There are some special places in the world where you can find wild animals… My family and I went to one of those… The cobras were awesome with their elegance and venom (more on that later) but I loved the pythons for their brutish strength and hug-first-ask-questions-later approach to life.
I was excited to get to hold a python—a big one too. It felt like living metal as it coiled around my shoulders.
I learned several things at the show (which had a place for other snakes too)
· Elephant trunk snakes feel like sandpaper and have faces like the dragons of Chinese folklore.
· Cobras are not cute.
· If you come foot to face with a cobra, stand still and try to back away.
· Consult your doctor before accepting a free python hug.
· Don’t trust a cobra, even if it promises to be good.
At the show, the performer danced with the infamous king cobra.
Fifteen years ago, this man was in Rambo IV when it was filmed here in Chiang Mai. He had even been bitten once. But the show must go on.
After taking the cobra from a box, he squatted in front of it, opening and closing his legs, bobbing them and distracting the snake. Every time he separated his legs, the snake would strike. The show went on like this, with the man narrowly dodging the strikes until he eased forward and snagged it around the neck.
A man appeared with a glass covered in cellophane wrapper.
“They’re going to milk it.” I breathed.
I watched spellbound as the man stabbed the snake’s fangs through the plastic.
The venom was as clear as water, drooling down the side of the glass. So innocent looking, but ever so deadly.
This man is able to kiss a king cobra.
Drawing a line with the forefinger of his outstretched right hand, he lured the snake’s attention there. Then he did the same with his left hand. The snake was paralyzed, watching his hands as he leaned forward and kissed in on the top of the head with a loud smack.
Snakes are awesome. You may not love them like I do. You may hate them. But even your disgust shows they are indeed awesome creatures.