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"Once I was forced to kill a python according to the old jungle
rule of self-preservation. It happened that I was releasing a pelandok (mouse
deer) from a native trap. When the tiny animal had scampered back into the
forest, I decided to break up the trap. As I reached for it, something struck my
arm like a hammer blow. I felt a painfully strong grip on my forearm, and then I
saw the head of an immense python.
"The jaws were firmly clamped on my arm. Through the intense pain I realized that
once he got his coils around my body he could crush out my life in a minute. I
called for Ali, who quickly started hacking at the python's neck with his parang
as a coil of the snake's body went round my arm. The pressure on my arm was
tremendous--it seemed that any moment the terrible strain must snap the bone.
Somehow, with the superhuman effort men manage under stress, I loosed my
revolver from its holster with my free hand. I had to be careful not to shoot
into my arm, but I quickly brought up the gun and put three rapid shots into the
back of the snake's head. There was a slackening of pressure on my arm; a wave
of relief swept through my body as the python slid to the ground and I stood
There were twenty-two sharp triangular teeth which came loose from the snake's
jaws into my arm. I stood gritting my teeth as these were picked out with
tweezers, one by one. My arm and shoulder were miserably sore for more than a
week, but the only permanent harm was that I had merely a dead python on my
hands--and my business is bringing back live ones."
From Bring 'Em Back Alive: The Best of Frank Buck