GREEN SNAKE (Saporro Zelenorro)

Under the walnut tree Mile was daydreaming,

with a snake in his chest.

When he woke up

and felt the raging snake,

off to his father he ran.

Ouch, dear, my dear father,

a silk scarf do take

and wrap it around your hand,

put it in my chest,

take the raging snake out,

the raging green one.

Go Mile, go to your mothers’

let your mother do it.

And so Mile ran,

and off to his mother he went.

Ouch, dear, my dear mother,

a silk scarf do take

wrap it around your hand

and put it in my chest,

take the raging snake out.

But his mother uttered:

Go my son,  to your wife you go,

for unfaithful she is,

and so her mother was.

When the words reached him,

Mile obeyed his mother

and off to his wife he went.

Ouch, dear, my dear wife,

a silk scarf do take

wrap it around your hand,

put it in my chest,

and take the raging snake out,

the raging green one.

And yet, the silk scarf she did not take,

but put her hand in his chest,

to take the raging snake out,

the raging green one,

only it was not the snake she took out,

but the golden ducats she found.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Romany (Gipsy) oral Ballad - Translation and comment by Nikola Kitanovic.    
There is another version of this ballad in which the hero, after addressing his mother goes to his brother (who refuses him in the same manner), and then to his sister, who eventually refers him to his wife, ending the ballad just like in the hereby presented version. However, a few words can create misconception as regards the interpretation of the ballad. First of all, the word “akhorin” which is officially translated as: asleep, sleep, and dream. Yet, if you want to translate the word “dream” into the Romany language, you simply have to rely on the word “akhorin” again. If we take other elements into account, such as music, performance, dance etc., while interpreting this ballad, then the story of the ballad becomes transparent. Namely, it is about a man who is not satisfied with his family and furthermore is not sure of their love. Therefore, daydreaming and thinking under the walnut tree (“kolin” in the original, however it can be translated as “walnut” but any other tree as well,  the spread of which forms a cool, pleasant shadow, in the summer heat), he decides to test his family; puts a golden ducat into his shirt (the golden ducat can symbolize soul or love), while telling his family that it is the dangerous snake (he makes it green thus emphasizing how dangerous and poisonous it is). All members of his family deny to take the snake out whilst trying to discredit the most devoted member of the family - his wife. However, his wife shows great courage and undivided love and is therefore
rewarded with his love and soul - “the ducat”.

View nikola's Full Portfolio
Judy Costea's picture

WOW, This is beautiful, I could just picture this as it was happening. Thank you for posting this.

hhickson's picture

Excellent. This is what I like about this board is the sampling of other cultures. Thank you for sharing.