(Omitting the chains of narrators) Harith Ibne Aawar says:
Once, Amirul Momineen (a) was seated on the pulpit in Kufa and delivering a sermon, when he glanced at a corner of the Masjid and said to Qambar: Catch whatever you find in that hole and bring it to me.
Qambar went there and when he looked inside the hole, he saw a snake having a beautiful design over its length. Initially, Qambar was worried, but after understanding the master’s command, he picked it up.
The snake slipped from his hand and slithered to the Imam’s pulpit. Then it extended its head and said something into the ear of Amirul Momineen (a).
Imam (a) also continued to reply in whispers.
Finally it descended from thepulpit, slipped into the hole and disappeared.
After it was gone, Amirul Momineen (a) continued to reflect for some time. Then he looked down and began to cry.
Then he asked the people: Are you astounded?
They said: This is indeed an astounding matter.
Imam said: This snake had vowed to hear and obey His Eminence, Messenger of Allah (s) and paid allegiance to him on this condition. Even today it listens to my commands and obeys me because I am the successor of Messenger of Allah (s); but your condition is such that when I command you to hear and obey some of you listen and obey and some do not listen to me at all and do not obey at all.1
1 Ath-Thaqib fil Manaqib, Pg. 247, Tr. 1; Biharul Anwar, Vol. 41, Pg.231, Tr. 2; Al-Kharaij, Vol. 1, Pg. 191, Tr. 37; Hazini has mentionedthe same traditional report on page 27 of Hidaya.