Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Snake Bites Sai Granny

Sydney, Australia

A 78-year-old Australian woman was rushed to a hospital after she was bitten by a 5-foot snake — one of the world's deadliest varieties — while watching television in her suburban home, a newspaper reported Monday.

Lalitha Patel, aka 'Grandma Sai Maa', a great-grandmother from the southern city of Melbourne, was sitting on her couch knitting and watching television when she saw the unwanted visitor out of the corner of her eye, the Melbourne Sun newspaper reported on its online edition.

As she tried to flick it away, it sank its fangs into her left arm, the paper said.

"She never even raised her voice," said Patel's daughter, Jaanu Melwani, who was in her bedroom when her mother came in and said she had been bitten.

"I got off the bed and I saw it slither off the couch and that's when I knew she wasn't (joking)," she added.

Patel was rushed to a nearby hospital, but she did not suffer any poisoning because the snake's fangs only punctured the skin and the venom did not enter her bloodstream, the newspaper said.

"This is the last time I try to test Swami!" she fumed. Jaanu Melwani explained: "Mummy had been reading a famous Sai Baba book of conversations between him and a Western devotee. In that book Sai Baba mentioned about how people worship stone snakes and yet run away from live ones. I guess Mummy was just trying to impress Swami with her devotion, or maybe it was Swami himself who came!"

Melwani's six-year-old daughter, Rosie, sucked her thumb while pulling on her mother's trouser-leg, asking: "Why did Baba bite Granny?"

The creature — known as a brown snake — crawled under the couch where it remained until a pest control inspector killed it and removed it from the house, the report said.

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