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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Snake Charmer

Kamil watched his father blow the horn. “Papa, I want to learn to do that too.”

His papa stopped playing. “Kamil, to be a snake charmer is very difficult. You have to practice all the time and learn the right type of music so the snake will be lulled into a hypnotic state. Do you think you can do that?”

Papa owned a carpet store. He sold Persian rugs, but sometimes he relaxed by playing the horn and watching the cobra dance through the air.

Each day Papa taught Kamil to play. Sometimes Kamil didn't want to practice and ran off to find his friends. “Kamil! If you don't practice, you won't play the right notes and the snake might bite you.”

Kamil didn't listen. He ran off. A while later he and his best friend Hakim, ran back to Kamil's father's shop. “Hakim, I can play the horn. Do you want to listen to me? I can make the cobra come out of the basket and dance.”

Hakim was afraid. “Are you sure? Cobra's are dangerous. My papa said you have to practice for years.”

“I can do it.” Kamil sat next to the basket and blew the horn. The lid lifted off the basket and swirled upwards, dancing.

“You're doing it, Kamil.” Hakim clapped his hands.

Kamil played for a few minutes and then he needed to cough. The snake was higher in the air than his papa's shop, but Kamil stopped. He coughed and coughed and the snake became very angry. It started hissing and opened its mouth to bite Kamil.

Just then Papa came out of the shop. He looked up and saw the snake. “Kamil!” He grabbed the horn from his son and started playing. The snake heard the beautiful music and danced, slowly lowering itself into the basket. Papa threw the lid on. “Kamil, what are you doing? You are not ever to do that again. You haven't practiced enough.”

Kamil cried. He was afraid. The snake had almost bitten him and he would have died. “I'm sorry, Papa. I will not do it again until I practice more. I'm sorry.” Kamil ran to his papa and hugged him.

Papa took Kamil and Hakim into the shop and gave them some pistachio nuts and honey. From then on Kamil helped his papa in the carpet shop and practiced every day. He knew that one day he'd be able to charm the snakes just like his papa did.

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