It seems like a joke, but the last sentence is hard to understand.

Smile, Please! (~200 words)

One day, when Henry was working in a restaurant, a snake suddenly appeared and bit his hand.
A few days earlier, the snake arrived from Asia in a box of bananas. It climbed out and hid somewhere.
“I was trying to pick it up when it bit me again. I threw it across the kitchen, and it landed on a table.”
While the snake was lying on the table, Henry quickly picked up his mobile phone and took a photo with it. Then the snake hid behind the fridge.
When Henry was trying to find the snake, his hand began to hurt badly. He hurried to hospital. As the doctors were checking him, the pain got worse. But they could not help him because they did not know what kind of snake bit him.
As he was lying there in great pain, Henry suddenly remembered the photo. The doctors sent the photo to a zoo. As soon as they learnt what kind of snake bit him, they gave Henry the right medicine, and he left hospital the next day.
“So if a snake bites you, take out your mobile phone or camera. Take its photo, and show the photo to the doctors,” suggests Henry. “But as you know, the snake won't smile!”

My questions:

  1. Is the last sentence Henry said?
  2. What does the last sentence mean?
  3. What does the passage mainly tell us?

1 Answer 1


The last sentence is meant to be humorous. It is common for people to smile for the camera before having their pictures taken. Reptiles like snakes cannot smile. This whole story is in the pattern of a joke, the final sentence serving as the punchline, at which point the joke is finally revealed.

  • 1
    I disagree that the whole passage is a joke. It's an anecdote recommending you to take a photo if you should witness an attack by an unfamiliar snake. The last sentence is a joke made by Henry (we know they are his words because they are in inverted commas). Commented Oct 25, 2023 at 13:19

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