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Snake Stories (standard:other, 3713 words)
Author: Mookoo LiangAdded: Apr 05 2007Views/Reads: 1853/1624Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I hadn't seen or thought of snakes in a long time. However, when the winter vacation was approaching and my cousin's close friend Chang-Chong suddenly appeared in Wufeng, I was forced to start thinking about those mysterious awful creatures again.
 



Snake Stories 

By Mookoo Liang 

I hadn't seen or thought of snakes in a long time. However, when the
winter vacation was approaching and my cousin's close friend 
Chang-Chong suddenly appeared in Wufeng, I was forced to start thinking 
about those mysterious awful creatures again. 

* * * 

The first story that occurred to me was a fascinating true story, which
took place in the mountains about fifty years ago. 

A woman peasant carrying a three-month-old baby on her back went up a
steep mountainside to work in a pineapple orchard over there. When they 
just reached the orchard, some strange noises suddenly came out from 
behind dry leaves of pineapples. (The dry leaves were piled up here and 
there and meant to be natural fertilizer.) The unpleasant hissing and 
rubbing sounds quickly got across a few rows of pineapple plants and, 
in just one second, disappeared at the edge of the field. The mother 
did not see the escaping animal clearly at first, but she learned from 
experience that it must have been a snake. 

Without being troubled too much, the mother worked on the mountainside
all day long. She paused regularly, every one hour or so, to feed her 
daughter; and yet most of the time she left her pretty tiny baby lying 
under a mango tree nearby. 

The orchard work always took more days to do than expected. As the woman
returned to the pineapple field the next day, she was astonished to see 
the same snake again. Now she saw clearly that it was a grayish snake, 
very big and long indeed, and that it had an oval head. (This is 
important! Most poisonous snakes have their heads in the shape of a 
triangle; in contrast, snakes with an oval head are usually harmless.) 
At the mother and daughter's approach, the frightened creature dashed 
away soon, but seemingly at a lower speed. 

The third day, the fourth day, and many other days following, the mother
and daughter returned to the pineapple orchard. They came across the 
same snake time and again. The snake seemed to be better acquainted 
with them. Finally, as they approached, the snake no longer hurriedly 
"fled for its life" but just had a graceful look at them and then "made 
way for them" by crawling away at its own pace. 

Apparently, the snake and the two humans had become "good friends." They
shared the same piece of land; they had been living or staying there in 
peace. The woman thought that the snake was not only harmless to her 
and her daughter but also very useful to the pineapples that she was 
growing---because it would kill rats that caused damage to the orchard. 


Then, one chilly morning, the mother stopped working at around ten
o'clock to take care of her baby, who was fast asleep in the shade of a 
tree. She was so very shocked to see that "orchard-keeper" also 
sleeping there, with its long body curled up next to her. "Oh! My 
goodness! What can I do about it?" the poor mother hesitated. She dared 
not move forward, or backward, in quite a few moments, thinking that 
any wrong action might annoy the snake so much that it would bite her 
baby daughter. 

*  *  * 

"What did the mother do after that?" I asked earnestly. 

"As it happened, the mother succeeded in rescuing her daughter," said
Shixiong, who was the one that told me the above story. 

Shixiong's wife, whom my wife and I called Shijie, smiled and said, "Of
course she did. If she had failed to rescue that little baby, Shixiong 
would have lost his younger sister." 

"Wait a minute!" I broke in. "Do you mean the mother in the story is
Shixiong's mother?" 



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