Once I got over the horror of reading Saturday’s Washington Post story about a 23-foot reticulated python that killed and swallowed a 54-year-old Indonesian woman, it occurred to me that this might be a kind of modern-day Aesop’s Fable: how one overzealous meal turned a ferocious beast into a hapless victim.
Lying in wait and striking the woman as she went to check on her garden, the giant snake likely squeezed her to death with its powerful muscles before ingesting her, a process that probably took close to an hour. But when villagers came looking for her the next day, the bloated snake was no match for the angry (and no doubt shocked) mob, which killed it and took it back to the village, where Wa Tiba’s body was found inside.
This isn’t the first time a reticulated python has swallowed a human. Just last year, the same thing happened to a 25-year-old Indonesian farmer – and the snake that consumed him met the same fate.
What would Aesop say?