Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hard of Hearing? Save Your Snakeskins

About a year ago we hired some guys to wash the windows of our house. I’m not sure where they were from originally, somewhere south of the border. My wife told me that when she got home from picking up the kids, the leader of the crew greeted her and said something about snakes helping you hear better if you put one in your ear.

She wasn’t sure if she misunderstood his broken English, so she humored him and moved on to her next task. A few minutes later he asked her if he could buy some snake from her. She asked him to show her what he was talking about.

He led her to a small greenhouse-window in which we display our natural history relics – deer antlers, empty box turtle eggs, fossils, etc., including a couple of snakeskins.

He pointed to the snakeskins and said that when the snakes “undress,” you take a small amount of skin, ball it up and stick it in your ear. During the night you will hear a dull thumping. The next morning you will be able to hear someone sneeze in Australia, he said.

He added, it worked for his grandfather, so it must be true.

She broke off a small piece of the snakeskin and gave it to him.

I was reminded of all this by a post on a blog called Rurality.


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