One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work when he saw
something black lying on the snow. When he came closer he saw it was a Serpent
to all appearance dead. But he took it up and put it in his bosom to warm while
he hurried home.
As soon as he got indoors he put the Serpent down on the hearth before the
fire. The children watched it and saw it slowly come to life again.
Then one of them stooped down to stroke it, but the Serpent raised its head
and put out its fangs and was about to sting the child to death.
So the Woodman seized his axe, and with one stroke cut the Serpent in two.
“Ah,” said he, “No gratitude from the wicked.”