The Sultan's Snake-Child is an African folk tale in the Swahili Tradition. Stories from Africa were traditionally passed down by word of mouth. Often they were told by the light of the moon around a village fire after the completion of a long day of work. The stories rarely ended with the words we so often heard as children when our parents told us bedtime stories -- "and they all lived happily ever after". Most stories didn't end happily ever after. Usually the stories taught a lesson, and frequently, the selfish person learned that lesson the hard way.
Other folk tales of interest:
Fifteen Chinese Folk Tales
African Stories and Folk Tales
Rats and Cats and Mice Folk Tales around the World
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