The meeting

as I sat at 'maghrib' prayer at dusk in June in the small village mosque - darkening shadows draped around like dark sheets and the heat of the brick floor still rising like waves to my face - I saw in the corner of my eye a flash of colour yellow, green and silver a snake - the deadly village viper it stood stock-still by the prayer mat still as the world around me and - as unreal and in that eternity we were suspended in a perfect harmony of calm and poise: man and animal; we were one in the house of God - it waited for me to turn my head in 'salaam' and when I looked - it had gone

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