Thursday, July 17, 2014

It was not for the squeamish!

                                                                                           Attribution: Mahbob Yusof
Image: Albino Burmese Python at Zoo Negara (here)

It laid in there motionless
Not the slightest movement
It seemed formidable and menacing
In its own quiet way
A slight odor was detected
The floor surface of the cage was wet
Perhaps contributing to the smell
It did not seem to bother
With so many pairs of eyes
Observing and wondering
More out of curiosity
For it was quite rare
To see an albino snake
Despite being colorful
It was still not for the squeamish

But it was still not for the weak hearted
who empathized with its fate
This was not  in reference to the snake though
But rather a little mouse with subdued eyes

Both the snake and the mouse
Were occupying  the same cage
Not overly excited of each other
But it was co-existence of sorts
The snake leisurely bidding its time
And the mouse in the same spot
For the past few hours and seen
To be shivering to no end
Knowing naturally by instinct
It owed its life to the snake
At the snake’s own leisure and pleasure

Note: Hank checked in at a hotel in Jakarta
years ago and spied upon an albino snake
in a cage together with the condemned mouse
It was at one corner at the reception lobby
Most probably it was a ‘prop’ to attract customers
Plainly a sick marketing ploy

There could have been other mice which went
along the same road in the cage before the current one
Laws on cruelty to animals obviously were lax
perhaps not enforced strictly or were even absent

For Poets United's Mid-week Motif - World Snake Day


  1. The caging of python with mouse.....very pathetic on the part of the hotel. Such gimmicks should be completely banned.

  2. So sad that animals are used as prop or entertainment like that. Makes me very mad when things like that happen.

  3. its a little scary those that would take joy in the killing of animals...they surely cant be far from the same joy at humans hurting...

  4. Snakes have to eat something! As does the mouse. As do we ... food chain. But why on the counter? I am learning a lot about where the deadliest snakes live by who fears them the most! And this poem is amazing at depicting the standoff of the eating and the eaten, literally and metaphorically. What a life.

  5. the close is scary and sad....though i can't help saying the snake in this photo is b e a u t i f u l...

  6. Certainly not for the feint hearted..i think i would prefer a cocktail bar in my hotel lobby..but that's just me ;)

  7. Snakes have to eat too...I don't think Jae's little Toby would like this!

  8. Beautiful snake! Yellow my favorite color, but I think he is best in his cage.

  9. A man I dated once put a mouse and a snake in the same cage, saying it was educational. The kids and I were horrified. The mouse never stopped leaping in the corner, trying to escape the cage. Horrible.

  10. Something people do for entertainment is pathetic to say the least, but the snake does have to eat, food chain indeed

  11. hehehe...I echo you on that. Especially when the snake (the one that Britney Spears used for a performance) is the object of the marketing ploy. Now that snake is kinda cute and pretty and would have to be the first snake I'll ever fancy. :)

  12. Marketing at its not so finest hour

  13. That is some marketing ploy, I shiver at the thought of snakes & mice ~

  14. Sad to say, feeding live mice to a snake is FINE in the States, although I doubt anyone would use it in a hotel lobby! I mean, see the snake mince the mouse and then, "Let's go have a cocktail"??? I think not!

    The "dance" you speak of reminds me of the old Apache dances (not Apache as in indigenous American, but Apache pronounced in French) with the presumed pimp and his "working girl." She, the mouse, is mercilessly flung about, as he whips her around to his will. Scary, but that's what I felt. Thanks, Hank. Amelita

  15. An albino snake, how extraordinary! I like the way you built up this formidable image bit by bit.