A few days ago, my uncle took me and my cousins to the zoo. A new section is added concerning the Dinosaurs and one of my cousins was extremely excited about it. I happened to be there and really did not have anything better to do that day so I joined them.

We had passed the boy while entering the zoo and it made my cousin all worked up and she begged my uncle to hold the large snake that the boy was holding. I, on the other hand, was extremely apprehensive and despite claiming to be an adventurous soul, was a bit shaken at the idea of going near that thing. It was not until when we were returning to our car that my cousin started with her wild idea again and my uncle relented that I noticed it; the expression.

It was an expression that cannot be forgotten easily. It was an expression of death; forced death; the death that you must live every day. Even more hurting was the fact that it was a permanent sort of expression. He must wear it all the time, all day long and at night too, even when he is sleeping and is unaware of the cruel life he lives, he must wear it. That expression was his life and his death. He earned his living through this expression. He accepted money from the customers and the passer by wearing this expression.

He was a ten or eleven year old boy. His job was to stand in the parking area of the local zoo, with the huge venomous looking snake curled around his neck. The people would take the snake from him and curl it around their necks wearing it like an expensive scarf and have their pictures taken. Unlike other people who earn money in similar ways, this little boy would not ask for a fixed amount of money for lending his snake to people to satisfy their sense of safe adventure. When asked how much would you take for it? He replied in a low voice that any amount would be acceptable and all this while wearing the same expression of death on his face.  

 We all had our pictures taken with the snake. The snake looked huge, but really it was only a poor thing and we all thought that he was drugged or something. Regardless of its apparent harmlessness, I found myself scared out of my wits when it was my turn, as a result of which my picture was not very exact. I was relieved when the little boy took it off me and then I saw his face again, the expression was still there. It was an expression of disinterest that made me feel that no matter what I will say to this kid, it will not make any difference to him or his life. He will have no desires and his expression will never change and will keep on portraying death as he lives it, every day, every second.

 I am still not sure what frightened me more; the snake or the expression.Image


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