Nothing symbolises the battle between good and evil like a mongoose killing a snake. It’s the battle of morality vs the obscene, of freedom vs bondage, finesse vs hideousness and even wit vs the myopic. It’s St George slaying the dragon.
This battle is a reoccurring theme embedded in many cultures and nations. An example is a famous Jamaican children’s song, which has been a favourite for generations. https://youtu.be/f9dYH1c5Dr4
Whilst in the Western countries, mongoose poems and memes sprinkle the internet.
Of all the creatures on the loose
there’s none to match the odd mongoose
with pointed snout and chops a lickin’
for a tasty meal of snake or chicken.
Oh, there’s some who think him just a meercat
who’d snatch your omelette just like that
but when he’s feeling really blue
he’ll munch on a critic (maybe two).
Robert Charles Howard
So why is the mongoose such a popular evil slaying metaphor? Here is the shortlist:
1. They are fierce, a courageous pocket rocket. https://youtu.be/4I39dmsWKpw
2. They excel at replicating with a phenomenal ability to nurture and protect their young. https://youtu.be/8mxjF6lZ3ps
3. They are the ultimate snake hunter. Already covered, but worth emphasising. https://youtu.be/yRowC6t8tjA
4. They have a playful disposition with a great sense of humour. https://youtu.be/jd8-ac461CY
5. They are adorable, in a non-intimidating or narcissistic way. Mongooses have rounded babyfaces, which tug our altruistic heartstrings and big expressive cat eyes, which communicate with our souls. They inspire tenderness and love. I think Andrew Vachhs best summed up the mongoose agenda with “When you hunt predators the best camouflage is weakness.”
There you have it, a compact list of what makes this compact predator so noteworthy – agility, audacity and so damn cute rolled into an efficient mini-predator.