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Encounter With King Cobra

By Forest Ang

...I freezed. Waiting for the worst........

The trail to Pantai Mas from United Hokkien Cemetery needed some climbing. The trail started from an orchard and inches the way towards the ridge.

The hill slope was on my right. The ravine was on my left. A clear path cut on the slope formed our path. Step by step, I hiked up. I was panting. The climb was very taxing. Everybody was following.

Then, something moved....I freezed. A snake indeed. A king cobra.

It moved downward along the path. It stopped to pause. It was 1.5m from me. It stood up, with head two feet above the ground. It breathed and puffed. Literally, I stopped my breath. I whispered to the rest of the gang to stop.

I could hear the puffing breathes of the king cobra. "Huff.., huff..and huff..." The flattened hood was a warning to us. A warning not to go too near her. She looked at me with curious eyes. I looked at her with skeptical thought. A graceful pose indeed....

Fifteen seconds seemed a long time. Fifteen puffings and fifteen thoughts of mine passes through me. My thoughts ranges from "what should I do if it sprang on me?". My hand was on the handle of my machete. I have to protect my followers. I have to be the first line of defence. I stood still waiting for her next move.

Her elegant posing was spectacular. Her skin was golden reflected from the rays above. She lowered her head. Straightened her neck and proceeded to move diagonally away avoiding head-on confrontation with us. "She was curious", I thought to myself.

She quickly moved sideway into the ravine. Swiftly and within several seconds it disappeared under the big boulders down at the ravine. Hikers from behind had no chance to see her. And she was gone.

Hiking Tips
1. Keep watchful eyes on the trail ahead.
2. Do not move as it will agitate the snake.
3. Be ready to dart away if the snake spring towards you.
4. Bright clothes attract and agitate wild animals.
5. Wear long pants to protect your legs.
6. Covered shoes will protect your feet.

Happy hiking!
Forest Ang

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