The five-metre snake slithered into the small pond and waited patiently for its
prey. Its body looked just like a half-submerged log floating lazily. Only its
eyes and nostrils were above the surface of the water while the rest of it lay
Matthew joined his cousins on a well-worn path to the pond. It was a
sweltering day and a dip in his grandfather's pond would certainly be heavenly.
At the water's edge, Matthew paid little attention to what looked like the
tip of a dirty log. He had missed the glistening eyes that were locked on him.
The anaconda tracked the boy's every movement, its flickering tongue picking up
the scent of its prey. Deeper and deeper, he waded.
The snake stiffened, ready to strike. With great grace, the anaconda cocked
its neck into an S-shape and with blinding speed, shot its head out of the
water. Matthew reflexively dodged the long dark shape that came at him and
turned to run. But the anaconda reared back again and struck for the second
time, this time successfully.
At that instant, Jack came round the bent. For a moment, he could not
understand the frightened cries of his young grandchildren who were running.
However, he soon spotted what had happened and understood the danger. With all
his might, he ran towards the pond, yelling for the rest to get him a knife.
The reptile had already trapped Matthew neatly in a coil. Jack was aghast. He
could only see his grandson's hair and knew that he was looking at the top of
Matthew's head. Frantically, Jack grabbed the wet, slippery hose and pulled
hard. The first coil slipped and Matthew's head appeared.
He pulled hard at all the coils and soon, the shoulder, the chest and the
waist came to view. Meanwhile, the snake was not going to give up its prey
easily. Thrashing about wildly, it struggled to recoil back but could not. Its
body had been sat upon by a seventy-kilogram angry grandfather!
Jack gasped as the coil round his grandson's waist slipped away, revealing
the predator's head, clamped securely on his grandson's waist. Jack saw red!
Picking up a rock twice the size of his fist, he hammered it with all his
strength onto the beast's head. The remaining coils slackened for a fraction of
a second but tightened again, this time doubly hard.
Jack was losing hope when his wife appeared by his side, thrusting a knife at
him. He punctured the coils. Still the anaconda refused to let go.
Slash! Slash! Slash!
The snake relaxed its grip. Jack held his breath. Would its muscles tighten
again? Jack braced himself for the worst as he held the knife tightly.
The coils loosened and fell into the pond with mighty splashes. The snake had
been mortally wounded. Jack's shoulder slumped as he assessed the damage.
The single word jolted him to reality and in an instant, Matthew was swept
off his feet and rushed to the hospital.