The Directionless Snake (Part 1)

I woke up with a start, and looked around wildly to see what had led to my being jolted awake like this. And then I heard him, slithering aimlessly over the fallen Autumn leaves, creating a veritable ruckus, and I knew that it could be no other than Happy, the young King Cobra, trying to find his way home…again.

Happy was quite a handsome dude, as snakes go, but he had one major flaw- His biological homing beacon, the equivalent of what humans call GPS, was broken from birth.

When he was a child, his mother used to take him to the fields for breakfast, and midway through the journey, she would realize that he was rushing away on the other side of the highway. She had taken to tying up his throat with a thin vine, and tying the other end to her own tail to ensure that they did not get separated. She’d seen Amar Akbar Anthony and Yaadon Ki Baaraat ample number of times to now what hardships THAT could lead to!

He somehow survived those tumultuous times and lived to grow up into a cool dude with a major female fan following. But he never even deigned to give a second glance to any of those nubile nymphets, for he had eyes only for Lavanya, the love of his life. She had now taken over from his mother the huge responsibility to always guide Happy in the right direction…literally!

So I was surprised to hear Happy creating such a cacophony, for when he moved behind Lavanya, you could never hear him approach, as she avoided loose stones, fallen leaves, and brittle branches like she was Rambo reborn.

I couldn’t resist my curiosity anymore, and hopped across to the area where the noise was coming from. What I saw there made me stop and stare in stunned fascination, for there was Happy, going round and round a tree, almost as if he was trying to catch his own tale.

I kept watching like a zombie for a few minutes, and eventually had to force myself to come out of the trance. I approached him with measured steps, and asked, “Happy, are you OK? Can I help you reach somewhere? And by the way, where is Lavanya?”

And as soon as he heard Lavanya’s name, Happy burst into tears. I patted his head with my furry hands to soothe him a bit, and he finally managed to blurt out his story. Apparently, he had been following Lavanya to the fields in the morning, when she had been caught by a gang of mongooses (Narrator’s Note: Or is it mongeese? Nah, doesn’t sound quite right, so let’s go with mongooses).

They could have killed her, but the wily villains wanted to use her as bait to get more snakes into their trap. So, they had let Happy go, and asked him to tell the other snakes to come and rescue Lavanya by noon if they could, or they would barbeque her and eat her with beer.

Happy ran as fast as he could, but as usual, his broken GPS had carried him far from his home, and he had no idea as to where he was. And now, just half an hour was left for the deadline, and Lavanya, to expire. There was simply no time for him to reach home, tell the other snakes about the fate that had befallen his lady love, and elicit help.

I heard out his story, understood the entire situation in detail, and arrived upon the only logical conclusion. “Happy,” I said, “We shall just have to rescue Lavanya ourselves!”

Even in his currently hopeless condition, Happy looked at me with scorn, and said, “What do you mean by WE? How can an old hare like you help a deadly King Cobra like me?” I looked at him with disappointment, turned around as if to leave, and then jumped, and mid-air, pivoted and hit him hard with a roundhouse kick!

Happy looked at me with amazement (once he’d come to his senses two minutes after the kick, that is) and said in a voice full of awe, “There is only one hare in this world who can execute a crazy kick like that. But…but….I had heard that he died long ago.” I smiled and replied, “I am still alive and kicking (He He), as you can see Happy. I had just retired from the hustle and bustle of the animal kingdom. But now, seeing your plight, I have decided that for one final time, the world will get to see Ninja Chacha in action! Now, do not waste time standing here like this, close your mouth, and then let us go rescue your damsel-in-distress!”

Will Happy and Ninja Chacha be able to reach Lavanya before the deadline, or will her captors get to have freshly barbequed snake as a snack with their beer? How will Happy find his way back to Lavanya? And will just the two of them be able to take on the collective might of the mangy mongooses (or mongeese if you prefer, ki fark painda hai)? To find out the answers to these life-and-death questions, keep your skin, and eyes, peeled for the stunning conclusion of The Directionless Snake!

 

About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
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