Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Murder by Mamba

One of Eugène Marais’ stories that impressed me even as a child, was the one about the attempted murder of an infant by using a mamba.
The mamba is the most deadly and most feared snake in Africa. Specimens exceeding three metres are not uncommon, and it is known for its extreme aggression, especially during the mating season.

A maid employed on a big farm was pathologically jealous on the arrival of a new baby in the household. She made use of the services of a sangoma (witch doctor) in her quest to kill the baby.

The carcass of a female mamba would surreptitiously be dragged from the bush right into the crib and then removed. Male mambas find females by following the scent.

The presence of the first mamba in the crib was attributed to the snake seeking heat. The second one a day later alerted the father to the plot.

Fortunately the baby apparently never moved.

Such is Africa.

No comments:

Post a Comment