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February 25, 2007

They were not kidding - Sanjeev

I decided to run the ideas for my next class through Krishna in the morning and walked to their place. As I entered everyone seemed to be focused on the storeroom N outside choola room. I asked Anu and she said that the cobra that she had mentioned was back.

Kannagi was holding a really long stick with a hook near the snake so it didn’t move from the room while Anu went to the back of the room to scare the snake into a drum she had placed at the entrance. She did manage to scare the snake, but naturally the snake choose to use the edge of the bamboo door to get out and hide in a whole bunch of drip irrigation pipes which looked quite like it. Anu and Krishna slowly removed the pipes to expose the cobra. Anu again tried to encourage the snake to get into the drum and rolled the drum towards it. Naturally, the snake didn’t think it was wise to get in. It then started wondering if it should look for an opening to get into the house and go elsewhere. The long stick kept it from moving about too much and with much ado it finally decided to check out the drum itself. The snake was now sitting in the mouth of the drum and we had no way of turning the drum vertical. Anu was then quite courageous and took the lid of the push drum and silently went behind the drum and in one swift move closed the drum with the snake inside. The drum was then turned vertical and the snake fell in and was loudly hissing inside. I also decided that it was time for me to step down from my bench where I had been perched while observing all the activity.

Anu and Kannagi tied the drum to a stick to drop it off in the jungle. Anu was worried that the locals might see the snake and kill it (which she pointed was the fate of most of the snakes). They didn’t take a stick with them and I decided to follow them with the long stick. We went to the edge of the forest near a stream untied the stick and put down the box. Anu offered to open the lid after knocking at the lid a few times so the snake goes to the back of the drum, but I finally decided to intervene and offered to open the drum using my long stick and hook. I was able to get the lid to open with a few clean stabs, but not able to encourage the snake to leave the drum. We tried to turn the drum upside down with the stick, but the maneuverability with the stick was limited and now we were left with a open can, a not so pleased snake and a stick stuck to one of the arms of the drum. Then some locals walked by and came down to see what we were up to. Anu was very worried because the locals usually kill the snakes immediately. We continued saying that we had brought it this far because we didn’t want to kill it. The gentleman pulled out our stick from the arm of the drum and turned it upside down to drop the snake on the downhill and the snake quickly found it’s way to the forest.

All through the process I realized that the snake was only trying to get away from us and never tried to rush towards us or harm us. It make me think of what Krishna said that most animals and rightly so and much more afraid of us than we are of them.

I decided to put aside our centipede story for another time :).

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