10. I did not know anything for certain. What sex was this snake, was it male or female? I will never know; for the snake unwound itself from my arm and slowly slithered into my lap. From there it crept onto the table and moved towards the mirror. Perhaps it wanted to enjoy its reflection at closer quarters.
     I was no mere image cut in granite. I was suddenly a man of flesh and blood. Still holding my breath I got up from the chair. I quietly went out through the door into the veranda. From there I leapt into the yard and ran for all I was worth.
The doctor was amazed to see a snake appreciating its own beauty. The narrator's humour is also shown here since he has told the narrative in such a way that even an animal can appreciate its beauty. He continued his amusing narrative by stating that he had no idea whether the snake was male or female. And he said that he would never find out since it crawled off his arm and into his lap right then. It then leapt and began crawling over the table. It crept up close to the mirror and began peering at itself.
The doctor reasoned that the snake, like the doctor, might wish to observe itself and examine its appearance more closely. The same mirror that had placed the doctor's life in jeopardy had also rescued his life from that jeopardy. The mirror has to be thanked for that. It eventually saved the doctor's life, despite the fact that it tempted him and invited him into trouble.
And as soon as the snake moved away from the doctor, he felt safe. And he no longer remained a statue but transformed into a flesh-and-blood man the next moment. He softly rose from his chair, holding his breath motionless, and quietly entered the veranda through the door without being noticed by the snake. He then sprang into the yard and ran away as quickly as he could with all his might.
Meaning of difficult words:
To move slowly and quietly
UnwindTo become straighter or looser after being wrapped around something
Perhaps Refers to something that you are not sure about
To move quickly
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Snake and the Mirror - Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (pp.56-60). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.