The Serpent and the Man

156. THE SERPENT AND THE MAN. A child was playing in the meadow, and by chance trod upon a serpent. The serpent, in the fury of his passion, turned up and bit the child with his poisonous teeth, so that he died immediately. The father of the child, inspired with grief and revenge, took a weapon in his hand, and pursuing the serpent before he could get into his hole, struck at him, and lopped off a piece of his tail. The next day, hoping by this stratagem to finish his revenge, he brought to the serpent's hole, honey, meal and salt, and desired him to come forth, protesting that he only sought a reconciliation on both sides. However, he was not able to decoy the serpent forth, who only hissed from within to this purpose: “In vain you attempt a reconciliation; for as long as the memory of the dead child and the mangled tail subsists, it will be impossible for you and I to have any charity for each other.” [more info]

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