The Poisoned Food—p. 226.

This is the third instance in the romance of food being poisoned by serpents, and it is of very common occurrence in Eastern fictions. The oldest known form of the story is found in a Sanskrit collection entitled Vetálapanchavinsati, or Twenty-five (Tales) of a Vetála, or Vampyre, which is given fully in the Appendix to my Book of Sindibád, and the story occurs in all the Eastern texts of the Sindibád cycle. This Tamil version is peculiar in representing an old man as falling a victim to the poison dropped from a snake's mouth into food given him by a young pilgrim, and the imprisoning of the latter in the village temple of Kálí and so forth. In all other versions known to me, the poison is dropped into an open dish of milk carried by a slave-girl on her head, and her master's guests, partaking of the milk, all perish.