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Snake on a boat

“It’s like the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland. Danger ahead!” Missionary Diane Hartman grinned at her husband, Mike, and their daughter, Jodi. They loaded into the boat and prepared to motor down the river.

Mike shook his head, but it couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as the boat started. 

They began moving, expecting to arrive for the funeral in about five minutes. As they traveled down the river they passed Leandro, a Yanomami man, hunting. 

The multiple twists and turns of the river were confusing; they couldn’t find the village they were aiming for. The Hartmans backtracked to ask Leandro for directions. His directions were a bit more complicated than expected, so the Hartmans invited Leandro to join them in the boat.

“Thank you,” he said. “I’ve killed a snake. Can I bring it along?”

“OK,” said Mike.

Leandro hit the snake with a stick and hauled the 90-pound, 11-foot-long snake into the boat by a rope around its neck. Diane noticed that it was coiled up and still moving. Jodi joined Diane in the front seat, as far away from the snake as possible.

“Mike, maybe we shouldn’t bring the snake along,” Diane said, as calmly as she could.

“It’s dead,” said Leandro.

The group moved on, under Leandro’s guidance. Diane and Jodi watched the snake’s every movement.

Suddenly the boat jerked, threatening to tumble everyone into the snake. The motor hit something underwater and the shear pin broke off. The group tied the boat to nearby branches while Mike worked on repairs.

“We need to keep the boat steady,” he said. “Pray that I don’t lose any parts in the water.” 

The snake started to move.

“It’s not just asleep, is it?” asked Diane. Her knuckles were turning white from gripping the seat so hard.

“Yes, it’s just asleep,” said Leandro.

That was when the snake raised its head and started looking around, hitting Mike’s leg with its tail. Jodi frantically tried to communicate to Leandro that there was a shovel in the back of the boat. Looking around, Leandro found a machete instead and really killed the snake. 

After the funeral the snake was cooked and shared, and the Hartmans were glad to have the snake inside of them instead of the other way around.
POSTED ON Aug 16, 2007 by Jackie Fallis

Wayumi Expedition

Interface Missions Course