Tanneken, a wealthy sorceress, lives along the Slangenmeersch (a swamp) in the hamlet of ‘t Vergif (the poison). This is the place where witches gather to dance and sing. The story goes that people hear her singing at night and see her dancing on the roof of the barn.
It haunts a lot in the vicinity of her house. Children find ‘toe biters’ in their sheets and there are ‘ear crawlers’ in babies’ cots. The neighbours can no longer churn butter and suffer from bad nightmares. People start noticing that Tanneken has no problem to slide her chair around the fireplaced everywhere. One day, in the process, a small box of snake ointment falls from her apron.
Not much later, a workman sees a large snake crawling at the Slangenmeersch by moonshine. The evidence is abundantly clear: Tanneken deals with the devil and can turn herself into a snake! In the end, she herself dies from a poisonous snake bite.