Originating from Central Africa, the Guardian of the Pool is a giant, silver water snake with healing powers. The guardian lives at the bottom of a whirlpool in a fast river. People come to it for help with diseases without knowing that it is a snake, and are scared away by it before it can help them (Mandela 144-145).
Because of its difficult relationship with humans, the guardian of the pool is not a completely benevolent creature. Although it tries to help people, they are scared of it, and this leads to some good and some bad tales about the snake. Because of this complex relationship between the creature and the people, the snake seems to exemplify misunderstanding between people based on assumptions.