What’s this? She calls us with bowls of milk and sugar and then she stands blocking the door. “Oh, Queen of Snakes,” she cries, “Give me back my husband!”

“Husssband? Hussssband?” I thrust my head into her face.

She repeats her plea, and I must say, I am impressed by her courage. “Tomorrow you will have him,” I hiss.

She steps aside and I slip past her, followed by my legions, who, by this time, have become very thirssssty….

Queen of Snakes in The Snake Prince, Olive Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

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