The Serpent

The discovery of the Gnostic Gospels buried since the time of Christ in the cave of Jabal, consecrated a new chapter in the history of the hostilities between the serpent and Western religion (1). The serpent, which was forever cursed after the famous incident in the garden, spoke for a second time in the Gnostic Gospel. The gospel called Testimony of Truth, recounts the events of Eden from the point of view of the serpent. The first animal to speak did not lie when it said: You shall not die!

The liar was God, who expelled Adam and Eve from the garden after bringing down his curse upon the serpent. All the reptile did was to disclose the hidden face of God, his corrupt nature. Ever since then, the Western world has seen in the serpent the incarnation of evil.

The Spaniard journalist Ramón Prieto recounted a macabre incident that took place at the turn of the century. A chronicler traveled to the Amazon to cover the story of a priest whose body was found in the belly of an anaconda. The huge snake had been captured motionless while digesting. At the time no one could imagine that a serpent might be able to swallow whole members of the clergy. Deemed a martyr of untamed nature, the poor priest paid with his life for the ancient defamation of the serpent.

After looking around the swamp for two hours we decided to return to the fazenda. We were already near the houses when Chico noticed a flash of silver coming from a tree trunk. We dashed there to run up against a gaze of insidious mathematic seduction sizing us from the branches. I immediately began to photograph the large snake as it slowly moved. The horses nervously bowed when the snake hissed and threatened to bite opening its mouth. I reached for my knife and placed it between my teeth. Chico gripped the snake's neck with his left hand. While still on his wildly kicking mount, he endeavored to fight the reptile, which was clinging to the trunk. When the horse drew back, the anaconda dropped onto Chico all its weight and wrapped itself around his torso. Having fallen from his horse, he tried in vain to free himself from the suffocating embrace. Off my mount, still biting the knife with my teeth, I was about to help my friend when the snake left off squeezing him. The both of us struggled to hold the enormous reptile, which strongly twisted in our arms... Chico was beaming proudly, having become a triumphant Laocoön on his way to save Troy. The people from the ranch, eager to see the snake we had captured came out to meet us. After dark we took up our card games once again and Chico told me that the anaconda, having escaped from the cage it had been placed in, grabbed a chicken and fled. "The worst part is it's sure to come back," he said.


1. The Gnostic Gospels were found in 1945 buried inside a large jar by the Egyptian Muhammad Ali al-Sammãn at the Jabal al-Tãrif in the Sinai, a mountain honeycombed with more than 150 caves.