A teenage adventure
A teenage adventure
"If you see a snake, just kill it. Don't appoint a committee on snakes!"
Henry Ross Perot
I was not aware, till very recently, Ross Perot had made the statement, "If you see a snake, kill it!" Whosoever Perot was (Sure, he was not a snake-lover or environmentalist. Born in 1930, he died on July 19, 2019. His net-worth in April 2019, reportedly, was $4.1 billion plus), I'm thankful to him for removing the guilt-feeling from my mind which I have been nurturing for the last sixty plus years.
I loved to read that "shoot at sight"-like death sentence for all snakes pronounced by the American billionaire again and again. I consider it as the final verdict justifying administration of the death sentence for all snakes killed by humans so far. Now, Perot is not available to consider any "Review Petition".
Yes, yours obediently confess having killed a child-snake, when he was 12 or 13. The 20 inch long reptile had intruded into our ancestral house where the adventurous me was a weekend visitor those days. Without much effort I could guide the fellow to the court yard and kill it easily with a stick. The family members present (all of them ladies and children) were very appreciative of my successful criminal act.
By the time the snake was declared dead and I was still enjoying the thrill, still holding the stick, my father arrived from a distant place. After preliminary investigation and keeping his umbrella and luggage in the verandah, he went to the compound and came back with another stick. Earlier, only once he had beaten me up with a stick and this time, from his long look into the small forest in the south-east corner of our compound where snakes were worshipped and the few words of disgust he had uttered on finding the dead snake, I was readying myself to receive his final admonition and punishment.
Finding the stick in his hand, I started feeling pain below my knees.
But the story took a different turn. My Dad looked again towards the "Naaga Sankalpam" in the mini-forest and gave three-four beatings to the dead snake, before picking it on the same stick and giving the corpse a decent burial far off in the compound.
By beating the dead snake himself again, he was transferring the sin of killing the snake to himself. Honestly, I couldn't repay the debt during his lifetime. Later some day he told me that we belonged to "Kaashyapa Gothra" and snakes will never ever do any harm to us.
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