Slithering snakes

Can you find all the snakes? (c) Young World, The Hindu, 2012

The snake writes to Aristotle telling a fascinating tale of how these scaly reptiles came to be.


Man apologising for what he is doing to us? Ha, that’s a good yarn!

Well, I love a good one and so read mine too!

Once upon a time, there came a magician from another planet in a solar system of a far-away galaxy of another Universe. He had a magical pipe and when he played it, out came a snake from the open end of it. He sat on a hill in the continent of Africa and played on.

The snakes that came out were all thin, small and brown. They asked the magician to make them all beautiful and unique. The piper thought for a while and then smiled. Yes, he could do that with the help of his magic wand.

Waving his wand over the first disgruntled snake, he uttered a spell. Amazingly, it grew long, nearly 30 feet, and heavy. It shimmered green and gold. The snakes that were watching gasped in awe.

“Anaconda, you will the largest snake in the world and your home shall be in the land of the largest river, the Amazon,” said the magician.

The next one, he turned into an equally long one and gave it a spectacular pattern – the reticulated python.

“What about me?” asked one in a mean way.

“You will be the black mamba,” said the snake-maker.

“No! I don’t want to be black!”

“Ok, then you can be brown and long with only the inside of your mouth black. You shall also be the fastest snake and have venom to match your temperament!”

The next little brown wished to be the longest and most venomous one; he became the king cobra.

With the next one, the magician uttered his spell twice by mistake and hence, its venom became the most potent. It became the taipan which he sent to Australia’s outback where he could do no harm to others.

The magician did not stop with that. He waved his wand and cast numerous spells until he had made over 2000 species of beautiful, shimmering, slithering snakes. He gave them all transparent eyelids so they appear awake all the time. He gave them powers to “smell” with their forked tongues; feel vibrations with their body. Thus were created the innumerable snakes on this planet and of course, the magician, having done his work, left for his faraway home.

BTW, he has also left this word search puzzle for you to solve.

King Cobra

Published as part of a series titled ‘Aristotle’s Mailbag’ in Young World, The Hindu, dt. July 16, 2012


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