Encountering a Cobra while on Horseback. (Lesotho, Africa).
Horses are a vital means of transport in Lesotho (Le su tu).
I had refined, more and more, my equestrian skills.
By owning a horse, as a foreigner, it creates a job of care for a Mosotho.
The mountainous terrain of Lesotho is a dream for those who love riding.
Lesotho is home and the origin of the Basotho Pony--
A horse which has been bred to Triple--
A smooth gait somewhere between a trot and a cantor--
Pull back, push forward, both simultaneously!
One day, when concluding a ride on my wonderful Pony,
I entered the University residential area for faculty,
When I noticed a cobra crossing the dusty road,
Moving slowly towards a house and its children playing nearby;
Together with a chicken coop, harboring the quest for any respectable cobra--
Many nest boxes where hens have left their ovulated prize--eggs!
I called out to the children to take cover in the house,
Then rode quickly to the Science Building, harboring its now very needed implements:
Goggles to shield the eyes from a very--several meter--accurately spitting cobra
And a pole to knock the dangerous snake senseless!
A gallop back to the spot, snake's position immediately determined,
Then a quick, smooth, humane interaction, and it was done:
Children safe, eggs conserved and a new specimen for the biological collection.
Now, somewhat overwhelmed, I walked my horse to restable,
Unharnessed it with uneasy hands in the quiet equestrian shelter.
Frank Maurer 1 February 2023 1525 Hours.
(Note: In Lesotho, true cobras, genus Naja, are not common; rather the
monospecific genus Hemachatus, the Rinkhals or Ringhals or Ringneck , is prevelant. It is cobra-like
and I used 'cobra' as a generic, more familiar term.)
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