From the author: Thoughts and inspiration regarding "The White Snake," my fantasy story for this week. This one is free for all readers.
Though I'm ethnically Chinese, I grew up in the US with parents who were likewise the children of emigrants, so most of my cultural knowledge came in fragments here and there. I knew of the story of Madame White Snake, but I didn't come across it until college, by which time it was one of many stories involving a man meeting a woman who was actually an animal of some kind. Generally they marry after the man unwittingly does a kind deed to the animal who returns as a woman, grateful for the favor.
One of my favorites involved a man who was very kind to a snail, that he took home and put in a vase where he diligently fed it fresh greens everyday, only to one day discover that the woman mysteriously doing housework for him was actually the snail!
Which is my roundabout way of saying, this particular white snake story is not intended to be a retelling of Madame White Snake, but is simply a culture clash between an American man (non-Chinese) who happens to meet and fall in love with one of these animal spirits, despite believing in no such thing. And why would he, when they aren't a part of what he grew up with?
If you like the story and would like more fantasy involving Chinese history or mythology, consider subscribing for more. You can also check out "Unfilial Child," which was previously featured on Curious Fictions, for a darker take on a creature of folklore.