Being the full and true Description of a voyage to the strange planet of Chaostika in the Outer Region of Llihelom, and with the beings who reside in a Kingdom known as Thailand, including a Full Account of the Customs, Habits, Beliefs and Quaint Behavior of the Inhabitants. In One Volume.

 

Chapter the Ninth

The Many-Banded Godfather Snake

The lowest form of life in all of the great Kingdom of Thailand is that known as "snakes." Snakes of Thailand are found in the sea and on the land and in their canals. Sea snakes are easily distinguished from land snakes by the shape of the body and tail. (Not to mention the fact that sea snakes are found in the water and land snakes are found on the land.) Some, but not all, of these snakes are extremely dangerous to the people of Thailand. Probably the most dangerous of all are those known as the Many-Banded Godfather Snake, also known as the Chamelion Snake, Dark Influence Snake and Taipan Snake.

Description

These snakes may be white, brown or yellow and their exact coloration and appearance varies much with age. The Many-banded Godfather Snake seldom exceeds six feet in length. The yellow variety is usually smaller than the white but equally deadly. In the defensive attitude, the snake raises the forepart of its body and its entire body is covered by its raised hood, making it extremely difficult to see the snake, let alone catch it.

The young Godfather Snake often has a pleasant appearance and coloration and is known for its carefree behavior. However, the individual coloration and behavior disappear as the snake grows old and fatter, and elder Godfather Snakes are known for the caution and lack of distinguishable coloration or markings. This reptile often displays a mark near the tail consisting of two parallel straight lines drawn lengthwise through what clearly resembles a capital letter 'S': $. When this mark appears, the snake is ready to strike and inject its deadly poison into those around it, including snakes it had previously been on good terms with.

Occurrence

The Many-Banded Godfather Snake is found at sea level, in the hills, in private gardens and has even been spotted in the vicinity of some of the best homes and most important offices in the Kingdom. The species is widely distributed and occurs at all attitudes. This snake is sometimes confused with the Many-banded Triad Snake, in the company of which it may often be found.

Disposition and Venom

Due to the snake's rather distinguished looking appearance, it is often thought to be harmless. Unfortunately, the opposite is true and the snake will in fact strike upon small provocation. Although its bite is not ordinarily fatal, many of the less-protected inhabitants of the Kingdom of Thailand have at one time or another been bitten by this snake and often suffer from the effects of its bite for many years.

My hosts explained that the Many-Banded Godfather Snake is extremely dangerous because of its amazing ability to camouflage itself and blend in with the community. On the rare occasion when members of the community have sought to capture this snake and to rid their Kingdom of it forever, it has been able to slough (cast its skin) at a moment's notice. It then escapes by appearing to be a harmless species, or even one which is of benefit to the Kingdom.

Perhaps the greatest advantage the Many-Banded Godfather Snake has is that, despite its danger to the community, the ecology-minded Thai government has declared it to be an endangered species and has, in fact, taken steps to protect this deadly reptile and even to encourage its proliferation. I was unable to discern why many segments of the population of the Kingdom of Thailand respect this snake especially as its bite causes great harm and can even be deadly. But as I have continually pointed out, just because there seems to be little logic in the Kingdom through the eyes of one from another planet, we must not infer that there is none.

 

To Be Continued with a new chapter every month.

Argaivís Diary has been translated from the Candidatan script by Dean Barrett.

 

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