Beware the Serpent

Rivalry for water amongst the creatures of the veld is driven by scarcity, and the pretty acacia-fringed pan is keenly guarded by a bright green boomslang. The uniquely big-eyed tree snake hangs watchfully, waiting for careless trespassers.

The hunters hasten to the precious liquid, heedless of Aquila’s warning. Young Owab runs with his companions, raising his eyes skywards, searching for the great eagle’s reassuring presence.

They jostle for position by the muddy waterhole but thirsty as he is, Owab hangs back; he calls out, anxiously reminding them of the danger.

The serpent slithers
unhinges its jaws to strike;
the eagle attacks.


Previous episodes of this little African adventure are here.

Photo credit: Pinterest – a beautiful, big-eyed boomslang – not so lovely when it slides past you when you’re sitting on your stoep minding your own business, although it was in a game reserve, so more the snake’s habitat than mine!

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – REMIND, PRETTY, UNIQUE
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – RIVALRY

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing  in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here to join the #SSS Link Up Party for more Six Sentence Stories!

64 thoughts on “Beware the Serpent

    • Oh yes, Reena! I enjoy both of those channels (ex the snakes, strangely lizards are fine). My favourite channel is Wild Earth Safari though. Not sure if that would be broadcast in your part of the planet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Damn*

    *the highest of compliments on a Six that is satisfying to read on a number of levels: the imagery, the hook (or whatever the term for engaging the Reader) and the conclusion… kinda Fabergé when ya step back and try to figure out it was done**
    ** yeah, part of what I enjoy about these Six Sentence Stories… trying to figure out how the writer accomplished the effect

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love that word “boomslang”. Would sound way better yelling a warning than yelling “snake!” (Funnier in my head I guess, lol.)
    I love the idea of the eagle as protector, of what/how it represents to young Owab.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When that boomslang slithered down from the roof of the stoep I thought I was yelling, but such was my alarm that no word escaped my lips!
      On a less scary (maybe) note, I expect we’ll be seeing more of how Aquila and Owab’s relationship develops. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such poetic language and the very sounds of the words! ‘The uniquely big-eyed tree snake hangs watchfully, waiting for careless trespassers.’ I hear the hissing… You’re so at home in the descriptions and are introducing me to a country I don’t know at all. Yes, yes, I know it’s a story, but the background… And a new word: boomslang. I’ve not managed to read the previous episodes yet, but today I will. Your writing invites me to know more. Excellent piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In just a few words I was taken away to a different country! I always used to like snakes when I was younger because we shared the first letter of our names – now they just fascinate me. Also, I liked how my Dutch allowed me to understand that little bit of Afrikaans – in Dutch, Boomslang also means tree snake.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eek! Boomslang!
    Love the word, though, it’s new to me! I don’t mind snakes from a distance, Chris, which is where they usually are around these here parts!

    Liked by 1 person

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