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P. V. Ramaswami Raju

The Man and the Snake

Once a man saw a snake entering his house. His wife, who was at the other end of the house, saw it go out. The man told his wife, "I just saw a snake get into the house: we must find it out."

"I just saw it go out of the house," said the wife; "so you need not trouble yourself about it."

"Oh, no," said the man; "you say so because you wish to avoid the trouble of seeking for it."

Then he went about the house in quest of the snake. As he did not find it, he would not eat, nor would he work nor sleep. So she got a dead snake, and, putting it under the cupboard, went up to her husband and said, "Shall we seek for the reptile once more?"

"Very well," said the man, and went about the house again. He came to the cupboard, and exclaimed, "Ah! I have found it out, after all!"

Instantly he had a hearty breakfast, and went to work.

His wife said, as he went out, "He would not have his breakfast till the snake was found out. Fear works while fancy lurks!"