The Snake

On a warm afternoon, in the shade of a palm,
Speckled with the sun’s golden light,
The companions stood behind their Imam,
The Prophet of God, dressed in white.

The journey was ending and home was near,
Near enough to long for its joys;
As the second salaam sealed the prayer,
The Prophet smiled, and looked for the boys.

How strong was their stand when they had been told
By their father and mother to forgo the ride;
The command only tightened their hold,
Determined to remain by their grandfather’s side.

Thus were the two little darlings counted
Among this group leaving their ground,
The horses were saddled, the camels mounted;
But not one trace of the boys was found.

Now let us visit our two little friends
Who wandered away, away from camp
Into the desert where the sun descends
Over the sands like a crimson lamp.

Down a dune they rolled and leapt
And wrestled playfully each other,
While nearby a someone crept,
Unknown to Hassan and his brother.

The snake, she started from her rest
And spanned her length towards the boys
To vehemently stage protest
With all the strength a snake employs.

The children’s eyes went wide with fear
They clutched each other, set to bound,
But stopped to see the snake so near,
And that was when they looked around.

They sobbed aloud, their tears flowing
And darkening the twilit day,
The snake inched forward, not knowing
What sense to make of this display.

Back with the Prophet and his company:
They searched everywhere, yet could not find
A clue as to where the children might be,
Despite their frantic efforts combined.

The Prophet looked up at the darkening sky,
Then down at the earth respectfully,
And taking the name of his Lord most high,
He bid it show what he wished to see.

And the earth did respond to his blessed request,
For to his good eye, the desert sand shifted,
Till the land was flat with its dunes depressed,
And the boys far and low were near, lifted.

Their crying had grown louder and louder,
Causing the reptile ready itself,
To strike; but then a sensation cowed her
Pinning her down to the sandy shelf.

A fragrant scent filled the air
That wrapped the boys in hope and strength;
They turned their heads with the greatest care:
Their grandfather at a hand’s length.

The Prophet motioned them to stay,
And stepped toward the confounded snake,
“Leave my grandsons and be on your way”.
And she vanished for the Prophet’s sake.

The children cheered, and jumped and flew
To hold and kiss the Prophet’s face,
And he in turn did kiss them too,
Then thanked the Lord for His grace.

This is where our story runs dry,
So moisten your eye and send down a rain
Of prayers and blessings of God most high
Upon the Prophet, Hassan, and Husayn.

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