Follow the story of a snake charmer and his two snakes, Second Green and Little Green, as they form a unique bond and journey into the unknown.
In Dongjun County, there was a man who made a living by performing with snakes. He had once tamed two snakes, both of them were green in color. He called the larger one “Big Green” and the smaller one “Second Green.” Second Green had a red spot on its forehead and was particularly agile and obedient. He could command it to coil and perform various actions, and it never disappointed. Therefore, the snake charmer cherished it greatly, treating it differently from the other snakes.
A year later, Big Green passed away, and the snake charmer wanted to find another one to fill the void, but he had not been able to do so. One night, he stayed overnight in a mountain temple. When he opened the bamboo box in the morning, Second Green was also gone. The snake charmer felt extremely distressed and angry. He searched desperately and called out loudly but couldn’t find any trace or sign. Previously, whenever he reached dense forests or lush thickets, he would release the snakes, and after letting them relax and roam freely for a while, they would return on their own. For this reason, this time, the snake charmer hoped that Second Green would come back on its own. So he stayed and waited until the sun rose high in the sky. When he became utterly hopeless, he left reluctantly. Just as he had taken a few steps outside the temple gate, he suddenly heard a rustling sound coming from the thickets. He stopped in surprise and saw that Second Green had returned. The snake charmer was overjoyed, as if he had found a precious gem. He put down the load on his shoulders and stood by the roadside, and the snake also stopped. When he looked again, there was a small snake following behind Second Green. The snake charmer caressed Second Green and said, “I thought you had run away. Is this little companion you introduced to me?” While saying this, he took out snake food and fed Second Green, and also fed the small snake. Although the small snake didn’t move away, it still cowered and didn’t dare to eat. Second Green held the food in its mouth and fed it to the small snake, as if the host was treating the guest to a meal. The snake charmer fed the small snake again, and this time, it ate. After eating, both the small snake and Second Green entered the bamboo box. The snake charmer trained the small snake, and it coiled and twisted just as required, similar to Second Green. Therefore, the snake charmer named it Little Green. He took them everywhere to perform and earned a good amount of money.
In general, for snake charmers, snakes that are under two feet in length are more suitable for performances. If they grow larger, they become too heavy and need to be replaced. Even though Second Green had grown to over two feet, the snake charmer didn’t immediately replace it because it was so well-trained. After another two to three years, Second Green had grown to over three feet in length, and it could barely fit inside the bamboo box when it lay down. The snake charmer then made up his mind to release it. One day, he went to the eastern hills of Zichuan County, fed Second Green with the best food, and after offering some prayers, he let it go. After Second Green left, it returned after a while, slithering around the outside of the bamboo box. The snake charmer waved his hand to drive it away, saying, “Go, there are no feasts that last a hundred years in this world. From now on, hide in the deep mountains and valleys; you will surely become a divine dragon. How can you stay in the bamboo box for long?” Only then did Second Green leave. The snake charmer watched it go into the distance. After a while, Second Green returned again. The snake charmer tried to shoo it away with his hand, but it wouldn’t leave. Instead, it kept touching the bamboo box with its head repeatedly. Little Green was also moving restlessly inside. Suddenly, the snake charmer understood and said, “Are you saying goodbye to Little Green?” He then opened the bamboo box. Little Green darted out, and Second Green interlocked its head and neck with Little Green, frequently sticking out its tongue, as if they were communicating. After a while, the two snakes actually slithered away together. The snake charmer thought that Little Green wouldn’t come back, but after a while, Little Green returned on its own and lay down in the bamboo box. From then on, the snake charmer constantly searched for new snakes, but he never found a suitable replacement. Little Green had also grown too big for performances. Later on, the snake charmer found another snake that was well-trained but not as outstanding as Little Green. By that time, Little Green had grown as thick as a child’s arm.
Before this, Second Green was seen by many woodcutters in the mountains. After a few more years, Second Green grew to several feet in length, as thick as a rice bowl, and began to chase after people when it ventured out. As a result, travelers warned each other not to pass through the area where it roamed. One day, the snake charmer passed through that place, and a large snake suddenly darted out like a gust of wind. The snake charmer was greatly frightened and ran as fast as he could, but the snake pursued him even more urgently. When he looked back, he realized that there was a conspicuous red spot on the snake’s head, and that’s when he recognized it as Second Green. He dropped his load and called out, “Second Green, Second Green!” The snake immediately stopped, raised its head for a long time, then lunged and coiled around the snake charmer, just like it used to during performances. The snake charmer felt that it had no malicious intent; it was just that its body was large and heavy, and he couldn’t withstand it coiling around him. He fell to the ground and begged for mercy, and Second Green released him. Second Green then used its head to hit the bamboo box. The snake charmer understood its intention and opened the bamboo box to release Little Green. When the two snakes saw each other, they immediately entwined tightly together, coiling around like they were stuck together with honey, and it took a long time before they separated. The snake charmer then wished Little Green, “I’ve wanted to say goodbye to you for a while, and now you have a companion.” He also told Second Green, “Little Green was originally brought by you; you can take it with you. I’ll give you one piece of advice: in the deep mountains, there is no shortage of food and drink, so don’t disturb passing travelers, lest you anger the heavens and face punishment.” The two snakes hung their heads, as if they accepted his advice. Suddenly, they sprang apart and left, with the larger one in front and the smaller one behind. Wherever they passed, trees and grass were parted in the middle and bent to the sides. The snake charmer stood there watching them until they disappeared before leaving. Since then, travelers passing through that area returned to their usual peace, and no one knew where those two snakes had gone.
The chronicler of strange tales said: Snakes, merely dumb and ugly crawling creatures, still hold a lingering attachment to old acquaintances and swiftly accept advice when they hear it. What truly perplexes me are those who, despite their human appearance, are quick to plot harm against close friends of ten years or benefactors who have shown kindness for generations. They readily ignore well-intentioned advice from others and even treat them as enemies with fiery indignation. Truly, they are worse than snakes!