Snake* in the Grass

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.

slow worm

Feet for scale. And also to prove that it’s been warm enough this summer to wear actual sandals

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?


6 Responses to Snake* in the Grass

  1. Flighty says:

    I presume you’re not that keen on them as you didn’t pick it up and move to a safer location. xx

  2. disgruntled says:

    I have no problem with snakes or snakelike things – but I still found picking it up a challenge! I did wait until it was safely across.

  3. Slow worms eat slugs. I applaud your efforts to protect this noble creature, and think that’s all the explanation your neighbours should need.

  4. disgruntled says:

    That’s very true

  5. […] enough was enough and hopped off, meaning my road safety duties were at least less prolonged than last time. Why it couldn’t do that with a bicycle bearing down on it, I have no idea. But then we […]

  6. […] Help slow worms across the road (something of a hobby of mine) […]

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