The White Snake
Once upon a time, a wise king had a strange daily habit. Every evening, he was served a mysterious dish covered under a cloche, and he insisted on eating it alone. His faithful servant, unable to control his curiosity, peeked under the cloche one day and found a white snake. The servant decided to taste it, and the moment he did, he acquired the power to understand and communicate with animals.
One day, the servant rescued a fish, a colony of ants, and three baby ravens from death. Each, in turn, promised to help him if he ever needed it.
The king announced that anyone who could find a golden ring he had lost in the pond would marry his daughter. Many tried and failed. The servant decided to try his luck and was helped by the fish he had saved, who returned the golden ring to him.
The king posed another challenge – to fetch a golden apple from the Tree of Life. The ants came to the servant’s aid this time, fetching the apple for him.
Still reluctant to let his daughter marry a commoner, the king commanded the servant to bring him a ship that could sail on land and sea. The ravens, now fully grown, brought the servant a ship made of gold. The king had no choice but to accept the marriage.
Years later, the king died and the servant ascended the throne. He ruled wisely, and his kingdom prospered under his reign, demonstrating the rewards of kindness and compassion.