Ruskin Bond

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Elaborate on why the python starts appearing in the most unexpected places.

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In the children’s book Snake Trouble by Ruskin Bond, a boy’s grandfather buys a python from a snake handler. While most of the world seems frightened by the python (especially Aunt Ruby) the boy and his grandfather seem to take some delight in its antics. The python displays a skill for disappearing and showing up in different places.

When grandmother tells her husband and the boy to get rid of the python, they leave it in the bathtub only to later discover that it has escaped. It reappears in the gutter, where it seems to be living and eating rats. The whole family is alright with this arrangement, but when Aunt Ruby comes to visit, they are “startled by a scream from the garden” as she has spotted the python in the guava tree.

Following this encounter, “the python began to make brief but frequent appearances, usually turning up in the most unexpected places.” The python is seen on a dressing table, staring at its own reflection. It is spotted in the garden. It even hides in a basket of guavas which is given to Major Malik as a gift, causing him to utter an oath and dash indoors.

Finally, the python accompanies them on their journey to Lucknow to visit Aunt Ruby. The train passengers are surprised to see a python in the train cars, but Aunt Ruby experiences the biggest shock when she opens a picnic hamper in her own home, seeing the python, and fainting.

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