Cobras of the ancient world
In my middle-grade novel, Abracadabra Tut, a cobra makes a startling appearance. Well, I suppose any snake creates shock and awe. The other day, while hiking in a California desert, a very long yellow snake with brown patterns slithered across the trail. My first thought was RATTLESNAKE, but then I quickly noticed that this snake had no rattles. I found out later that it was a harmless GOPHER SNAKE. The park ranger explained that they’re frequently mistaken for rattlers, and
MORE pests of the ancient world!
In ancient times (and even today in parts of the developing world), ordinary people had to grow their own food. Imagine a family plowing and then sowing the seeds they had carefully dried and saved from last year’s harvest after the floodwaters of the Nile had receded, only to have their new crop visited by a hoard of locusts. Not only did these flying short-horned grasshoppers swarm in to gobble up the seeds, leaves, stems, and shoots but also their toxic droppings poisoned