Once upon a time, an unsuspecting gentleman
Gorged on a succulent pork steak with élan
Never realized he acquired an elite companion
A slithering tapeworm in his intestine
And never did he live happily ever in his life-span
The ribbon-like flatworm hijacked his gut
Hooked onto the wall with its ‘armed head’
As it feasted on his meals with delight
Sprouted segments to grow a healthy three metres in height
‘Taenia solium’ is the exotic name of this not-so-pretty sight!
While our gentleman was oblivious to the fact
He passed some segments teeming with eggs
From…. Err……………. you-know-where!
Not a stickler for regular hand-washing
He swallowed some eggs at breakfast one morning!
The eggs hatched into curious baby larvae
Which set out on an adventure trail
Through coursing blood vessels like a metro-rail
And decided to relax at destination BRAIN
But alas! Could not find their way back again
Some years later the victim had seizures one night
As Doctors peeked and prodded the verdict was out
‘Neurocysticercosis’ the radiologist pronounced
There was a worm in his brain; Dead and Mummified
Like a tomb-stone with an epitaph that read
"Catch me if you can!”
Vegetarians need not sneer at pork-eaters
And assume they can escape the sly tapeworm
A delicious salad or a sandwich tainted with eggs
Is all that it takes for the tapeworm to make you its prey
So keep your hands crossed, while you pray
God, save me from the tapeworm everyday!
-Dr Reeta Mani