"The Crookedness of the Serpent"
In the wilderness of the Everglades
live countless kinds of snakes.
Some of them belong there.
Some of them do not.
For years, humans have
brought snakes as pets
and, upon tiring of them,
released them into the wild.
No matter how unsuited they are
to the habitat, some have survived:
The crookedness of the serpent
is still straight enough to slide
through the snake hole.
Burmese pythons have become
so common as to become a nuisance,
and evidence indicates that they are breeding.
So they are hunted with radio tags and
snake-sniffing dogs and tribesmen
brought from distant India.
While hunters are threshing
the grass for Burmese pythons,
the green anacondas slip by,
unnoticed, in the water.
The two species are
just different enough that
the checks on the pythons
do not affect the anacondas.
While people may worry
about the pythons now, it
is the anacondas that pose
the greatest threat in the future.
The irony is that people have
brought all this trouble on themselves.
The crookedness of the serpent is
nothing next to the crookedness of man.
* * *
"The crookedness of the serpent is still straight enough to slide through the snake hole."
– Abraham Verghese
Burmese pythons have attracted python hunters.
Green anacondas may prove more of a threat in the long run.