Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Water Snake Stirs up a Commune (Nam Nguyen) – via Herp Digest

VIETNAM NET (Hanoi) 5/12/21 A water snake has been considered as a ‘preternatural snake’ by residents of Tung Loc commune in the central city of Ha Tinh.

Over the past month, people in Tung Loc commune have kept discussing the appearance of a snake that laid eggs near a local family. A series of mysterious stories about this snake has been widespread dispersed in the commune. Locals proclaim this water snake as a preternatural animal and a living treasure of Tan Quang hamlet, where the snake appeared. They even built a temple for worship the snake.

If one visits Tan Quang hamlet and asks anyone about the snake, he will be told the same story about the appearance of the Mr. “mysterious snake,” as follow: In the morning of April 14, Ms. Nguyen Thi Ly in Tan Quang saw a yellow toad sitting near the wheel of her motorbike, in her home. Near the toad were small, white eggs.

Ly thought that these were toad eggs so she put them into a plastic bag and place the bag on her front yard. Several hours later, she was frightened seeing a water snake tied round the motorbike neck and it held the egg bundle by his tail.

The woman saw a magician named Son in her village, who told Ly to buy offerings and burn incense to ‘invite’ the snake to leave her home. After holding the rite, Ly put eggs into a bag of banana leaves and used a long stick to take the snake to the village’s power station on April 16, where an altar was made for the snake. However, some villagers did not believe that it was a mysterious snake so they released the snake to the field.

On April 20, magician Son confirmed that the “miraculous snake” would return to the village at noon of April 21. Some people were doubtful but they still went to the power station to wait for the snake. Until early afternoon, a local woman named Chinh saw a toad jumped from the power station and it was followed by the “miraculous snake.” Locals praised magician Son.

Since then, a lot of stories about the “miraculous snake” have been widespread. A temporary temple was built at the power station to worship the snake. Many people burned incenses, gave offerings to the snake. Hundreds of people from surrounding areas also flock to the village each day to worship the snake.

The village set up a “provisional management board” to manage the snake temple. Visitors have donated several thousands of USD to the temple, which is used to build a new temple for the snake.

The “miraculous snake” is around 70cm long, in light blue. It looks like a water snake in Vietnam’s delta. The snake lives by water, fresh orange juice and cereal powder.

The local government has been urged to crush out superstitious activities related to a water snake.

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