John Seven: Giant snakes invading London


NORTH ADAMS --You say you have plane tickets for London? I say think twice. It just might save your life.

Maybe you haven't heard about the invasion of the giant, child-crushing snakes? The Independent reported that "30 Aesculupian snakes" have been reported in "trees, rooftops and climbing up the drains of houses" in North London.

That's horrifying, right? The report concludes that rats have more to worry about than babies, but, still, as "Mum-of-three Sylvia Taylor" pointed out, "If they are capable of killing small animals then surely they could constrict small children?"

I need to stress that Sylvia Taylor is not a herpetologist, just a mother who can see to the edges of fear.

Or perhaps she's from Australia, where snakes are a very real concern. England might do well to look toward its former colony to figure out how to solve the potential disaster waiting to happen in North London. I came across this report of a python that has plagued a family over a seven-year-period, and this time it did its worst by hiding under a little girl's bed, which is definitely more terrifying than in trees.

The Australian reports on the scourge of snake attacks includes an exciting first-hand account of a snake eating a possum, with photo evidence. Isn't a possum an opossum in Australia? I'm not sure.

The witness, Mrs. Delys Clifford, does confirm that a "possum" is just slightly smaller than a Maltese shitzu, of which she has one, so she's understandably worried, in case the snake has a slightly larger mouth than first suspected.

People of Australia, snakes are not undefeatable! There are a few options for you. One is centipedes, as a "Serbian herpetologist" observed that a centipede swallowed by a snake decided to escape from its prison by eating its way out of the snake's stomach. The centipede actually digested the snake's insides and wore the snake skin "like a cloak."

This happened in a place in Macedonia called "Snake Island." And it would understandably make English and Australians leery of trading of the normal danger of killer snakes for the unusual danger of cloak wearing centipedes that eat your insides and take over your body.

Lucky for Australia there is a spider that can eat snakes -- here is a video of that for those interested, ( -- although I'm not sure England will be too keen on importing a monster like that over to solve its problems. You really have to consider how dangerous a snake can be. There is photographic evidence that a snake can eat a crocodile. One of my general rules about life is that if it can eat a crocodile, then it can eat me.

Does it all seem so far away from you? Don't feel like you need to worry about it? Consider what happened to the Portland Trail Blazers when they discovered a rattlesnake in their locker room at a game in San Antonio. Happens all the time in Australia, even England, but Texas? There's some dispute that it was actually a rattlesnake, but Blazers guard Mo Williams wants you to know that regardless, the snake was big. Like England big.

It gets worse, though. You'll probably jump out of your seat -- something you should never, never do if you see a snake in your office -- at this report that a ban on four giant snake species is well on their way to being overturned in Florida. All that stands between us and them are a bunch of ineffectual Florida crocodiles. That's no better than shitzus. We're doomed.

John Seven, a writer, lives in North Adams. He can be reached at or at


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