Long time ago...like three days ago, four girls were sitting on the green grass of the lawns sipping their favorite poisons. It was not a Friday night or a Saturday night either. But they were childhood buddies who did not need a weekend to share a tipple.
It is pre monsoon season here in Bangalore and mozzy’s (mosquitoes) were feasting on the alcohol laden blood of the four girls. After the first sip most of them passed out into deep inebriated slumbers. The one’s that did not, dare not approach us for a second round. (Alcohol tolerance amongst mozzys is alarmingly low). Suddenly, one of the girls leans over and hits a newly arrived and hence un-drunk mozzy feasting delicately off an artery on her feet. ( Mozzy’s are gourmands. They don’t sup on lowly “veins”). Then she leans over to inspect the kill and lets out a shrill shriek.
“Snake!!” she screams. Four inebriated girls take off vertically into the air with the alacrity of sober people and land with resounding thuds a few feet away. Jumping up and down on one leg and gesticulating wildly at her ankles the afflicted girl struggles to give words to her horror.
‘Snake...bite...feet...big…no…small…leg...blood…mommy” she babbles. The ensuing pandemonium was err umm interesting.
Snake? Are you sure it was a snake?
Shut the eff up and do something!
What if it was a cockroach?
Hearing the ruckus Dad and Mom are out in a jiffy before we could hide all the bottles and leave a respectable few to show how less we had drank or were drunk. Dad as usual decides to take charge of the situation.
How big was the snake?
This much (showing her pinky)
It must have been a baby snake then!
Will I die?
The victim of the alleged snake (no snake is guilty until its victim dies) bite, lets call her AV is rushed to the nearest hospital after Mom and Dad have bandaged her foot above the wound. This operation was carried out in an amazing display of team work and coordination.
All this wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t allow the girls to sit out so late!!
You are right! Even the snakes disapprove I see.
Come to think of it they were sitting out on the day Mumbai was attacked too.
And when the US dropped a bomb on Hiroshima!
On the way to the hospital the girls keep the AV’s spirits up by amusing her with interesting conversations.
If it was a Black Mamba you would be dead by now. It takes just 15 minutes for its venom to act.
A Cobra is faster! It takes only a few minutes!!
It could not have been a Black Mamba. They are not found in India. So it has to be a Cobra.
No re. A Cobra would have killed her by now. I am sure it was a Viper.
I dunno. We have already ruled out the other snakes that inhabit our area no!
We arrive in good time at the hospital. The doctor, a family friend of a family friend’s cousin was waiting for us.
Doc: You still alive! That’s a good sign heh heh
AV: Does this mean the snake was not poisonous?
Doc: It means I still have time to administer the antidote heh heh
Doc: How did the snake look like?
AV: Light brown!
Doc: Any markings?
AV: No, but its tail resembled a Rattle Snake’s!
Doc: Well Rattle Snakes are not found in India so it has to be Rat Snake.
AV: Is it poisonous?
Doc: But it was not a Rat Snake then it might be.
The doctor turns her ankle and inspects the wound. Then he turns her ankle around again and then stands up and scratches her head. It was the Dad’s turn to be worried.
I cannot see any bite mark!
What’s that red mark?
That’s probably a bug bite or a skin inflammation.
Are you sure?
It was a baby snake I am told.
Baby snakes can be poisonous too.
Well…I will give the antidote just in case. But if you can find out what snake it was it would very helpful.
It is 2 am and four beleaguered girls and a parent stumble home all beat. The three friends decide that they would go out and take a look to see if they can find the baby snake. It had to be dead or in a deep state of inebriation. Either way it wouldn’t have gotten away very far. Perhaps they could save their friends life by taking it to the doctor for identification they thought!! So armed with good intentions and really bad torches the three brave girls went out in quest of the body and came back just as quickly. The corpse of the “snake” was there alright. But by some miraculous physical transformation it had become an Earthworm!!!
You could hear a pin drop in the silence that ensued. We looked at the silent house, at the corpse and at each other and solemnly agreed that what the people in the house did not know, wouldn’t hurt us too much.
Note to self: Next time, look before you leap!