Thinking about the Poem
1. What is the snake trying to escape from?
The snake is trying to escape from the person who is pursuing it with a stick.
2. Is it a harmful snake? What is its colour?
No, The snake is harmless even to children since it is small and is green in colour.
3. The poet finds the snake beautiful. Find the words he uses to convey its beauty.
The words used by the poem to convey the beauty of the snake are ‘beautiful’ and ‘graceful’.
4. What does the poet wish for the snake?
The poet hopes that the snake is able to glide to the other side and hide among the reeds where it will not be hurt by its pursuer.
5. Where was the snake before anyone saw it and chased it away? Where does the snake disappear?
The snake was lying on the sand before anyone saw it.It disappears in the ripples of water and among the green slim reeds.
1. Find out as much as you can about different kinds of snakes (from books in the library, or from the Internet). Are they all poisonous? Find out the names of some poisonous snakes.
This is a model answer just for reference. Students are recommended to answer this question based on their own research.
The first part of this question has to be attempted by students themselves. Here are some points they can use in their research:
- Describe snakes as reptiles.
- How many types of snakes are there? Of them, how many are poisonous?
- What do snakes feed on?
- How do poisonous snakes bite? Where are snakes found?
- Where are they not found ?
- How do most snakes reproduce?
Not all snakes are poisonous. Some poisonous snakes are rattlesnakes, Russell’s viper, Chain Viper, Saw-scaled viper, black mamba, blue krait, coral snakes, and the Indian cobra.
2. Look for information on how to find out whether a snake is harmful.
Some of the ways to find out if a snake is harmful is to look for the following characteristics:
- A triangle shaped head
- A depression between the eyes and the nostrils
- Slit eye-this is not seen in the coral snake.
Rattle snakes have a button like rattle at the end of their tails. Coral snakes have a distinctive colour pattern. In the U.S, most of the venomous snakes have different colours and not one solid colour.
3. As you know, from the previous lesson you have just read, there are people in our country who have traditional knowledge about snakes, who even catch poisonous snakes with practically bare hands. Can you find out something more about them?
The main occupation of the Irula tribes in India has been snake and rat catching. They used to supply snake all over the world. In 1972, after a complete ban on hunting of snakes for their skin, the tribe was left with no source of income.
Today their traditional skills are being used to catch snakes for venom which in turn is used to produce antivenin to treat snake bites and for medical research.
Snake charming is the practice of pretending to hypnotize the snake by playing an instrument called pungi. Snake charmers in India practice their trade on hooded cobras.
Although snakes can sense sound, they cannot hear the music. They follow the movements of the pungi with their head.