The Snake Woman

By Jorge Montenegro

My friend Luis Hernan Sevilla (RIP) told me long ago in the city of Danli a story that made me think and fueled my imagination. Many years ago in the (also known as) City of Hills there was a passion for classical music, literature, spiritism and poetry, and many young people embraced some of these special inclinations, including Jorge, a young pianist who had a beautiful two-storey house. He delighted performing with his skillful hands the most beautiful melodies, people passing by his house stood or sat on the sidewalk to listen to him, he exerted such fascination with his music that people from other places went to hear him perform with such mastery.

One afternoon Jorge left home to take his usual walk around the city, visiting relatives and close friends, he talked with many people, and when the sun threatened to give way to darkness, the young man continued his walk towards home.

A deep blue-eyed woman was walking in the opposite direction. When he saw her he greeted her politely, but without knowing how he felt trapped by the influence of that living statue’s stare. With her crystalline smile she captivated even more Jorge’s heart, who invited her to enjoy a private concert.

“I always listen your performance from the garden, you have such a delicacy to play the piano, so I feel very honored to be the first woman you invite to your house to hear the most beautiful melodies.”

“On the contrary, the honor is mine, I never thought to find in my life’s way a woman so beautiful, so ethereal, so special.”

“I have learned to know your soul from every tune that emerges from your piano, you are a good and sensitive man who loves music and nature.”

With that conversation Jorge felt different, he finally found the woman he idealized for so long, he knew that his loneliness was about to leave him.

Little by little, walking through the streets of Danli, they were getting to know each other.

“I have to say goodbye,” she said, “I cannot spend much time outside my house because I did not ask permission, my father is very strict and it would be distasteful to be late.”

“I understand … but you still haven’t told me your name.”

“My name is Diana and I hope to see you again.”

“Tell me where I can find you.”

“I will find you, I know where you live, and as long as you talk to your piano, I will always be around.”

That night the neighbors listened a true concert, the hands of Jorge ran through his piano’s keyboard with extraordinary mastery, pulling out the most beautiful notes that delighted the neighbors. No one complained, everyone was enthralled with the impromptu concert.

The next day Jorge wrote the lyrics of a song that highlighted the beauty of Diana, then he patiently began to feel within his soul a deep inspiration to compose a sublime music for those lyrics. He barely took a cup of coffee during the day, he ate nothing because his food was the melody for those lyrics.

In the evening he was able to capture what he wanted in the staff: a unique and special song, a song that came out of his soul, out of his spirit. Upon arriving the night the work was finished. He felt no fatigue, his energy increased when his hands ran through the keyboard performing Diana, the melody of his inspiration. He went for a walk as usual, a bit puzzled because he didn’t know where the woman who had stolen his heart lived.

Suddenly he felt someone holding his hand, it was her, his beloved Diana. Together they walked through the deserted streets of the City of Hills, they said to each other so many things.

“I made a song for you, Diana.”

“Can we go to your home to listen to it?”

Thus, hand in hand they arrived at Jorge’s home, the piano was located near the bedroom. There he performed the melody of his inspiration. She wept with emotion and surrendered into the arms of Jorge. Kissing her passionately he took her to bed. That was the night when loneliness left Jorge.

The dawn’s early light projected by the bedroom window, Jorge felt that something was slipping between the sheets and something cold was rubbing his legs. Upon opening the door he saw with astonishment that an enormous snake was leaving his bed, going out through the window and falling into the garden, he tried to stop it, he was confused.

When he went to the garden he knew the truth, Diana was a snake, a snake that listened to his performance fascinated every night, hidden among the flowers.

They say the pianist locked himself in his house and played his piano day and night until it stopped sounding. His family and friends went to bury him and upon throwing the last shovelful of dirt, a huge snake passed very near the grave.

From the book “Cuentos y Leyendas de Honduras” by Jorge Montenegro.