Even mundane chores can bring surprises. After setting up the washing machine, I became aware I had a companion – a baby brown tree snake or night tiger, Boiga irregularis. I’ve posted about these before here; they are so pretty. In the words of Douglas Adams, they are “mostly harmless”, having backwards-facing fangs and a fairly calm disposition, especially when asleep in the daytime. Unless you scare them. Or unless you are a bird or lizard on Guam, where they were introduced in the 1950s and have devastated the native species.
The fat grinning guy depicted in Chinese statues is often described as the “laughing Buddha”, but my meditation teacher told me he is based on a historical Chinese monk called Pu Tai (Hotei in Japan). His name means “Cloth Sack”, after the sack he carries. Pu Tai wandered from place to place, always giving freely from his sack, so embodying the virtue of generosity. He also symbolises contentment. He is portly, so must have been given a lot in return. What goes around comes around.
Generosity is a fine quality to aspire to and to practise. So in that spirit I left the snake to (what I imagined was) its contentment.