A few days ago a friend called Joe (probably no significance in this whatsoever!) told me about a “homing snake” in Macclesfield about 10 years ago, which I must say amused me. So I have been looking through back-issues of the Macclesfield Express from January 2000 and have got as far as the beginning of September 2000 without success. I intend to go as far as the end of December 2001. The snake in question was apparently trained to go from Tytherington to Hurdsfield in this town, which is at least 2 miles across busy roads so even if it's possible to train a snake to do this I don't know how it could survive heavy traffic. Watch this space!
I also have the following story from Hulme's Natural History Lore and Legend
Burton* tells us that in Samogitia, a small province in Poland, the people nourish amongst them “ a kind of four-footed serpents, above three handfuls in length, which they worship as their household gods, and if mischance do happen to any of their family, it is imputed presently to some want of due observations of these ugly creatures.” Some old writers tell us of hairy serpents, and depict a thing something like the well-known larva of the tiger-moth, the caterpillar popularly known as the “ woolly bear”, and familiar enough to all dwellers in the country, the only difference, though that a very serious one, being that the woolly bear is barely three inches long, while the hairy serpents are stretched to any number of feet that the credulity of the narrator will permit”(1)
* I do not know who Burton is.
1. F.E. Hulme Natural History Lore and Legend (1895) pp 305-306
Correction: A short while ago I asked if anyone wanted to see back issues of the ISC newsletter or journal. What I should have said was sell!