Sacred Texts  Sagas and Legends  English Folklore  Index  Previous  Next 


 IT is said that no kind of snake is ever found near the "ashen-tree," and that a branch of the ash-tree will prevent a snake from coming near a person.

A child who was in the habit of receiving its portion of bread and milk at the cottage door, was found to be in the habit of sharing its food with one of the poisonous adders. The reptile came regularly every morning, and the child, pleased with the beauty of his companion, encouraged the visits. The babe and adder were close friends.

Eventually this became known to the mother, and, finding it to be a matter of difficulty to keep the snake from the child whenever it was left alone,--and she was frequently, being a labourer in the fields, compelled to leave her child to shift for itself,--she adopted the precaution of binding an "ashen-twig" about its body.

The adder no longer came near the child; but from that day forward the child~ pined, and eventually died, as all around said, through grief at having lost the companion by whom it had been fascinated.

Next: To Charm a Snake