These could sit up like a woodchuck and run a lot faster

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Dunlap had some experience with the local fauna in Egypt:

The Lieutenant and I usually had Lugers stuck in our back pockets, and always went armed after we ran into a pair of horned vipers at the butts. The day that happened I sent the medic in to the hospital for a snake-bite kit and instructions, etc. (we always had an ambulance and a couple of Medical Corps men in it, as part of the range equipment, just in case). He came back and said nobody knew nothin’. However, our report of the vipers stirred up some action and we did get quite a lot of dope on snakes in a day or two, as well as medicine, etc. These vipers are a short heavy snake, with horns and extremely potent venom. They can move under loose sand, and one of the first two I saw popped its head up out of the desert, like a turtle’s head in the water when he’s trying to get a good look around. No one ever got bitten, but I don’t know why, for there were plenty of the snakes around. It turned out that Egypt has quite a few dangerous reptiles, though I am still amused over finding out about Cleopatra’s asp. You know the cute little critter she is always holding in the pictures? Forget it; the Egyptian asp is a six-foot water-snake, living around canals and rivers. The viper is the bad little one. Snakes and lizards were the only wild life out by our range and we polished off quite a few via Luger and Springfield. The lizards were very repulsive, but harmless characters looking more like a long-legged miniature alligator rather than the usual little chameleon-type sleek reptiles. These could sit up like a woodchuck and run a lot faster. Only grew to about 30 inches long and most were shorter than that.


British soldiers used to try to tame them and keep them around their tents, saying they ate all the fleas and bugs.

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