The Panchatantra – Story 37

THE SNAKE IN THE PRINCE’S BELLY

There was a king called Devasakti in a certain kingdom. He had an only son who was the crown prince. But this prince was afflicted by a snake in his belly(Round worms and several worms which can be almost as long as small snakes will have this effect) and began to grow thinner and thinner and waste away. Devasakti was stricken with sorrow. He went to several temples and prayed to the deities there to rid his son of the snake in the belly. On the advice of his ministers he also got his son married to a princess from a neighboring kingdom. 

That princess was an intelligent girl. One day, when she returned after shopping, she found her husband asleep with his head resting on an ant-hill. The snake in the belly was jutting out its head from the mouth. The snake from the ant-hill had also jutted its head through the hole and the two snakes saw each other, They become angry with one another. 

The snake from the ant-hill cried out to the snake in the prince’s belly : You fellow, you are possessing this handsome prince.” The snake in the prince’s belly cried out to the snake in the ant-hill : “You fellow, you are possessing two pots of gold in that ant-hill.” The snake in the ant-hill cried out: “You fool, if a concoction of black mustard, long pepper and omum is drunk you are finished.” The snake in the princess belly cried out : ” Boiling water poured into your hale will finish you off, you fool The princess heard this conversation. She gave her husband a concoction of black mustard, long pepper and omum, and killed the snake in his belly and made him hale and hearty. She poured pots of boiling water into the ant-hill and killed the snake there and dug up the ant-hill and got the two pots of gold. 

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