Home » Cambodia » Brother Snake, Sister Rabbit

Fall 2022 newsletter


Hang Tran, Cambodia

A snake has appeared outside the rabbit house.


On that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that crawl on the ground. And I will abolish bow and sword and weapons of war in the land, and will make them lie down in safety (Hosea 2:20).

“Watch out, it might bite!” “Look how long it is. And well fed too!” “What has it been eating?” “So beautiful!”

A small crowd has gathered, and everyone is curious about a snake that has appeared outside the rabbit house. Young and old speculate that the snake must be looking for an easy meal from the young bunny babies. The Home of Hope is located in a rural area, so there are a wide variety of creatures going about their daily living alongside humans.

No one seems to know whether this type of snake has poisonous venom. Regardless, it does not seem safe to let the snake remain in the courtyard, as it could be a danger to the youth. One staff member had the idea to lead the snake into a bag, but it was not so inclined.

Then one of the youth, who has experience handling crawling creatures, was called upon to help. He was not afraid at all, one hand went straight for the head, the other hand for the tail of the snake and gripped it firmly in one go.

Everyone applauded the young man for his bravery and skill. Some people started talking about preparing snake meat delicacy, grilled or stewed with different herbs and spices.

Others suggested that it might be better to let the snake live; it could catch the unwanted pest such as mice and rats. It did not take long for everyone to agree that the snake should be brought to the Buddhist temple in the village and released there.

During times of war or famine, when food was scarce, survival instinct would have taken precedence. This snake — and even mice and rats — would have been welcome sources of protein for people. Villagers around here are not very rich, but the fact that they spared the life of the snake was a good indication that they have sufficient nourishment for the day and there is enough to go around.

A life-giving moment was shared by all involved, especially Brother Snake!

The snake is caught.

Please consider making a special gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign, which raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us. Thanks to matching gifts, every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. To donate ONLINE, click the “Walk With Us” button below. Thank you so much for your generosity! 


Hang Tran
A Maryknoll lay missioner since 2013, Hang Tran works with young people living with disabilities at the Home of Hope in Chom Chao, Cambodia.