He knew he must seek help, so he ran into the forest to find the wise old hermit who lived there. The old man examined him carefully and handed him some leaves. "These are best for snakebite," he said "Bind them around your arm and keep them wet." "But I wasn't bitten by a snake," said the young man. "Those marks were made by my aunt's fingernails." The old hermit shook his head in despair. "The touch of a snake-woman is even worse," he said, "but try these leaves. They should help" The young man was appalled. "Is my aunt really a snake- woman?" he asked. "If you want to find out," the hermit replied, "stay awake tonight, and if a snake enters you room, cut off the tip of its tail." The young man wasn't sure how this would help, but he thanked the hermit for his advice and returned to his uncle's house. By afternoon, he was happy to see that the wet leaves had reduced the swelling. He watched his aunt closely that evening, but he didn't notice anything strange until she tasted her soup. She said it needed more "ssssseasoning" and lingered on the "s" as if she were hissing. Her nephew felt gooseflesh rise from the tips of his toes to the top of his head. He excused himself from the table and went up to his bedroom, but not to sleep. He planned to watch for the snake all night long.