The Crow and the Snake (Ukrainian Folk Tale)

Folk Tales, Ukrainian Folk Tales2560

The Crow and the Snake One day a Crow built herself a nest in a tree and laid some eggs there. She did not know that a Snake had a nest of her own in the same tree.

Her chicks were soon hatched, and the Crow began leaving the nest to go in search of food for them. She would fly far and bring back whatever she could find.

One day she returned to the nest and was much dismayed to find one of her chicks gone. She wondered what could have happened to it and was very sad for a while, but there was nothing she could do.

On the next day another chick was gone, and on the third, a third, and at the end of the week not one was left in the nest.

The Crow wept and cried, for she guessed that some villain had carried off her children and knew that she would never see them again.

After a time she decided to lay some more eggs, and when the chicks were hatched she left the nest and flew off in search of food. She came back, and lo! – one of the chicks was gone. On the next day another was gone, and on the third, a third, and this went on till only one was left.

Afraid that she would lose it too, the Crow decided to find the villain who had been robbing her nest. She perched nearby and watched to see who would be making for her nest.

By and by she saw a Snake crawl out of its nest near the roots of the tree and crawl up the tree trunk and eat up her last chick.

The Crow thought and thought, but could not think of a way of ridding herself of the Snake. But a Fox had seen the Snake too and he said to the Crow:

"A Princess will soon be coming to bathe in the river here, and as she takes off her clothing you will see a gold chain on her neck. You must seize it in your beak and carry it off to the Snake's nest, and then it will all work out for the best."

The Crow did as the Fox told her. She seized the chain and carried it off, and the Princess's servants saw her and stood there open-mouthed. The Crow dropped the chain into the Snake's nest, perched herself on the top of another tree and waited to see what would happen.

The servants, who had seen where she had gone with the chain, went up to the Snake's nest. They looked into it and saw something gleaming there. They began digging up the ground in and around the nest, and finding the Snake, killed it and took out the chain.

And so it was that the Crow rid herself of her worst enemy and from then on lived in her nest in peace.

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