Table of Contents
When a cobra enters a compound, the family and all neighbours unite to catch it. To prove his competence, their servant claims to have caught the reptile in a pot, but what does the pot contain?
Hide and Seek
It was the afternoon when a cyclist alarmed the family of a cobra entering their premises. The mother and her four sons were not impressed with this news and rushed to find the cobra. They roused their servant Dasa from his slumber and informed him of the cobra’s advent. He tried to dismiss the matter but that only led to the neighbours accusing him of being lazy and incompetent. No excuse from him was accepted and they told him to make do with what he had and to stop making demands.
A larger group of neighbours gathered. They started talking about snakes and the dangers of snake bites. They began assisting their neighbour in whatever manner they could. The cobra was still absent despite the removal of creepers, bushes, and grass. At the gate, an elderly beggar called out for alms. They explained that they were on the lookout for snakes. The old woman grew thrilled when she heard it and stated that God was visiting them and that they should not kill the snake.
The mother consented and gave the beggar a penny, who promised to send a snake-charmer. The snake charmer arrived and told them about his life and pursuits, as well as his ability to tame snakes. However, he was helpless without the snake in sight. He asked them to call him once the snake was found and departed. They discarded their sticks and tools and retired to the porch to relax around five o’clock in the evening.
Snake in the Pot
They were discussing various steps they would take in the future to defend themselves from reptiles when Dasa came in front of them, holding a water pot with a stone slab over it. He claimed to have caught the cobra and had the radiance of a champion. Mother praised him for his wit and wished she had put some milk in the pot as a religious obligation.
He carefully picked up the pot and walked away, stating he would leave the pot and its contents with the snake charmer. He rose to become the day’s hero and they decided to suitably award him. Five minutes had passed since Dasa’s departure and the youngest son sighted a cobra slithering out of a hole in the compound wall.
It glided towards the gate, pausing for a brief moment to survey the crowd on the veranda, its hood half-raised, then it crept under the gate and vanished down a drain. The others were shocked and wondered if there were two cobras. The college boy regretted not taking the risk and checking the pot or they would have known what was within.
Plants, trees, birds, insects, animals, and other living things abound in the natural world. Animals and birds, like humans, are also “heirs of the earth.” They have the same right as we do to live on this planet. Killing them is wrong.