Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snake stories

After last night's excitement with the cobra, I looked around for it while I gathered up the shoes I had thrown at the dogs last night. Silly things were grouped in a circle around the snake, taking turns diverting its attention while the dog behind it nipped at its tail. Or end part; snakes are all tail right?

I forgot to mention that we had also startled a dog that was attacking a cobra when we drove back home last night. My staff tell me that between these two things, I'll have massive good luck for having seen two cobras in the same day and actively trying to save it. That's good. I could use some good luck.

Killing snakes and eating them is bad luck. Sak told me a story about a Vietnamese man, one of the road construction people, who had killed a snake for dinner. It's one of these snakes that mates for life and its partner was mad and filled with grief. It made a landslide come down on the man's hut, killing him. The village in the pathway of the landslide, was not affected; the landslide stopped right at its edge.

I was a little skeptical, thinking that it's one of these old folk stories. "No," he said. "It's true" and reminded me of the landslides that blocked the road between Phonsavanh and Kham District in Sept 2000. I remember those landslides well - we had several activities scheduled during that time period and could not get through. The width of the landslide, which was all rocks and sand from the top of the road cut, was nearly a kilometer. Passengers on buses would get out on one side of the landslide and walk to a waiting bus on the other side to continue their journey. It was a strange landslide, cause I couldn't really see where the rocks and sand came from - maybe this story explains why.

I asked Sak whether he had seen a cobra before. He said yes - on the Discovery Channel, which had a documentary about snake charmers in India.

1 comment:

jientje said...

I think I'd rather see them on the Discovery Channel too, instead of in my backyard!