Baka Hebi

Last night I ate dinner at the Takahashi’s, enjoying a huge “hamburg” and introducing them to the liquid red pleasure that is Shiracha. Their daughter and one of my sannensei students, Fumi, is going to Thailand for two weeks this summer and so I thought I’d help to prepare her for the spicy foods that she will encounter.
During dinner, we got around to talking about snakes. I was puzzled when they told me that snakes stink- I had never encountered a snake that I thought was stinky. We debated this point for a while, but I was unconvinced. Then, they told me about a really stupid snake that had eaten a frog and got stuck and died. I was wondering why they thought that the snake was so stupid, when they offered to show it to me. We went out in back of their house to a small road next to a wall of stone, and smelled it before we spotted it with the flashlights. It looked like someone had used a lot of muscle to shove the two and a half foot long snake into a tiny hole. The snake was hanging out of one of the cracks, its neck wrinkled from trying to escape from jammed a hole that was way too small for it to enter. I was intrigued by the stupidity of the snake. I think that it must have been fleeing from something and tried to find a hiding space in a hurry, and in its haste it jammed its head in to the fissure nice and tight. Indeed, a baka hebi.
I was planning on taking pictures in the morning light, but the snake is gone and only a residue of the stink remains. I should have known better. Not much goes to waste out here, and the snake was conveniently hanging there, just inviting some wild animal to pick up some take out.

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