Friday, July 17, 2009
On our last day in India, during a 6 1/2 hr. drive from Agra to Delhi (where three of us had planes to catch at about midnight), we stopped for snacks, sodas, and water.
A snake charmer was nearby, displaying his cobra and small boa constrictor, so we walked over to watch.
"This is a really dangerous profession," Nita Kumar explained to us. "First he goes into the jungle and catches the snakes. Then he removes the poison from the cobra. Also, snake charming is illegal now."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because of the drive to end cruelty to animals. You can't keep monkeys and make them perform, or snakes, or anything."
I was awed. The concept of kindness to snakes was new to me.
As a child in Colorado, I had enjoyed garter snakes and king snakes, so I took my turn in the illegal activity and paid fifty rupees to the owner of these animals.