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The Act of Killing A Snake (My Encounter)

Animal documentaries used to be my best programs on TV back in the day. I still love them. But these days, watching them is mostly for the comedy only. What would a dude like me see in an obviously serious educating TV show?

What I find funny is simply this: What gave man the right to know how other animals think, behave and make decisions? Go figure. More on this issue some day.

Back then, my favorite animal show was about snakes. I grew up believing the snake was the devil incarnate. Look what he did to Eve in the garden of Eden. What so many hours of watching these snake documentaries taught me was that many of the world's snakes are not poisonous. In fact, finding water in the desert is easier than coming across a poisonous snake in the city. And, a snake's first instinct is to run away from humans. They are actually scared of us.

But I knew, in my heart of hearts what my first thought would be if I see a snake in the bush. I’d look for the easiest route that’d take me as far away from that slithery monster in the shortest possible time. Then run like a reasonable convict who just escaped from prison. Like my life depended on it. Which is, figuratively, true. But what if the snake is right at my doorstep?

Right at my doorstep was where the snake I killed was when it happened. That fateful night, I went outside for a blast of the cool night air with my flashlight. Normally I don't bother to go out with the flashlight. But the gods must have sealed the fate of that poor snake. And can you believe the first place my torch pointed at when I got out was exactly where the snake was enjoying the cool night air (and contemplating the stars, that is, if snakes do that too)? I had no reason to point in that direction. But I did.

The light startled the snake. It's sudden movement also startled me into taking a small jump away from it. And that was all the jumping I did for that day, because I noticed the snake was trying to move away from the light. I chased it with the light without moving an inch from where I was standing. The snake was a thick greyish thing about the length of my arm. I watched it trying to escape the glare of the flashlight, but I tracked it resolutely.

After a while, it gave up trying to escape the light and just turned round and started crawling towards the source of the light. It must have felt since it can't escape the annoying light, the next best thing is to investigate the light. Well, I’m sure that's how those clever folks producing animal documentaries would explain the snake's behavior. I watched it come towards me. It looked elegant the way its curves were just blending with the forward motion of the body. It kind of reminded me of some very curvy girls I always dreamt of.

When the snake was about 3 feet from me, I bent down,  picked a fairly heavy but handy stone that was coincidentally just waiting there for me to pick up. This snake must have really pissed off some malevolent snake god. I did not launch the stone at the snake, instead I just stretched out my arm in front of me with the stone in my hand, while my right hand was still following the snake's progress towards me with the flashlight.

I simply opened my fist and let the stone drop on the snake when it was at arm's length. The gods were with me. The stone landed directly on its head and pinned it to ground. It was fascinating to watch it writhing furiously as it tried to free its head from the stone. You could literally see life draining out of it as it gradually stopped  moving.

It took about 10 minutes. I wondered what the snake was thinking in its last moments. The animal documentary guys would have a lot to say about that I bet you.