Once upon a time, there lived an emperor and empress blessed with three daughters. However, the happiness in their imperial home took a dark turn when the emperor fell gravely ill. Desperate for a cure, he sent his eldest daughter to fetch water which would cure him from a faraway ford.
As the eldest princess approached a ford, a snake emerged and asked her to marry him in exchange for the water. She defiantly refused, and the snake, in turn, denied her the water. The second daughter, thinking she could outsmart the snake, attempted the same task but faced the same fate.
Undeterred, the youngest daughter bravely volunteered to fetch the water. When the snake proposed marriage, she accepted, and, surprisingly, the snake drew her fresh water from the depths of the ford. She returned home, and her father, upon drinking the water, miraculously recovered.
Their joy was short-lived as, on a Sunday, a mysterious carriage arrived at their door, repeating puzzling verses about love and drawing water from the ford. The frightened princess opened the door, allowing the strangers to enter and place the snake on a plate as if it were pure gold. They whisked her away to the snake's abode, where they lived together and even had a daughter.
However, their happiness was marred by a wicked godmother who moved in with them. Tragedy struck when the princess's child and, soon after, the princess herself died. The deceitful godmother, under the shroud of darkness, dismembered the princess's hands after her demise, taking the golden rings adorning them.
The princess, guided by an ordained destiny, sought her hands and recited a mysterious verse about the godmother's nocturnal activities. Unbeknownst to the wicked godmother, the princess discovered her vile actions. The following day, they found the godmother lifeless under the stove. In a twist of justice, the godmother received no proper burial, her body cast into a hole.
Source: The Snake and the Princess by A. H. Wratislaw