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NAGOBA, THE SNAKE-KING

hood behind his head, he seated the little girl on it and took her down to his splendid dwelling-house beneath the earth. In the central hall he presented her to the snake-queen and to all the snake-princes, and told them that in no circumstances whatever were they to bite the little daughter-in-law.

One day the snake-queen was about to be confined. So she asked the little daughter-in-law to sit by her side with the lamp in her hand. The little daughter-in-law did so, and a little time afterwards the snake-queen gave birth to a fresh litter of little snake-princes. When the little daughter-in-law saw them all wriggling about, she was frightened out of her wits. She let the lamp slip out of her hands. It fell on the ground and burnt all the little snakes' tails off. The snake-queen did her best to comfort them, but the stumps of the little princes' tails ached so dreadfully that it was ever so long before the snake-queen could put them off to sleep. When the snake-king came home that evening, she told him what had happened. And she was so cross with the little daughter-in-law, that the snake-king had to promise that she should go back to her

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