In the beginning (you wouldn’t know it now, because I am very rich) I was very poor. One day, when I had only a handful of flour left in the larder, and no money to buy any more, nor any hope of earning anything, I carried my little brass pot down to the river. I thought I would draw water and make something out of the little flour I had. I put the pot on the riverbank, and went into the water for a swim.
After, I went to fill the pot with water, but when I removed the cloth over top of it, what do you suppose I saw? The glittering folds of a deadly snake!
I put the cloth over the pot and then I thought to myself, “Ah, kind Death! I will take this snake home and I will shake him out of the pot and let him bite me, and then all my troubles will be over.”
Imagine my surprise when, after shutting all the doors and the windows, and taking the cloth of the pot, I found, not a snake, but a magnificent necklace flashing with jewels!
Old Nurse With Her Brass Pot in The Snake Prince, Olive Fairy Book. Painting by Frans Hal.