It was a day I’ll never forget. It all began I had to attend a business meeting in the main city, which is approximately 300 km away. Since I was quite exhausted from a whole week of intense work and sleepless nights worrying about the upcoming deadline for our project, I didn’t relish the idea of driving all that way by car. I got my secretary to book me a seat on the next early morning flight, with the intention of snatching a few hours sleep on board. Little did I know that the events unfolding that day would be etched in my memory for life.
Boarding the plane that morning, I noticed that there were few passengers. I was glad, less people meant less noise, which in turn meant a more peaceful sleep for me. Also since there were no passengers sitting in the seats near me, I could stretch my body out. I asked a passing steward for a blanket and then settled down for a peaceful snooze.
I must have been sleeping for about 20 minutes when I was rudely awakened by a scream. I groped around to get myself in a sitting position and then looked around to see what was causing the disturbance. I espied an elderly man pushing back against one of the windows of the plane; his face was a picture of sheer terror. However, what attracted my attention was the long, thin orange and yellow shiny thing that was gradually wrapping itself around his thin body and almost crushing him! It didn’t take me long to realized that the ‘thing’ was a snake and most probably a poisonous one due to the bright colors. The stewards were talking to the man; trying to keep him calm while they discussed frantically how to get rid of the snake.
I jumped out of my seat and pushed my way through the growing crowd of people who were drawn to the source of disturbance. I was forming a plan in my mind. If only I could get to the snake’s head and try to hold it down, then the stewards could pull the snake off. I was so sure of my plan that I didn’t stop to think that a snake of that size isn’t...