Riding home from this afternoon’s family ride and hoping to beat the forecast rain, I came across what looked like an enormous earthworm on the road. As I cycled past I realised it wasn’t an earthworm but a slow worm and doubled back to check it out.
At first I thought it might be dead, but it began making its way steadily across the road, just not very quickly. Not wanting to see it squashed by a passing tractor, I hunted around for a stick to pick it up with, thinking I might speed the road crossing process up a bit before anything came to run it over but it turns out that picking up something that looks that much like a snake, even though you know it’s not a snake and it’s anyway really tiny, is something that is quite hard to bring yourself to do.
So I just sort of stood over it and ushered it in its unhurried progress across the road, ready to stop any traffic that came along. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to explain to any of our neighbours that I was there acting as a lollipop lady for what was to all intents and purposes a snake, but fortunately our road is extremely quiet, and even though slow worms really are very very slow, nothing came along before it was safely across.
Good deed for the day completed, I rode home where I was rewarded by being caught in the rain as I went out to pick Swiss Chard for our supper. No good deed, and all that…
* Not actually a snake, of course, but a lizard with no legs. Which you would have thought would be a pretty good working definition of a snake, but apparently not. Herpetologists, eh?