How to Become a Good Snake Charmer

February 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

In case you were wondering, look no further:

Go to another man who is a good snake charmer, and this man will pour some water into a plate, then he makes a snake drink this. After this he puts a piece of salt in the plate with a little more water, and then makes the snake vomit the water he has drunk  back into the plate. The would-be snake charmer must then drink this water. After he has done this he can handle any snake, none will hurt him.

This was the advice Winifred Blackman receved in 1924 from Sheikh Muhanni. I found this in Anthony Sattin’s excellent book,The Pharaoh’s Shadow which also contains a story of a Tree That Bleeds.

‘Tell me about the tree,’ I asked, as innocently as I could.

‘There is lots of baraka [blessing] in the tree. So much. It is the sheikha’s  tree.’

‘How do you know?’

‘Twenty years ago, someone wanted to cut it down. but the sheikha appeared to them and said, “Don’t do it. This is my tree. Any my name is Sheikha Khadra.” Another time magicians came and cut the tree. It started to bleed.’

‘Red blood?’

‘Red blood,’ she said  with untainted sincerity. ‘But the sheikha dealt with them. She cut off their hands.’

I waited to see if she would smile, but she didn’t.

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