"Snakes, snakes, snakes around us!" The man used to yell in rage. And for help he then called a mongoose, So the mongoose could kill all the snakes. And the mongoose soon began working - Without sparing themselves nor their friends, They went hunting for snakes with pleasure, Without any holidays or weekends. In hot deserts, in steppes, in green jungles They ordered the patrol on every frontier: To ignore the safe snakes at any time, And shoot the venomous ones on sight. Get ready, soon thereíll be a sad story, The man appeared from nowhere, He proclaimed a mongoose an evil beast, And had decided to set him a trap. In the morning he came with a dog, And hid the mongoose into a sack, While the mongoose resisted and cried: "I am useful, please, let me go!" But the mongoose were thrown in like mushrooms, So many of them had been injured, you see, They went insane from such pain in a trap, As well as from the twist of their fate. And they were guessing: what was wrong? Why are we being taken to our death? And one old mongoose with a broken leg, Told them the whole bitter truth. "In Belgium the goats ate the lettuce, In China the sparrows ate all the rice, And in Australia the malicious mongoose Have destroyed the most useful snakes. And itís not an incredible wonder - Long ago they were useful, but now... Weíve learned that very zealously The mongoose eliminated the vipers. Well, for that they have been rewarded By our provident human beings. Looks like the people canít live without venom That means they canít live without snakes. "Snakes, snakes, snakes around us!" The man used to yell in rage. And for help he then called a mongoose, So the mongoose could kill all the snakes...
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991