na śeke so ’vituṁ tatra
gantum aicchat tato vṛkṣa-
koṭarād iva sānalāt
na—not; śeke—was able; saḥ—he; avitum—to protect; tatra—there; puru—very much; kṛcchra—difficulty; uru—great; vepathuḥ—suffering; gantum—to go out; aicchat—desired; tataḥ—from there; vṛkṣa—of a tree; koṭarāt—from the hollow; iva—like; sa-analāt—on fire.
As a serpent living within the cavity of a tree wishes to leave when there is a forest fire, so the city’s police superintendent, the snake, wished to leave the city due to the fire’s severe heat.
It becomes very difficult for snakes to leave a forest when there is a fire. Other animals may flee due to their long legs, but serpents, only being able to crawl, are generally burnt in the fire. At the last stage, the limbs of the body are not as much affected as the life air.
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