Winner Takes All

This time tested rivalry related as an real life event is an absorbing episode of a medium size mongoose fighting a well grown cobra of about 5 feet in length was observed with all my family members less my father who was away serving at a duty station in Monaragala and my youngest brother who was not even born then. Incident took place in Indivinne, Hambantota around 1100 AM on a holiday. Otherwise, it would have been a school day and the fight went on for more than 1 hour in a hot and dry day with plenty of sunshine in the sandy but gravel ridden open ground in front of our house hugging two giant Kohomba (Margosa/Neem/Kohomba-Azadirachat indica) trees side by side. However, mongoose won the day with a well planned strategy to engage in daylight open ground with many deceptive tactics used against the stubborn but agile cobra feeling the occasional strikes launched below the neck as too much and loosing much required endurance in sustaining a life threatening fight of this nature. Mongoose not only neutralized the cobra but went on to the extent of severing the neck and then stripping off the skin out of flesh and bones for a hard earned, risk prone meal after a fears battle fought in deciding life and instant death at the mercy of a viciously moving but intelligent snake confronted in battle. Suffice to say that I did not see the mongoose partaking the prey but found the skin under the furthest Kohomba tree on the next day. Lessons Learnt: Both went blind I suppose by default and ignored the human presence in the surroundings as a another potential threat or naturally went blind, presumably short sighted not to observe our presence during the fight. I still observe occasional sightings of mongoose and even rats aggressively hounded by snakes for prey even in Athurugiriya where we live at present. To be on the safe side, I have a full grown Andu Kola Plant (Piranga in Tamil) in our garden at the entrance so that reptiles avoid, dare to tresspass as a preventive measure.