There was this guy in the army who used to collect snakes (there’s always one). He’d inevitably have a couple of them hanging out of his kit, or maybe a skaapsteker in the front pocket of his combat jacket. But his favourites were a collection of puff adders.        

To contain them (after their daily “walk”), he used to squash them into a cake tin once full of treats he’d been sent, now perforated and filled with tasty morsels so they could breathe and eat overnight. As the collection grew, so the squashing got more dangerous, but it had to be done — so that the rest of us could sleep...

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