THE MARRIAGE OF A SNAKE
There lived a Brahmin and his wife in a small ' village. The Brahmin couple had no children. They prayed day and night to God in order to be blessed with a child.

After years of praying, their wishes materialised and they were blessed with a child. But to everybody's shock, the child was a snake and not a normal human baby. The Brahmin couple was advised by their friends and relatives to get rid of the snake, as quickly as possible.

But the Brahmin's wife didn't listen to their suggestions and continued to look after the snake as her own baby.

Years passed by and the snake grew up bigger and bigger, till he reached the age of marriage. Now the Brahmin couple started looking for a suitable girl for their snake son.

The Brahmin went from village to village and town to town in search of a suitable girl, but all in vain. "How can a human being marry our snake child?" said the Brahmin to his wife. But his wife insisted for a suitable match for her son.

Having lost all the hopes from all sides, the Brahmin approached one of his old friends. He narrated his problem to his friend. "Oh! you should've told me about it earlier," said his friend. "I'm myself looking for a suitable match for my daughter. I shall be too happy to give her in marriage with your snake son."

The Brahmin couldn't believe his ears. But the marriage was solemnized despite protests. The girl was herself adamant to marry Brahmin's son, be it a snake, no matter.

After marriage the newly married couple-the girl and the snakestarted to live like an ideal wife and husband. The girl looked after her husband's comforts dutifully. -Her husband-the snake-slept beside his wife coiled in a basket.

One night, the snake crawled out of the basket into a room. After a few moments a young man came out of the room. He woke up the girl. The girl seeing a man in his room was about to scream when the young man said to her, "Don't be foolish. I'm your husband."

The girl didn't believe the young man. She said, "Show it to me before my eyes. I still don't believe it."

So the young man again slipped into the empty shell of the snake and then came out of it again transformed into a man. The girl became very happy to find such a husband. When the Brahmin and his wife came to know of this secret, they too became very happy.

One night, the Brahmin kept a watch over his son. As soon as his son came out of the snake's body transformed into a young man, the

Brahmin got hold of the snake's empty outer covering and threw it into the fire.

Then his son came to him and said, "Father, you've saved my life. Now, I can ..never be transformed into a snake. My outer covering has been destroyed in fire and with it has ended the long curse upon me."

So the Brahmin, his wife, son and daughter-in-law, all began to live a happy life, thereafter. The villagers too were happy to see them leading a normal and healthy life.
After rains comes the sunshine