The village boys, however, now grew bold and pelted the snake with rocks.
Its bones broken, the snake could barely slither in and out of its hole.
When the pilgrim returned, he was shocked by the snake's condition.
"The boys attack me," it said. "But I kept my vow!"
"I told you no biting, but I didn't forbid hissing!" the pilgrim exclaimed. "Do no harm, but you must hiss if someone ever threatens to harm you."
Inspired by: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna
Notes: This is story 187 in the book. You can find out more about Ramakrishna at Wikipedia. This is one of the longer stories in this book, going into more detail about the snake's life and how the boys tormented it.