Open areas and fields like citrus gardens and meadows are liked by all of the human beings. An interesting story related to open lands and citrus orchards was once narrated to me by a friend. I found it worth mentioning to all of my friends so that they can know what the realities and risks attached to farm house life are. My friend belongs to a feudal family, his ancestors were given a huge estate spread over thousands of acres by colonial masters in mid eighteenth century. He told me that his great grandfather provided village army to the colonial masters to quell a rebellion, the rebels were defeated and killed. Do you know what did his great grandfather got in return? It was an offer by the colonial empire to sit on a horse early morning, make it gallop and all land which he traversed in the day by the afternoon would be his. Thus off went the gentleman, acquired thousands of acres of land and made for his successor generations.
The Careless rooster
The lands were initially arid and barren, lot of snakes and reptiles were found in the area but with coming of canals in the area most of the land was brought under plough, thus the population of snakes decreased dramatically. Though the snakes are still seen many a time but most of them are not poisonous and try to stay away from the humans. My friend once invited me to his family orange groves, there were oranges in plenty. Quite a large number of farmers there looking after the trees and cattle etcetera and then there were few of the farmers who had mastered the art of cobra catching, they used kind of a flute to attract them and then catch the snakes. I wanted to see it live in front of me but despite our repeated effort no cobra was found.
I was so excited whenever such a story of snake catch by snake charmer was narrated by anyone but had to return home disappointed as the vacations were finishing shortly.
My friend from the village called me one day in the afternoon excitedly and started telling me about the latest snake charmer episode which had happened very same afternoon. It was told that a snake’s trail was picked by a servant in the morning, it was a cobra’s trail, so all in the area were scared, and a deep scare could be seen in everyone’s eyes. They tried to locate the snake, failing that, all were fearful looking at any hole in the wall and ground with suspicion. Finally it was decided that expert snake catchers should be acquired from the neighbouring village to dispose of this cobra.
A man was sent on a motorbike to get that snake catcher. It was found that the fellow had gone to a relative 20 kilometres away. A man with a bike went there and finally managed to bring him. The snake catcher was a confident fellow, he was sure that we will be able to get the cobra. Thus, he started playing a flute, lot of people gathered to see the drama, an old lady was also amongst them. Soon the cobra appeared from a hole and started moving towards the snake charmer. All were stunned but the snake charmer was playing the flute.
Then a strange thing happened, the snake sat in front of snake charmer. The snake charmer caught it and removed poison from its teeth. The old lady also came close, not knowing that the venom has been removed by the snake charmer. Out of respect, the snake charmer tried to give the cobra in her hand to see it for herself. It scared the old lady so much that she ran back like a wild buck. The whole crowd was so appeased and a boy even made a movie of this episode. Later when it was shown to the oldie, she was fascinated by her speed and action and started telling everyone with pride, LOOK I AM STILL YOUNG.