122. The Snake and the Brahmin's Wife

A wandering brahmin and his wife encountered a serpent.
The serpent ate the brahmin!
The wife wept. "How will I live now?"
The serpent spat out a golden cup. "Beg alms with this. If anyone refuses you, his head will explode."
"Then I beg you: return my husband, or your head will explode!"
The snake spit her husband out, and then turned into a gandharva, a heavenly being.
"I was cursed to be a serpent until a woman outwitted me," said the gandharva, and as he flew upwards, jewels rained down.
The brahmin and his wife were beggars no more.

Inspired byThe Ocean of Story by Somadeva, translated by C.H. Tawney: Volume 5.
Notes: This is Story 118. In the story, the snake is King of the Vidyadharas, but I just made him a gandharva. You can read more about vidyadharas and gandharvas at Wikipedia. The story starts with the brahmin and his brother; when the brother refuses to give him money, the brahmin is reduced to begging.

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