In Serbia, the zmaj is revered(usually) as a benevolent being that is similar to the dragons of East Asia. A common description of these dragons states that they have a ram’s head and a serpent’s body. In addition to having great strength and wisdom, they are said to protect the people from the Ala, or Azjada, another creature that was believed to bring bad weather and storms that destroy crops.
The zmaj are also reputed to be able to take on different forms, including those of human beings. In human form, they were able to engage in one their favorite pastimes–the pursuit of women. Some zmaj are thought to be so engrossed in this activity to the extent that they abandon their duties protecting farmlands from bad weather. If the crops were destroyed by storms, villagers would gather to oust the zmaj from the houses of local women. The lust of the zmaj for mortal women is also a major theme in a Serbian folk tale known as The Tsarina Militza and the Zmaj of Yastrebatz.