you dive for your unsuspecting prey! Poetry in motion!

  • Beautiful..

  • And dangeroussssssssss!