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I couldn’t immediately determine how long I sat in morning meditation when my eyes fluttered open.

Instantly I became aware of its presence: a rearing cobra, few meters away, standing on its tail with its curved hood.

A coffee-pot by my side, I was sitting beside a babbling brook near the hotel where I’d put up.

People started collecting in ones and twos.

The snake slithered towards me. A hush descended over the sparse crowd.

I gently pushed the pot, its lid open, towards the advancing snake.

After lapping up the café-au-lait, it crawled away.

It was World Snake Day.

First published in f3

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