Class 3b and their class teacher Andreja
The white serpent / bela kača occupies a significant place in Slovenian mythology. Known mostly as the guardian of great hidden treasures, it is a powerful magical being, that can be benevolent towards mankind, rewarding kindness and good deeds. It can be also deadly when crossed. In its encounters with mankind, there is one main requirement, to keep the promise of silence.
The White Serpent and the children
A poor woman lived on a farm with her small children. Everyday she left them at home while she went to work on the fields. Before she left, she poured them a large bowl of milk, so they wouldn’t be hungry. They always ate everything and mother praised them for being good. Then one day the children said: “We are not eating by ourselves, a beautiful little bird comes and eats with us.”
The mother wondered about this tale of the little white bird. Perhaps it was a cat coming to eat with the children, she thought. Then she decided to see for herself. As was her custom, she put a bowl of milk into the hallway and then waited hidden in the broom cupboard.
Soon a white serpent came sliding from under the table and onto the lap of the youngest child. The mother froze with fear, and watched helplessly as the children gently stroked it. When the serpent had eaten her fill, she shook the crown from her head, and vanished into the hole under the table. The mother jumped out of her hiding place and took the children away to safety. She did not forget to pick up the crown and put it away into the chest where the flax yarn was kept.
When the winter came the grandfather began winding the yarn. No matter how long he wound the yarn, there was still more yarn in the chest. The woman wondered: ”What could this be? Perhaps it is the power of the crown? So they put the crown into the wheat store. They took out measure after measure of wheat, there was still more wheat left. So they put the little crown among all the other produce, and in a short time the farm became the wealthiest in the village.
The family, that had treated the white serpent with kindness, kept the crown as long as they lived in the house.
(C) Andreja Vavpetič & Zdenka Wicher