"I can already see the head. Keep pushing, ma!" One of the girls screeched from between madam She's widespread legs.
Madam She was sweating, her hands were squeezing at the arms of the chair she was leaning into, but not even a frown was present on her face. Madam She was giving birth, big deal. This had become a regular occurrence lately. She had been on a winning streak; her litters had been filled with girls only. Beautiful, gorgeous little snake girls. Their family would surely benefit from more girls! The more girls, the more life-force they could harvest from these stupid mortals!
Madam She took a shaky breath in and blew it out slowly as she tensed and pushed. This was to be the seventh and the last baby for today - and most certainly a girl like the six before it. This must have been a personal record of madam She. Madam She's litters usually consisted of only 4 to 6 baby snakes, but this time, she was pushed to the limit. Seven babies in one pregnancy! Wait until the other snake ladies heard of this feat!
"The head just came out! Push ma, push!" The girls were squealing excitedly at the prospect of more siblings.
Master She was fanning his wife attentively with his large black fan, looking quite bored at the moment. He had seen so many kids pop out of his wife along the years that there wasn't much to expect anymore. More girls, more worries, more grey hair. They had 50 kids in total. This last one would be the 51st. Master She was contemplating cutting his own balls off at this point. He couldn't handle any more daughters.
When the first four were born a century ago, he had been ecstatic. First time being a father, he had actually put effort and a lot of his time into raising them. But after the twenty-sixth baby girl, he was done with the whole fatherhood. The babies just kept coming. There seemed to be no end to it.
He wanted to scream to the Heaven's and plead for someone to just make it stop! But it was, of course, his fault, entirely his fault. If he had the will to keep his pants on, there wouldn't be babies, to begin with. He could only suck it up and deal with it.
"The shoulders! Look at those tiny shoulders!" The girls were gushing. "She is going to be delicately built, ma!"
Madam She merely grunted as she pushed for the last time, and glorious relief washed over her. She was done, the baby was out. One of the girls was holding the baby, her smile frozen on her well-painted face. Her sisters flocked around her, each of their smiles slowly freezing, drooping and some even turning into horror as they gazed upon the newborn.
Madam She tensed, worry taking hold of her. Was her baby all right? Was the baby hurt? Injured during birth? Was the baby breathing?
"What is it? What is wrong?" Madam She snapped unusually harshly. Until now, every birth had been easy, every baby perfectly beautiful and healthy. The girls looked uneasily at each other, then at their mother.
"Tell me, what is wrong?!"
Master She had stopped fanning his wife, his body now tense and on full alert. The girl holding the baby huffed as she walked over to her mother's side and almost dumped the baby on madam She's lap. "It's a boy!"
The words sounded like Heaven's drums to master She's ears. A boy! A baby boy! He had a boy! If it wasn't for madam She's deadly aura and the murderous glint that she had in her eyes when she turned to him, he would have been jumping around the room, squealing from excitement. Seeing his wife's expression, master She's smile died out before it even managed to manifest on his face.
But it was a boy! He wanted to point out. Their first boy after a century of raising only girls! But instead of saying this out loud, he sat perfectly still under the intense gazes of both his wife and his numerous daughters that were there to witness their new siblings being brought to the world.
But it was a boy... Master She wept silently.
"You! This is your fault! Now we have a boy! What are we supposed to do with him? He is entirely useless!" Madam She was raging, her face red as a tomato. She was cradling the baby boy against her bosoms with disdain.
That wasn't entirely true, of course. The snake gods needed boys to produce more babies. Master She's son couldn't be useless. Look at how many girls master She had! Boys could also take on the snake form and even had poisonous bites. They weren't entirely useless!
"Useless!" Madam She repeated for emphasis. "Utterly useless! The bottom of the barrel! A leech! Not a snake, a leech!"
"Now hold on a minute-" Master She was shut down at once by madam She's barking.
"He won't be able to feed himself! He can only lean onto us and his sisters to harvest life-force for him! He is useless, a burden to the snake gods. The only thing you men are good at is reproducing. And even at that, you failed!" Madam She pointed her delicate finger at a dangerously close proximity to her husband's eye. The sharp fingernail nearly scraped his eyeball.
Master She swallowed but said nothing. He valued his life enough not to argue with a woman who had just given birth. No matter what, master She was glad this one was a boy. Finally, the gods had heard his silent pleading and gifted him a change. A boy! A baby boy!
"What now, ma?" One of the girls complained, disappointment clear in her eyes and her tone of voice. Madam She barked at her husband once more, quivering with anger.
"No more babies! If I ever get pregnant again, I swear to god, I will cut your balls off!"
Master She said nothing, but secretly he thought, 'Maybe I should cut them off myself!'