During my younger days we had a lot of toddy tapers in our village and their distilleries consumed a lot of wood to keep the fire burning, in distilling coconut fenni. Mostly the women of the backward class, from Betul us to roam the forests in our area and collect the dead wood and sell it to the toddy tapers, while their men worked in the fields and properties. It took a lot of wood to sustain the good number of toddy tapers and their tedious profession.
About twelve years ago all of a sudden there was a huge shortage of wood, the people who supplied it had stopped venturing into the forests, there were different stories in circulations, the most common was that they, heard sounds of babies crying or rather wailing but could not see any humans, they thought they were ghosts crying and so they had stopped collecting wood but a few weeks later they realized that it was not the ghosts who were crying but Peacocks.
Untill those days Peacocks were never seen in our area, I only remember seeing one Peacock, that too on the slopes of Karmal Ghat walking a few feet away from the road with its full blown tail, it was the first time I had ever seen a Peacock in its full glory and majesty in it’s natural habitat on my way to Canacona from Margao some years before this incident. I was so amazed that I stopped my bike on the side of the road and watched it, till it disappeared in the bushes and beyond my sight.
Today Peacocks in our area and even around our village is a common site. These beautiful creatures are mostly ground birds, they can fly but they prefer to walk. To a farmer they are a pest, their destroy their crops, the population of Peacocks in our area has multiplied at a very rapid pace, you’ll find them all over the fields and plains hunting for food and their favourite dish is, guess what ? Snakes, they seem to have a knack for finding snakes out of nowhere.
Since the arrival of these magnificent birds in large numbers, even in our backyards, the damned snakes are trying to find shelter in our sheds and gardens away from the preying eyes of the Peacocks, in the last couple of years the number of snakes killed in our village is far greater than the years prior to the Peacock invasion.
I was in Goa on a three week holiday at the end of April and guess what ? Had to kill four poisonous snakes in my compound including one cobra, my daughter who had come to spend 10 days at my place with her two year old son went back after just five days, after the third snake was killed because her son use to run around the compound every time he was let out. Her husband nearly lost his life from a snake bite at Navelim last August.
Now because of the fear of Peacocks, snakes have made our village their hideout. Few week earlier a “Nagin” was seen in the middle of our village as soon as our people went after it, it went up a coconut tree, it was late in the evening so people kept watch till it was dark, then the early next morning someone climbed the coconut tree, lighting fire to a cloth soaked in kerosene tied to a long stick, seeing the fire the “Nagin” jumped from the crown of the coconut tree on to the ground where the people were waiting for it and killed it.
This weird situation has got our people worried and jumpy; we have fought politicians and goons alike with unity and determination and were never scared of anything or anyone until this unusual situation. It is indeed true that the snake population has decreased on the outskirts but they are hiding in our village now. In Margao and Panjim it’s the stray dogs spreading a reign of terror and in our village it’s the snakes, how do we get rid of this snake menace caused by the Peacock invasion before someone succumbs to it?


Diogo Fichardo said...

Freedy I wish I had the answers to tour village problems of snakes.  But I can only suggest hire snake charmers catch the snakes and release them in Goa's corrupt politicians and corrupt police houses.

Gobor said...

They have also reached the banks of the river Sal in Navelim, so many of them.
In India(minus Goa) they had a saying "Jungle mehn mhor nacha, kisne dekha?"

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