22. The Man and Snake

A man met Snake upon whom a large stone had fallen and covered her so that she could not rise. The Man lifted the stone off Snake, but when he had done so, she wanted to bite him. The Man said, “Stop! let us first go to some wise people.” They went to Hyena, and the Man asked him, “Is it right that Snake should want to bite me, when I helped her as she lay under a stone and could not rise?”

Hyena (who thought he would get his share of the Man’s body) said, “If you were bitten what would it matter?”

Then Snake wanted to bite him, but the Man said again, “Wait a little, and let us go to other wise people, so that I can hear whether this is right.”

They went and met Jackal. The Man said to Jackal, “Is it right for Snake to want to bite me, when I lifted up the stone which lay on her?”

Jackal replied, “I do not believe that Snake could be covered by a stone so she could not rise. Unless I saw it with my two eyes, I would not believe it. Therefore, come let us go and see the place where you say it happened whether it can be true.”

They went, and arrived at the place where it had happened. Jackal said, “Snake, lie down, and let yourself be covered.”

Snake did so, and the Man covered her with the stone; but although she exerted herself very much, she could not rise. Then the Man wanted again to release Snake, but Jackal stopped him, and said, “Do not lift the stone. She wanted to bite you, therefore she may rise by herself.”

Then they both went away and left Snake under the stone.