The Snake Who Became The King’s Son-in-Law

My favourite fairytale, mostly for its oddness, is The Snake Who Became The King’s Son-In-Law or as I call it, ‘Herp: The Snake Who Was His Own Boostrap’.

Here it is in its entirety, taken from

No. 7.–The Snake who became the King’s Son-in-law

There were an old man and an old woman. From their youth up to their old age they had never had any children (lit. ‘made any children of their bones’). So the old woman was always scolding with the old man–what can they do, for there they are old, old people? The old woman said, ‘Who will look after us when we grow older still?’

‘Well, what am I to do, old woman?’

‘Go you, old man, and find a son for us.’

So the old man arose in the morning, and took his axe in his hand, and departed and journeyed till mid-day, and came into a forest, and sought three days and found nothing. Then the old man could do no more for hunger. He set out to return home. So as he was coming back, he found a little snake and put it in a handkerchief, and carried it home. And he brought up the snake on sweet milk. The snake grew a week and two days, and he put it in a jar. The time came when the snake grew as big as the jar. The snake talked with his father, ‘My time has come to marry me. Go, father, to the king, and ask his daughter for me.’

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