A Real Tax Protest!

Indian farmers dump bags of snakes in tax office

By BISWAJEET BANERJEE | AP – Wed, Nov 30, 2011

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Two farmers fed up with alleged bribery demands emptied three bags filled with slithering snakes in a busy tax office in northern India, an official said Wednesday.

The 40 or so snakes of different sizes and species — including at least four deadly cobras — sent clerks and villagers climbing atop tables and scurrying out the door to escape the office in Basti, about 186 miles (300 kilometers) southeast of Lucknow, said Uttar Pradesh state official Ramsukh Sharma.

“Snakes started climbing up the tables and chairs,” he said. “There was total chaos. Hundreds of people gathered outside the room, some of them with sticks in their hands, shouting that the snakes should be killed.”

No one was bitten or injured in the incident Tuesday afternoon, and police and forest officials captured the snakes.

The farmers had been asking for tax records for their land in nearby Narharpur village, but tax officials withheld the files for weeks while allegedly demanding bribes.

Sharma said their method of protest was unacceptable. Police are searching for the farmers, who were identified as Hukkul Khan and Ramkul Ram. Khan is known locally as a snake charmer.

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The Snake Trap

I lost track of which day this is! Donna reminded me yesterday I hadn’t been checking the trap for a few days so moseyed on down to the barn. And found this.

An empty trap. I decided to roll this project up and brought the trap back up to the house. I will put it in a plastic bag for the next time we need to scare a snake off!

Snake Report: Day 6

I missed day 5 but it didn’t matter.

Snake Report: Day 4

Nothing. The cat had been there. I could smell the poop when I opened the door.

Snake Report: Day 3

Sigh. No snake. I think it left after our confrontation. I even walked around to see if anyone talked to me. Nope.

I have been taking a picture each day as a way of seeing if the trap is occupied but the small image on my camera and my poor eyesight make it impossible to tell anything. So I carefully use the hoe!

But someone had been there.

The Flicker feathers are still there but they have been joined with some gray feathers from another bird. If you are wondering why these birds end up in the barn and then dinner, here is why: they enter the barn either under the large doors or through the small openings along the roof beams.

Then they find themselves trapped. Most birds can’t figure out how to get out. Hummingbirds can if one opens the large sliding doors. The others go up to the skylights.

They sit on the rafters in the heat and fall to the floor. And get eaten. Probably by Mittens.

On my way back up the hill, I pass the pet graveyard.

Five of our beloved family members are buried here. The second one, the little one, is for Loki who passed away very early in his life. There should be a sixth, Velvet, the cat who moved with us but our lives were disorganized at the time and we left his body with the vet. 😦 He took to living in the woods much better than we ever expected. He was much like Stubbs is now: a large, friendly, black cat.

Snake Report: Day 2

Still no snake. Bot someone had been there, like a cat.

And as I got ready to leave, Stubbs was standing behind me! And refused to leave when I did! He lay on the straw floor and waited for whatever I was looking for!

Sigh. He showed up later at the house.

Snake Report: Day 1

12:30

No snake either in the trap or audible in the barn. I ended up uses a handy hoe to open the trap!

The Snake Trap

I had to go meet the mailwoman at our mail box to pick it up; it was too big for the parcel boxes. It came in a large, flat envelop. It assembled into this:

Good thing snakes are color blind!

It comes with paper stapled over this rectangle of goo. This is its secret: this sticky stuff traps the snake like flypaper does flies. Being snake lovers, they recommend checking it at least daily and releasing friendly snakes. One releases them by spraying Pam on them! Their wriggling around works them loose after spraying. They said it is fun to watch them get loose!

It is a couple of inches high. There are two baffles on the left side which are mired in the glue to hold them in place. These are supposed to make it more alluring to snakes. The little dots on the top are snake attractant which stink! They smell like old rodent pee!

Then I took it down to the barn where I had seen the rattler.

I set it near where I saw the little fellow before but no one “talked” to me today so I assume he was busy elsewhere. Someone had been there since I was; there were parts of a disassembled Flicker strewn about now.

Three sides of the trap have openings so one can easily see any trapped snakes. I may take a mirror rather than put my head down and possibly see a VERY POed snake looking at me!