ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 274
In this 274th issue of the Baba Indaba’s Children's Stories series, Baba Indaba narrates the story of “The Serpent Isle.”
This is a story of Ovid, the famous Roman poet, who was exiled to the city of ancient Tomis, in modern day Romania by Emperor Augustus of Rome in 8AD. Today the modern city Constanta stands on this spot. This story has been re-written for children.
When Ovid arrived, on one side there was nothing to be seen, as far as the eye could reach, but sand and marshes, where at intervals a solitary tree stretched out its barren boughs over some evil-smelling mere; while on the other the endless sea, black and cheerless, rolled its monotonous waves towards the shore. Snowstorms, unknown to an inhabitant of Rome, swept over the land in winter; and in summer the sun beat down with scorching heat, setting the brain on fire and parching the tongue. Wells were scarce here, and Ovid learnt to prize a draught of pure water more than he had ever prized the choicest wines in his Roman cellars. The inhabitants of the country were few—dark-skinned men, whose language was strange to him. The only Romans were men whom he would in former days have thought unworthy of his slightest glance or word—thieves, galley-slaves, or fraudulent officials.
Surely he could never have borne such a life of loneliness and desolation, and would have died from misery, save for one only consolation. Every man must have some such, be it only a dog, a flower, or a spider. Ovid had a snake, a tiny, bewitching snake, that always lay curled about his neck or his arm, and in whose eyes he read the most wondrous tales.
His thoughts wandered thus, and he sat gazing out upon the sea, his eyes would close and he would sink into peaceful sleep. One day, as he thus slept, he dreamed a strange dream; his little snake had suddenly become possessed of human speech, and was whispering softly in his ear, “Come, come with me to the island at the mouth of the Danube—that which they call the Serpent-Isle. There thou shalt witness transformations indeed.” He awoke with a start of surprise; but his little snake was lying quite quietly about his neck, as though she had never spoken a word. Again he fell asleep, and again Colubra whispered, “Come to the Serpent-Isle. Come; trust thy little friend.”
So Ovid packed a boat with supplies, hired some rowers and set off for the Serpent’s Isle at the Mouth of the Danube.
What happened when he got there you ask? Was the Isle really full of serpents? Well, to find out what happened to Ovid and his companion snake, you’ll just have to download and read this story to find out.
Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children's stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as "Father of Stories".
Each issue also has a "WHERE IN THE WORLD - LOOK IT UP" section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story. HINT - use Google maps.
33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.
INCLUDES LINKS TO DOWNLOAD 8 FREE STORIES