The Cobra And The Mongoose - Poem by Orlando Belo
“Tell me mongoose why are you trying to steal my eggs? ”
“Well, I’ve not eaten for weeks and I’m dying on my legs.”
“Don’t you realise that very soon these eggs will be my children? ”
“But you have so many and you won’t miss nine or ten.”
“How wrong you are mongoose I’ll miss every one of them.”
“Well tell me cobra, are you prepared to die for just ten? ”
“Mongoose, I am a mother and for only the one I would die.”
“Why are you swaying Cobra, and is that a tear in your eye? ”
“Aren’t you feeling sleepy mongoose, you do have heavy eyes? ”
“I know what you’re doing cobra, you’re trying to hypnotise.”
“For your information mongoose, I’m doing my cobra dance,
it’s a dance of magic, which gives my enemies no chance.
Don’t think that I can’t see you mongoose trying to circle around me,
first in one direction, and then the other so tactically.
I must warn you mongoose that I have a bite that can instantly kill,
and if you don’t die straight away, moments later you will.”
I’ve heard about your bite cobra, but you don’t frighten me,
I have the thickest skin and coarsest hair, as ever you’ll see.
I also must warn you cobra that my teeth are as sharp as swords,
and combined with my agility I will have the last words.”
“Well, if I were you mongoose I would leave while you can…
unless you want to be the cause of my indigestion.”
“I was thinking cobra, you and your eggs would just be my fill,
and now that only leaves the formality of the kill.”
For hours and hours the pair did spar and fight,
throughout the day and throughout the night.
The mongoose went close and the cobra did strike,
but not one had yet applied the decisive bite.
Both were aching and tiring, and their sharpness was wearing thin.
The mongoose considered one last attack then he would pack it in.
With a last almighty effort the mongoose jumped as high as he could,
after somersaulting in the air it buried its teeth below the cobra’s hood.
This bite severed the cobra’s spine and instantly killed the snake,
but the mongoose bit once again to make sure of no mistake.
It then bit off and swallowed the cobra’s once swaying head,
but the fangs of the cobra punctured its stomach, it too was dead.
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