The Snake and the Farmer

An Aesop’s Fable

Once, a village farmer’s son stepped on a snake, and the enraged snake bit the boy, killing him instantly.

The angry farmer cut the snake’s tail with an axe and mutilated the snake. The snake, out of enmity with the farmer, started to bite and kill the farmer’s cows one after another. The farmer’s efforts to find the snake and kill it were unsuccessful because during the day the snake was hiding itself in holes under the earth. It came out of the furrows only in the darkness to bite the farmer’s cows.

At last, the farmer thought that it was better for him and the snake to end their rivalry and live in peace and on friendly terms with one another. The next day, the farmer put some food in front of the snake’s hiding and told him, ” we can forget and forgive everything. You have harmed me by killing my son and my cows. Looking from your point of view, there may be some justification for your deeds. In the same way my act of cutting your tail may also be justified. Now the injuries caused to us both are somewhat equal. Now that we’ve both atoned, we can be friends.”

“No, no, no, take your gifts away. It is impossible for us to be friends after all these incidents that have passed between us. You will never forget the loss of your son, and I will never forget the loss of my tail.”

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