is it you think you are doing, Sri Nag?' he said with a tone
of authority such as the cobra had never before heard, let alone
been addressed by.
are invading my territory,' Sri Nag replied and surprised
himself by the mild, almost petulant, and unhissing quality of his
own voice. 'And how, may I ask,' he
said, recovering his dignity, 'do you happen
to know my name?'
does not know it?' the sadhu replied. 'I
have been given to understand that you are the terror of the
village.' Sri Nag swayed his fore body a little. 'I
was warned not to come this way.'
my good Nagji; therefore I came. Let me repeat: just what is it you
think you are doing?'
Sri Nag felt his
hood slightly relax. A warm, unaccustomed feeling of friendliness
swept through him. Once again he flicked his tongue yes, a
delicious, soothing fragrance.
am simply defending my territory, my home, and my family,' he
replied, 'as my ancestors have done before me
since the beginning of time.'
harming the villagers?' the sadhu asked. 'By