Snakes belong to the class of reptiles. They are cold-blooded, air-breathing scaled vertebrates. There are about 2,000 kinds of snakes in the world.
There are three kinds of snakes living in England — the grass-snake, the smooth-snake and the adder, the latter carrying poison (sometimes called viper, which means one that carries poison).
The grass-snake is not dangerous and will always move away when it sees a human being. The length of the grass-nake is something about three feet. Its jaws can easily take-in a whole frog. It changes its skin at certain periods. It can swim, in fact, it gets its food such as small fish, from the water. After a good meal it sleeps for a few days. In winter the grass-snake looks for a warm place and after feeding goes to sleep for long periods. In July the female lays about ten eggs and the young ones1 hatch out. The grass-snake sometimes lives for about ten years.
The adder, a poisonous snake, has a series of dark V’s down its back, as in the picture. It is shorter and thicker in the body than the grass-snake and can be easily noticed.
In olden times snakes were believed to have some mysterious influence 2 and were worshipped. Today they are hunted and killed simply because people do not know the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.