The White Snake


Faith of Our Fairy Tales #17 (Original story / photo)

Story Scripture: Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. – Luke 6:31

Story Saying: Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in. – Ashly Lorenzana

Behind the Story: This story begins by telling of how a king was famous throughout the entire land on account of his wisdom (à la King Solomon). This king, however, did not get his wisdom from God. Every day after dinner, a trusty servant brought him one covered dish. No one knew what was in the dish because the king always waited to eat of it until he was alone. One day, curiosity got the best of the trusty servant and he took the dish to his room and uncovered it. He found a white snake inside and decided to taste a little bit of it. As soon as he did so, he was given the power of understanding the language of animals.

This power soon came in handy because the queen’s ring was lost, and suspicion of having stolen it fell upon the trusty servant. The king threatened to execute him if he did not point out the thief. Being troubled and afraid, the trusty servant took a walk by the brook where he overheard two ducks talking and one of them confessed to having swallowed the queen’s ring while eating underneath the queen’s window. When the duck was cut open, the queen’s ring was found inside her. In this way, the trusty servant was able to prove his innocence. To make amends for his wrong judgment, the king promises to give the servant anything he asks for. The servant only asks for a horse and some money so he can go out and see the world.

While he is traveling, the trusty servant encounters three sets of animals – three fish, an ant-king, and several young ravens – who are all in different plights. Because he had a kind heart, the trusty servant helps all of the animals. In return for his kindness, the animals promise, “We will remember you and repay you for saving us – one good turn deserves another.” When the trusty servant comes into a large city, he hears that the king’s daughter is in want of a husband, but whoever seeks her hand must perform a hard task, and if he fails he will forfeit his life. Even though many had already attempted the hard task and failed, the trusty servant is so overcome by the great beauty of the king’s daughter that he declares himself a suitor.

Just as they promised, the fish, the ant-king, and the ravens all remember the trusty servant and repay him for saving them by helping him perform the hard tasks. Because of their help, the trusty servant is able to marry the king’s daughter and together they live in undisturbed happiness to a great age.

As our story Scripture admonishes, we are to treat others the same way we want them to treat us. When the trusty servant saw animals in need, he helped them. He did not do so because he knew that he would one day need their help. He helped out of the kindness of his heart. We should not treat others well because we expect them to repay us one day or because we fear that we will one day be in their difficult position. Instead, we should always help because Christ has commanded us to be people of kindness, mercy, grace, and love.

It is not always easy to treat others well because others do not always treat us well. All good deeds are not repaid down here. God, however, keeps the score and nothing goes unnoticed by Him. He will reward every good deed in Heaven. We are not only to love those who love us. We are to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them who persecute us.

Love, even when it is not reciprocated. Be kind, even if you don’t get it back. Help, even if no one helps you. Our actions are not between us and others. Our actions are between us and God.


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