This is not an original story written my me. This is a re-written version of an old parable scribed by American Indian elders many centuries ago. Versions of this parable has been shared and passed down from generation to generation from many different cultures around the world. Some versions have a tiger and a mongoose, others have a cat and a mouse, or a bird and a worm. This is an updated version of that same parable.
A young, somewhat naive boy was walking along a lonesome path up a mountain toward a local market. He heard some rustling near his feet. Looking down, he saw a snake shivering in the cold of the morning air. Before he could run away, the snake spoke to him.
“I am about to die, little boy, ” the snake said in a helpless voice. “It’s too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food for in these mountains and I am starving. I’m dying, dear boy. I beg you. please pick me up and take me with you.”
“No,” the boy replied. “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. And if I pick you up, you will bite me and your bite is poisonous. And I will die and i will never see my family and friends again.”
“No, no my dear lad,” the snake said. “If you help me, you will be my best friend. I will treat you differently and I promise to repay for kindness.”
The boy sat down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. He looked at the beautiful markings on the snake and he had to admit he was the most beautiful snake he had ever seen.
The boy smiled and took pity on the snake. The boy said, “Okay. I believe you, my friend. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness.”
He then reached over, picked up the snake and carried it gently and continued toward the market.
Within a moment, he felt a sharp pain in his hand.
The snake had bitten him!
“How could you do this to me?” he cried, wincing in pain. “I helped you, snake! You promised that you would not bite me! I trusted you!”
“You knew what I was when you picked me up,” the snake said as she slithered away, watching the little boy die on the path.
“I’m the motherfucking snake, you naive little boy.”