I followed my own good advice last night...something I rarely do and it paid off. Let me paint you a picture:
It's about 9:30 and I've been reading in my tukul for awhile. I think about getting up to use the latrine but have a debate in my head about whether to wait until morning (there's not much to do here in the field so I find I talk to myself a lot more than normal). I finally decide to just get up. I put on my head torch and tromp across the compound dodging the bats, hedgehogs and assundry of abnormally large 'other' living things flying about...and then I tromp back.
As I have bent double (our little huts have very low doors) and just started to push wooden door open I notice an odd black wire running into my little hut. 'Hmm...how odd,' I think. 'I don't remember that being there before.' And that's when my good advice comes to mind. If it looks like a snake it probably is a snake. So, as I let the door fall shut and back away the head of a cobra whips out of my room and looks at me...who by this time is thankfully out of striking distance.
Now, for you long-time blog readers you know I've always wondered what I would do if confronted with such a snake and so now that I know I will tell you: I didn't run nor did I scream. I did yell rather loudly and lamely: "Uhhhh, hello! Anyone! Help! There's a snake! It's in my room! There's a snake in my room! Is anyone there!" At which point people came running and with sticks. I held the flashlight on it and they bludgeoned the thing to death grinding it's head into the dirt floor.
And that, was that. They lifted it and threw it over the fence. I said that they should leave it as a warning to others that might be slithering by but was told that if they did that others would come to 'mourn'. I didn't ask what a cobra wake looked like cause I'm pretty sure I could already imagine.