Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hoop dreams, cont'd

Another day, another ouroboros!

Ditmas Ed gives us a lesson in natural history, or rather Natural History. (Two different stories, the first from 1925, the second from 1940.)

One of the most persistent and widespread snake myths in the United States tells of a large serpent which takes its tail in its mouth and rolls like a hoop. It is further reputed to have a poisonous sting in its tail, which is launched at its enemy from the rolling position....My interest in the story was aroused during a stay in Louisiana, where I could gather eyewitness testimony regarding one of the “hoop snakes” (Abastor erythrogrammus) and the “stingin’ snake” of the genus Faranda. It appears that the supposed habit of rolling like a hoop is an elaboration of the more fundamental belief in a snake with a poison sting in its tail....

Bonus: More primo ouroboric content, as always, at Erasing.

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