Snakeskin (short fable)
It's my first story in two years so go easy on it.
One day, a young snake of little importance realized that his skin would no longer shed. Scared and confused, he immediately sought out the Creature of the forest, whom the forest animals at the time accepted as overseer and whom had a hand in settling their affairs and problems, such as territorial disputes.
The snake asked, “Creature, my skin refuses to crack and shed despite the body growing underneath it. Do you have an answer as to why such phenomenon occurs to me?”
The Creature, which at the time was taking the form of a gray owl, looked down at the snake with a sleepy sort of look and said, “I do, snake. As it happens, the mice of this forest not too long ago prayed to me that I would stop the serpents from hunting them down. It is I who keep your skin from cracking and slipping off from you, and your brethren for that matter.”
To this the snake hissed in outrage, “You intend to end the lives of me and my brethren just because of the muttered words of rodents!? What right do you have to play with my specie’s lives??”
“I’m not playing with your lives, dearest serpent, I only intend to keep you from stuffing yourselves and growing fat from the meat of my servants. You can still eat, I haven’t taken that away from you. It is just that you simply cannot eat too much anymore, lest the bulk of your body begin to exceed the frame of your skin, and be crushed by the pressure.” The snake then hissed loudly at this remark, as it was the idea that he feared the most at the moment.
“I am still young, you fool! My body will grow regardless of how I eat! I demand you return me to normal!”
“Return you to normal? And your brethren?” the Creature snickered.
“Them as well!”
In an uproar, the creature transformed from the owl into a gigantic mongoose. “Do not misunderstand me, snake!! I have no intention of listening to your shrewd demands over the prayers of my followers! You will starve as I say, or die if you do not follow my plans!”
The snake hissed, frightened, and slithered back as quickly as a snake could, until it could no longer see the Creature.
Days later, the Creature received another prayer from the mice. They begged it to put an end to the snakes, who had begun to hunt down the mice at a much faster pace, meaninglessly killing them one after another and leaving their bodies on the ground to rot. While snakes normally eat only a few mice per week, they were now killing them more than a few times per day, clearly aiming to completely wipe them out.
The Creature was enraged at this news. It turned itself into an elephant twice its normal size and stampeded through the forest, toppling trees and crushing any serpent that caught its eye. By chance, it noticed the snake from before slithering on a tree branch, and picked it up with its trunk.
“Snake!” the Creature bellowed, “You and your brethren will pay for this insult you have given me! I will personally slaughter all of your kind!”
“It is your insult to us, Creature! We will never submit to a monster such as yourself. You are unfit to oversee this forest if you intend to play favorites and change the natural order of things!” At this, the snake struck at the elephant Creature’s eye and bit it off. “Nature is blind and indifferent, even to those who sing it praises. You are unfit to rule this-!“ But before the snake could finish, the Creature transformed into a gorilla and ripped the snake in two.
At this opportunity, the rest of the snakes of the forest, poisonous or not, gathered around the injured Creature and struck at its legs. The Creature tried to transform into a cougar to make a quick escape, but its legs were too injured and it soon found itself lying paralyzed on the forest floor.
All of the snakes gathered around it, covered it until it could no longer be seen, and crushed the Creature slowly to death.
As they slithered away from the body, one snake asked the others around it, “What will the forest do now with no one to oversee its affairs?” None of the other snakes could answer, and so they all just slithered away.
I have a rather twisted view of things so I'm confused... whats the moral of the story?
I love this part:
But before the snake could finish, the Creature transformed into a gorilla and ripped the snake in two.