The Lion and the Snake
The lion and the snake were fighting. The snake escaped the lion’s claws before the lion could kill it, and fled to the man’s house. The snake begged the man to hide it because the lion was pursuing it. The man hid the snake in his cupboard and the lion never found it, although he searched the house.When the lion had gone, the snake took his leave from the man, saying, “How are good deeds rewarded?” The man said, “Normally good deeds are rewarded with money, but since you have no money, you may give me an animal as soon as you have been successful at hunting.” The snake said, “But do you not know that snakes reward good with evil? I am going to devour you, man!” The man said, “No, no, that isn’t fair. We men always reward good with gratitude and useful goods. Let’s ask the bee first.” The bee said, “I never get any gratitude. Man just takes my honey after having smoked me out of my own house.” The man said, “Let’s ask the mango tree.” The mango tree said, “I never receive thanks. Man takes my fruits, and when I bear no more, he cuts me down and throws me into his fire.” The man said, “Let’s ask the coconut palm.” The coconut palm said, “It is true, good is rewarded with evil. Man takes my nuts, taps my sap, and to cap it all off, he cuts off my leaves for his roof.”The snake said to the man, “You see, now I will eat you.” The man said, “Wait until I have said goodbye to my wife.” The snake agreed and they went to the man’s house. The man said, “Dear wife, the snake is going to eat me, goodbye!” The wife said, “Surely, Mr. Snake, you would like some eggs as a hors d’ouevre?” She took a bag of eggs and held it open for the snake. The snake put in his head to take an egg. The woman pulled the string tight and so caught the snake with its head in the bag. Then she took a knife and cut its throat, saving her husband’s life. But the husband divorced her, for men reward the good women do them with evil.