On the edge of a tribal village,
Tarzan furtively drops from the trees,
as a startled python
snaps to attention,
coiling its massive length,
and lunges for the jungle man,
encircling his bare legs and torso,
sweeping him quickly off his feet,
and clutching him so tightly
that Tarzan lets out a gasp,
his lungs compressed,
his ribs trying to shield his organs.
The python squeezes tighter,
Tarzan straining to survive
as native men look on helplessly.
Tarzan summons his declining strength
to pry himself loose from the clutches
while keeping the deadly fangs
from sinking into his flesh.
The jungle man expands his chest,
giving the snake its first warning
it will not capture its prey easily.
Expanding his muscles only an inch
allows more air into his lungs
providing an instant of strength
to match the power
of the snake’s deadly embrace.
Tarzan’s arms ripple,
his face in a taut grimace,
as he pries the python enough
to grab his knife
and plunge it
from inside the snake’s grip,
time after time,
each blow weakening the stranglehold
a little more.
The struggling pair
roll in the dirt
as everyone watches, stunned.
steals the life
of his attacker.
Tarzan lies still,
gasping for air,
as native boys
unwrap the huge python
and tend to the recovering victor.
Tarzan is a trademark of Edgar Rice Burroughs.