It was a Monday morning and I was already late for college. On top of that my dog Simba was barking outside but as he had growled for almost quarter of an hour just yesterday at a kitten that had been frozen to the spot by terror, I was least concerned. Still, the sharp sound of his barks was starting to get on my nerves.
Clutching my bag in one hand, I started to lock the doors one by one finally reaching the main one outside of which Simba was still growling and snarling. Stepping out, I looked at the corner that seemed to have aggravated my dog. As my eyes fell on the little garden right beside the front gate, my heart skipped a beat. Camouflaged perfectly amongst those greens, was a snake; its slender body slithering silently and its scaly scale shimmering in the sunlight as its tongue flicked in and out to taste the anxiety in the air. Almost 10 feet in length, its narrow body overlapped in multiple folds grazing slowly over the fallen leaves.
Having had spent my entire life here in Kathmandu, it was the first time I had come across a snake and I never had wished for such an encounter; at least not when I was all alone. Well I had Simba with me, still barking loud and sharp; maybe the barks terrified the snake or maybe not. I had to get Simba in. He was reluctant to move but a whiff of the chocolate biscuit I had retrieved from my bag had done the trick. Chills running down my spine, I stepped out again. I managed to get the snake in the frame of my android, my hands trembling as I captured a picture.
Well I had to, so that I could prove, mainly to myself, that I wasn’t a hallucinating.
Suddenly, the snake showed a rapid movement. With my heart in my mouth, I sped to get inside but I had foolishly locked the door to make sure Simba couldn’t get out. Certain that my stupidity and those fangs would be the causes of my death, I held my breath and turned around. All I spotted was the tail slithering out from the gap in the main gate.
I had a mini adventure that day. But, as I sat on the window seat of a bus on my way to college, another prospect crossed my mind. What if it had been a leopard that Simba was barking at? The thought might be ridiculous but not unheard of. Every once in a while we hear about a leopard being spotted in Kathmandu. What if they were true; the rumors about the wild making their way to settlements as their habitat were being destroyed in an alarming pace?