SNAKE STORIES AND MYTHS
All through history snakes have been both good and evil. Here are some historic examples:
In the Christian bible, the story of Adam and Eve being tempted by the evil snake. It was the snake (Satan) that tempted Eve with an apple and caused them to be kicked out of the beautiful Garden of Eden. Also in the Bible, Moses, who went to Egypt to convince the Pharaoh to release the Hebrew slaves, turned his staff (walking stick) into a snake to prove God’s power.
The Ancient Aztecs worshipped the snake. Quetzalcoatl was the “plumed serpent” and was considered the “Master of Life”.
Some African Cultures worshipped rock Pythons and killing a python was a very serious crime.
Aborigines in Australia believed that a giant rainbow serpent was the creator of life.
Many cultures believed that snakes had medicinal or healing powers.
And of course there is the story of St. Patrick who got rid of all the snakes in Ireland.
He is celebrated every year on March 17th. Supposedly there are no snakes in Ireland to this
What about the stories of the snake charmers? Where the charmer plays the flute and the snake slowly comes out of a basket and sways to the music. Since snakes cannot hear sounds that aren’t vibrating on the ground, they can’t hear the flute music. The snake is actually following the motion of the flute and usually the charmer is swaying back and forth as well. The snakes that charmers use are tired out before hand so that they don’t attack the charmer.
Some common snake myths:
- The Death Adder has a sting in its tail.
- Snakes hypnotize their prey.
- Tiger Snakes chase people.
- Snakes milk cows.
- If you kill one of a pair of Tiger Snakes, its mate will hunt you down to take its revenge.
- In Australia, there is a Hoop Snake that takes its tail in its mouth and then goes bowling merrily along.
A Greek writer named Aesop wrote many stories called fables. Fables are stories that are told in order to teach a lesson. They aren’t necessarily true. Aesop wrote the following stories about snakes. The moral, or lesson, of the story is at the end. The next page offers some examples.