An incredible, bizarre story took place in the village of Drnovac, by Boljevac. One night, a few years ago, the Šimunović family discovered as many as 300 snakes in their home. The parents and their three children immediately evacuated the home, which was later discovered to have snakes in the walls, foundation and attic.
Today they once again live in that house, which is a renovated barn. They continue to come across the occasional snake.
It happened when the children were younger. It was during the night that my daughter shouted, ‘Dad, Dad, a lizard.’ I turned on the light and saw some snakes on the floor. It seems the snakes had laid eggs in the manure pile, and the snakes later made their way into our house. The trauma and fear continue, even though one slowly gets used to it, says father Milan.
Some of the snakes were caught back then, while some fled. Many media outlets reported the story and there were many attempts to help them. Nevertheless, after some time, the Šimunovićs returned to the house.
We are where we are, in two barely functional rooms. The ceiling is cracked, we don’t have a proper foundation. The only worthwhile thing is the view of the famous Rtanj mountain…Our daughters are in school, and Milan (18) helps collect herbs to make medicinal teas. We have a small orchard with plums, pears, apples…All that we earn goes toward food.
Unfortunately, Milan’s wife, Verica, was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer, and will need to undergo urgent surgery. But she would rather talk about her children:
Forget about that, I would rather praise my Ana (15). She trains in karate and has earned six medals and seven-eight diplomas. And Laura (11) enjoys learning. We don’t have to say anything to her as she does her homework on her own.
When asked what she would most like for her children, she answers:
There are many things…at least a bathroom, not to use an outdoor toilet and trough as we do now.
The Šimunović family was also visited by members of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs.
We came to see how they live now, and we hope in the near future to be able to improve the children’s living conditions. They do not deserve to live like this, said Nemanja Meljanac from the organization.
We invite all good people to be part of this project. Here is how you can donate: