In a very distant land far from where most people live is a wonderful place with tall mountains and lush forest. Its climate is different from most areas. The mountains keep it cool and flowing with dense trees. The warm sunny beaches are every lover’s paradise for the sun and sand together has created a perfect wonderland.
There is just enough rainfall to keep the green plants growing, the tall trees abundant and the low water-filled marshes green. Tall evergreens grow everywhere and the forest covers almost two fifths of the surface. Savanna grasslands cover a large portion of the the land. Their tall colorful plumes reach upward to the sky and can be seen for miles.
Flowers, ferns, orchids, and the green life sway in the warm wet breeze. It is a paradise for lovers to visit, an excellent place for divers to see the beauties of the ocean, and scientist love to survey its marshes to see all the different kinds of wildlife. It is as beautiful as the whitest pearl, as warm as the sun upon ones cool back, an oasis of rare flowers most people have never seen before, and it has some of the most unusual animals in the world.
It is in this distant land that Teshlar and his friend Daylan have decided to visit for a while. Stories have reached their ears about the mighty pythons that grow fifty feet long and the demonic eyes on the Anaconda who slither their way among the wet marshes looking for food. They were aware that some people’s stories could be exaggerated so that had decided to come to see if any of these stories were true. The anaconda stories told of massively large bodies with lengths up to 150 feet long.
The natives sat around the fireside night after night telling their stories about the deadly monsters who came out at night searching for any warm-blooded animal or person to feed upon. “Frankly I just have never seen an anaconda any where nearly as long as 150 feet. I’ve seen one twenty five to thirty feet long but who knows what is lying out there in the darkness.” Teshlar smiled as he finished his sandwich.
“We have come all this way so we might as well get the cameras ready and put on our brave faces.” “Yeah right! We do have brave faces and cameras do not lie. We will find out once and for all if there are Pythons as big as trees and anacondas that can swallow horses and cows. I feel just fine up here with people all around but I don’t know just how I will feel out there in the pitch dark knowing that either one can lung out of the water in an instant and swallow us both for dinner.” Daylan managed to show a sheepish grin.
“Venequela people are hard working people and I’d rather take them at their word as not. They have lived here all of their lives. We are just visitors. I’m sure they have seen much more than the two of us have witnessed.” Teshlar answered.
“Well it just seems strange to me that if there are monsters like those two and who are that big that someone would have killed one or some magazine somewhere would have had a reporter taking picture to show the world. I’m not saying they are not real. I’m just saying that in all these hundreds of years why doesn’t someone have evidence? You know real evidence like a snake skin 150 feet long or something.”
“It is probably because the evidence is in the stomach of one of those beasts. Getting away from a snake that big would be impossible have you thought of that? If they get you in a grip and wrap themselves around your body you are a gonner. They will break every bone in your body and then swallow you head first. How’s that for a good night’s dream?” Teshlar laughed out loud.
He just loved to get Daylan in a freaked out mood just about bedtime.
“I’m finishing this bottle and then I’m getting some sleep. I’m as tired as a horse that’s been ridden for three days straight. I don’t think those monsters will come up here this close to houses and stores. I’ll worry about them tomorrow.” Daylan finished his drink and pulled his blanket over his head. It was a good night for sleeping outside and it was free.
The campfire was burning and the sounds from the marshes lulled him to sleep quickly. Neither of them heard the moving of the vegetation or the ripples in the water.
Techlar took a small book from his backpack and begin to read out loud by the light of his lantern. He always liked to read out loud because it helped him to remember. He also was hoping that Daylan might enjoy some of the facts about the anaconda as well. “Did you know that most people are not familiar with the teeth and jaws of the anaconda and the python? The teeth both are curved backward and are very sharp. Once the anaconda catches its victim in its teeth and jaw, there is no escaping. The snake coils its body around its victim and its jaw ligaments help the mouth to open very wide. Since the snake can open it’s mouth very wide, it can easily swallow prey as big as a jaguar or cow. If it feeds on a large catch it can live for months without feeding again if necessary.” Techlar read.
“I’m sure if they can swallow a jaguar they can swallow a man. The trick is getting past the shoulders. Men need to have broad shoulders like football players before the snake would have a problem swallowing the person. Well anyway the man would be dead from the crushing of all his bones. They swallow things headfirst. Now that is really a frightening thought. Imagine the crushing of your bones when its body is wrapped around you and then for your head to be pushed in its mouth head first is a bit more than I can stand just now. How do you feel about having your head poked down in the mouth of a monstrous snake Daylan?” Techlar asked.
It would squeeze you tighter than your true love. There was only a grunt coming from the area in which Daylan was sleeping. “No wonder they can take their time stalking. The tongue of the anaconda is used to smell rather than taste. Located in the roof of the snake’s mouth is an organ called the Jacobson’s organ which helps in smelling?
The anaconda will flick its tongue out of its mouth into the air to collect different scents. The scents are then transferred to the Jacobson’s organ to determine exactly what the scent is. This helps the anaconda to decide if it is worth seeking.
It can stay underwater for up to ten minutes while stalking its prey. It is very patient and will wait as long as necessary to strike. It is well at home in the murky water filled with plants of every kind on the planet.
“Did I put the gun in the bag?” Techlar continued. “I think we are looking for snakes that just might be looking for us. We had better keep both eyes and ears open every second. It only takes one mistake and we will be swallowed head first into that snake’s belly!” Techlar raised his head to see if Daylan was asleep.
He was. Oh well! I’ll finish this before I pack it in. “Both snakes have camouflaged bodies which helps to deceive its prey. The color spotting on the snake blends in well with the murky water. This permits the snake to blend in well and enables it to lie very close to its prey before actually striking. Should the snake stay out of the water too long it becomes prey to ticks and flies which can cause infection? In order to prevent this, the anaconda emits an awful odor from its genitals to ward off such pest. It often drowns its prey before eating it.
The anaconda is not only a water snake but can move across fields and land quite easily. It has scales that help it move by gripping to the ground. Each time it grips it propels the snake forward. This allows the large snake to go anywhere it desires even into people’s yards.” Techlar turned the page.
“So let’s see. The python and the anaconda’s desire in life is to eat so it can get large enough to eat every warm-blooded animal or person until there are none left. Once it is large enough it can choose any victim it wants. It mates with female and the process continues leaving the area full of moving, eating, and breeding monster snakes that can fill the entire world. What a horrible thought!
Here we are in the land of the mighty anaconda and the terrifying python. What do you think would happen if the two of them would mate? The result would be the most dangerous and most powerful snake in the whole world. This is really about to creep me out here. Maybe I had better zip up this sleeping bag and get some sleep. If I am lucky the sleep bag will not smell like human since it hasn’t been washed in a coon’s age. Yep! It does have a dirty smell to it. Sometimes it pays not to wash things.
Morning comes early around these parts.” Techlar slid down in the sleeping bag making sure it was zipped to the very top and closed his eyes. His last thought was about a Rock Python he had read about on his way there that wrapped himself tightly around a man who could not escape. He sighed and whispered “Well at least the Rock Python lives in Africa and we are quite a ways from Africa.”
It wasn’t long until both were snoring loudly in the homeland of the mighty anaconda and the petrifying python.
The sun rose before either had totally rested but the voice from a nearby native woke them. “Daylight is burning you lazy men. Get up if you want to get pictures of the giant snakes.” Torko shouted ”Just where do you suggest we begin our quest?” Techlar asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
“Machine man has wagon and is going to travel across the bridge. You can catch a ride on his wagon if you hurry.” The native advised the two sleeping campers.
“You call that a bridge? Why that is not quite what I call a bridge. It is more of a division between two bodies of deep murky water. It can’t be over twenty feet or so wide and the grass on each side would make a great hiding place for a snake. I suppose that is why he is taking a wagon pulled by a small burro. A small jeep might get through there but not much else. I guess it beats walking though.” Daylan spoke up as he sized up the embankment separating the two huge bodies of water.
“What is all this stuff in the wagon?” He asked as he took a quick look into the back of the wagon.
“Oh those are his knives to cut bushes, a mower to cut grasses for people’s yards, cans of gasoline and a few chain saws to cut down trees for wood. Just push them up to the front and throw your gear inside. With any luck you will have room to sit.” Torko laughed as he clapped his hands together eagerly.
The two guests tossed their gear into the back of the wagon and jumped inside. They were hoping for a little food before launching out, but had to settle for some beans and crackers they had packed.
They were about half way across the embankment when all of a sudden the wagon was pulled over and a giant anaconda had swiftly wrapped around the burro. Before anyone could move a muscle another attack came from the opposite side. This time it was a huge python and he was attacking the anaconda.
Each one had been lying in wait for food to pass their way. The anaconda began squeezing his muscles around the burro to kill it but the python was not going to be out of the game. He opened his mouth showing his six rows of fangs and began to bury them into the neck of the anaconda.
Water was splashing everywhere and the passengers grabbed onto the tall grass to keep from sliding into the water.
“Get the camera!” Daylan shouted. “No I’m getting this chain saw. If these things come my way I’m going to be ready.” Techlar shouted as he climbed under the wagon to retrieve the tools.
“If we don’t get the camera we will not capture the picture of both of these incredible snakes. It would be worth millions.” Daylan replied.
“If you want to get the camera then you go and get it. I’m going to try and keep us alive if I can. Techlar called out as he pulled out the largest chain saw under the wagon.
He looked for the man who had been sitting up front holding the ropes of the burro but could not see him. He had vanished. The two giant snakes wrestled wrapping and twisting their large bodies around each other, neither was giving in one little bit.
The poor burro was carried under water over and over again as they fought for the food. The python’s teeth were sunk deeply into the neck of the anaconda causing massive bleeding but the anaconda would not let go of the burro. Over and over they went into the water twisting and contorting their bodies into a ball like shape. At last the anaconda let go of the burro in order to fight the python who was desperately trying to bite his head off.
The burro was dead but the fight continued nevertheless. Daylan seized the camera and lying underneath the wagon began taking one picture after the other. The two men were paralyzed with fear. They knew that at any moment either or both snakes could come for them.
“Get the pictures and let’s get out of here. Maybe we will be lucky enough to get back to the campsite. Lord knows I don’t know what happened to that poor driver.” Techlar panted.
His heart was pounding inside of him. “Bring the chain saw and let’s begin to move along the edge of the embankment. They look like they are in a fight to the death and are not too interested in us at the moment.” Techlar whispered to Daylan.
“Now is our chance so do not hesitate. I’ll be right behind you. If you hear the chain saw start up then just keep on going. I’ll try to hold them off as long as I can. I do hope the thing starts!”
They both slid along the edge of the embankment the people called a bridge until they were a good distance from the two monsters. As they stopped to look back they could still see the water splashing up high into the air and the two bodies twisted tightly around each other. Blood was covering both of them but neither was willing to let go.
The harder they fought the deeper the six rows of teeth dug into the flesh of the other. No one had ever been so close to two monstrous snakes and lived to tell about it, not to mention getting pictures of it.
By the time the two men reached the end of the bridge where their journey had begun, a crowd of people had gathered to see the monsters. They knew the snakes had been stalking for months and they had stayed away from the bridge as much as possible.
So it came to pass that the two snakes fought until they both finally sank beneath the murky water. Did the python’s bite finally kill the anaconda? Was the grip of the anaconda’s body tight enough to squeeze the python to death stopping his heart?
Are both still alive and allowing their bodies to heal? Only the man driving the wagon knows for sure but no one has seen him since that day.
Which one do you think won the battle and reigns king of all snakes?
Question: How does a python kill its prey?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved