by Sr. M. Elizabeth Ireland/Nigeria 15.11.2023
Editor’s Note: This story comes from one of our early MMM Magazines. One wonders what the scientific reason for this would be nowadays, or if we would be killing snakes at all, now that we are protecting bio-diversity!
There was great excitement outside our house one day. A thin green snake, about six feet long, had been killed on our doorstep and one of the dispensary boys said that it was the mother of a family that had its nest in the mound a few yards away from our door. We asked him what we should do about it and he advised us to send for one Aliya who had medicine which made snakes unable to hurt him, and that he and his and his father and his father’s father before him all had this wonderful power of immunity to snake bite due to this medicine.
Although I felt very sceptical, still I sent for Aliya who soon arrived accompanied by several other boys. He instructed them to dig into the mound. They did so rather timorously until they came across the snake’s burrow. Then they all jumped back, and Aliya came forward. Nonchalantly he pulled out a snake about three feet long. The creature stayed absolutely stiff as though it were a stick. All the boys stood at a respectful distance.
Then he threw the snake on the ground and at once it began to wriggle and the boys ran for their lives. Then he bent down and touched it and immediately it became as stiff as before. He played with it for a few minutes, throwing it down and picking it up, handling it any way, holding it by the head or tail and finally he dispatched it, cutting off its head. He them put in his arm and drew out other snakes one by one, dealing with them in the same way and killing five snakes in all.
It was an extraordinary performance to watch and if I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it. Such is the power of “native medicine”.