Most of us think of snakes as fearsome symbols of death. But the snake in this poem is itself a victim.
The snake trying
to escape the pursuing stick,
with sudden curvings of thin
long body. How beautiful
and graceful are his shapes!
He glides through the water away
from the stroke. O let him go
over the water
into the reeds to hide
without hurt. Small and green
he is harmless even to children.
Along the sand
he lay until observed
and chased away, and now
he vanishes in the ripples
among the green slim reeds.
                                           ~W.W. E. Ross
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Snake Trying- W.W.E. Ross (pp 125-126). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.