Stories about snakes



There was once a little child whose mother gave her every afternoon a small bowl of milk and bread, and the child seated herself in the yard with it. When she began to eat however, a snake came creeping out of a crevice in the wall, dipped its little head in the dish, and ate with her. The child had pleasure in this, and when she was sitting there with her little dish and the snake did not come at once, she cried,

"Snake, snake, come swiftly
Hither come, thou tiny thing,
Thou shalt have thy crumbs of bread,
Thou shalt refresh thyself with milk."

Then the snake came in haste, and enjoyed its food. Moreover it showed gratitude, for it brought the child all kinds of pretty things from its hidden treasures, bright stones, pearls, and golden playthings. The snake, however, only drank the milk, and left the bread-crumbs alone. Then one day the child took its little spoon and struck the snake gently on its head with it, and said, "Eat the bread-crumbs as well, little thing." The mother, who was standing in the kitchen, heard the child talking to someone, and when she saw that she was striking a snake with her spoon, ran out with a log of wood, and killed the good little creature.
From that time forth, a change came over the child. As long as the snake had eaten with her, she had grown tall and strong, but now she lost her pretty rosy cheeks and wasted away. It was not long before the funeral bird began to cry in the night, and the redbreast to collect little branches and leaves for a funeral garland, and soon afterwards the child lay on her bier.

Second Story.

An orphan child was sitting on the town walls spinning, when she saw a snake coming out of a hole low down in the wall. Swiftly she spread out beside this one of the blue silk handkerchiefs which snakes have such a strong liking for, and which are the only things they will creep on. As soon as the snake saw it, it went back, then returned, bringing with it a small golden crown, laid it on the handkerchief, and then went away again. The girl took up the crown, it glittered and was of delicate golden filagree work. It was not long before the snake came back for the second time, but when it no longer saw the crown, it crept up to the wall, and in its grief smote its little head against it as long as it had strength to do so, until at last it lay there dead. If the girl had but left the crown where it was, the snake would certainly have brought still more of its treasures out of the hole.

Third Story.

A snake cries, "Huhu, huhu." A child says, "Come out." The snake comes out, then the child inquires about her little sister: "Hast thou not seen little Red-stockings?" The snake says, "No." - "Neither have I." - "Then I am like you. Huhu, huhu, huhu."
从前有一个小孩,她的妈妈每天下午给她一小碗牛奶和一些面包,让她端着食物坐在院子里。 每当她开始吃的时候,就有一只蛤蟆从一个墙洞里爬出来,把它的小脑袋伸进盘子里同她一起吃。 孩子很高兴这样,只要她端着小盘子坐在那儿的时候,蛤蟆没同时出来,她就会高声唱:
吃好,喝好,身体好。 "
这时蛤蟆会急忙出来,津津有味地吃起来。 为了表示它的谢意,蛤蟆从洞里搬出了它珍藏的各式各样的宝物,宝石呀,珍珠呀,和金子的玩具呀。 可是蛤蟆只喝牛奶却不吃面包渣。 一天,小孩子用她的小勺子轻轻地敲了敲蛤蟆的脑袋说:"小家伙,你也得吃面包渣呀。"在厨房里的妈妈听见了小孩子在和谁说话便往外看,当她看见小孩子正用勺子敲一只蛤蟆时,她抄起一根长木头冲了出去,把那只善良的小生灵打死了。
从那时开始小孩就变了,那蛤蟆与她一同进餐的时候,她长得又高又壮,可是现在她失去了红红的脸蛋,而且越来越瘦。 不久送葬鸟在夜里开始哭丧,红胸鸲衔来树枝和树叶编成了一个花圈,不久小孩子就躺在了灵床上。
有一个孤儿坐在城墙边纺线,她看见从城墙下面的一个洞里爬出一只蛤蟆。 她迅速地将一块蓝色丝手帕在它旁边铺开,据说蛤蟆十分喜欢蓝色手帕,经常要爬到上面。 所以蛤蟆一看见手帕,就回到洞中取出一个小小的金皇冠放到手帕上,然后又离开了。 小姑娘拿起皇冠,只见皇冠闪着金光,是用细细的金线织成的宝物。 不一会蛤蟆回来了,见到皇冠不在了,它冲着墙爬去,绝望地用小小的脑袋撞墙,它用全身的力量不停地撞呀,撞呀,直至最后倒地死去。 如果小姑娘将皇冠留在那里,蛤蟆一定会从洞里取出更多的宝贝来给她的。

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