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The Porcupine's Quill:  A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
Please scroll down for
the satire column
Porcupine's Quill
August 26, 2012


News Item: Man kills and gnaws cobra in Nepal.

Why do we cobras bite? Not out of spite or vengeance - our magic sleeping medicine
is too precious. No, we bite in hunting for food, or when we are threatened or

Little Missy was in a deep sleep cozily tucked away in dense vegetation when this
man stepped on her. Woken by the sharp pain, she reacted instinctively, giving the
man a sharp nip. She swears it wasn't a full bite - and he's alive, isn't he?

What does he do? Goes home; makes a big hullabaloo about being bitten by a
snake. Then he comes back and kills Little Joe who never did anyone any harm. If
that wasn't enough, he starts to gnaw on Little Joe claiming it was a surefire way of
treating the effects of our magic sleeping medicine. Who would believe such
nonsense? Humans, of course. They believe in all kinds of fantasies. And what of
poor Little Joe? The humans have a word for him as well - collateral damage!

Well! he may be collateral damage to them, but he was a very special, kind, helpful
little fellow to us and we will always miss him. Does it endear us to humans? The short
answer is, no.

Why?  Well, their thirst for revenge, their greed, self-interest, their defining of the
other in ways detrimental to a peaceful and happy coexistence, their propensity to
violent resolution of conflicts, their destructive appetites... they bear a heavy footprint
on our tender earth.