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A žaltys (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[ʒɐlʲˈtʲǐːs], literally: grass snake) is a household spirit in the Lithuanian mythology. As sacred animal of the sun goddess Saulė,[1] it is a guardian of the home and a symbol of fertility.[2] People used to keep it as a pet by the stove or other special area of the house,[1] believing that it would bring good harvest and wealth.[2] Killing žaltys was said to bring great misfortunes upon the household.[1] If žaltys was found in the field, people gave it milk attempting to befriend the creature and make it a sacred household pet.[3]

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  1. ^ a b c Doniger, Wendy (2006). "Žaltys". Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions. Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 1160. ISBN 1-59339-491-8. 
  2. ^ a b Kiškienė, Elena (2008-05-09). "Uteniškių keiksmai". Šiaurės Atėnai (in Lithuanian) (892). 
  3. ^ Conway, D. J. (2001). Magickal, Mystical Creatures (2nd ed.). Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 128. ISBN 1-56718-149-X.