The Snake and the Pauper

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Once upon a time, there was a young man that lived in outskirts of a small town. He lived in a house made of bamboo that he built himself and worked at the magnolia market in the center of town. One day, calmly walking across an old iron bridge to get to the market, he noticed a snake. The snake slithered next to him and began to talk. “I ssssssee you walk passed here everyday and not once have to ssssstopped to say hello,” said the snake. Shaken, the young man shyly replied, “What do you need?” “I need you to bring me bread from the magnolia market everyday for the next three years.” The young man, afraid, conceded.

At the magnolia market, the man searched for some bread to take back to the snake.

“I found some rye bread, here you go.” He puts the bread down and the snake comes up to eat it. “Thank you sssssssso much.” hissed the snake and sneaked away.

The young man faithfully continued to bring bread to the snake everyday. He was no longer afraid of the snake and actually enjoyed talking to the snake about its adventures around the land. Sometimes hours would pass but they were both still dedicated to the conversation.

The third year arrived and excited, the young man bought some cake to celebrate the occasion but the snake was nowhere to be found. Days passed and still no sign of the snake.

Years passed and the young man had given up hope finding the snake that had become such a good friend.

One day on his way to the market, he noticed a pompous procession blocking every entrance to the market. So many people were cheering and clapping and he was curious to see why. Pushing and shoving, he made it to the front of the crowd. He saw a beautiful princess riding on the carriage with long, luscious hair, being guarded by robust escorts. He noticed that she was holding a piece of cake, cake very similar to the cake he had bought for the snake before it disappeared.
The elegant young woman was gazing through the crowd, as if she was searching for someone or something. The young man and the princess locked eyes and the princess’s searching gaze, searched no more. She made the whole procession stop, got down from her carriage and headed toward the young man. “You fed me when I was hungry. You listened to me when no one would. You committed to me when I was cursed to resemble the most despicable creature on this earth and you still looked for me when the three years were over. My heart was as despicable as a snake and you have helped me see the beauty in even the smallest things. Your commitment broke the spell a witch cursed upon me.” She turned around and told her father, ”I found the man I was looking for.” The princess’s father invited the young man on the carriage and they all rode away.

Soon after, they got married and lived happily ever after.

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