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Aishwariya's LittLog

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When I first moved here in 2016, I focused on getting an internet connection since I felt isolated. Also, one has to work! Over time, I’ve begun to listen to the sounds of nature–Some are sweet to the ears, and others are spooky!

During my years here, I’ve encountered bats, birds of several varieties — egrets, peacocks, kingfishers,
dracos, falcons — frogs and toads of all shapes and sizes, spiders, and even snakes! My mom recently went to our narrow backyard to water the plants. She was about to open the wooden gate when she noticed something move. She hurriedly stumbled backward and rushed into the house, her palm across her heart to calm herself down.

After a few hours, I was in my dad’s room holding forth on some topic when suddenly, we heard a
cacophony of birds. Monkeys were screeching and gathering around something. We found a three-foot-
long snake lying on the grass in our backyard. I zoomed in and took a picture of it to post on social media, so we could get someone to identify it. It was a Russell’s Viper, a poisonous snake found occasionally in these parts.

The moisture in the garden may have attracted the snake, but we suspect the birds signaled the snake’s death. After a while, I saw ants on the snake, which led me to conclude it was dead. What
could have killed the snake?  We engaged someone to take away its carcass. From the time between the
discovery of the snake to its demise and eventual clearing away, we spent several tense hours. I googled
the different varieties of snakes, recalled the story of Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Speckled Band.’

Google says, “The large, aggressive Russell’s viper is one of the deadliest snakes causing severe
haematological and neurological manifestations.” Seeing its pictures and descriptions on the internet sent chills down my spine. The thought that my mother had almost stumbled upon it when the snake was alive was scary and unsettling. It took me a few days to feel confident striding about the house again.

The statistics, too, are alarming. “An estimated five million snakebites occur worldwide, of which two
million are venomous, with 125,000 deaths and 400,000 limb deformities. Approximately 10,000 people
may die during each month of monsoon because of snakebite in India,” according to a report from the
National Library of Medicine. People believe that India is a land of snake charmers, and they
do not harm snakes because of their religious beliefs. Several parts of India worship snakes.
However, in rare cases, snakes are beaten to death by terrified people. If one lives in suburban India, it is
advisable to have the phone number of a snake rescue helpline on your speed dial.

First published by Steve Carr via Sweetycat Press. I’ve reposted it here with minor edits.


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ABOUT AUTHOR
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Aishwariya Laxmi

I’m Aishwariya. I’m passionate about writing, reading, marketing communications, books, blogging, poetry and editing. I’ve donned several hats, such as freelance journalist, copywriter, blogger and editor.

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