Close Encounters


On this date 25 years ago I had a close encounter I’ll never forget.

I was working as a carpenter in Drake Bay, putting the finishing touches on a shower and bathroom. I lifted the new door with both hands and guided it toward the hinges. Suddenly, I felt something move across my bare feet. I looked down and saw it was Fer du Lance pit viper!

The snake was about a meter and half long. It stopped moving and lay with its belly across both my feet. I dared not move a muscle, but the door was heavy as I held it in midair.

I kept my eyes on the snake, but it didn’t move and didn’t seem to notice me. I supposed it was attracted to the warmth of my feet. It felt comfortable just where it was!

I felt sweat on my face and back, my hands shook, the door bobbed up and down. I had to concentrate on holding it still, but my muscles were starting to shake.

Finally, the snake decided to move on and slithered over my feet and kept going. I dropped the door and jumped outside. I laughed and cried for a bit, said a silent prayer.


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