I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion, a large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove were hitting a snake with a stick. Then early in the morning the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. He saw the large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove hitting the snake with a stick.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed: