ONCE upon a time, I do not know how it came about, the dog had a frightful headache, such a headache as he had never had before. It nearly drove him mad, and he ran furiously hither and thither, not knowing what to do to get rid of it. As he was running wildly over a field, he met a snake that was lying there coiled up in the sun.
"What is the matter that you are running about like a madman, brother?" asked the snake.
"Sister, I cannot stop to speak to you. I am clean mad with a splitting headache, and I do not know how to be rid of it."
"I know a remedy," said the snake, "it is excellent for the headache of a dog, but it is of no good to me who am also suffering greatly from a headache."
"Never mind you, what am I to do?"
"You go yonder and eat some of the grass, and you will be cured of the headache."
The dog did as the snake had advised him. He went and ate the grass, and soon felt relieved of his pain.
Now, do you think the dog was grateful? No such luck for the snake. On the contrary, a dog is a dog, and a dog he remains. And why should he be better than many people are? He did as they do, and returned evil for good. Going to the snake, he said, "Now that my headache is gone, I feel much easier; I remember an excellent remedy for the headache of snakes."
"And what might it be?" asked the snake eagerly.
"It is quite simple. When you feel your head aching, go and stretch full length across the high-road and lie still for a while, and the pain is sure to leave you."
"Thank you," said the simpleton of a snake, and she did as the dog had advised her. She stretched herself full length across the high-road and lay still, waiting for the headache to go.
The snake had been lying there for some time, when it so happened that a man came along with a stout cudgel in his hands. To see the snake and to bruise her head was the work of an instant. And the snake had no longer any headache. The cure proved complete. And ever since that time, when a snake has a headache it goes and stretches across the high-road. If its head is crushed, then no other remedy is wanted, but if the snake escapes unhurt, it loses its headache.