All Creatures Great and Small

by James Herriot

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How does the grandfather finally succeed in caging the python in All Creatures Great and Small?

In All Creatures Great and Small, Grandfather finally succeeds in caging the python by luring it into a large cage with food and a mirror.

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In this story, the author tells of the time that his grandfather brought home a python.

In the story, the python is four feet long and still in its youth. We learn that the author's grandfather purchased the snake from a snake charmer for six rupees. It's obvious that the author shares the same enthusiasm for animals as his grandfather.

His grandmother, however, doesn't share the same enthusiasm. When she sees the python, she immediately demands that Grandfather take the snake back. Although generally tolerant of the various animals Grandfather has brought home over the years, she draws the line at reptiles.

Grandmother insists that Grandfather find the snake charmer and bring him back to retrieve the python. Meanwhile, she tells him to lock the snake in the bathroom. Grandfather heads to the bazaar but is unable to locate the snake charmer. When he returns, he discovers that the snake has escaped from the bathroom.

As time progresses, the python keeps showing up in unexpected places. One day, while Grandfather's cousin Mabel is in the garden, she sees the python curled up in a guava tree. Mabel screams in fright and comes running into the house. Grandfather agrees to kill the python but is unable to locate it in the garden.

Eventually, the python is found curled up in front of the mirror on the dressing table. Realizing that the python is inexplicably attracted to mirrors, Grandfather sets up a large cage. In the cage, he puts up a mirror on one end and delicacies on the other.

The snake can't resist the trap set before him and slithers in. It eats all of the food and curls up happily in front of the mirror. The python doesn't stir, even when the author lowers the trapdoor on the cage. Grandfather eventually takes the cage to the other side of the riverbed.

He leaves the cage in the jungle with the trapdoor open, but the python is so fascinated by his own reflection in the mirror that he stays inside the cage.

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