The snake said nothing
|Understanding the enemy|
|The enemy without
My reader Murali from India tells the story of a girl who decided to climb a mountain to visit her grandmother. It was pouring with rain, a cold wind was blowing, and thunder rolled at each second.
When she was almost reaching her destination, she felt something brushing against her feet. Looking down, she saw that it was a snake.
“I’m almost dying,” said the snake. “It’s very cold and there’s no food up here on this mountain, please protect me! Put me under your coat, save my life, and I will be your best friend.”
She saw the snake’s green and gold skin and told herself that she had never seen anything so beautiful.
She thought how her classmates would envy her if she showed up with a snake to defend her from everything.
Finally she said:
“All right. I am going to save you because all living beings deserve care and affection.”
The snake became the girl’s friend, served to scare aggressive people at school, and kept her company on lonely days. Until one night when she was doing her homework and she felt a sharp pain in her right foot. On looking down, she saw that the snake had bitten her.
“You’re poisonous!” she cried. “I’m going to die!”
The snake said nothing.
“How could you do this to me? I saved your life!”
“On that day, when you bent down to save me, you knew I was a snake, didn’t you?”
And he slithered slowly away.