Valsa George

A Scary Encounter - Poem by Valsa George

I remember my mother’s encounter with a snake
Small I was, yet grown enough to know
That a cobra was more venomous than most other snakes
My mother was brave…. brave to the hilt
If ever she sighted a snake by chance
She would at once chase it with a stick
And kill it if it couldn’t escape her notice
A strange trait not in any way keeping with the one
Who by nature was so compassionate to man and beast

I used to wonder why she was so spiteful to snakes
She had had it ever since I could remember
Later I learned, one of her uncles, in his prime
Had been bitten by a snake and had died a tragic death!

She once chanced to see a snake in our compound
This time her enemy was a formidable one
It was trying to escape to the cluster of bushes
But through the furrowed land, its movement wasn’t easy
My mother not armed with a sturdy cane
Beat it with a flimsy stick… of course a risky act!

It was hit somewhere around its tail
With the fire of fury burning in its eyes
It stood erect with its forked tongue flicking out
And its six inch hood spread out like a fan
It was a cobra of the deadliest kind!

To make matters worse, our dog
Came running from far, ready to pounce on it
My mother was between the devil and the deep sea
Yet she didn’t lose her composure
Without taking her eyes off the snake
She called out to her children to watch the drama
Which she said could never be seen so close
And could be watched, perhaps only in a zoo
We were so scared of the whole scene
And pleaded her to come away instantly
But she said- ‘a wounded snake was a dangerous thing
If let go, it would at any time come back to bite’
Might be a superstition she had imbibed as a child

Fortunately just above that fateful venue
Was our compound wall behind which
All of us had stationed, so panic stricken
My brother, from somewhere lifted up a huge stone
And dropped it over the snake from behind the wall
Something the cobra had never anticipated
Its head was hit hard and was under the rock
As it wriggled and coiled desperately trying to free itself
My mother using the chance, beat it black and blue
And finally it was dead….

A memory
That still sends shivers down my spine
And fills my mind with a rare awe for my mom!

Topic(s) of this poem: life and death

Poet's Notes about The Poem

I don't know if this can be called a poem. But this is a real incident from my life true to the core without a word of exaggeration! Hope you'll not find it boring but of absorbing interest!

Comments about A Scary Encounter by Valsa George

  • Daniel Brick (9/27/2015 10:09:00 PM)

    I felt awe for your mother. What an amazing woman who embodies that complete commitment to her children's well being which characterizes mothers across the whole spectrum of society and nature. This poem is a praise-song to your mother and ALL THE OTHER MOTHERS. But I also felt awe for the cobra, trapped, probably frightened, he acted out of his animal instincts. It's sad he trespassed into the human world. Because it sealed his fate, which in the wilderness had not been written. I'm not bothered by the issue IS THIS A POEM? It is a vital and dramatic story that must be told. And in telling it so vivdly, you create poetry. (Report) Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/27/2015 9:43:00 AM)

    Small i was, yet grown enough to know; with the muse of the realities of life! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Kavya . (9/25/2015 3:07:00 AM)

    felt while reading that this is a true incident you have narrated here. Somehow your mom is v brave to have faced the snake with a stick in hand and finally hitting it to death. Have read or heard somewhere that if you kill a snake another of its mate will follow you to take revenge. Not sure how much truth it holds, as I can never dare to take a chance with Sankes...hahaha (Report) Reply

  • (9/23/2015 1:24:00 AM)

    I don't usually read poems or stories about snakes, deathly afraid, couldn't stop reading this one so well written it is, so vivid the description, you felt you were there. A masterful picture of the horror you, mother and siblings lived, oh dog too. (Report) Reply

  • Tirupathi Chandrupatla (9/21/2015 7:16:00 PM)

    You narrated a real episode that you recall so vividly. An episode involving mother or father brings past back. A mother tries to protect her children with great risks to her own safety. You narrated it very well. Poor snake had no chance. (Report) Reply

  • Sanjukta Nag (9/21/2015 12:46:00 AM)

    such a well knitted poem... after reading the poen I realized that I was holding my breath as the tension of being bitten by the cobra did not collapse until the snake collapsed. wonderful piece. thank you. (Report) Reply

  • Roop Rekha Bhaskar (9/20/2015 1:37:00 AM)

    too terrified of snakes myself. i watched it myself through your eyes. and just saw the brave lady behind the scene.Actually thrilling piece of story.
    Without taking her eyes off the snake
    She called out to her children to watch the drama... What! ! ! how daring is this...
    though it sent shivers down my spine, i wanted to keep reading to see what happened in the end. And then i realized your brother is as brave....all of you more worried for your mother than the snake being wiped out.
    I'm skipping the picture thought.... don't want it to stay in my mind..
    (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (9/19/2015 5:57:00 AM)

    To encounter a venomous snake needs braveness but snake should not be killed. You story in this poem is so nice and captivating. Thanks for sharing. ...10 (Report) Reply

  • Akhtar Jawad (9/19/2015 1:17:00 AM)

    A snake should never be attacked from the rear, it turns and attacks. A snake is always attacked from the front and it's head should be attacked. Like your mother my mother was also an expert of killing the snakes. But I am not aware of any psychological back ground. It's an interesting write that I really liked. (Report) Reply

  • Madathil Rajendran Nair (9/18/2015 11:39:00 PM)

    I had killed snakes in my teens. In fact, I was an acknowledged snake-killer who used to stock several types of sticks and, whenever there was a snake in my immediate neighborhood, my help used to be invariably sought. I very much regret all that cruelty. Snakes are lovely creatures, peaceful most of the time, and attack only when they have no escape. Enjoyed your poem. (10) (Report) Reply

  • Kelly Kurt (9/18/2015 1:21:00 PM)

    Thank you for sharing you story, Valsa. It was captivating. And yes, it is a poem. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 18, 2015

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