"The White Snake"
A kind-hearted servant of a king, the protagonist is a loyal man. The king eats a strange dish every day, brought to him by the servant. One day curiosity gets the best of him and he eats a part of the dish - a white snake. This gave him the ability to hear animals speak. As he journeyed after being released (he had been wrongly accused of a crime, and his reward was freedom), he came upon three trios of creatures, and helped them each in turn. Three fish were trapped in the reeds, so he put the fish back in the water; he avoided some ants so that he would not crush them; and he killed his horse so the starving baby birds would not die. When he later tried to win the hand of a princess by passing three tests, the animals helped him test by test, and he won her hand with their help and married her.