Valentine's Day has been celebrated for hundreds of years, a date to celebrate love and friendship towards our loved ones. Every year our hearts are filled with joy and happiness to express, once again, the love we feel for our partner, friends, family or our beloved animals. February 14th is not only a day to show our feelings for our loved ones but to celebrate all kinds of love: forbidden love, unrequited love, unconditional love that crosses barriers... In La Bella de la Tierra y otros cuentos albaneses de la viva voz del pueblo (The Beauty of the Earth and other Albanian tales from the living voice of the people) we will find these kinds of love and some more, to laugh, cry, feel identified and celebrate love.
One of these tales tells of forbidden love, strange love, love in the face of adversity... A young girl's uneasiness in the face of a somewhat strange suitor, a marriage that arouses looks of horror and the struggle of lovers to find each other are some of the themes that appear in the tale "The Serpent and the King's Daughter". In this story, the love between a king's daughter and a man, who is a snake by day and a human by night, comes to the fore. Snakes have traditionally been considered deceitful, treacherous or a symbol of evil. Whether in a saying such as "follow the path of the snake and you will die" or in one of the stories of the Bible, in which a snake is the cause of Adam and Eve being expelled from Paradise. Unlike many myths, legends and stories in which snakes are the bearers of evil and misfortune, in this story we find the opposite, an intelligent and gentle snake with the women he loves (his human mother and his wife) who transforms at night into a human endowed with the beauty of an angel.
This tale not only tells of a strange and unconditional love, but also of a forbidden love, frowned upon by those around the couple.
This tale not only tells of a strange and unconditional love, but also of a forbidden love, frowned upon by those around the couple. I'm sure that many people identify with some of these feelings: who hasn't suffered for love? Who hasn't felt disapproving looks for being with someone they consider unsuitable? In La Bella de la Tierra y otros cuentos albaneses de la viva voz del pueblo (The Beauty of the Earth and other Albanian tales from the living voice of the people) you will find many more stories in which love triumphs. Do not hesitate to visit our social networks: Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok, where you will find more information about this wonderful book.
(Illustration by Jesús Gabán)
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you, don't stop loving each other!