The rural place where I spent my childhood with my mother and siblings abounds with nature such as caves, mountains, rivers, streams, rock formations, forest, woods, and plains. All this had formed part of my maternal uncle’s farmlands. It’s in this place that tales of a gigantic snake had grabbed my attention.
I first heard about this as a little child, and this was from another uncle, my mother’s younger brother who was fond of hunting deer, wild pigs, and wild chickens. He narrated his experience when he went into hunting by himself, with a home-made gun for weapon.
He could hear, from a distance, the crowing of a wild rooster, so he started heading to that direction, carefully and slowly. As he got nearer, the sound of the “chicken” got louder and louder. When he got to the vicinity, he positioned himself securely, making sure he didn’t create a slight noise that could scare the rooster away. He keenly observed the environment and listened intently to whatever sound, clasping his gun with much readiness.
Crawling on the ground, behind the cover of the thicket, he heard a slight noise behind him. He turned his head quickly, and there he saw a green snake standing above him. It was accordingly so big it could even devour him with ease. Lying on his back this time, he fired his gun to this snake and that was how he saved his life. The snake fled away, and so did he; he did not venture into hunting again by himself.
Years had passed, and in my late childhood, I heard another story that resembled that of my uncle. This time, it was from our eldest brother’s latest experience. He went to work in his farm one day, busily removing the weeds from its midst. Up in the nearby woods close to the forest, his dog started barking as though it had seen danger. Curious what his dog was alarmingly barking, he straightened his body and looked uphill.
Just then, his dog ran hurriedly downhill, right to his direction. To his surprise, his dog was being chased by a very huge snake. Upon seeing that they were coming his way, his vision had blurred and he lost the strength to flee for his life. He fell like a log to the ground and lay on his back. He didn’t faint totally, though, and still had his senses intact. But he could do nothing while the length of the snake’s body was gliding on him in pursuit of his dog. It was the biggest snake he had ever seen, he told us.
A couple of weeks ago, my youngest daughter and I visited our remaining relatives there. And one of my brothers who lives there told us that an acquaintance of his just encountered a huge snake that stood high enough from the ground. Terrified, he frantically ran away, but upon seeing that the snake also fled and entered a hollow log, he piled up dried materials above it and set it afire, killing the snake in it. But this man had it that this snake, which he described as having a long beard, was as big as a gallon container, exactly like the description of others.
Could this kind of snake be the guardian of nature in that place? That I cannot tell.