I was at school one day, when I received an e-mail from my mom at home, saying that a 15 foot python had been found in the storage room. She has a slight reputation to exaggerate so I immediately assumed it was much smaller than 15 feet, but was still shocked to hear that we had a large python in the store room (where I go in and out of all the time), as the only snakes I had seen around the house were tiny, harmless garden snakes, less than a meter long.
After much anticipation, I came home to discover that they had already released the snake, not into some kind of nature reserve or sanctuary, but somewhere outside of the village…just somewhere. So the snake was on the loose, but I was only cautious after I was shown the picture, and found that there was no exaggeration to my mothers story…It was in fact 15 feet long. The reason for 1) keeping the snake alive when most would think to kill it, and 2) releasing it nicely, somewhere in the forest, is because Balinese believe that the presence of a snake is not only lucky, but it is a spiritual visitor and an incredibly good sign for the family. So 15 feet of luck didn’t sound to bad I guess. Also, to get rid of the snake would be considered disrespectful and the villagers strongly suggested that we just calmly release it back into the forest.
However I learned recently after the release, that Pythons have a very territorial nature, and once attaching themselves to one place or home, they will find their way back, even when transported far away. So I wouldn’t be surprised to get another e-mail about the returned python in the future.