THE SNAKE PRINCE
A story from South Africa
Long, long time ago there lived two beautiful sisters who were as different as night and day. They were Dambisa and Duma. While Dambisa was quiet, kind and caring, Duma was loud, stubborn and selfish. Duma would offend people and Dambisa would clean Duma’s mess.
Not far away there was kingdom with a very handsome prince, but he was a prince under a spell of a very wicket witch. Whenever night time came, he would be turned into a snake. The witch had told the royal family that, the only thing that would save the prince was if an honest, quiet and caring girl would fall in love with him and loved him unconditionally.
All the girls in the neighbourhood kingdoms tried but nothing came out of it, the minute they saw a black mamba coming to them during the night, they would run like the wind.
Now, the strong headed, stubborn Duma thought that she was the one to marry the prince, and off she went to the palace. Along the way she met an old woman with a very heavy load on her head and the woman asked Duma to help her, “please my daughter help me with this load, it is too heavy for me”, and stubborn Duma answered the woman without thinking twice “go to whoever put it there so they can take it off, as for me I can’t waste my time, my husband the prince is waiting for me”, and off she went. Halfway to the palace she met a man who walked backwards, ”Please my daughter, show me the way to the market”, and the ever ready to answer Duma answered back, ”when you left your house, were you expecting to get to the market walking like that?, and she clapped her hands and laughed at the man, leaving the poor man to wonder off alone.
Finally, she made it to the palace and she was taken into a hut where she was asked to make beer and to everyone’s surprise she told everyone, that she was there for her prince and not for making beer. Before leaving her, she was warned not to scream if she saw anything frightening.
As night time came, she became tired and decided to take a nap. She was woken up by something hissing next to her, and when she opened her eyes she saw a snake, a big black mamba looking at her and hissing. For once she had no words to say, she could not even fight, all she thought about was getting out of that hut and that’s what she did, she ran until she got home!
Dambisa knowing her sister and not wanting her to get into trouble followed Duma without Duma’s knowledge. When Duma refused to help the old woman, Dambisa helped her and the old woman gave her blessings and when Duma refused to help the old man who was walking backwards, Dambisa helped him and showed him the way to the market, and also this man thanked Dambisa and gave her blessings. When Dambisa got to the palace, she was placed in another hut and was also told to make beer and she did. She was also given the same instructions as her sister of not screaming when she saw something frightening.
Just like Duma, Dambisa also decided to take a nap, and when she woke up, she also heard the hissing sound, and when she looked closer she saw a mamba, instead of her shouting and running away she just froze and the snake left her alone. Because she did not run away, she was kept in the hut and the snake came to her every night, and for some weird reason she grew fond of the snake, when the snake was not there, she would miss it.
One day, the snake did not leave the hut and as the rays of the sun came into the room, the snake turned into a very handsome prince and he told her the whole story. By then Dambisa was already in love with the prince and not even frightened of the snake.
That night the prince didn’t turn back into a snake, and everyone was overjoyed because finally the prince was cured from the spell. And everyone knew that Dambisa was the right girl for him!!
They got married and lived happily ever after!!
Oh! as for Duma, she finally realised that being good hearted had its rewards!!!, she learned from her mistakes and turned a new leaf!!