48. The Frog-King Rides the Snake

A snake came to the frogs and said, "A brahmin has cursed me to be your vehicle. I must carry you on my back wherever you want to go."
The king of the frogs jumped on the snake's back. The other frogs did the same, and the snake did indeed carry them wherever they told him to go.
The next day, however, the snake was moving slowly.
"I'm hungry!" the snake said.
"Eat some frogs!" suggested the frog king.
Day by day the snake ate the frogs until only the king was left.
And then the snake ate him too.

Inspired byThe Panchatantra, translated by Arthur Ryder. It is in Book 3, Story 17.
Notes: The curses of brahmins play an important role in all sorts of Indian storytelling traditions, from tiny folktales like this to the great epics of India, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Here is an illustration from a 15th-century Panchatantra:

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