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Write down the letters of the ABC. For each one, choose a word that begins with that letter. Now, write a post about anything — using all the words you’ve selected.

Black Mamba

Like many people I have a fear of snakes. Some of my worst dreams include snakes, perhaps a room full of snakes so that I can’t move without stepping on one. This fear actually has a name: ophidiophobia. I have little reason to be afraid of them because few in our area are dangerous — only the copperhead is venomous. Black snakes are pretty common, but while I don’t like seeing one in the yard, I’m not really afraid of it.

I wouldn’t want to meet with an Anaconda in some South American country. Besides being very large, and frequenting rain forests and wetlands, they kill their meals by constriction e.g. suffocation, then eat it whole. They can grow to 30 feet long (think semi truck) and even their babies are bigger than most black snakes — 2 feet! They eat prey like wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, jaguars (and more) so I must deduce they could eat me!

Another snake I’d like to never meet is the Black Mamba found mostly in south and east Africa. If I saw one, I’d probably be a goner because they are highly aggressive, and strike with deadly precision. By the way, Black Mambas get their name from the blue-black color of the inside of their mouths, which they displays when threatened. They are also the fastest land snake in the world. These fearsome snakes can strike up to 12 times in a row. A single bite is capable of killing anywhere from 10-25 adults. A bit of overkill, maybe? Although antivenom exists, it is not widely available, and I have to wonder “why not?” They are a top killer in a land where nearly 20,000 people die from snake bites every year. Yikes. It’s okay to be scared.

When one thinks of a cobra, the image of an snake charmer sitting next to a large, tall basket may come to mind. Indian folklore portrays cobra snakes as a symbol of protection and fertility, and under Indian wildlife regulations, it is illegal to exterminate it. Is that reasonable, I ask myself: Cobra snakes are the largest and most venomous snakes in the world, as well as the deadliest when counting human fatalities. It’s venom will kill, unless there is intervention with an antivenom, but that would have to be fast! Two drops of its venom delivers enough paralysis-inducing neurotoxins to kill. The snake’s venom is so strong and so voluminous that it can kill an elephant in just a few hours. Wonder why? They’re not big enough to eat an elephant — mostly they eat small mammals, and sometimes other snakes.

By comparison, I think we’re pretty safe here in the U.S. I wouldn’t want to meet the ABC killers!