Rattled

Like acid rain the venom dripped
From the rattled snake’s tongue
A deadly poison, no antidote
The damage had been done

He was provoked, felt threatened
Lashed out in self defence
Survival instinct activated
Too late for recompense

He felled his assailant with one bite
Sinking in his fangs
A lethal injection of dynamite
His ‘victim’ could not withstand

The reptile, spent, then slithered away
Without a backward glance
To lick his wounds in safety
Leaving nothing more to chance

Did he feel remorse?
Is he sentient?
It was an act of natural law
Which, perhaps he could not prevent

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