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Jonathan Austin, fire juggler & magician

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Snake Charmer

Barker: Step right up! Step right up!
Watch a venomous viper, lulled by the charms,
that Death the piper holds in her arms.

Snake music starts. Death plays recorder.

The Snake: He'd learned it from his father who'd
learned it from his father who'd
learned it from his father and so on.

He claimed to whoever would hear
it went back a thousand years.

Most people weren't taking but so much risk.
Not only did the snake get used to it,
to the drone of the pipe and the closeness of the basket,
but most charmers took out the poisonous aspects
of cobras and then took out their fangs for good.
Not this one, he didn't think he should.

It was a good thing he understood
how to administer anecdotes.

One time when he smoked
too much opium he got a wild hair
and set the snake loose through those tents over there
then passed out so anecdote was never applied.
It's said about 15 people died.

It was hushed up quickly, they were just roustabouts
but I lived in fear of being found out.

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