My Mother hated me dragging her through the reptile house.

Any alternative, giant ant-eaters, creepie crawlies, even a mouse.

But why not share my passion for creatures cold blooded?

So clean are their habits, not one of them mudded.

Like statues they posed, staring ahead at the water’s edge,

Hardly a barrier between us, not even a garden hedge.

Is it Mississippi Alligator , Gharial, Dwarf or Nile Crocodile?

Even in my teens,  I had become quite a “reptile-file.”

Crocs from China, saltwater in Aussie, from Amazon the Cayman,

So many species to remember for this layman.

Lizards abundant in iguana, monitor, slow worm and gecko,

Chameleons that change colour, even Dragons from Komodo,

Constricting snakes, venomous, egg laying or live young,

Varieties to marvel, such fast movement from that forked tongue,

Corn , rat,  milk, tree, whip, bull, grass, smooth vine king and garter,

Each of these harmless, as their heat increases, crawl faster and faster.

Venom from adder, cobra, mamba, rattlesnake and viper,

So many sub-species, names snatched from others even the tiger.

Egyptian,  Spitting plus King, Green or Black, Gaboon and Puff.

Just a few of the poisonous species, as if that’s not enough,

Constricting there are boas, anacondas pythons, both royal and others,

Thank goodness, not all school boys do this to their mothers.