Skip to comments.Woman Without Fear: William Manix's account of Grace Wiley
Posted on 11/30/2008 12:14:40 PM PST by Oyarsa
Woman Without Fear
By Daniel Mannix
I FIRST heard of Grace Wiley when Dr. William Mann, former director of the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., banded me a picture of a tiny woman with a gigantic king cobra draped over her shoulders like a garden hose. The snake had partly spread his hood and was looking intently into the camera while his mistress stroked his head to quiet him. Dr. Mann told me: Grace lives in a little house full of poisonous snakes, imported from all over the world. She lets them wander around like eats. Theres been more nonsense written about snake charming than nearly any other subject. Grace is probably the only non-Oriental who knows the real secrets of this curious business.
Looking at the picture of that deadly creature, If knew what a famous writer meant when he described a snake as a running brook of horror Still, I like snakes and when my wife, Jule, and I moved into our Malibu house, I made it a point to call on Grace Wiley.
She was living near Cypress, outside Los Angeles, in a small three-room cottage surrounded by open fields. Behind the cottage was a big, ramshackle barn where the snakes were kept. Grace was cleaning snake boxes with a hose when I arrived. She was a surprisingly little lady, scarcely over five feet tall, and probably weighed less than a hundred pounds. Although Grace was sixty-four years old, she was as active as a boy and worked with smooth dexterity. When she saw me, she hurriedly picked up the four-foot rattlesnake who had been sunning himself while his box was being cleaned and poured him into his cage. The snake raised his head but made no attempt to strike or even to rattle.
(Excerpt) Read more at cms.acs.ac ...
I gather she doesn’t worry about burglars.
She probably didn’t, when she was alive.
If these idiots ever let a pregnant female cobra escape in the South, life in this country will never be the same again.
Rather unfortunate, isn’t it? But perhaps her story can serve as a lesson for others.
My students had a few thoughts about this after reading about Ms. Wiley.
~ J thinks you should have the right to own snakes.
~ Z said depending on what type of snake it is.
~ B said No tourching houses, you get caught by po po.
~K said you could use snakes as self defense. You are right, no one would break in.
~ R said if you do have snakes, you have to be responsible with them. Don’t let them go just because you don’t want them anymore.
~ Z said you should only hold snakes if you are an absolute expert.
~ B said it is unfortunate that her vanity got the best of her. She seemed to think that she was invincibe.
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