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Title: Folklore of the Santal Parganas
Author: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Folklore of the Santal Parganas


Translated by
Cecil Henry Bompas
of the Indian Civil Service



1909



Preface

The Santals are a Munda tribe, a branch of that aboriginal element
which probably entered India from the North East. At the present day
they inhabit the Eastern outskirts of the Chutia Nagpore plateau.

Originally hunters and dwellers in the jungle they are still but
indifferent agriculturists. Like the Mundas and Hos and other
representatives of the race, they are jovial in character, fond of
their rice beer, and ready to take a joke.

Their social organization is very complete; each village has its
headman or manjhi, with his assistant the paranik; the jogmanghi
is charged with the supervision of the morals of the young men and
women; the naeke is the village priest, the godet is the village
constable. Over a group of villages is the pargana or tribal chief. The
Santals are divided into exogamous septs--originally twelve in number,
and their social observances are complex, e.g. while some relations
treat each other with the greatest reserve, between others the utmost
freedom of intercourse is allowed.

Their religion is animistic, spirits (_bongas_) are everywhere around
them: the spirits of their ancestors, the spirit of the house, the
spirit dwelling in the patch of primeval forest preserved in each
village. Every hill tree and rock may have its spirit. These spirits
are propitiated by elaborate ceremonies and sacrifices which generally
terminate in dances, and the drinking of rice beer.

The Santal Parganas is a district 4800 sq. miles in area, lying
about 150 miles north of Calcutta, and was formed into a separate
administration after the Santals had risen in rebellion in 1856. The
Santals at present form about one-third of the population.

The stories and legends which are here translated have been collected
by the Rev. O. Bodding, D.D. of the Scandinavian Mission to the
Santals. To be perfectly sure that neither language nor ideas should in
any way be influenced by contact with a European mind he arranged for
most of them to be written out in Santali, principally by a Christian
convert named Sagram Murmu, at present living at Mohulpahari in the
Santal Parganas.

Santali is an agglutinative language of great regularity and complexity
but when the Santals come in contact with races speaking an Aryan
language it is apt to become corrupted with foreign idioms. The
language in which these stories have been written is beautifully
pure, and the purity of language may be accepted as an index that
the ideas have not been affected, as is often the case, by contact
with Europeans.

My translation though somewhat condensed is very literal, and the
stories have perhaps thereby an added interest as shewing the way in
which a very primitive people look at things. The Santals are great
story tellers; the old folk of the village gather the young people
round them in the evening and tell them stories, and the men when
watching the crops on the threshing floor will often sit up all night
telling stories.

There is however, no doubt that at the present time the knowledge of
these stories tends to die out. Under the peace which British rule
brings there is more intercourse between the different communities
and castes, a considerable, degree of assimilation takes place,
and old customs and traditions tend to be obliterated.

Several collections of Indian stories have been made, _e.g._ Stokes,
Indian Fairy Tales; Frere, Old Deccan Days; Day, Folk Tales of
Bengal; and Knowles' Folk Tales of Kashmir, and it will be seen
that all the stories in the present collection are by no means of
pure Santal origin. Incidents which form part of the common stock of
Indian folklore abound, and many of the stories professedly relate
to characters of various Hindu castes, others again deal with such
essentially Santal beliefs as the dealings of men and _bongas_.

The Rev. Dr. Campbell of Gobindpore published in 1891 a collection
of Santal Folk Tales. He gathered his material in the District of
Manbhum, and many of the stories are identical with those included in
the present volume. I have added as an appendix some stories which I
collected among the Hos of Singhbhum, a tribe closely related to the
Santals, and which the Asiatic Society of Bengal has kindly permitted
me to reprint here.

My task has been merely one of translation; it is due solely to Mr
Bodding's influence with, and intimate knowledge of, the people that
the stories have been committed to writing, and I have to thank him
for assistance and advice throughout my work of translation.

I have roughly classified the stories: in part 1 are stories of a
general character; part 2, stories relating to animals; in part 3,
stories which are scarcely folklore but are anecdotes relating to
Santal life; in Part 4, stories relating to the dealings of _bongas_
and men. In part 5, are some legends and traditions, and a few notes
relating to tribal customs. Part 6 contains illustrations of the
belief in witchcraft. I have had to omit a certain number of stories
as unsuited for publication.

C. H. Bompas.



Table of Contents

PART I


I.        Bajun and Jhore
II.       Anuwa and His Mother
III.      Ledha and the Leopard
IV.       The Cruel Stepmother
V.        Karmu and Dharmu
VI.       The Jealous Stepmother
VII.      The Pious Woman
VIII.     The Wise Daughter-in-Law
IX.       The Oilman and His Sons
X.        The Girl Who Found Helpers
XI.       How to Grow Rich
XII.      The Changed Calf
XIII.     The Koeri and the Barber
XIV.      The Prince Who Acquired Wisdom
XV.       The Monkey Boy
XVI.      The Miser's Servant
XVII.     Kuwar and the Rajahs Daughter
XVIII.    The Laughing Fish
XIX.      How the Cowherd Found a Bride
XX.       Kara and Guja
XXI.      The Magic Cow
XXII.     Lita and His Animals
XXIII.    The Boy Who Found His Father
XXIV.     The Oilman's Bullock
XXV.      How Sabai Grass Grew
XXVI.     The Merchant's Son and the Rajah's Daughter
XXVII.    The Flycatcher's Egg
XXVIII.   The Wife Who Would Not Be Beaten
XXIX.     Sahde Goala
XXX.      The Rajah's Son and the Merchant's Son
XXXI.     The Poor Widow
XXXII.    The Monkey and the Girl
XXXIII.   Ramai and the Animals
XXXIV.    The Magic Bedstead
XXXV.     The Ghormuhas
XXXVI.    The Boy Who Learnt Magic
XXXVII.   The Charitable Jogi
XXXVIII.  Chote and Mote
XXXIX.    The Daydreamer
XL.       The Extortionate Sentry
XLI.      The Broken Friendship
XLII.     A Story Told By a Hindoo
XLIII.    The Raibar and the Leopard
XLIV.     The Ungrateful Snake
XLV.      The Tiger's Bride
XLVI.     The Killing of the Tiger
XLVII.    The Dream
XLVIII.   The King of the Bhuyans
XLIX.     The Foolish Sons
L.        Kora and His Sister
LI.       A Story on Caste
LII.      Tipi and Tepa
LIII.     The Child With the Ears of the Ox
LIV.      The Child Who Knew His Father
LV.       Jogeshwar's Marriage
LVI.      The Strong Man
LVII.     The Rajah's Advice
LVIII.    The Four Jogis
LIX.      The Charitable Rajah
LX.       A Variant.--The Wandering Raja
LXI.      The Two Wives
LXII.     Spanling and His Uncles
LXIII.    The Silent Wife
LXIV.     The Dumb Shepherd
LXV.      The Good Daughter-in-Law
LXVI.     The Rajah's Dream
LXVII.    The Mongoose Boy
LXVIII.   The Stolen Treasure
LXIX.     Dukhu and His Bonga Wife
LXX.      The Monkey Husband
LXXI.     Lakhan and the Wild Buffaloes
LXXII.    The Boy with the Stag
LXXIII.   The Seven Brothers and the Bonga Girl
LXXIV.    The Tiger's Foster Child
LXXV.     The Caterpillar Boy
LXXVI.    The Monkey Nursemaid
LXXVII.   The Wife Who Could Not Keep a Secret
LXXVIII.  Sit and Lakhan
LXXIX.    The Rajah Who went to Heaven
LXXX.     Seven Tricks and Single Trick
LXXXI.    Fuljhari Rajah
LXXXII.   The Corpse of the Rajah's Son
LXXXIII.  The Sham Child
LXXXIV.   The Sons of the Kherohuri-Rajah
LXXXV.    The Dog Bride
LXXXVI.   Wealth or Wisdom
LXXXVII.  A Goala and the Cow
LXXXVIII. The Telltale Wife
LXXXIX.   The Bridegroom Who Spoke in Riddles
XC.       The Lazy Man
XCI.      Another Lazy Man
XCII.     The Widow's Son
XCIII.    The Boy Who Was Changed Into a Dog
XCIV.     Birluri and Birbanta
XCV.      The Killing of the Rakhas
XCVI.     The Children of the Vultures
XCVII.    The Ferryman
XCVIII.   Catching a Thief
XCIX.     The Grasping Rajah
C.        The Prince Who Would Not Marry
CI.       The Prince Who Found Two Wives
CII.      The Unfaithful Wife
CIII.     The Industrious Bride
CIV.      The Boy and His Fate
CV.       The Messengers of Death
CVI.      The Speaking Crab
CVII.     The Leopard Outwitted
CVIII.    The Wind and the Sun
CIX.      The Coldest Season


PART II


CX.       The Jackal and the Crow
CXI.      The Tiger Cub and the Calf
CXII.     The Jackal and the Chickens
CXIII.    The Jackal Punished
CXIV.     The Tigers and the Cat
CXV.      The Elephants and the Ants
CXVI.     A Fox and His Wife
CXVII.    The Jackal and the Crocodiles
CXVIII.   The Bullfrog and the Crab
CXIX.     The Hyena Outwitted
CXX.      The Crow and the Egret
CXXI.     The Jackal and the Hare
CXXII.    The Brave Jackal
CXXIII.   The Jackal and the Leopards


PART III


CXXIV.    The Fool and His Dinner
CXXV.     The Stingy Daughter
CXXVI.    The Backwards and Forwards Dance
CXXVII.   The Deaf Family
CXXVIII.  The Father-in-Law's Visit
CXXIX.    Ramai and Somai
CXXX.     The Two Brothers
CXXXI.    The Three Fools
CXXXII.   The Cure For Laziness
CXXXIII.  The Brahmin's Powers
CXXXIV.   Ram's Wife
CXXXV.    Palo
CXXXVI.   The Women's Sacrifice
CXXXVII.  The Thief's Son
CXXXVIII. The Divorce
CXXXIX.   The Father and the Father-in-Law
CXL.      The Reproof
CXLI.     Enigmas
CXLII.    The Too Particular Wife
CXLIII.   The Paharia Socialists
CXLIV.    How A Tiger Was Killed
CXLV.     The Goala's Daughter
CXLVI.    The Brahmin's Clothes
CXLVII.   The Winning of the Bride


PART IV


CXLVIII.  Marriage With Bongas
CXLIX.    The Bonga Heaven
CL.       Lakhan and the Bonga
CLI.      The House Bonga
CLII.     The Sarsagun-Maiden
CLIII.    The Schoolboy and the Bonga
CLIV.     The Bonga's Cave
CLV.      The Bonga's Victim
CLVI.     Baijal and the Bonga
CLVII.    Ramai and the Bonga
CLVIII.   The Boundary Bonga
CLIX.     The Bonga Exorcised


PART V


CLX.      The Beginning of Things
CLXI.     Chando and His Wife
CLXII.    The Sikhar Rajah
CLXIII.   The Origin of Tobacco
CLXIV.    The Transmigration of Souls
CLXV.     The Next World
CLXVI.    After Death
CLXVII.   Hares and Men
CLXVIII.  A Legend
CLXIX.    Pregnant Women
CLXX.     The Influence of the Moon
CLXXI.    Illegitimate Children
CLXXII.   The Dead
CLXXIII.  A Hunting Custom


Part VI


CLXXIV.   Witchcraft
CLXXV.    Of Dains and Ojhas
CLXXVI.   Initiation Into Witchcraft
CLXXVII.  Witch Craft
CLXXVIII. Witch Stories
CLXXIX.   Witch Stories
CLXXX.    Witch Stories
CLXXXI.   The Two Witches
CLXXXII.  The Sister-in-Law Who Was a Witch
CLXXXIII. Ramjit Bonga
CLXXXIV.  The Herd Boy and the Witches
CLXXXV.   The Man-Tiger


Glossary

Appendix

Folklore of the Kolhan



Part I.

In these stories there are many incidents which appear in stories
collected in other parts of India, though it is rather surprising
that so few of them appear elsewhere in their entirety. We have
however, instances of the husk myth, the youngest son who surpasses
his brother, the life of the ogre placed in some external object, the
jealous stepmother, the selection of a king by an elephant, the queen
whose husband is invariably killed on his wedding night, etc. etc.

Few of the old Indian stories found in the Kathâ Sarit Sâgara or the
Buddhist Birth stories appear in recognizable form in the present
collection.



I. Bajun and Jhore.

Once upon a time there were two brothers named Bajun and Jhore. Bajun
was married and one day his wife fell ill of fever. So, as he was
going ploughing, Bajun told Jhore to stay at home and cook the dinner
and he bade him put into the pot three measures of rice. Jhore stayed
at home and filled the pot with water and put it on to boil; then he
went to look for rice measures; there was only one in the house and
Jhore thought "My brother told me to put in three measures and if I
only put in one I shall get into trouble." So he went to a neighbour's
house and borrowed two more measures, and put them into the pot and
left them to boil. At noon Bajun came back from ploughing and found
Jhore stirring the pot and asked him whether the rice was ready. Jhore
made no answer, so Bajun took the spoon from him, saying "Let me feel
how it is getting on", but when he stirred with the spoon he heard a
rattling noise and when he looked into the pot he found no rice but
only three wooden measures floating about; then he turned and abused
Jhore for his folly, but Jhore said "You yourself told me to put in
three measures and I have done so." So Bajun had to set to work and
cook the rice himself and got his dinner very late.

Next day Bajun said to Jhore, "You don't know how to cook the dinner;
I will stay at home to-day, you go to plough, and take a hatchet
with you and if the plough catches in a root or anything, give a
cut with the hatchet." So Jhore went ploughing and when the plough
caught in anything and stopped, he gave a cut with his hatchet at
the legs of the bullocks; they backed and plunged with the pain and
then he only chopped at them the more until he lamed them both. At
noon Bajun saw the bullocks come limping back and asked what was
the matter with them. "O," said Jhore, "that is because I cut at
them as you told me." "You idiot," said Bajun, "I meant you to give
a cut at the roots in which the plough got caught, not at the legs
of the bullocks; how will you live if you do such silly things? You
cannot plough, you must stay at home and cook the rice. I will show
you this evening how it is done." So after that Jhore stayed at home
and cooked. Bajun's wife grew no better, so one day Bajun, before he
went to the fields, told Jhore to warm some water in order that his
wife might wash with it. But Jhore made the water boiling hot and
then took it and began to pour it over his sister-in-law as she lay
on her bed; she was scalded and shrieked out "Don't pour it over me,"
but Jhore only laughed and went on pouring until he had scalded her
to death. Then he wrapped her up in a cloth and brought her dinner to
her and offered it her to eat, but she was dead and made no answer to
him, so he left it by her and went and ate his own rice. When Bajun
came back and found his wife scalded to death he was very angry and
went to get an axe to kill Jhore with; thereupon Jhore ran away into
the jungle and Bajun pursued him with the axe.

In the jungle Jhore found a dead sheep and he took out its stomach and
called out "Where are you, brother, I have found some meat." But Bajun
answered, "I will not leave you till I have killed you." So Jhore ran
on and climbed up inside a hollow tree, where Bajun could not follow,
Bajun got a long stick and poked at him with it and as he poked, Jhore
let fall the sheep's stomach, and when Bajun saw it he concluded that
he had killed his brother. So he went home and burned the body of
his wife and a few days later he performed the funeral ceremonies to
the memory of his wife and brother; he smeared the floor of the house
with cowdung and sacrificed goats and fowls. Now Jhore had come back
that day and climbed up on to the rafters of the house, and he sat
there watching all that his brother did. Bajun cooked a great basket
of rice and stewed the flesh of the animals he had sacrified and
offered it to the spirits of the dead and he recited the dedication
"My wife I offer this rice, this food, for your purification," and
so saying he scattered some rice on the ground; and he also offered
to Jhore, saying, "Jhore, my brother, I offer this rice, this food,
for your purification," and then Jhore called out from the roof "Well,
as you offer it to me I will take it." Bajun had not bargained to get
any answer, so he was astounded and went to ask the villagers whether
their spirits made answer when sacrificed to: and the villagers told
him that they had never heard of such a thing. While Bajun was away
on this errand, Jhore took up the unguarded basket of rice and ran
away with it; after going some way he sat down by the road and ate
as much as he wanted, then he sat and called out "Is there anyone on
the road or in the jungle who wants a feast?" A gang of thieves who
were on a thieving expedition heard him and went to see what he meant;
he offered to let them eat the rice if they would admit him to their
company; they agreed and he went on with them to steal; they broke
into a rich man's house and the thieves began to collect the pots
and pans but Jhore felt about in the dark and got hold of a drum and
began to beat on it. This woke up the people of the house and they
drove away the thieves. Then the thieves abused Jhore and said that
they could not let him stay with them: "Very well", said he, "then
give me back the rice you ate." Of course they could not do this. So
they had to let him stay with them. Then they went to the house of a
rich Hindu who had a stable full of horses and they planned to steal
the horses and ride away with them; so each thief picked out a horse,
but Jhore got hold of a tiger which had come to the back of the stable
to kill one of the horses; and when the thieves mounted their horses,
Jhore mounted on the tiger, and the tiger ran off with him towards the
jungle. Jhore kept on calling out "Keep to the road, you Hindu horse,
keep to the road, you Hindu horse." But it dragged him through the
briars and bushes till he was dead and that was the end of Jhore.



II. Anuwa and His Mother.

Once there was a young fellow named Anuwa who lived with his old
mother, and when he was out ploughing his mother used to take him
his breakfast. One day a jackal met her on her way to the field with
her son's breakfast and told her to put down the food which she was
carrying or he would knock her down and bite her; so she put it down
in a fright and the jackal ate most of it and then went away and
the old woman took what was left to her son and told him nothing
about what had happened. This happened several days in succession;
at last one day Anuwa asked her why she brought so little rice and
that so untidily arranged; so she told him how she was attacked every
day by the jackal. Then they made a plan that the next day the mother
should take the plough afield, while Anuwa should dress up as an old
woman and carry the breakfast. This they did and the jackal met Anuwa
as usual and made him put down the breakfast basket, but while the
jackal was eating, Anuwa knocked him head over heels with his stick;
and the jackal got up and fled, threatening and cursing Anuwa. Among
other things the jackal as he ran away, had threatened to eat Anuwa's
_malhan_ plants, so Anuwa put a fence of thorns round them and when
the jackal came at night and tried to eat the pods he only got his
nose pricked.

Foiled in this the jackal called out "Well, I will eat your fowls
to-morrow;" but Anuwa the next night sat by the fowl house with a
sickle and when the jackal came and poked in his head, Anuwa gave him a
rap on the snout with the sickle, so the jackal made off crying "Well,
Anuwa, your fowls have pecked me on the head, you shall die." So the
next day Anuwa pretended to be dead and his mother went about crying;
she took her way to the jungle and there she met the jackal and she
told him that Anuwa had died in consequence of his curse and she
invited him to the funeral feast, saying that he used to eat the
rice which she had cooked and he had become like a son to her. The
jackal gladly promised to attend, and he collected a number of his
friends and at evening they went to Anuwa's house and sat down in
the courtyard. Then the old woman came out and began to bewail her
son: but the jackal said "Stop crying, grannie, you cannot get back
the dead: let us get on to the feast." So she said that she would
fry some cakes first, as it would take some time before the rice was
ready. The jackals approved of this but they asked her to tie them up
with a rope first lest they should get to fighting over the food, so
the old woman brought a thick rope and tied them all up and tightest
of all she tied up the jackal which had cursed Anuwa; then she went
inside and put an iron pan on the fire and from time to time she
sprinkled water on it and when the jackals heard the water hissing
they thought that it was the cakes frying and jumped about with
joy. Suddenly Anuwa came out with a thick stick and set to beating
the jackals till they bit through the ropes and ran away howling;
but the first jackal was tied so tightly that he could not escape,
and Anuwa beat him till he was senseless and lay without moving all
night. The next morning Anuwa took the jackal and tied him to a stake
near the place where the village women drew water and he put a thick
stick beside it and every woman who went for water would give the
jackal one blow with the stick. After a few days beating the body
of the jackal became all swollen and one night some other jackals
came there and asked him what he ate that he had got so fat and he
said that every one who came to draw water gave him a handful of rice
and that was why he was so fat; and if they did not believe him they
could take his place and try for themselves.

So one jackal agreed to try and untied the first jackal and let himself
be tied in his place, but in the morning five women came down and
each gave him a blow with the stick till he jumped about for pain,
and seeing him jumping other women came and beat him till he died.



III. Ledha and the Leopard.

Once upon a time a boy named Ledha was tending cattle with other
boys at the foot of a hill, and these boys in fun used to call out
"Ho, leopard: Ho, leopard," and the echo used to answer from the hill
"Ho, leopard." Now there really was a leopard who lived in the hill
and one day he was playing hide and seek with a lizard which also
lived there. The lizard hid and the leopard looked every where for
it in vain. At last the leopard sat down to rest and it chanced that
he sat right on top of the lizard which was hiding in a hole. The
lizard thought that the leopard meant to hurt it and in revenge bit
him and fastened on to his rump so that he could not get it off,
so that day when the boys came calling out "Ho, leopard," he ran
towards them to get their help: but when they saw the leopard they
all fled for their lives. Ledha however could not run fast because
he was lame, and the leopard headed him off and begged him to remove
the lizard. This he did after the leopard had sworn not to eat him,
and before they parted the leopard made him promise to tell no one
that the lizard had bitten him, and said that if he told then he would
be carried off and eaten. So Ledha rejoined his companions and told
them nothing of what had passed between him and the leopard. But that
night when they had all gone to bed, Ledha's sister-in-law began to
worry him to tell her what the leopard had said to him, when it had
caught him. He told her that the leopard would eat him if he told,
but she coaxed him and said that no one could hear them inside the
house; so at last he told her that he had taken off a lizard which
was hanging on to its rump. Then they went to sleep; but the leopard
was hiding at the back of the house and heard all that they said;
and when they were all asleep, he crept in and carried off Ledha's bed
with Ledha in it on his head. When Ledha woke up towards morning, he
found himself being carried through dense jungle and he quietly pulled
himself up into one of the trees which overhung the path. Thus when
the leopard put down the bed and was going to eat Ledha, he found it
empty. So he went back on his track and by and bye came to the tree
in which Ledha was hiding. The leopard begged Ledha to come down,
as he had something to say to him, and promised not to eat him; but
directly Ledha reached the ground the leopard said "Now I am going to
eat you." Ledha was powerless, so he only asked to be allowed to have
one chew of tobacco before he died; the leopard assented and Ledha
felt in his cloth for his tobacco, but the tobacco did not come out
easily and as Ledha felt about for it the dry tobacco leaves crackled;
the leopard asked what the crackling sound was, and Ledha said "That
is the lizard which bit you yesterday;" then the leopard got into a
terrible fright and ran away as hard as he could, calling out "Don't
let it loose: Don't let it loose."

So Ledha was saved from the leopard, but he did not know his way out
of the jungle. He wandered about, till he came to the place where the
wild buffaloes used to sleep at night, and he swept up the place and
made it clean and then took refuge in a hollow tree; he stayed there
some days, sweeping up the place daily and supporting himself on the
fruit of a fig-tree. At last one day the buffaloes left one cow behind
to watch and see who it was who swept up their sleeping place. The cow
pretended to be too ill to rise, and Ledha after watching for some
time came out and swept the ground as usual, and then tried to pull
the sick cow up by the tail; but she would not move so he went back to
his hollow tree. When the buffaloes returned they heard that it was a
kindhearted man who cleaned their sleeping place; so they called Ledha
out and said that they would keep him as their servant to clean their
sleeping place and to scrub them when they bathed in the river; they
made him taste the milk of all the cows and appointed the cow whose
milk he liked best to supply him. Thenceforward he used to wander
about with the buffaloes and he made a flute and used to play on it.

One day after scrubbing the buffaloes he washed his head in the river
and some of his hairs came out; so he wrapped them up in a leaf and
set the packet to float down the stream. Lower down the stream two
princesses were bathing with their attendants, and when they saw
the packet they tried who could fish it out and it was the younger
princess who caught it. Then they measured the hairs and found them
twelve cubits long. The princess who had taken the packet from the
water went home and took to her bed and said that she would not
eat until the man was found to whom the hairs belonged. Her father,
the Raja, sent messengers in all directions to search for the man
but they could not find him. Then he sent a parrot and the parrot
flew up high and looking down saw Ledha with the buffaloes in the
forest; but it did not dare to go near, so the parrot returned and
told the Raja that the man was in the forest but that no messenger
could approach for fear of the wild buffaloes. However a crow said,
"I can bring him if any one can," so they sent the crow and it went
and perched on the backs of the buffaloes and began to peck them;
then Ledha threw stones at it, but it would not go away; then he threw
a stick at it and last of all he threw his flute. The crow caught up
the flute and flew up to a tree with it. Ledha ran after it, but the
crow kept flying on a short distance and Ledha still pursued until he
came to the Raja's city. The crow flew on till it entered the room
where the princess lay, and dropped the flute into the hands of the
princess. Ledha followed right into the room and they shut him in
and the princess gave him his flute after he had promised to marry her.

So he stayed there a long time, but meanwhile the buffaloes all got
weak and ill for want of some one to look after them. One day Ledha
set off to the jungle with his wife to see them and when he saw how
ill the buffaloes were, he decided to build a house in the jungle
and live there. And the Raja sent them money and horses and cattle
and elephants and servants and they built a palace and Ledha subdued
all the jungle and became a great Raja; and he made a highway to his
father-in-law's home and used to go to and fro on it.



IV. The Cruel Stepmother.

There was once a Raja whose wife died leaving him with one young
child. He reared it with great care and when it could toddle about
it took a great fancy to a cat; the child was always playing with it
and carrying it about.

All his friends begged the Raja to marry again, but he said that he
was sure that a stepmother would be cruel to his child; at last they
persuaded him to promise to marry again, if a bride could be found
who would promise to care for the child as her own, so his friends
looked out for a bride; but though they found plenty of girls who
were anxious to marry the Raja, not one would promise to care for
his child as her own. There was a young widow in a certain village
who heard of what was going on, and one day she asked whether a
bride had been found for the Raja and she was told that no one was
willing to take charge of the child. "Why don't they agree," said she,
"I would agree fast enough. If I were Rani I should have nothing to
do but look after the child and I would care for it more than its own
mother could." This came to the ears of the Raja and he sent for the
widow and was pleased with her looks, and when she promised to love
his child as her own, he married her.

At first no one could be kinder to the child than she was, but in the
course of time she had a child of her own and then she began to be
jealous of the elder child; and she thought daily how she could get
rid of him. He was still devoted to his cat and one day when he came
back to the house, he asked his stepmother where the cat was. She
answered angrily, "The cat has bewitched the boy! It is 'cat, cat,'
all day long." At this the child began to cry; so she found the cat
and threw it to him, saying, "Here is your cat: you are mad about
your cat." But the boy hugged it in his arms and kept on crying at his
stepmother's cross words. As he would not keep quiet his stepmother got
more angry still; and catching hold of the cat she scratched her own
arms and legs with the cat's claws until the blood flowed; then she
began to cry and scold and when the neighbours came to see what was
the matter, she told them that the boy had let his cat scratch her;
and the neighbours saw that she was not loving the boy as she promised.

Presently the Raja came in and asked what was the matter; she turned
and scolded him saying: "You have reared the accursed cat and it has
scratched me finely; look, it has taken all the skin off; this is the
way the boy repays me for all my trouble. I will not stay with you; if
I stay the boy will injure me like this again." The Raja said, "Don't
cry like a baby; how can a simple child like that know better? when
he grows up I will scold him." But the woman persisted and declared
that she would go away with her own child unless the Raja promised
to kill his elder son. The Raja refused to do this, so the Rani took
up her baby and went out of the house with it in a rage. Now the Raja
was deeply in love with her and he followed and stopped her, and said
that he could not let her take away his younger child; she answered,
"Why trouble about the child? it is mine; I have left you your boy,
if you don't kill him, when he grows up, he will tell you some lie
about me and make you have me beaten to death." At last the Raja
said "Well, come back and if the boy does you any harm I will kill
him." But the Rani said. "Either kill him now or let me go." So at
last the Raja promised and brought her back to the palace. Then the
Raja called the boy and gave him his dinner and told him that they
were going on a visit to his uncle's: and the child was delighted
and fetched his shoes and umbrella, and off they set, and a dog came
running after them. When they came to a jungle the Raja told his son
to sit under a tree and wait for him, and he went away and killed the
dog that had followed them and smeared the blood on his axe and went
home, leaving the child.

When his father did not return, the child began to cry, and Thakur
heard him and came down, and to frighten the boy and make him leave
the jungle he came in the guise of a leopard; but the child would not
move from where he was; then Thakur appeared as a bear, and as a snake
and an elephant and in many other forms but the child would not move;
so at last Thakur took the form of an old woman, who lifted him in
her arms and soothed him and carried him to the edge of the jungle
and left him on the outskirts of a village.

In the morning a rich Brahman found him and took him home, and as no
one claimed the child he brought him up and made him his goat-herd,
and they gave him the name of Lela. The Brahman's sons and daughters
used to go school, and before he took his goats out to graze Lela
used to carry their books to the school. And going to the school every
day Lela got to know one or two letters and used to draw them in the
sand while minding his goats; later he got the children to give him
an old book saying that he wanted to pretend to the other boys that
he could read and out of this book he taught himself to read: and as
he grew up he became quite a scholar. One day he picked up a letter
and found that it was from one of the village girls arranging to elope
that very evening with a young man. At the appointed time Lela went to
the rendez-vous and hid himself in a tree; soon he saw the Brahman's
daughter come to the place, but as her letter had not been delivered
her lover did not appear. The girl got tired of waiting and then she
began to call to her lover, thinking that perhaps he was hiding for
a joke. When she called, Lela answered from the tree and she thought
that it was her lover and said "Come down and let us be off." So
Lela came down and they started off together; when day dawned she saw
that it was Lela who was with her and she sat down and upbraided him
for deceiving her. Lela said that they had met by chance; he had not
enticed her away, no harm had been done and she could go home if she
liked or come away with him if she liked. The girl considered but she
saw that if she went home now she would be disgraced and her family
would be outcasted, so in the end she agreed to run away with Lela.

They went on and after travelling some days they came to a great
city, where they took up their quarters in a tumble-down house and
the next morning Lela went into the city to look for work. He went to
the cutcherry and enrolled himself as a _muktear_ (attorney) and soon
the litigants and the magistrates found out how clever he was and he
acquired a big practice. One day the Raja said, "This fellow is very
handsome, I wonder what his wife is like?" And he sent an old woman
to see; so the old woman went and got into conversation with Lela's
wife and returned to the Raja and told him that none of his wives was
so beautiful as Lela's wife; so the Raja determined to go and see
her himself, and as the old woman said that she would hide herself
in the house if she saw the Raja coming, he disguised himself as a
poor man and went and saw her; he found that the old woman had not
exaggerated and he determined to possess himself of Lela's wife. He
had first to get Lela out of the way, so he sent for him and said,
"You are a fine fellow and have given me satisfaction. I have one
more commission for you, if you perform it I will give you half my
kingdom and my sister in marriage." Lela said that he must hear what
it was before he made any promise. The Raja said "It is this: in a
certain mountain grows the Chandmoni Kusum flower; bring it to me
and I will give you what I have promised:"--but the Raja felt sure
that if Lela went to the mountain he would be eaten by the Rakhas
(ogress) who dwelt there. Lela said that he would go if the Raja
gave him a written bond In the presence of witnesses; and this the
Raja willingly did. Then Lela went and told his wife and she said,
"This is excellent: I have a younger sister in the mountain, her name
is Chandmoni and it was she who planted the Chandmoni Kusum flower;
when you get there call her by her name and she will certainly give
you the flower."

So Lela started off and when he was gone his wife fell ill, and
her body became a mass of sores. Directly Lela was out of the way,
the Raja sent the old woman to see what his wife was doing and she
brought back word that she was afflicted with illness; so the Raja
sent medicines and told the old woman to nurse her. Lela went off and
came to the cave in the mountain where Chandmoni lived with the Rakhas;
and the Rakhas was away hunting men, so Lela called out Chandmoni and
told her who he was and begged her to hide him; then they planned how
they should kill the Rakhas, and she hid him in the cave; presently
the Rakhas returned and said to Chandmoni "I smell a man: where is
he?" But Chandmoni said that there was no one there but herself;
and that the smell was probably due to the Rakhas having been eating
human flesh and recommended her to anoint herself with hot ghee. The
Rakhas agreed: so Chandmoni put a great iron pan of ghee on to boil,
and when it was boiling she called the Rakhas, and as the Rakhas was
leaning over the pan, Lela ran out and pushed her into the boiling
ghee and she died. Then Chandmoni asked Lela why he had come, and
he told her, "to fetch the flower." She promised to give it to him
but asked what was to become of her now that the ogress with whom she
lived was dead. Lela promised to take her with him, so they cut off the
tongue and ears and claws of the Rakhas and returned to the city. And
directly Lela returned, his first wife recovered from her illness.

Then the Raja saw that it was useless to contend with Lela, and he
gave him half his kingdom and married him to his sister according
to his bond. So Lela lived with his three Ranis and they bore him
children and after some years he told them that he was the son of a
Raja and he wished to visit his own country and see whether his father
was alive. So they set out in great style with horses and elephants
and came to the town where Lela's father lived. Now five or six days
after abandoning Lela, his father had become blind and, he made over
the management of his kingdom to a Dewan, and the Dewan and the Rani
managed everything. When the Dewan heard that Lela had come with a
great force he thought that he would loot the country and he ran away
in fear. Then Lela sent word to his father to come to him, as he was
the son who had been abandoned in the jungle, so the Raja set forth
joyfully and after he had gone a few paces he began to see dimly,
and by the time that he came to Lela's camp he had quite recovered
his eyesight. When they met, father and son embraced and wept over
each other; and Lela ordered a feast to be prepared and while this
was being done a maidservant came running to say that the wicked
Rani had hanged herself, so they went and burned the body and then
returned and enjoyed the feast. Then the Raja resigned his kingdom
to Lela and the ryots begged him to stay and rule over them; so he
remained there and lived happily ever after.



V. Karmu and Dharmu.

There were once two brothers Karmu and Dharmu. Karmu was a farmer and
Dharmu was a trader; once when Dharmu was away from home Karmu gave
a religious feast and did not invite Dharmu's household; when Dharmu
returned and learnt this, he told his wife that he also would perform
the ceremonies in his house, so they set to work and were employed
in cooking rice and vegetables far into the night; and Karam Gosain
came down to see what preparations Dharmu was making in his honour,
and he watched from the back of the house.

Just then Dharmu strained off the water from the cooked rice and threw
it out of the window, and it fell on Karam Gosain and scalded him, and
as the flies and insects worried the wound, Karam Gosain went off to
the Ganges and buried himself in the middle of the stream. As he had
thus offended Karam Gosain, all Dharmu's undertakings failed and he
fell into deep poverty, and had not even enough to eat, so he had to
take service with his brother Karmu. When the time for transplanting
the rice came, Dharmu used to plough and dig the ditches and mend the
gaps along with the day labourers. Karmu told him not to work himself
but act as overseer of the other labourers, and the labourers also told
him that it was not suitable for him to work as a labourer himself,
but Dharmu said that he must earn his wages and insisted on working;
and in the same way Dharmu's wife might have acted as overseer of
the women, but she was ashamed not to work too.

One day they were transplanting the rice and Karmu brought out
breakfast for the labourers; he told Dharmu and his wife to wash their
hands and come and eat; but they answered that they belonged to the
household and that the hired labourers should be fed first, so the
labourers ate and they ate up all the rice and there was nothing left
for Dharmu and his wife. When the midday meal was brought the same
thing happened, Dharmu and his wife got nothing; but they hoped that
it would be made up to them when the wages were paid, and worked
on fasting. At evening when they came to pay the wages in kind,
Dharmu's name was called out first, but he told his brother to pay
the labourers first, and in doing this the paddy was all used up and
there was nothing left for Dharmu and his wife; so they went home
sorrowfully and their children cried for food and they had nothing
to give them. In the night Dharmu's wife said "They promised to pay
us for merely looking after the work and instead, we worked hard
and have still got nothing. We will not work for them anymore; come,
let us undo the work we did to-day, you cut down the embankments you
repaired, and I will uproot the seedlings which I planted." So they
went out into the night to do this. But whenever Dharmu raised his
spade a voice called out "Hold, hold!" And whenever his wife put out
her hand to pull up the rice a voice called out "Hold, hold!" Then they
said "Who are you who stop us?" And the voice answered "You have done
evil and offended Karam Gosain by scalding him; this is why you have
become poor and to-day have worked without food and without wages;
he has gone to the Ganges and you must go and propitiate him." And
they asked how they should propitiate him, and the voice said "Grind
turmeric and put it on a plate, and buy new cloth and dye it with
turmeric and make ready oil and take these things to the Ganges and
call on Karam Gosain." And they believed the voice and the next day
did as it commanded, and set off, leaving their children in charge
of Karmu. On the way they came to a fig-tree full of figs and they
went to eat the fruit; but when they got near they found that all
the figs were full of grubs, and they sang:--


    "Exhausted by hunger we came to a fig-tree,
    And found it full of grubs,
    O Karam Gosain, how far off are you?"


Then they came to a mango tree and the same thing happened. And they
went on and saw a cow with a calf; and they thought that they would
milk the cow and drink the milk, but when they went to catch it it
ran away from them and would not let itself be caught; and they sang:--


    "We go to catch the cow and it runs away,
    We go to catch the calf and it runs away,
    O Karam Gosain how far off are you?"


But the cow said to them--"Go to the banks of the Ganges." Then
they came to a buffalo and went to milk it, but it lowered its head
and charged them; and Dharam cried but his wife said "Don't cry"
and sang:--


    "If you go to catch the buffalo, Dharmu,
    It will kill you.
    How shall we drink milk? How shall we drink milk?
    How far off are you, O our Karam Gosain?"


And the buffalo said "Go on to the bank of the Ganges." Then they came
to a horse and they thought that they would catch it and mount it,
but it kicked and snorted; and they sang:--


    "Dharmu tries to catch the horse:
    But it kicks and runs away.
    How shall we reach the Ganges?
    O Karam Gosain, how far off are you?"


And the horse said "Go to the banks of the Ganges." Then they saw an
elephant but it would not let them approach, so they decided to push
on straight for the river; and they saw under a banyan tree a large
pot full of rupees, but they were so disheartened that they made no
attempt to touch it; then they met a woman who asked where they were
going and when she heard, she said "For twelve years I have had a _pai_
measure stuck on my throat; ask Karam Gosain for me how I am to get
rid of it," and they promised; and going on they met a woman with a
bundle of thatching grass stuck to her head; and she made them promise
to ask Karam Gosain how she could be freed; then they met a woman with
both her feet burning in a fire and another with a stool stuck fast
to her back and they promised to enquire how these might be delivered.

So at last they came to the Ganges and they stood on the bank and
called to Karam Gosain; and when he came they caught hold of him and
he said "Fie, what low caste person is touching me?" But they said. "It
is no low caste person, but Dharmu." Then they bathed him and anointed
him with oil and turmeric and wrapped him in the new cloth which they
had brought, and thus they persuaded him to return; so they rose up
to go back, and Dharmu asked about the women whom they had met, and
Karam Gosain said: "The woman has a stool stuck to her back because
when visitors came she never offered them a seat; let her do so in
future, and she will be freed; and the woman has her feet burning in
the fire because she pushed the fuel into the fire with her foot; let
her not do so in future, and she will be freed; and the woman has the
thatching grass stuck to her head because when she saw a friend with
straw sticking in her hair she did not tell her about it; let her do
so in future and she will be freed; and the woman has the pai measure
stuck to her throat because, when her neighbour wanted to borrow her
measure, she would not lend it; let her do so in future and she will
be freed." And Karam Gosain asked whether they had seen an elephant
and a horse and a buffalo and a cow and money and mangoes and figs and
Dharmu said "Yes," but that he had not been able to catch the animals
and the fruit was bad. Karam Gosain promised them that on their way
back they should take possession of all; and they did so and mounted
on the elephant and returned to their home with great wealth. On their
way they met the four women and told them how they could be saved from
their troubles. The villagers welcomed Dharmu and he arranged a great
feast and gave paddy to all the villagers to husk; but when they had
boiled it the weather became cloudy so that they could not dry it,
so they prayed to the sun and he at once shone out and dried the paddy.

Then a day was fixed and they prepared rice beer, and worshipped
Karam Gosain and they danced all night and got very drunk and enjoyed
themselves.



VI. The Jealous Stepmother.

There was once a man whose wife died leaving him with one son and
after a year he married again. The second wife was very jealous of the
son and she told her husband that she would not stay with him unless
he killed the boy; at first he refused but she insisted and then he
said that he was frightened to do the deed, but she might kill the
boy herself if she liked. She said, "No: he is your son and you must
kill him; if he were mine I would do it. You need not be frightened;
when you take him out ploughing make him drive the front plough, and
you sharpen your plough pole to a point and drive it into him from
behind and kill him and then it will seem to be an accident." So the
man promised and made a sharp point to his plough pole but whenever
they ploughed, the son drove his plough so fast that the father could
not catch him up and so the boy was not killed; then the woman abused
her husband and said that he was deceiving her. So he promised to
finish the business the next day and told her to give the boy a good
hot breakfast before they started, so that he might receive one last
kindness, and he said that they must find some other way of killing
him because all the ploughing was finished; but his wife told him he
could plough down their crop of _goondli_, the bullocks would stop
to eat the _goondli_ as they went along and so he would easily catch
up his son. Accordingly the next morning father and son took out the
ploughs and the boy asked where they should plough, and the father said
that they would plough down the field of _goondli_. But the boy said
"Why should we do that? it is a good crop and will be ripe in a day
or two; it is too late to sow again, we shall lose this crop and who
knows whether we shall get anything in its place?"

And the father thought 'What the boy says is true; the first crop
is like the first child, if I kill him who will support me in my
old age? Who knows whether my second wife will have children. I will
not kill him however angry she be;' so they unyoked their ploughs and
went home. He told his wife that he would not kill the boy and scolded
her and ended by giving her a beating. Then she ran away in a passion
but he did not trouble to go and look for her and in a few days her
father and brothers brought her back, and her husband told them what
had happened and they also scolded her and told her to mend her ways.



VII. The Pious Woman.

There was once a very pious woman and her special virtue was that she
would not eat or drink on any day until she had first given alms to a
beggar. One day no beggar came to her house, so by noon she got tired
of waiting, and, tying in her cloth some parched rice, she went to the
place where the women drew water. When she got there she saw a Jugi
coming towards her, she greeted him and said that she had brought
dried rice for him. He said that omens had bidden him come to her
and that he came to grant her a boon: she might ask one favour and
it would be given her. The woman said: "Grant me this boon--to know
where our souls go after death, and to see at the time of death how
they escape, whether through the nose or the mouth, and where they
go to; and tell me when I shall die and where my soul will go to;
this I ask and no more." Then the Jugi answered, "Your prayer is
granted, but you must tell no one; if you do, the power will depart
from you." So saying he took from his bag something like a feather and
brushed her eyes with it and washed them with water. Then the woman's
eyes were opened and she saw spirits--_bongas, bhuts, dains, churins_,
and the souls of dead men; and the Jugi told her not to be afraid,
but not to speak to them lest men should think her mad; then he took
his leave, and she returned home. Now in the village lived a poor man
and his wife and they were much liked because they were industrious
and obedient; shortly afterwards this poor man died and the pious
woman saw men come with a palankin and take away the poor man's soul
with great ceremony. She was pleased at the sight and thought that
the souls of all men were taken away like this. But shortly afterwards
her father-in-law died. He had been a rich man, but harsh, and while
the family were mourning the pious woman saw four sipahis armed with
iron-shod staves and of fierce countenance come to the house and two
entered and took the father-in-law by the neck and thrust him forth;
they bound him and beat him, they knocked him down and as he could
not walk they dragged him away by his legs. The woman followed him to
the end of the garden and when she saw him being dragged away, she
screamed. When her husband's relatives saw her screaming and crying
they were angry and said that she must have killed her father-in-law
by witchcraft, for she did not sit by the corpse and cry but went to
the end of the garden. So after the body had been burnt they held
a council and questioned her and told her that they would hold her
to be a witch, if she could not explain. So she told them of the
power which the Jugi had conferred on her and of what she had seen,
and they believed her and acquitted her of the charge of witchcraft;
but from that time she lost her power and saw no more spirits.



VIII. The Wise Daughter-in-Law.

There was once a rich man who had seven sons, but one day his wife
died and after this the family fell into poverty. All their property
was sold and they lived by selling firewood in the bazar. At last the
wife of the eldest son said to her father-in-law. "I have a proposal
to make: Do you choose one of us to be head of the family whom all
shall obey; we cannot all be our own masters as at present." The old
man said "Well, I choose you," and he assembled the whole family and
made them promise to obey the wife of his eldest son.

Thereupon she told them that they must all go out into the fields
and bring her whatever they found. So the next day they went out
in different directions and the old man found some human excrement
and he thought "Well, my daughter-in-law told me to bring whatever
I found" so he wrapped it up in leaves and took it home; and his
daughter-in-law told him that he had done well and bade him hang
up the packet at the back of the house. A few days later he found
the slough of a snake and he took that home and his daughter-in-law
told to tie a clod of earth to it to prevent its being blown away,
and to throw it on to the roof of the house.

Some years after the Raja of the country was ill with cancer of the
face and none of the _ojhas_ could cure him. At last one _ojha_ said
that there was only one medicine which could effect a cure, but he
saw no chance of obtaining it and that was human excrement 12 years
old. Then the Raja sent messengers throughout the kingdom offering a
reward of 200 Rupees to any one who could supply excrement twelve years
old; and when a messenger came to the village where this family lived
the daughter-in-law produced the packet which the old man had brought
home and received the reward of 200 Rupees; and they were all delighted
at making so much money by what the old man had brought home in jest.

And again it happened that the son of a Raja was bathing and he left
his gold belt on the bank and a kite thought it was a snake and flew
off with it. The prince was much distressed at the loss but the Raja
told him not to grieve as the kite must have dropped it somewhere and
he would offer a reward of a thousand rupees for it. Now the kite had
soon found that the belt was not good to eat and seeing the snake's
skin which the old man had thrown on to the roof of the house, it
dropped the belt and flew off with the skin; and the daughter-in-law
picked up the belt and when criers came round offering a reward she
produced it and received the money. And they praised her wisdom and
by this means the family became rich again.



IX. The Oilman and His Sons.

There was once an oilman with five sons and they were all married
and lived jointly with their father. But the daughters-in-law were
discontented with this arrangement and urged their husbands to ask
their father to divide the family property. At first the old man
refused, but when his sons persisted, he told them to bring him a
log two cubits long and so thick that two hands could just span it,
and he said that if they could break the log in two, he would divide
the property; so they brought the log and then asked for axes, but he
told them that they must break it themselves by snapping it or twisting
it or standing on it; so they tried and failed. Then the old man said,
"You are five and I make six; split the log into six," So they split it
and he gave each a piece and told them to break them, and each easily
snapped his stick; then the old man said "We are like the whole log: we
have plenty of property and are strong and can overcome attack; but if
we separate we shall be like the split sticks and easily broken." They
admitted that this was true and proposed that the property should not
be divided but that they should all become separate in mess. But the
father would not agree to this for he thought that people would call
him a miser if he let his sons live separately without his giving
them their share in the property as their own, So as they persisted
in their folly he partitioned the property.

But in a few years they all fell into poverty and had not enough to
eat nor clothes to wear, and the father and mother were no better off;
then the old man called all his sons and their wives and said "You see
what trouble you have fallen into; I have a riddle for you, explain
it to me. There are four wells, three empty and one full of water;
if you draw water from the full one and pour it into the three empty
ones they will become full; but when they are full and the first one
is empty, if you pour water from the three full ones into the empty
one it will not be filled; what does this mean?" And they could not
answer and he said, "The four wells mean that a man had three sons,
and while they were little he filled their stomachs as the wells were
filled with water; but when they separated they would not fill the
old man's stomach."

And it was true, that the sons had done nothing to help their father
and they were filled with shame and they agreed that as long as their
father lived they would be joint with him and would not separate
again until he died.



X. The Girl Who Found Helpers.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers, and they were all married,
and they had one sister who was not married. The brothers went away
to a far country for a whole year, leaving their wives at home. Now
the wives hated their sister-in-law and did their best to torment
her. So one day they gave her a pot full of holes and told her to
bring it back full of water; and threatened that if she failed she
should have no food. So she took the pot to the spring and there sat
down and cried and sang:--


    "I am fetching water in a pot full of holes,
    I am fetching water in a pot full of holes,
    How far away have my brothers gone to trade."


After she had cried a long time, a number of frogs came up out of
the water and asked her what was the matter, and she told them that
she must fill the pot with water, and was not allowed to stop the
holes with clay or lac. Then they told her not to cry, and said, that
they would sit on the holes and then the water would not run out;
they did this and the girl dried her eyes and filled the pot with
water and took it home. Her sisters-in-law were much disappointed at
her success, but the next day they told her to go to the jungle and
bring back a bundle of leaves, but she was to use no rope for tying
them up. So she went to the jungle and collected the leaves and then
sat down and cried and sang:--


    "I am to fetch leaves without a rope
    I am to fetch leaves without a rope
    How far have my brothers gone to trade?"


and as she cried a _buka sobo_ snake came out and asked why she was
crying, and when she told it, it said that it would coil itself round
the leaves in place of a rope. So it stretched itself out straight
and she piled the leaves on the top of it and the snake coiled itself
tightly round them and so she was able to carry the bundle home on her
head. Her sisters-in-law ran to see how she managed it, but she put
the bundle down gently and the snake slipped away unperceived. Still
they resolved to try again; so the next day they sent her to fetch
a bundle of fire wood, but told her that she was to use no rope to
tie it with. So she went to the jungle and collected the sticks and
then sat down and cried:--


    "I am to bring wood without tying it,
    I am to bring wood without tying it,
    How far have my brothers gone to trade?"


and as she cried a python came out and asked what was the matter,
and when it heard, it told her not to cry and said that it would act
as a rope to bind up the sticks; so it stretched itself out and she
laid the sticks on it and then it coiled itself round them and she
carried the bundle home.

As the sisters-in-law had been baffled thus, they resolved on another
plan and proposed that they should all go and gather sticks in the
jungle; and on the way they came to a _machunda_ tree in full flower
and they wanted to pick some of the flowers. The wicked sisters-in-law
at first began to climb the tree, but they pretended that they could
not and kept slipping down; then they hoisted their sister-in-law into
the branches and told her to throw down the flowers to them. But while
she was in the tree, they tied thorns round the trunk so that she could
not descend and then left her to starve. After she had been in the tree
a long time, her brothers passed that way on their return journey,
and sat down under the tree to rest; the girl was too weak to speak
but she cried and her tears fell on the back of her eldest brother,
and he looked up and saw her; then they rescued her and revived her
and listened to her story; and they were very angry and vowed to
have revenge. So they gave their sister some needles and put her in a
sack and put the sack on one of the pack-bullocks. And when they got
home, they took the sack off gently and told their wives to carry it
carefully inside the house, and on no account to put it down. But when
the wives took it up, the girl inside pricked them with the needles so
that they screamed and let the sack fall. Their husbands scolded them
and made them take it up again, and they had to carry it in, though
they were pricked till the blood ran down. Then the brothers enquired
about all that had happened in their absence, and at last asked after
their sister, and their wives said that she had gone to the jungle
with some friends to get firewood. But the brothers turned on them and
told how they had found her in the _machunda_ tree and had brought her
home in the sack, and their wives were dumbfounded. Then the brothers
said that they had made a vow to dig a well and consecrate it; so they
set to work to dig a well two fathoms across and three fathoms deep;
and when they reached water, they fixed a day for the consecration;
and they told their wives to put on their best clothes and do the
_cumaura_ (betrothal) ceremony at the well. So the wives went to the
well, escorted by drummers, and as they stood in a row round the well,
each man pushed his own wife into it and then they covered the well
with a wooden grating and kept them in it for a whole year and at
the end of the year they pulled them out again.

               *       *       *       *       *

Another version of this story gives three other tasks preliminary to
those given above and begins as follows:--

Once upon a time there was a girl named Hira who had seven
brothers. The brothers went away to a far country to trade leaving
her alone in the house with their wives; these seven sisters-in-law
hated Hira and did what they could to torment her; one day they sowed
a basketful of mustard seed in a field and then told her to go and
pick it all up; she went to the field and began to lament, singing:--


    "They have sown a basket of mustard seed!
    Oh, how far away have my brothers gone to trade."


As she cried a flock of pigeons came rustling down and asked her what
was the matter, and when they heard, they told her to be comforted;
they at once set to work picking up the mustard grain by grain and
putting it into her basket; soon the basket was quite full and she
joyfully took it home and showed it to her sisters-in-law. Then they
set her another task and told her to bring them some bear's hair that
they might weave it into a hair armlet for her wedding. So she went off
to the jungle and sat down to cry; as she wept two bear cubs came up
and asked what was the matter; when she told her story they bade her
be of good cheer and took her into their cave and hid her. Presently
the mother bear came back and suckled her cubs, and when they had
finished they asked their mother to leave them some of her hair that
they might amuse themselves by plaiting it while she was away. She
did so and directly she had gone off to look for food, the cubs gave
the girl the hair and sent her home rejoicing. The sisters-in-law
were only made more angry by her success and plotted how to kill her,
so they ordered her to bring them some tiger's milk that they might
make it into curds for her wedding. Then she went off to the jungle
and began to weep, singing:--


    "I brought the hair of a bear:
    How far away have my brothers gone to trade."


At the sound two tiger cubs came running up and asked what was the
matter; they told her to be comforted and they would manage to give
her what she wanted; and they took her and hid her near where they
were lying. Presently the tigress came back and suckled her cubs and
as she did so she declared that she smelt a human being, but the
cubs laughed at her and said that it must be they whom she smelt;
so she was satisfied, and as she was leaving them they asked her to
leave some of her milk in an earthern pot so that they might have
something to drink if she were long in coming back. The tigress did
so and directly she was gone the cubs gave the milk to the girl who
took it home.--The story then continues as before.



XI. How to Grow Rich.

Once upon a time there was a woman whose husband died while she was
pregnant, and she was very unhappy and used to pray daily to Singh
Chando to give her a man child in place of her husband; she was left
well off and among her property were three gold coins, and as she was
afraid of these being stolen she decided to place them in the care
of the village headman. So she took them to him and asked him to keep
them till her child was born; and no one was present at the time but
the headman's wife. In due time her child was born and by the mercy
of Singh Chando it was a son; and when the boy had grown a bit and
could run alone his mother decided to take back the gold coins, so she
went to the headman and asked him for them; but he and his wife said:
"We do not understand what you are talking about? We know of no gold
coins: where are your witnesses? You must have had witnesses in such
a business." And they drove her out. She went away crying and called
the villagers together and asked them to decide the matter. So they
questioned her and the headman but as it was word against word they
could come to no decision; so they settled to put the parties on
oath, but the headman and the woman both swore that they had spoken
the truth, saying, "May we die if we have spoken falsely." Then
the villagers made them swear by their children and the woman and
the headman laid their hands on the heads of their sons and swore;
and when the woman swore her son fell down dead and she took up the
dead body in her arms and ran away with it.

The villagers were very sorry for what had happened but the headman
and his wife abused them for not having believed their word. The
woman had not gone very far before she met a stranger who asked why
she was crying and when she told him, he said: "Do not cry: you told
one falsehood and so your son has died. Take your child back to the
villagers and tell them that it was five gold coins and not three
that you gave to the headman and if you do this the child will come
to life again."

So the woman hastened back and found the villagers still assembled
and she told them as the stranger had directed; and she agreed to be
sworn again on the body of the child, and the headman promised to pay
five gold pieces if the child were restored to life. So the woman
laid her hands on the dead child and swore, and it was restored to
life. Then the headman was dumbfounded and reluctantly brought out
five gold pieces and gave them to the woman. She gave five rupees
to the villagers and they made the headman give them ten rupees for
having deceived them, and they bought pigs and had a feast.

In the course of time the boy grew up and his mother urged him to
marry. He asked her if she knew how to choose a wife and also what
sort of cattle to buy, and she said that she did not know; her husband
had not told her this. So the youth said that he would go to Singh
Chando and ask.

His mother washed his clothes for him and gave him food for the
journey and he set out. On the way he met a man who asked him where
he was going and he answered that he was going to make a petition to
Singh Chando. "Then," said the man, "make a petition for me also. I
have so much wealth that I cannot look after it all; ask him to take
away half from me." The youth promised and went on and he met another
man who said that he had so many cattle that he could not build enough
cow-houses for them and asked him to petition Singh Chando to diminish
their number; and he promised, and went on and came to Singh Chando,
and there he asked how to choose a wife and how to buy cattle. And
Singh Chando said, "When you buy a bullock first put your hand on
its quarter and if it shrinks and tries to get free, buy it; and when
you want a wife enquire first as to the character of her father and
mother; good parents make good children." Then the youth asked about
the two men he had met; Singh Chando said;--"Tell the first man when
he is ploughing to plough two or three furrows beyond the boundary
of his field and his wealth will diminish and tell the second man to
drive away three or four of his cattle every day and their number
will decrease." So the youth returned and met the man who had too
many cattle and told him what Chando had said, and the man thought
"If I drive away three or four head of cattle every day I shall soon
become poor" so from that time he looked out for any straying cattle
and would drive them home with his own; if the owner claimed them,
he gave them up, but if no claimant appeared, he kept them and so
he became richer than ever. And the youth went on and met the man
who was too rich, and when he heard what Chando had said he thought
"If I plough over the boundary on to my neighbour's land it will
be a great sin and I shall soon become poor;" and he went to his
ploughmen and told them never to plough right up to the edge of the
field but to leave two of three furrows space, and they obeyed and
from that time he grew richer than ever. And the youth returned to
his mother and told her all that had happened and they understood
the meaning of the advice which Chando had given to the two men and
acted accordingly. And it is true that we see that avaricious men
who trespass across boundaries become poor.



XII. The Changed Calf.

There was once a cowherd named Sona who saved a few rupees and he
decided to buy a calf so as to have something to show for his labours;
and he went to a distant village and bought a bull calf and on the way
home he was benighted. So he turned into a Hindu village and went to an
oilman's house and asked to be allowed to sleep there. When the oilman
saw such a fine calf he coveted it and he told Sona to put it in the
stable along with his own bullock and he gave him some supper and let
him sleep in the verandah. But in the middle of the night the oilman
got up and moistened some oil cake and plastered it over the calf;
he then untied his own bullock and made it lick the oil cake off the
calf, and as the bullock was accustomed to eat oil cake it licked it
greedily; then the oilman raised a cry, "The bullock that turns the
oil mill has given birth to a calf." And all the villagers collected,
and saw the bullock licking the calf and they believed the oilman. Sona
did not wake up and knew nothing of all this, the next morning he
got up and went to untie his calf and drive it away, but the oilman
would not let him and claimed the calf as his own. Then Sona called
the villagers to come and decide the matter: but they said that they
had seen him bring no calf to the village and he had not called any of
them to witness it, but they _had_ seen the bullock licking the calf;
why should the bullock lick any but its own calf? No one ever saw a
bullock lick a strange bullock or cow and so they awarded the calf
to the oilman. Then Sona said that he would call someone to argue the
matter and he went away meaning to get some men from the next village:
but he lost his way in the jungle and as he went along a night-jar
flew up from under his feet; he called out to it to stay as he was in
great distress, and the bird alighted and asked what was the matter,
and Sona told it his trouble. Then the night-jar said that it would
argue the matter for him but it must have a colleague and it told Sona
to go on and ask the first living being he met to help; so he went on
and met a jackal and the jackal agreed to help the night-jar, and they
told him to call the villagers to the edge of the jungle and not to
let them bring any dogs with them. So Sona brought all the villagers
to the jungle and the night-jar and jackal sat side by side on a stone.

Then Sona asked the villagers whether they would let him take away
the calf or no, and they persisted in their previous opinion. At last
one man said, "What are your advocates doing? it seems to me that they
are asleep." And at this the two woke up with a start and looked about
them, and the night-jar said "I have been asleep and dreamed a dream:
will you men please hear it and explain its meaning?"

And the jackal said, "I too have had a dream, please explain it for
me. If you can explain the meaning you shall keep the calf and, if
not, the boy shall have it." The villagers told them to speak and the
night-jar said, "I saw two night-jar's eggs and one egg was sitting
on the other; no mother bird was sitting on them, tell me what this
means." And the jackal said, "I saw that the sea was on fire and the
fishes were all being burnt up, and I was busy eating them and that
was why I did not wake up, what is the meaning of this dream?" And
the villagers said. "The two dreams are both alike: neither has
any meaning; an egg cannot sit on an egg, and the sea cannot catch
fire." The jackal said, "Why cannot it be? If you won't believe that
water can catch fire why do you say that a bullock gave birth to
a calf? Have you ever seen such a thing? Speak," And they admitted
that they had never seen a bullock have a calf, but only cows. "Then,"
said the jackal, "explain why you have given the oilman a decree." And
they admitted that they were wrong and awarded the calf to Sona and
fined the oilman five rupees for having deceived them.



XIII. The Koeri and the Barber.

There was a well-to-do man of the Koeri (cultivating) caste and
opposite his house lived a barber who was very poor; and the barber
thought that if he carried on his cultivation just as the Koeri did he
might get better results; so every day he made some pretext to visit
the Koeri's house and hear what work he was going to do the next day,
and with the same object he would listen outside his house at night;
and he exactly imitated the Koeri: he yoked his cattle and unyoked
them, he ploughed and sowed and transplanted just when the Koeri did
and the result was good, for that year he got a very fine crop. But he
was not content with this and resolved to continue to copy the Koeri;
the Koeri suspected what the barber was doing and did not like it. So
he resolved to put the matter to the test and at the same time teach
the barber to mind his own business. In January they both planted
sugar cane, and one day when the crop was half grown the barber
was sitting at the Koeri's house and the Koeri gave orders to his
servants to put the leveller over the crop the next day and break it
down; this was only a pretence of the Koeri's, but the barber went
away and the next day crushed his sugar cane crop with the leveller,
the whole village laughed to see what he had done; but it turned out
that each root of the barber's sugar cane sent up a number of shoots
and in the end he had a much heavier crop than the Koeri.

Another day the Koeri announced that he was going to sow _but_ (pulse)
and therefore ordered his servants to bring out the seed and roast
it well, that it might germinate quickly; and the barber hearing this
went off and had his seed _but_ roasted and the next day he sowed it,
but only a very few seeds germinated, while the crop of the Koeri
which had not really been roasted sprouted finely. The barber asked
the Koeri why his crop had not come up well, and the Koeri told him
that it must be because he had not roasted the seed enough; the few
seeds that had come up must have been those which had been roasted
most. But in the end the laugh was against the Koeri, for the few
seeds of the barber's which germinated, produced such fine plants
that when he came to thresh them out he had more grain than the Koeri,
and so in 3 or 4 years the barber became the richer man of the two.



XIV. The Prince Who Acquired Wisdom.

There was once a Raja who had an only son and the Raja was always
urging his son to learn to read and write in order that when he came
to his kingdom he might manage well and be able to decide disputes
that were brought to him for judgment; but the boy paid no heed to
his father's advice and continued to neglect his lessons. At last
when he was grown up, the Prince saw that his father was right and
he resolved to go away to foreign countries to acquire wisdom; so he
set off without telling anyone but his wife, and he took with him
a purse of money and three pieces of gold. After travelling a long
time, he one day saw a man ploughing in a field and he went and got
some tobacco from him and asked him whether there were any wise men
living in that neighbourhood. "What do you want with wise men?",
asked the ploughman. The Prince said that he was travelling to get
wisdom. The ploughman said that he would give him instruction if
he were paid. Then the Prince promised to give him one gold piece
for each piece of wisdom. The ploughman agreed and said. "Listen
attentively! My first maxim is this: You are the son of a Raja;
whenever you go to visit a friend or one of your subjects and they
offer you a bedstead, or stool, or mat to sit on, do not sit down
at once but move the stool or mat a little to one side; this is
one maxim: give me my gold coin." So the Prince paid him. Then the
ploughman said. "The second maxim is this: You are the son of a Raja;
whenever you go to bathe, do not bathe at the common bathing place,
but at a place by yourself; give me my coin," and the Prince did
so. Then he continued, "My third maxim is this: You are the son of a
Raja; when men come to you for advice or to have a dispute decided,
listen to what the majority of those present say and do not follow
your own fancy, now pay me;" and the Prince gave him his last gold
coin, and said that he had no more. "Well," said the ploughman, "your
lesson is finished but still I will give you one more piece of advice
free and it is this: You are the son of a Raja; Restrain your anger,
if anything you see or hear makes you angry, still do not at once take
action; hear the explanation and weigh it well, then if you find cause
you can give rein to your anger and if not, let the offender off."

After this the prince set his face homewards as he had spent all
his money; and he began to repent of having spent his gold pieces
on advice that seemed worthless. However on his way he turned into
a bazar to buy some food and the shopkeepers on all sides called out
"Buy, buy," so he went to a shop and the shopkeeper invited him to sit
on a rug; he was just about to do so when he remembered the maxim of
his instructor and pulled the rug to one side; and when he did so he
saw that it had been spread over the mouth of a well and that if he
had sat on it he would have been killed [1]; so he began to believe
in the wisdom of his teacher. Then he went on his way and on the
road he turned aside to a tank to bathe, and remembering the maxim
of his teacher he did not bathe at the common place but went to a
place apart; then having eaten his lunch he continued his journey,
but he had not gone far when he found that he had left his purse
behind, so he turned back and found it lying at the place where he
had put down his things when he bathed; thereupon he applauded the
wisdom of his teacher, for if he had bathed at the common bathing
place someone would have seen the purse and have taken it away. When
evening came on he turned into a village and asked the headman to let
him sleep in his verandah, and there was already one other traveller
sleeping there and in the morning it was found that the traveller had
died in his sleep. Then the headman consulted the villagers and they
decided that there was nothing to be done but to throw away the body,
and that as the Prince was also a traveller he should do it. At first
he refused to touch the corpse as he was the son of a Raja, but the
villagers insisted and then he bethought himself of the maxim that
he should not act contrary to the general opinion; so he yielded and
dragged away the body, and threw it into a ravine.

Before leaving it he remembered that it was proper to remove the
clothes, and when he began to do so he found round the waist of the
body a roll of coin; so he took this and was glad that he had followed
the advice of his teacher.

That evening he reached the boundary of his own territory and decided
to press on home although it was dark; at midnight he reached the
palace and without arousing anyone went to the door of his wife's
room. Outside the door he saw a pair of shoes and a sword; at the
sight he became wild with rage and drawing the sword he called out:
"Who is in my room?"

As a matter of fact the Prince's wife had got the Prince's little
sister to sleep with her, and when the girl heard the Prince's voice
she got up to leave; but when she opened the door and saw the Prince
standing with the drawn sword she drew back in fear; she told him
who she was and explained that they had put the shoes and sword at
the door to prevent anyone else from entering; but in his wrath the
Prince would not listen and called to her to come out and be killed.

Then she took off her cloth and showed it to him through the crack of
the door and at the sight of this he was convinced; then he reflected
on the advice of his teacher and repented, because he had nearly
killed his sister through not restraining his wrath.



XV. The Monkey Boy.

There was once a man who had six sons and two daughters and he died
leaving his wife pregnant of a ninth child.

And when the child was born it proved to be a monkey.

The villagers and relations advised the mother to make away with it,
but she refused saying "Chando knows why he has given me such a child,
but as he has done so I will rear it."

All her relations said that if she chose to rear a monkey they would
turn her out of the family. However she persisted that she would do
so at all costs. So they sent her to live with her child in a hut
outside the village, and the monkey boy grew up and learned to talk
like a human being.

One day his elder brothers began to clear the jungle for cultivation
and the monkey boy took a hatchet and went with them; he asked where
he could clear land for himself and in fun they showed him the place
where the jungle was thickest. So he went there and drove his hatchet
into the trunk of a tree and then returned and watched his brothers
working hard clearing the scrub, and when they had finished their work
he went and fetched his hatchet and returned home with them. Every
day he did the same--and one day his brothers asked why he spent all
his time with them, but he said that he only came to them when he was
tired of cutting down trees; they laughed at this and said that they
would like to see his clearing, so he took them to the place and to
their astonishment they saw a large clearing, bigger than they had
been able to make for themselves. Then the brothers burnt the jungle
they had cut down and began to plough the land.

But the monkey boy's mother had no plough or cattle nor any seed rice;
the only thing in the house was a pumpkin, so he took the seed out
of the pumpkin and sowed it in his clearing. His brothers asked what
he had sown and he told them--Rice.

The brothers ploughed and sowed and used to go daily to watch the
growing crop, and one day they went to have a look at the monkey boy's
crop and they saw that it was pumpkins and not rice and they laughed
at him. When their crop was ripe the brothers prepared to offer the
first fruits and the monkey boy watched them that he might observe the
same ceremonies as they. One day they brought home the first fruits
and offered them to the _bongas_, and they invited the monkey boy
and his mother to come to the feast which followed the offering.

They both went and enjoyed themselves; and two or three days later
the monkey boy said that he would also have a feast of first fruits,
so he told his mother to clear the courtyard and invited his brothers
and he purified himself and went to his clearing and brought home the
biggest pumpkin that had grown there; this he offered to the spirits;
he sliced off the top of it as if it were the head of a fowl, and
as he did so he saw that the inside was full of rice; he called his
mother and they filled a winnowing fan with the rice and there was
enough besides to nearly fill a basket; they were delighted at this
windfall but kept the matter secret lest they should be robbed. The
monkey boy told his mother to be sure and cook enough rice so that
his brothers and their wives might have as much as ever they could
eat, and not merely a small helping such as they had given him,
and if necessary he would go and fetch another pumpkin; so his
mother boiled the rice. When the time fixed for the feast came,
nothing was to be seen of the brothers because they did not expect
that there would really be anything for them to eat; so the monkey
boy went and fetched them, and when they came to the feast they
were astonished to have as much rice as they could eat. When the
crop was quite ripe the monkey boy gathered all the pumpkins and
got sufficient rice from them to last for the whole year. After
this the brothers went out to buy horses, and the monkey boy went
with them and as he had no money he took nothing but a coil of rope;
his brothers were ashamed to have him with them and drove him away,
so he went on ahead and got first to the place where the horsedealer
lived. The brothers arrived late in the evening and decided to make
their purchases the following morning and ride their horses home, so
they camped for the night. The monkey boy spent the night hiding on
the rafters of the stable; and in the night the horses began to talk
to each other and discussed which could gallop farthest, and one mare
said "I can gallop twelve _kos_ on the ground and then twelve _kos_
in the air." When the monkey boy heard this he got down and lamed
the mare by running a splinter into her hoof. The next morning the
brothers bought the horses which pleased them and rode off. Then the
monkey boy went to the horsedealer and asked why the mare was lame
and advised him to apply remedies. But the dealer said that that
was useless: when horses got ill they always died; then the monkey
boy asked if he would sell the mare and offered to give the coil of
rope in exchange; the dealer, thinking that the animal was useless,
agreed, so the monkey boy led it away, but when he was out of sight
he took out the splinter and the lameness at once ceased. Then he
mounted the mare and rode after his brothers, and when he had nearly
overtaken them he rose into the air and flew past his brothers and
arrived first at home. There he tied up the mare outside his house
and went and bathed and had his dinner and waited for his brothers.

They did not arrive for a full hour afterwards and when they saw
the monkey boy and his mount they wanted to know how he had got home
first. He boasted of how swift his mare was and so they arranged to
have a race and match their horses against his. The race took place
two or three days later and the monkey boy's mare easily beat all the
other horses, she gallopped twelve _kos_ on the ground and twelve
_kos_ in the air. Then they wanted to change their horses for his,
but he said they had had first choice and he was not going to change.

In two or three years the monkey boy became rich and then he announced
that he wanted to marry; this puzzled his mother for she thought that
no human girl would marry him while a monkey would not be able to talk;
so she told him that he must find a bride for himself. One day he set
off to look for a wife and came to a tank in which some girls were
bathing, and he took up the cloth belonging to one of them and ran
up a tree with it, and when the girl missed it and saw it hanging
down from the tree she borrowed a cloth from her friends and went
and asked the monkey boy for her own; he told her that she could only
have it back if she consented to marry him; she was surprised to find
that he could talk and as he conversed she was bewitched by him and
let him pull her up into the tree by her hair, and she called out to
her friends to go home and leave her where she was. Then he took her
on his back and ran off home with her.

The girl's father and relations turned out with bows and arrows to
look for the monkey who had carried her off but he had gone so far
away that they never found him. When the monkey boy appeared with his
bride all the villagers were astonished that he had found anyone to
marry him, but everything was made ready for the marriage as quickly
as possible and all the relations were invited and the wedding took
place and the monkey boy and his wife lived happily ever after.



XVI. The Miser's Servant.

Once there was a rich man who was a miser. Although he kept farm
servants they would never stay out the year with him; but ran away in
the middle. When the villagers asked why they ran away and so lost
their year's wages the servants answered. "You would do the same in
our place: at the busy time of the year he speaks us fair and feeds
us well, but directly the crops are gathered he begins to starve us;
this year we have had nothing to eat since September."

And the villagers said "Well, that is a good reason, a man can
stand scolding but not starvation; we all work to fill our bellies,
hunger is the worst disease of all." The news that the miser made his
servants work for nothing spread throughout the neighbourhood so he
could get no servants near by and when he brought them from a distance
they soon heard of his character and ran away. Men would only work
for him on daily wages and because of his miserliness they demanded
higher wages than usual from him and would not work without. Now
there was a young fellow named Kora who heard all this and he said
"If I were that man's servant I would not run away. I would get the
better of him; ask him if he wants a servant and if he says, yes,
take me to him." The man to whom Kora told this went to the miser
and informed him that Kora was willing to engage himself to him;
so Kora was fetched and they had a drink of rice beer and then the
miser asked Kora whether he would work for the full year and not run
away in the middle. Kora said that he would stay if he were satisfied
with the wages. The master said "I will fix your wages when I see
your work; if you are handy at every thing I will give you 12 _Kats_
of rice and if you are only a moderate worker then 9 or 10 _Kats_
besides your clothes. How much do you ask for?"

And Kora said "Well, listen to me: I hear that your servants run away
in the middle of the year because you give them so little to eat, all
I ask for my wages is that you give me once a year one grain of rice
and I will sow it and you must give me low land to plant all the seed
that I get from it; and give me one seed of maize and I will sow it for
seed, and you must give me upland to sow all the seed I get from it;
and give me the customary quantity of clothes, and for food give me
one leaf full of rice three times a day. I only want what will go on a
single leaf, you need not sew several leaves together into a plate. I
will ask for no second helping but if you do not fill the leaf full
I shall have the right to abuse you, and if I do not do all the work
you give me properly, then you can abuse me and beat me. If I run away
from fear of hard work you may cut off the little finger of my right
hand, and if you do not give me the wages we have agreed upon then I
shall have the right to cut off the little finger of your hand. What
do you say to this proposal: consult your friends and give me your
answer." Then the miser answered "I engage you on these terms and if
I turn you off without reason you may cut off my little finger." Then
Kora turned to the man who had fetched him and said "Listen to all
this: if there is any dispute hereafter you will be my witness."

So Kora began to work and the first day they gave him rice on a
single _sal_ leaf and he ate it up in one mouthful: but the next
day he brought a plantain leaf (_which is some three feet long_)
and said "Give me my rice on this and mind you fill it full." And
they refused: but he said "Why not? it is only a single leaf" and
they had to give in because he was within his rights; so he ate as
much as he wanted, and every day he brought a plantain leaf till his
master's wife got tired and said to her husband "Why have you got a
servant like this--he takes a whole pot of rice to himself every day,"
but he answered "Never mind: his wages are nothing, he is working for
his keep alone;" so the whole year Kora got his plantain leaf filled
and he was never lazy over his work so they could find no fault with
him on that score, and when the year was up they gave him one grain
of rice and one seed of maize for his wages for the year. Kora kept
them carefully, and his master's sons laughed at him and said "Mind
you don't drop them or let a mouse eat them."

Kora said nothing but when the time for sowing maize came he took his
grain of maize and sowed it by the dung heap, and he called them to
see where he sowed it; and at the time of sowing rice he sowed his
grain separately, and when the time for transplanting came he planted
his rice seedling in a hollow and bade them note it. When the maize
ripened it was found that his plant had two big cobs and one small
one on it, and his rice seedling sent up a number of ears; and when
it ripened he cut it and threshed it and got one _pai_ of rice, and he
kept the maize and rice for seed. And the next year also he sowed this
seed separately and it produced a big basket of rice and another one
of maize, and he kept this also for seed; and in the course of five
or six years he had taken all their high lands to sow his seed in
and in a few years more he had taken all their rice lands too. Then
his master was very miserable but he saw that it was useless to make
any complaint and the master became so poor that he had to work as
a servant to Kora. At last the miser called the heads of the village
together and wept before them, and they had pity on him and interceded
for him; but Kora said "It is God who has punished him and not I; he
made poor men work for nothing for so long and now he has to suffer;"
but they asked him to be merciful and give him some land, and he agreed
and said "Cut off his little finger and I will let him off his bargain;
and call all the servants whom he has defrauded and I will pay them"
but the miser would not have his finger cut off; then Kora said "Let
him keep his finger and I will give him back half his land." The miser
agreed to this and promised to treat his servants well in future,
and in order to lessen his shame he married his daughter to Kora;
and he had to admit that it was by his own folly that this trouble
had befallen him.



XVII. Kuwar and the Rajah's Daughter.

There was once a rich merchant who lived in a Raja's city; and the
Raja founded a school in order that his own children might have some
education, and the boys and the girls of the town used to go to the
school as well as the Raja's sons and daughters and among them the
rich merchant's son, whose name Was Kuwar. In the course of time the
children all learned to read and write. In the evenings all the boys
used to mount their horses and go for a ride.

Now it happened that Kuwar and the Raja's daughter fell in love with
each other and she wrote him a letter saying that if he did not marry
her she would forcibly install herself in his house. He wrote back
and begged her not to come to his house as this would be the ruin of
his family; but he said that he would willingly run away with her to
a distant country, and spend his whole life with her, if she would
overlook the fact that they were of different castes; and if she
agreed to this they must settle to what country to go. Somehow news
of their intention got about, and the Raja was told that his daughter
was in love with the merchant's son. Then the Raja gave orders that
his daughter was not to be allowed to go outside the palace, and the
merchant spoke severely to Kuwar and neither of them was allowed to
go to the school any more. But one day the princess went to the place
where the Raja's horses were tied up and among them was a mare named
Piyari and she went up to the mare and said "You have eaten our salt
for a long time, will you now requite me?" And Piyari said "Certainly
I will!". Then the princess asked "If I mount you, will you jump
over all these horses and this wall and escape?" And the mare said
"Yes, but you will have to hold on very tight." The princess said
"That is my look-out: it is settled that on the day I want you you
will jump over the wall and escape." Then she wrote a letter to Kuwar
and gave it to her maid-servant to deliver into Kuwar's own hands,
without letting anyone know: and in the letter she fixed a day for
their elopement and told Kuwar to wait for her by a certain tree. So
on the day fixed after everyone was asleep Kuwar went to the tree and
almost at once the princess came to him riding on Piyari; he asked
her how she had escaped and whether she had been seen and she told
him how the mare had jumped over the wall without anyone knowing;
then they both mounted Piyari and drove her like the wind and in one
night they passed through the territory of two or three Rajas and in
the morning were in a far country.

Then they dismounted to cook their rice, and went to the house of an
old woman to ask for a light with which to light their fire. Now this
old woman had seven sons and they were all robbers and murderers;
and six of them had killed travellers and carried off their wives
and married them. When Kuwar and the princess came asking for a
light the seven sons were away hunting and when the old woman saw
the princess she resolved to marry her to her youngest son, and made
a plan to delay them; so she asked them to cook their rice at her
house and offered them cooking pots and water pots and firewood and
everything necessary; they did not know that she meant to kill Kuwar
and unsuspiciously accepted her offer. When they had finished cooking
Kuwar asked the old woman whether she lived alone and she told him
that she was a widow but had seven sons and they were all away on a
trading expedition. The old woman kept on looking out to see if her
sons were returning, and she had made an arrangement with them that if
she ever wanted them she would set fire to a small hut and they would
come home at once when they saw the smoke rising. But before her sons
came back Kuwar and the princess finished their meal and paid the old
woman and mounted Piyari and gallopped off. Then the old woman set fire
to the hut and her sons, seeing the smoke hurried home. She told them
that a beautiful girl had just left who would make a suitable wife for
the youngest of the brothers. Then the brothers tied on their swords
and mounted their horses and went in pursuit. Kuwar and the princess
knew nothing of their danger and rode on happily, but presently they
heard horses neighing behind them and looking round, saw men riding
after them with drawn swords. Then the princess said to Kuwar "Our
enemies are upon us; do you sit in front and let me sit behind you,
then they will kill us both together. If I am in front they may kill
you alone and carry me off alive." But while they were thinking of
this the seven brothers caught them up, and began to abuse them and
charge them with having set fire to the house in which they had eaten
their rice, and told them to come back with them at once. Kuwar and
the princess were too frightened to answer and they had no sword with
which to defend themselves. Then the robbers surrounded them and killed
Kuwar, and they said to the princess "You cannot stay here all alone;
we will take you back and you shall marry one of us." The princess
answered "Kill me here at once, never will I go with you." They said
"We shall take away your horse and all your food, will not that make
you go?" But the princess threw herself on the dead body of Kuwar
and for all they could do they could not drag her off it. Then the
murderers said to the youngest brother "She is to be your wife: you
must pull her away." But he refused saying "No, if I take her away she
will not stay with me, she will probably hang herself or drown herself;
I do not want a wife like that, if any of you want her, you can have
her." But they said that it would not be right for one of them to take
a second wife while their youngest brother was unmarried, and that
their mother intended him to marry this girl; if he would not they
would kill her there and then. But the youngest brother had pity on
her and asked them to spare her life, so they took away her horse and
her food and everything that she had and went away and left her there.

For a day and a night the princess lay there weeping and lamenting
her dead Kuwar and never ceased for a moment. Then Chando said "who
is this who is weeping and what has happened to her?" And he sent
Bidhi and Bidha to see what was the matter; they came and told him
that a princess was weeping over the body of her dead husband and
would not leave him though she had been robbed of everything she had.

Then Chando told them to go and frighten her, and if they could
frighten her away from her husband's dead body he would do nothing, but
if she would not leave him then they were to restore him to life. So
they went and found her holding the dead body of her husband In her
lap and weeping; and they first assumed the form of tigers and began
to circle round her roaring, but she only went on weeping and sang--


    "You have come roaring, tigress:
    First eat me, tigress:
    Then only will I let you eat the body of my lord."


She would not quit the body nor run away from fear of the tigers,
so they slunk away and came back in the form of two leopards, and
prowled round her growling; but she only sang


    "You have come roaring, leopardess
    First eat me, leopardess
    Then only will I let you eat the body of my lord."


and as she would not fly from them they slunk away and came back
in the form of two bears, but the princess only sang the same song;
then they appeared as two elephants; and then as two huge snakes which
hissed terribly but still she only wept; and in many forms they tried
to frighten her away but she would not move nor leave the corpse of
Kuwar, so in the end they saw that all the heart of the princess was
with Kuwar and that even in death they could not be separated, so at
last they drew near to her in the form of human beings and asked her
why she was crying, as they had heard her weeping from a long way off,
and had been filled with pity for her lamentations. Then the princess
said "Alas, this youth and I are from such and such a country and
as we loved and our lives were bound up in each other we ran away
together hither, and here on the road he has been killed and the
murderers have left me without my horse or food; and this is why I
weep." Then Bidhi and Bidha said "Daughter, rise up and we will take
you to your home, or we will find you another husband; this one is
dead and cannot be restored to you; you will find another; come arise,
you have but one life," But the princess answered "No I will not go
and leave him here. I will not leave him while my life lasts; but I
pray you if you know of any medicine that might restore him to life,
to try it." Then they answered "We know something of medicine and
if you wish we will try to cure him;" so saying, they ground up some
simples and told the princess to spread out a cloth and lay the dead
body on it and to put the head which had been cut off into position,
and then to cover it with the cloth and hold the head in position;
so she did as they bade, and they rubbed the medicine on the body
and then they suddenly disappeared from her sight.

Then in a few moments she saw Kuwar's chest heave as if he were
breathing; thereupon she shook him violently and he rose up and said
"Oh, what a long time I have slept," but the princess said "Do not
talk of sleep; you were killed and two men appeared from somewhere
and applied medicine and brought you to life again;" then Kuwar asked
where they were and she told him how they had disappeared without
her knowledge.

Then they rose up and went in search of food to a village where
there was a bazar, and they tried to get employment as servants;
but the people advised them to go to the capital city where the Raja
lived, and there if no one would take them as servants they could get
employment as coolies on a big tank which the Raja was excavating. So
they went there, and as they could not get employment as servants they
went to work at the tank with the common coolies and were paid their
wages at the end of the week and so managed to live. Kuwar's desire
was to somehow save five or six rupees and then build a little house
for themselves.

Now although the tank had been dug very deep there were no signs of
any water. Then the Raja ordered the centre post to be planted in
hopes that this would make the water rise; and he told the coolies
not to run away as he would make a feast to celebrate the making of
the tank and would distribute presents among them, and at this the
labourers were very pleased.

Now Kuwar's wife was very fair to see and the Raja saw her and fell
in love with her and made a plot to get possession of her. So when
the centre post had been planted and still no water came he said
"We must see what sacrifice is required to make the water come. I
have animals of all kinds; one by one they shall be offered and you
shall sing and dedicate them." So first an elephant was led down into
the bed of the tank and the people sang


    "Tank, we will sacrifice to you an elephant
    Let clear water bubble up, O tank,"


but no water came.

Then they led down a horse and sang a similar song, but no water came;
and then in succession a camel, a donkey, a cow, a buffalo, a goat and
a sheep were offered but no water came; and so they stopped. Then
the Raja asked why they stopped and they said that they had no
more animals. Then the Raja bade them sing a song dedicating a man,
to see if that would bring the water; so they sang and as they sang
water bubbled up everywhere from the bottom of the tank and then the
coolies were stricken with fear for they did not know which of them
would be sacrificed.

But the Raja sent his soldiers and they seized Kuwar and bound him
to the post in the middle of the tank; and then a song was sung
dedicating him to the tank and as the water rose around him the
princess wept bitterly; but the Raja said "Do not cry I will arrange
for your support and will give you part of my kingdom and you shall
live in my palace." The princess said "Yes: hereafter I may stay with
you, but let me now watch Kuwar till he is drowned;" so Kuwar fixed
his eyes on the princess and tears streamed down his face until the
waters rose and covered him; and the princess also gazed at him till
he was drowned. Then the Raja's soldiers told her to come with them
and she said "Yes, I am coming, but let me first offer a libation
of water to my dead husband;" and on this pretext she went into the
water and then she darted to the place where Kuwar had been bound and
sank beneath the surface. The Raja bade men rescue her but all were
afraid to enter the water and she was seen no more. Then the Raja
gave all the coolies a feast and scattered money among the crowd and
dismissed them. And this is the end of the story.



XVIII. The Laughing Fish.

There was once a merchant who prospered in his business and in the
course of time became very rich. He had five sons but none of them
was married. In the village where he lived was an old tank which was
half silted up and he resolved to clean it out and deepen it, if the
Raja would give it to him; so he went to the Raja and the Raja said
that he could have the tank if he paid forty rupees. The merchant paid
the money and then went home and called his family together and said
that they would first improve the tank and then find wives for all
his sons. The  sons agreed and they collected coolies and drained
off the water and began to dig out the silt. When they had drained
off the water they found in the bed of the tank a number of big fish
of unknown age: which they caught and two of them they sent to the
Raja as a present. When the fish were carried into the presence of the
Raja they both began to laugh: then the Raja said "What is the meaning
of this? Here are two dead fish, why are they laughing?" And he told
the men who brought the fish to explain what was the matter or else
to take them away again. But they could give no explanation. Then the
Raja called all his officers and astrologers and asked them what they
thought it meant: but no one could give him any answer. Then the Raja
told the men to take the fish away again, and to tell the merchant
that, if he could not explain why the fish laughed, he would kill him
and all his descendants; and he wrote a letter to the same effect,
and fixed a day by which the merchant was to explain the matter. When
the merchant read the letter he fell into the greatest distress and
for two or three days he could not make up his mind whether to go on
with the work on the tank or no; but in the end he resolved to finish
it so that his name might be held in remembrance. So they finished the
work and then the merchant said to his sons: "My sons I cannot arrange
for your marriages, for the Raja has threatened to kill us all, if I
cannot explain why the fish laughed; you must all escape from here so
that our family may not die out;" but the younger sons all answered
"We are not able to take care of ourselves, either you come with us
to protect us or we will stay here." Then the merchant told his eldest
son to escape alone so that their family might not become extinct.

So the eldest son took a supply of money and went away into a far
country. After travelling a long time he came to a town where a
Raja lived and decided to stay there; so he first went to a tank and
bathed and sat down on the bank to eat some refreshment; and as he
sat the daughter of the Raja came down to the tank to bathe and she
saw the merchant's son and their eyes met. Then the princess sent
her maid-servants to ask him where he came from; and he told them
where he came from and that he meant to make a stay in that town,
and he promised them a rupee if they could persuade the princess to
uncover her face. They went and told their mistress all this and she
answered "Go and get your rupee from him, I will uncover my face;
and ask him what he wants." And when they went, she drew aside the
cloth from her face; then he gave them the rupee, and they asked him
whether he had seen her and what his intention was; then he said that
his wish was to marry the princess and live with her in her father's
house! When the princess heard this she said "Yes, my heart has gone
out to him also;" so then she bathed and went home and lay down in
her room and would not get up, and when her father asked her what
was the matter, she made no answer. Then they asked her maidens what
was the matter and they said that she had seen a stranger by the
tank and wished to marry him. The Rani asked whether the stranger
was still there and they said that they had left him by the tank. So
two men were sent to fetch the stranger or to find out where he had
gone. The two servants went and found the merchant's son just ready
to continue his journey, and they asked him who he was and what he
wanted. He said that he was looking for employment but would like
best to marry and live in the house of his father-in-law. Then they
told him not go away and they would arrange such a marriage for him,
so they took him to a house in the town and left him there and went
back to the Raja. They told the Raja that the stranger had gone away
but that they could follow him and bring him back if he gave them some
money for their journey. So the Raja gave them two rupees; then they
went off but only ate their dinner at home, and then they brought
the merchant's son to the Raja, pretending that they had overtaken
him a long way off. He was questioned about himself and he told his
whole history except that the Raja had threatened to cut off his
family, and his account being satisfactory it was arranged that he
should marry the princess. Musicians were sent for and the marriage
took place at once. After his marriage the merchant's son was much
depressed at the thought of his brothers' fate and in the middle of
the night he used to rise up and weep till the bed was soaked with
his tears; the princess noticed this and one night she pretended to
go to sleep but really lay awake and watched her husband; and in the
middle of the night saw him rise quietly and begin to sob. She was
filled with sympathy and went to him and begged him to tell her what
was the matter and whether he was sorry that he had married her; and
he answered "I cry because I am in despair; in the daytime I restrain
my tears before others with difficulty but in the night they cannot
be kept back; but I am ashamed for you to see me and I wait till you
are asleep before I give way to my feelings."

Then she asked what was the cause of his sorrow and he answered "My
father and mother and brothers and sisters are all doomed to die;
for our Raja has sworn to kill them by a certain day if he is not
told why two fish, which my father sent to him as a present, laughed
when they were brought before him. In consequence of this threat
my father sent me from home that one of the family might survive
and although I may be safe here the thought of them and their fate
makes me weep." The princess asked him what was the day fixed for
the mystery to be explained; and he told her that it was at the
full moon of a certain month. Then the princess said "Come take me
to your father's house: I shall be able to explain why the fishes
laughed." The merchant's son joyfully agreed to start off the next
day; so in the morning they told the Raja why they wished to go, and
he said to his daughter "Go and do not be afraid; go in confidence,
I promise you that you will be able to explain why the fishes laughed."

So they made ready and journeyed to the merchant's house; and when
they arrived they told the merchant to go to the Raja and ask him
to collect all the citizens on a certain day to hear the reason why
the fishes laughed. The merchant went to the Raja and the Raja gave
him a letter fixing the day and all the citizens were assembled in
an open plain; and the princess dressed herself as a man and went to
the assembly and stood before the Raja.

Then the Raja bade her explain why the fishes laughed, and the princess
answered "If you wish to know the reason order all your Ranis to be
brought here;" so the Ranis were summoned; then the princess said
"The reason why the fishes laughed was because among all your wives
it is only the eldest Rani who is a woman and all the others are
men. What will you give me if this is not proved to be true?" Then
the Raja wrote a bond promising to give the merchant half his kingdom
if this were proved to be true. When enquiry was made it was found
that the wives had really become men, and the Raja was put to shame
before all his people. Then the assembly broke up and the merchant
received half the Raja's kingdom.



XIX. How the Cowherd Found a Bride.

There was once a Goala who was in charge of a herd of cattle and
every day he used to bring the herd for their midday rest to the
foot of a peepul tree. One day the peepul tree spoke and said to him
"If you pour milk every day at my roots I will grant you a boon." So
thenceforward the Goala every day poured milk at the roots of the tree
and after some days he saw a crack in the ground; he thought that
the roots of the tree were cracking the earth but the fact was that
a snake was buried there, and as it increased in size from drinking
the milk it cracked the ground and one day it issued forth; at the
sight of it the Goala was filled with fear and made sure that the
snake would devour him. But the snake said "Do not fear: I was shut
up in the nether world, and you by your kindness have rescued me,
I wish to show gratitude to you and will confer on you any boon for
which you ask." The Goala answered that the snake should choose what
he would give him; then the snake called him near, and breathed on
his hair which was very long and it became glistening as gold, and the
snake said that his hair would obtain for him a wife and that he would
be very powerful; and that whatever he said would come to pass. The
Goala asked what sort of things would come to pass. The snake answered
"If you say a man shall die he will die and if you say he shall come
to life, he will come to life. But you must not tell this to anyone;
not even to your wife when you marry; if you do the power will vanish."

Some time afterwards it happened that the Goala was bathing in the
river; and as he bathed one of his hairs came out and the fancy took
him to wrap it in a leaf and set it to float down the stream. Lower
down the river a princess was bathing with her attendants and they
saw the packet come floating down and tried to stop it but it floated
straight to the princess and she caught it and opened it and found
the hair inside. It shone like gold and when they measured it, it was
twelve fathoms long. So the princess tied it up in her cloth and went
home and shut herself up in her room, and would neither eat nor drink
nor speak. Her mother sent two of her companions to question her,
and at last she told them that she would not rise and eat until they
found the person to whom the golden hair belonged; if it were the
hair of a man he should be her husband and if it came from a girl
she would have that girl come and live with her.

When the Raja and Rani heard this and that the hair had come floating
down the river they went to their daughter and told her that they
would at once send messengers up the stream to find the owner of the
hair. Then she was comforted and rose up and ate her rice. That very
day the Raja ordered messengers to follow up the banks of the stream
and enquire in all the villages and question every one they met to
find trace of the owner of the golden hair; so the messengers set out
on both banks of the stream and followed it to its source but their
search was vain and they returned without news; then holy mendicants
were sent out to search and they also returned unsuccessful. Then the
princess said "If you cannot find the owner of the golden hair I will
hang myself!" At this a tame crow and a parrot which were chained to
a perch, said "You will never be able to find the man with the golden
hair; he is in the depths of the forest; if he had lived in a village
you would have found him, but as it is we alone can fetch him; unfasten
our chains and we will go in search of him." So the Raja ordered them
to be unfastened and gave them a good meal before starting, for they
could not carry a bag of provisions with them like a man. Then the
crow and the parrot mounted into the air and flew away up the river,
and after long search they spied the Goala in the jungle resting his
cattle under the peepul tree; so they flew down and perched on the
peepul tree and consulted how they could lure him away. The parrot
said that he was afraid to go near the cattle and proposed that the
crow should fly down and carry off the Goala's flute, from where it
was lying with his stick and wrapper at the foot of the tree. So the
crow went flitting from one cow to another till it suddenly pounced
on the flute and carried it off in its beak; when the Goala saw this
he ran after the crow to recover his flute and the crow tempted him
on by just fluttering from tree to tree and the Goala kept following;
and when the crow was tired the parrot took the flute from him and
so between them they drew the Goala on right to the Raja's city,
and they flew into the palace and the Goala followed them in, and
they flew to the room in which the princess was and dropped the
flute into the hand of the princess and the Goala followed and the
door was shut upon him. The Goala asked the princess to give him the
flute and she said that she would give it to him if he promised to
marry her and not otherwise. He asked how he could marry her all of
a sudden when they had never been betrothed; but the princess said
"We have been betrothed for a long time; do you remember one day
tying a hair up in a leaf and setting it to float downstream; well
that hair has been the go-between which arranged our betrothal." Then
the Goala remembered how the snake had told him that his hair would
find him a wife and he asked to see the hair which the princess had
found, so she brought it out and they found that it was like his,
as long and as bright; then he said "We belong to each other" and
the princess called for the door to be opened and brought the Goala
to her father and mother and told them that her heart's desire was
fulfilled and that if they did not allow the wedding to take place in
the palace she would run away with the Goala. So a day was fixed for
the wedding and invitations were issued and it duly took place. The
Goala soon became so much in love with his bride that he forgot all
about his herd of cattle which he had left behind, without any one
to look after them; but after some time he bethought himself of them
and he told his bride that he must return to his cattle, whether
she came with him or no. She said that she would take leave of her
parents and go with him; then the Raja gave them a farewell feast and
he made over to the Goala half his kingdom, and gave him a son's share
of his elephants and horses and flocks and herds and said to him "You
are free to do as you like: you can stay here or go to your own home;
but if you elect to stay here, I shall never turn you out." The Goala
considered and said that he would live with his father-in-law but that
he must anyhow go and see the cattle which he had abandoned without
any one to look after them. So the next day he and his wife set off
and when they got to the jungle they found that all the cattle were
lying dead. At this the Goala was filled with grief and began to weep;
then he remembered the promise of the snake that he should be able
to restore the dead to life and he resolved to put it to the test.

So he told his wife that he would give the dead cows medicine and he
got some jungle roots as a blind and held them to the noses of the dead
animals and as he did so, he said "Come to life" and, behold, one by
one the cows all got up and began lowing to their calves. Having thus
proved the promises of the snake the Goala was loud in his gratitude
and he filled a large vessel with milk and poured it all out at the
foot of the peepul tree and the snake came and breathed on the hair
of the princess and it too became bright as gold.

The next day they collected all the cows and drove them back to the
princess' home and there the Goala and his wife lived happily, ruling
half the kingdom. And some years after the Goala reflected that the
snake was to him as his father and mother and yet he had come away in
a hurry without taking a proper farewell, so he went to see whether
it was still there; but he could not find it and he asked the peepul
tree and no answer came so he had to return home disappointed.



XX. Kara and Guja.

Once upon a time there were two brothers named Kara and Guja who
were first class shots with the bow and arrow. In the country
where they lived, a pair of kites were doing great damage: they
had young ones in a nest in a tree and used to carry off children
to feed their nestlings until the whole country was desolated. So
the whole population went in a body to the Raja and told him that
they would have to leave the country if he could not have the kites
killed. Then the Raja made proclamation that any one who could kill
the two kites should receive a large tract of land as a reward, and
thereupon many men tried to kill them; but the kites had made their
nest of ploughs and clod-crushers so that the arrows could not hit
them, and the shooters had to give up the attempt. At last Kara and
Guja thought that they would try, so they made an ambush and waited
till the birds came to the nest to feed their young and then shot them
both through the hole in a clod-crusher into which the pole fits, and
the two kites fell down dead, at the source of the Ganges and Jumna,
and where they fell they made a great depression in the ground. Then
Kara and Guja carried the bodies to the Raja and he gave them a grant
of land; and their grateful neighbours made a large rice field of the
depression which the kites had made in the earth and this was given
to Kara and Guja as service land to their great delight.

Kara and Guja used to spend their time in the forest, living on what
they could find there; they slept in a cave and at evening would
cook their rice there or roast jungle roots. One day a tiger spied
them out as they were roasting tubers and came up to them suddenly
and said. "What are you cooking? Give me some or I will eat you." So
while they went on eating the roasted tubers, they threw the coals
from the fire to the tiger at the mouth of the cave and he crunched
them up and every now and then they threw him a bit of something good
to eat; the tiger would not go away but lay there expecting to be fed,
and Kara and Guja debated how to get rid of him. Then Guja suddenly
jumped up and dashed at the tiger and caught him by the tail and began
to twist the tail and he went on twisting until he twisted it right
off and the tiger ran roaring away. Kara and Guja roasted the tail
and ate it, and they found it so nice that they decided to hunt the
tiger and eat the rest of him. So the two brothers searched for him
everywhere and when they found him they chased him until they ran
him down and killed him; then they lit a fire and singed the hair
off and roasted the flesh and made a grand meal: but they did not
eat the paunch. Kara wanted to eat it but Guja would not let him,
so Kara carried it away on his shoulder.

Presently they sat down in the shade of a banyan tree by the side of a
road and along the road came a Raja's wedding procession; when Kara and
Guja saw this they climbed into the tree and took the tiger's paunch up
with them. The wedding party came to a halt at the foot of the tree and
some of them lay down to eat and the Raja got out of his palki and lay
down to sleep in the shade. After a time Kara got tired of holding the
tiger's paunch in his arms and whispered to Guja that he could hold it
no longer, Guja told him on no account to let it go but at last Kara
got so tired that he let it fall right on the top of the Raja; then
all the Raja's attendants raised a shout that the Raja's stomach had
burst and all ran away in a panic leaving everything they had under
the tree; but after they had gone a little distance they thought of
the goods they had left behind and how they could not continue the
journey without them, so they made their way back to the banyan tree.

But meanwhile Kara and Guja had climbed down and gathered together all
the fine clothes and everything valuable and taken them up into the
tree. And Kara took up a large drum which he found and in one end of
the drum he made a number of little holes: and he caught a number of
wild bees which had a nest in the tree and put them one by one into
the drum. When the Raja's attendants came back and saw that there
were two men in the tree, they called out: "Why have you dishonoured
our Raja? We will kill you." Kara and Guja answered "Come and see who
will do the killing." So they began to fight and the Raja's men fired
their guns at Kara and Guja till they were tired of shooting, and had
used up all their powder and shot, but they never hit them. Then Kara
and Guja called out "Now it is our turn!" And when the Raja's men saw
that Kara and Guja had nothing but a drum they said "Yes, it is your
turn." So Kara and Guja beat the drum and called "At them, my dears:
at them my dears." And the wild bees flew out of the drum and stung
the Raja's men and drove them right away. Then Kara and Guja took
all their belongings and went home and ever after were esteemed as
great Rajas because of the wealth which they had acquired.



XXI. The Magic Cow.

There was once a Raja who had an only son named Kara and in the
course of time the Raja fell into poverty and was little better than
a beggar. One day when Kara was old enough to work as a cowherd his
father called him and said "My son, I am now poor but once I was
rich. I had a fine estate and herds of cattle and fine clothes; now
that is all gone and you have scarcely enough to eat. I am old and
like to die and before I leave you I wish to give you this advice:
there are many Rajas in the world, Raja above Raja; when I am dead
do you seek the protection of some powerful Raja." As there was not
enough to eat at home Kara had to take service as goat-herd under a
neighbouring Raja; by which he earned his food and clothes and two
rupees a year. Some time afterwards his father died and Kara went
to his master and asked for a loan of money with which to perform
his father's funeral ceremonies, and promised to continue in his
service until he had worked off the loan. So the Raja advanced him
five rupees and five rupees worth of rice, and with this money Kara
gave the funeral feast. Five or six days later his mother died, and
he again went to the Raja and asked for ten rupees more; at first the
Raja refused but Kara besought him and promised to serve him for his
whole life if he could not repay the loan. So at last the Raja lent
him ten rupees more, and he gave the funeral feast. But the Raja's
seven sons were very angry with their father because he had lent twenty
rupees to a man who had no chance of paying, and they used to threaten
and worry Kara because he had taken the money. Then Kara remembered
how his father had said that there were many Rajas in the world,
Raja above Raja, and he resolved to run away and seek service with
the greatest Raja in the world. So he ran away and after travelling
some distance he met a Raja being carried in a palki and going with a
large party to fetch a bride for his son; and when he heard who it was
he decided to follow the Raja; so he went along behind the palki and
at one place a she-jackal ran across the road; then the Raja got out
of his palki and made a salaam to the jackal. When Kara saw this he
thought "This cannot be the greatest Raja in the world or why should
he salaam to the jackal. The jackal must be more powerful than the
Raja; I will follow the jackal." So he left the wedding party and
went after the jackal; now the jackal was hunting for food for her
young ones, and as Kara followed her wherever she went she could
find no opportunity of killing a goat or sheep; so at last she went
back to the cave in which she lived. Then her cubs came whining to
meet her and she told her husband that she had been able to catch
nothing that day because a man had followed her wherever she went,
and had come right up to their cave and was waiting outside.

Then the he-jackal told her to ask what the man wanted. So she went
out to Kara and asked him and Kara said "I have come to place myself
under your protection;" then she called the he-jackal and they said
to him, "We are jackals and you are a man. How can you stay with us;
what could we give you to eat and what work could we find for you to
do?" Kara said that he would not leave them as all his hopes lay in
them; and at last the jackals took pity on him and consulted together
and agreed to make him a gift as he had come to them so full of
hope; so they gave him a cow which was in the cave, and said to him:
"As you have believed in us we have made up our minds to benefit
you; take this cow, she will supply you with everything you want;
if you address her as mother she will give you whatever you ask,
but do not ask her before people for they would take her from you;
and do not give her away whatever inducements are offered you."

Then Kara thanked them and called down blessings on their heads
and took the cow and led it away homewards. When he came to a tank
he thought he would bathe and eat; while he bathed he saw a woman
washing clothes at the other side of the tank but he thought that
she would not notice him, so he went up to the cow and said "Mother,
give me a change of clothes." Thereupon the cow vomited up some nice
new clothes and he put them on and looked very fine. Then he asked
the cow for some plates and dishes and she gave them; then he asked
for some bread and some dried rice, and he ate all he wanted and
then asked the cow to keep the plates and dishes for him; and the
cow swallowed them up again.

Now the woman by the tank had seen all that had happened and ran
home and told her husband what she had seen and begged him to get
hold of the wonderful cow by some means or other. Her husband could
not believe her but agreed to put it to the test, so they both went
to Kara and asked where he was going and offered to give him supper,
and put him up for the night and give grass for his cow. He accepted
this invitation and went with them to their house and they gave him
the guest-room to sleep in and asked what he would have to eat, but he
said that he did not want any supper,--for he intended to get a meal
from the cow after every one was asleep. Then the man and his wife
made a plot and pretended to have a violent quarrel and after abusing
each other for some time the man flung out of the house in a passion
and pretended to run away; but after going a short distance he crept
back quietly to the guest-room. Hanging from the roof was the body of a
cart and he climbed up into that and hid himself, without Kara knowing
anything about it. When Kara thought that every one was asleep, he
asked his cow for some food and having made a good meal went to sleep.

The man watching up above saw everything and found that his wife had
spoken the truth; so in the middle of the night he climbed down and
led away Kara's magic cow and put in its place one of his own cows of
the same colour. Early the next morning Kara got up and unfastened the
cow and began to lead it away, but the cow would not follow him; then
he saw that it had been changed and he called his host and charged him
with the theft. The man denied it and told him to call any villagers
who had seen him bring his cow the day before; now no one had seen
him come but Kara insisted that the cow had been changed and went to
summon the village headman and the villagers to decide the matter:
but the thief managed to give a bribe of one hundred rupees to the
headman and one hundred rupees to the villagers and made them promise
to decide in his favour; so when they met together they told Kara
that he must take the cow which he had found tied up in the morning.

Kara protested and said that he would fetch the person from whom he
had got the cow and take whichever cow he pointed out. Telling them
that they were responsible for his cow while he was away, he hastened
off to the cave where the jackals lived. The jackals somehow knew
that he had been swindled out of the cow, and they met him saying
"Well, man, have you lost your cow?" And he answered that he had
come to fetch them to judge between himself and the villagers: so
the jackals went with him and he went straight to the headman and
told him to collect all the villagers; meanwhile the jackals spread
a mat under a peepul tree and sat on it chewing _pan_ and when the
villagers had assembled the jackal began to speak, and said: "If a
judge takes a bribe his descendants for several generations shall eat
filth, in this world and the next; but if he make public confession,
then he shall escape this punishment. This is what our forefathers have
said; and the man who defrauds another shall be thrust down into hell;
this also they have said. Now all of you make honest enquiry into this
matter; we will swear before God to do justice and the complainant and
the accused shall also take oath and we will decide fairly." Then the
village headman was conscience stricken and admitted that he had taken
a bribe of one hundred rupees, and the villagers also confessed that
they had been bribed; then the jackal asked the accused what he had
to say to this: but he persisted that he had not changed the cow;
the jackal asked him what penalty he would pay if he were proved
guilty and he said that he would pay double. Then the jackal called
the villagers to witness that the man had fixed his punishment, and
he proposed that he and his wife should go to the herd of cattle,
and if they could pick out the cow that Kara claimed it would be
sure proof that it was his. So the jackals went and at once picked
out the cow, and the villagers were astonished and cried. "This is
a just judgment! They have come from a distance and have recognised
the cow at once." The man who had stolen it had no answer to give;
then the jackal said: "You yourself promised to pay double; you gave
a bribe of one hundred rupees to the headman and one hundred rupees
to the villagers and the cow you stole is worth two hundred rupees
that is four hundred rupees, therefore you must pay a fine of eight
hundred rupees;" and the man was made to produce eight hundred rupees
and the jackal gave all the money to the villagers except ten rupees
which he gave to Kara; and he kept nothing for himself.

Then Kara and the jackals went away with the cow, and after getting
outside the village the jackals again warned Kara not to ask the cow
for anything when anyone was by and took their leave of him and went
home. Kara continued his journey and at evening arrived at a large
mango orchard in which a number of carters were camping for the
night. So Kara stopped under a tree at a little distance from the
carters and tied his cow to the root. Soon a storm came up and the
carters all took shelter underneath their carts and Kara asked his
cow for a tent and he and the cow took shelter in it. It rained hard
all night and in the morning the carters saw the tent and wondered
where it came from, and came to the conclusion that the cow must have
produced it; so they resolved to steal the cow.

Kara did not dare to make the cow swallow the tent in the day time
while the carters were about, so he stayed there all the next day and
at night the cow put away the tent. Then when Kara was asleep some
carters came and took away the cow and put in its place a cow with
a calf, and they hid the magic cow within a wall of packs from their
pack bullocks. In the morning Kara at once saw what had happened and
went to the carters and charged them with the theft; they denied all
knowledge of the matter and told him he might look for his cow if he
liked; so he searched the encampment but could not see it.

Then he called the village headman and chowkidar and they searched
and could not find the cow and they advised Kara to keep the cow and
calf as it must be better than his own barren cow; but he refused and
said that he would complain to the magistrate and he made the headman
promise not to let the carters go until he came back. So he went to
a Mahommedan magistrate and it chanced that he was an honest man who
gave just judgments and took no bribes, and made no distinction between
the rich and the poor; he always listened to both sides carefully,
not like some rascally magistrates who always believe the story
that is first told them and pay no attention to what the other side
say. So when Kara made his complaint this magistrate at once sent for
the carters and the carters swore that they had not stolen the cow:
and offered to forfeit all the property they had with them, if the
cow were found in their possession.

Then the magistrate sent police to search the encampment and the police
pulled down the pile of packs that had been put round the cow, and
found the cow inside and took it to the magistrate. Then the magistrate
ordered the carters to fulfil their promise and put them all in prison
and gave all their property to Kara. So Kara loaded all the merchandise
on the carts and pack bullocks and went home rejoicing. At first the
villagers did not recognise who it was who had come with so much wealth
but Kara made himself known to them and they were very astonished and
helped him to build a grand house. Then Kara went to the Raja from
whom he had borrowed the money for his parents' funerals and paid back
what he owed. The Raja was so pleased with him that he gave him his
daughter in marriage and afterwards Kara claimed his father-in-law's
kingdom and got possession of it and lived prosperously ever after.

And the seven sons of his first master who used to scold him were
excited by his success and thought that if they went to foreign parts
they also could gain great wealth; so they took some money from their
father and went off. But all they did was to squander their capital
and in the end they had to come back penniless to their father.



XXII. Lita and His Animals.

Once upon a time there was a man who had four sons: two of them were
married and two were unmarried and the youngest was named Lita. One
day Lita went to his father and asked for fifty or sixty rupees that
he might go on a trading expedition and he promised that if he lost
the money he would not ask for any share in the paternal property. As
he was very urgent his father at last gave him sixty rupees and he
set out on his travels. After going some way he came to a village in
which all the inhabitants were chasing a cat; he asked them what was
the matter and they told him that the cat was always stealing their
Raja's milk and the Raja had offered a reward of twenty rupees to
anyone who would kill it. Then Lita said to them "Do not kill the cat;
catch it alive and give it to me and I will pay you twenty rupees for
it; then you can go to the Raja and say that you have killed it and ask
for the reward; and if the Raja asks to see the body tell him that a
stranger came and asked for the body, for he thought that a cat which
had fed on milk should be good eating and so you gave it to him." The
villagers thought that this would be an excellent plan and promised to
bring him the cat alive. They soon managed to catch it hiding under
a heap of firewood and brought it to Lita and he paid them twenty
rupees and then they went to the Raja and got twenty rupees from him.

Then Lita went on, and by-and-bye came to a village where the villagers
were hunting an otter in a tank; they had made a cut in the bank and
had let out all the water. Lita went to them and asked what they were
doing; they said that they were hunting for an otter which had been
destroying the Raja's fish and the Raja had promised them a reward if
they killed it, and they had driven it into the tank and were draining
off the water in order to catch it. Then Lita offered to buy it of them
if they brought it to him alive; so when they caught it they brought
it to him and he gave them money for it and continued his journey
with the cat and the otter. Presently he saw a crowd of men and he
went up to them and asked what they were doing: and they told him that
they were hunting a rat which was always gnawing the Raja's pens and
papers and the Raja had offered a reward for it, and they had driven
it out of the palace, but it had taken refuge in a hole and they were
going to dig it out Then Lita offered to buy it from them as he had
bought the other two animals and they dug it out and sold it to him.

He went on and in the same way found a crowd of men hunting a snake
which had bitten many people: and he offered to buy it for twenty
rupees and when they had chased it till it was exhausted, they
caught it alive and sold it to Lita. As his money was all spent,
he then set off homewards; and on the way the snake began to speak
and said: "Lita, you have saved my life; had you not come by, those
men would certainly have had my life; come with me to my home, where
my father and mother are, and I will give you anything you ask for;
we have great possessions." But Lita was afraid and said: "When you
get me there you will eat me, or if you don't, your father and mother
will." But the snake protested that it could not be guilty of such
ingratitude and at last Lita agreed to accompany it when he had left
the other animals at his home.

This he did and set off alone with the snake, and after some days they
reached the snake's home. The snake told Lita to wait outside while he
went and apprized his parents and he told Lita that when he was asked
to choose his reward he should name nothing but the ring which was on
the father-snake's finger, for the ring had this property that if it
were placed in a _seer_ of milk and then asked to produce anything
whatever, that thing would immediately appear. Then the snake went
on to his home and when the father and mother saw him they fell on
his neck and kissed him and wept over him saying that they had never
expected to see him again; the snake told them how he had gone to
the country of men and how a reward had been set on his head and he
had been hunted, and how Lita had bought him from the men who would
have killed him. The father snake asked why he had not brought Lita
to be rewarded and the snake said that he was afraid that when they
saw him they would eat him.

But the father and mother swore that they could not be guilty of
such ingratitude, and when he heard this the snake went and brought
in Lita, and they entertained him handsomely for two days; and on
the third day the father snake asked Lita what he would take as his
reward. Lita looked round at the shining palace in which they lived
and at first was afraid to speak but at last he said: "I do not want
money or anything but the ring on your finger: if you will not give
me that, I will take nothing; I saved your son from peril and that
you will remember all your lives, and if you give me the ring I will
honour you for it as long as I live." Then the father and mother snake
consulted together and the mother said "Give it to him as he asks for
it" so the father snake drew it from his finger and gave it to Lita
and they gave him also some money for his journey back; and he went
home and found the other three animals safe and sound waiting for him.

After a time his father said that Lita must marry; so marriage
go-betweens were sent out to look for a bride and they found a very
rich and beautiful girl whose parents were agreeable to the match. But
the girl herself said that she would only marry a man who would build
a covered passage from her house to his, so that she could walk to her
new home in the shade. The go-betweens reported this, and Lita's father
and brothers consulted and agreed that they could never make such a
passage, but Lita said to his father: "Arrange the match; it shall
be my charge to arrange for making the covered passage; I will not
let you be put to shame over it." For Lita had already put the ring
to the test: he had dropped it into a _seer_ of milk and said "Let
five _bharias_ of parched rice and two _bharias_ of curds appear" and
immediately the parched rice and curds were before him; and thereupon
he had called out "The snake has worthily rewarded me for saving his
life;" and the cat and the otter and the rat overheard what he said.

So the go-between was told to arrange for the wedding to take place
that very month, as Lita's birthday fell in the next month, which
therefore was not suitable for his wedding. Then the bride's family
sent him back to say that they were prepared to send a string of nine
knots; and the next day the go-between told this to Lita's family
and they said that they were willing to accept it; so the go-between
brought a string of nine knots to signify that the wedding would take
place in nine days. The days passed by and Lita's father and brothers
became very anxious because they saw no sign of the covered passage;
but on the very night before the wedding, Lita took his ring and
ordered a covered passage to be made from the one house to the other
with a good path down the middle; and the next morning they found
it made; and the bridegroom's party passed along it to the bride's
house and the bride was escorted home along it.

Now the bride had been deeply in love with another young man who lived
in her village and had much wished to marry him but her wishes of
course were not consulted in the matter. Some time after the marriage
she one day in the course of conversation asked her husband Lita how
much he had spent on making the covered passage to her house and how
he had built it so quickly. He told her that he knew nothing about it;
that his father and mother had arranged for it and no doubt had spent a
large sum of money. So the next day she took an opportunity of asking
her mother-in-law about it, but Lita's mother said that nothing had
been spent at all; somehow the passage had been made in one night,
she knew not how.

Then Lita's wife saw that Lita was keeping a secret from her, and
she began to reproach him for having any secrets from his wife: and
at last when she had faithfully promised never to reveal the matter
to anyone, he told her the secret of the ring. Now her former lover
used still to visit her and one day she sent for him and said that she
would no longer live with Lita, but wished to run away with him. The
lover at first objected that they would be pursued and killed while if
they escaped to a distance he would have nothing to support her with;
but the faithless woman said that there need be no anxiety about that
and she told him about the magic ring and how by means of it they
could provide themselves with a house and everything they wanted. So
they fixed a night for the elopement and on that night when Lita
was asleep his wife quietly drew the ring off his finger and went
out to her lover who was waiting outside and told him to get a goat
from the pen; then they beheaded the goat and went inside and poured
all its blood on the ground under the bed on which Lita was sleeping,
and then having hid the body and head of the goat, they ran away.

Towards morning Lita woke up and missed his wife, so he lit a lamp to
look for her and then saw the pool of blood under the bed. At this
sight he was terror stricken. Some enemy had killed and carried off
his wife and he would be charged with the murder. So he lay there
wondering what would happen to him. At last his mother came into the
room to see why he and his wife had not got up as usual and when she
saw the blood she raised a cry; the village headman and chowkidar
were sent for and they questioned Lita, but he could only say that
he knew nothing of what had happened; he did not know what the blood
was, he did not know where his wife was. Thereupon they sent two men
to the house of the wife's parents to see if by any chance she had
run away there and in any case to bring her relations to be present
at the enquiry into her disappearance. When her father and brothers
heard what had happened they at once went to Lita's house in wrath
and abused him as a murderer. They asked why, if his wife had not done
her duty to him, he had not sent her back to them to be chastised and
taught better, instead of murdering her and they went straight to the
magistrate and complained: the magistrate sent police who arrested
Lita and took him before the magistrate.

Meanwhile it had become known that not only was Lita's wife missing
but also her lover; and Lita's father presented a petition to the
magistrate bringing this to notice and asserting that the two must
have run away together. Then the magistrate ordered every search to be
made for the missing couple but said that Lita must remain in custody
till they were found, so he was shut up in prison. From prison he made
an application to the magistrate that his three tame animals, the cat
and the otter and the rat might be brought to the place where he was;
the magistrate kindly consented but the animals were not allowed
into the prison. However at night the rat being small made its way
inside and found out Lita, and asked what was to be done. Lita said
that he wanted the three animals to save him from his great danger
as he had saved them; he wanted them to trace his wife and her lover
and recover the ring; they would doubtless find them living in some
gorgeous palace, the gift of the ring.

The rat went out and gave the other two Lita's message and they
readily undertook to do their best; so the next morning the three
animals set off. In vain they hunted all over the country, till one
day they came to the bank of the Ganges and there on the other side
they saw a palace shining like gold. At this their hopes revived,
for this might be a palace made by the magic ring. But the cat and
the rat objected that they could not cross the river. The otter said
that he would easily manage that and he took the cat on his back and
the rat climbed on to the back of the cat and so the otter ferried
them both across the river; then they consulted and decided that
it would be safest to wait till the evening before they went to the
palace to see who lived in it. When they looked in in the evening,
they at once recognised Lita's wife and her lover; but these two were
in constant terror of being pursued and when they had had their evening
meal they fastened and bolted every entrance so securely that no one
could gain admittance. Then the cat and the otter told the rat that
he must collect all the rats of the neighbourhood and they must burrow
through the wall and find some way of abstracting the magic ring.

So the rat collected a crowd of his friends and in no time they bored
a hole through the wall; then they all began to look for the ring;
they hunted high and low but could not find it; however the cat sat
at the entrance of the hole which they had made and vowed that they
should not come out, unless they got the ring. Then the first rat
climbed on to the bed in which the couple were sleeping and searched
their clothes and examined their fingers and toes but in vain; then
he thought that the woman might have it in her mouth so he climbed
on to her chest and tickled her nose with the tip of his tail; this
made her sneeze and behold she sneezed out the ring which she had
hidden in her mouth. The rat seized it and ran off with it and when
the cat was satisfied that he had really got it, she let him out and
the three friends set off rejoicing on their homeward journey. They
crossed the river in the same way as when they came with the cat
riding on the otter and the rat on the cat: and the rat held the
ring in its mouth. Unfortunately when they were halfway across,
a kite swooped down to try and carry off the rat. Twice it swooped
and missed its grasp but the second time it struck the rat with its
wing and the rat in terror let the ring fall into the river.

When they reached the bank the three friends consulted what they
were to do in this fresh misfortune. As the otter was the only one
who could swim it volunteered to look for the ring, so it plunged
into the water and searched the bottom of the river in vain; then it
guessed that a fish must have swallowed the ring and it set to work
to catch every fish it saw and tore them open; at last in the stomach
of a big fish it found the ring, so it brought the fish to the bank
and while they were all rejoicing and eating a little of the fish a
kite swooped down and carried off the fish, ring and all.

The three animals watched the kite flying away with the fish; but some
women who were gathering firewood ran after the kite and took the fish
from it and putting it in their basket went home. Then the otter and
the rat said to the cat "Now it is your turn: we have both recovered
the ring once, but we cannot go into the house of these humans. They
will let you go near them easily enough; the ring is in the fish's
stomach, you must watch whether they throw away the stomach or clean
it, and find an opportunity for carrying off the ring."

So the cat ran after the women and when they began to cut up the
fish, it kept mewing round them. They threw one or two scraps to it,
but it only sniffed at them and would not eat them; then they began
to wonder what on earth the cat wanted, and at last they threw the
stomach to it. This it seized on gladly and carried it off and tore
it open and found the ring and ran off with it to where the otter
and the rat were waiting. Then the three friends travelled hard for
a day and a night and reached the prison in which Lita was confined.

When Lita got the ring he begged his jailer to get him a _seer_
of milk and when it was brought he dropped the ring in it, and said
"I wish the bed on which my faithless wife and her lover are sleeping
to be brought here with them in it this very night" and before morning
the bed was brought to the prison. Then the magistrate was called and
when he saw that the wife was alive he released Lita, and the lover
who had run away with her had to pay Lita double the expenditure
which had been incurred on his marriage, and was fined beside.

But Lita married another wife and lived happily with her. And some
time afterwards he called the otter and the cat and the rat to him
and said that he purposed to let them go and before they parted he
would give them anything they wished for. They said that he owed them
nothing, and they made Lita promise to let them know if ever he lost
the ring or fell into trouble, and he promised to help them if ever
their lives were in danger, and one morning he took them to a bazar,
near which was a tank full of fish, and he turned the otter into
the tank and left the cat and the rat to support themselves in the
bazar. The next day he went to see them and the otter came out of
the tank and gave him a fish which it had caught, and the cat brought
him some milk it had stolen, and that was the last he saw of them.



XXIII. The Boy Who Found His Father.

There was once a boy who used always to cheat when playing _Kati_
(pitch and toss) and for this the village boys with whom he played used
to quarrel with him, saying "Fatherless orphan, why do you cheat?" So
one day he asked his mother why they called him that name and whether
his father was really dead. "He is alive" said she "but a long time
ago a rhinoceros carried him off on its horn." Then the boy vowed
that he would go in search of his father and made his mother put him
up provisions for the journey; and he started off taking with him an
iron bow and a big bundle of arrows.

He journeyed on all day and at nightfall he came to a village; there he
went up to the house of an old woman to ask for a bed. He stood at the
threshhold and called out to her "Grannie, grannie, open the door." "I
have no son, and no grandchildren to call me grannie," grumbled the
old woman and went to open the door to see who was there, and when she
opened the door and saw him, she said "Ho, you are my grandson." "Yes,"
answered he, "I am your grandchild." So she called him inside and gave
him a bed to sleep on. The old woman was called Hutibudi; and she and
the boy sat up late talking together and then they lay down to sleep;
but in the middle of the night he heard the old woman crunching away
trying to bite his bow to pieces. He asked her what she was eating:
"Some pulse I got from the village headman," "Give me a little to
try" he begged. "I am sorry my child, I have finished it all." But
really she had none to give, however she only hurt her jaws biting
so that she began to groan with pain: "What are you groaning for,
Grannie?" said the boy; "Because I have toothache" she answered: and
in truth her cheeks were badly swollen. Then he told her that a good
cure for toothache was to bite on a white stone and she believed him
and the next morning got a piece of white quartz and began to bite on
it; but this only broke her teeth and made her mouth bleed so that the
pain was worse than before: then the boy jeered at her and said. "Did
you think, Grannie, that you could bite my iron bow and arrows?"

So saying he left her and continued the search for his father and
his road led him to a dense jungle which seemed to have no end, and
in the middle of the jungle he came to a lake and he sat down by it
to eat what was left of the provisions he had brought: as he sat,
he suddenly saw some cow-bison coming down to the lake: at this he
caught up his bow and arrows in a hurry and climbed up a tall _sal_
tree: from the tree he watched the bison go down to the water to drink
and then go back into the jungle. And after them tigers and bears
came down to the water: the sight of them frightened him and he sang:--


    "Drink your fill, tiger,
    I shall not shoot you.
    I shall shoot the giant rhinceros."


and they drank and went away. Then various kinds of birds came and
after them a great herd of rhinceroses and among them was one which
had the dried up body of the boy's father stuck on its horn. The boy
was rather frightened and sang


    "Drink your fill, rhinceroses,
    I shall not shoot you
    I shall shoot the giant rhinceros."


and when the giant rhinceros with the body of his father stooped its
head to drink from the lake, he put an arrow through it and it turned
a somersault and fell over dead: while all the other rhinceroses
turned tail and ran away. Then the boy climbed down from the tree and
pulled the dead body of his father off the horn of the dead animal and
laid it down at the foot of a tree and began to weep over it. As he
wept a man suddenly stood before him and asked what was the matter,
and when he heard, said "Cry no more: take a cloth and wet it in the
lake and cover your father's body with it: and then whip the body
with a _meral_ twig and he will come to life." So saying the stranger
suddenly disappeared; and the boy obeyed his instructions and behold
his father sat up alive and rubbing his eyes said "I must have been
asleep a very long time." Then his son explained to him all that had
happened and gave him some food and took him home.



XXIV. The Oilman's Bullock.

There was once a poor but industrious oilman; he got a log of wood
and carved out an oil mill and, borrowing some money as capital,
he bought mustard and sesame seed and set to work to press it; as he
had no bullock he had to turn the mill himself. He was so industrious
that he soon began to prosper and was able to buy a bullock for his
mill. By and bye he got so rich that he was able to buy some land and
a cart and pair of bullocks and was quite a considerable man in the
village. One day one of his cart bullocks died and this loss was a
sad blow to the oilman. However he tied up the surviving bullock in
the stable along with the old oil mill bullock and fed them well. One
night it chanced that one of the villagers passed by the stable and
hear the two animals talking and this is what he heard.

The young bullock said "You came to this house first, friend; what
sort of treatment does one get here?"

"Why do you ask me?" said the other. "Oh, I see your shoulder is
galled and your neck shows mark of the yoke." The old bullock answered
"Whether my master treats me well or ill I owe him money and have to
stay here until I have paid him off. When I have paid him five hundred
rupees I shall go." "How will you ever pay back such a sum?" "If
my master would only match me to fight the Raja's elephant for five
hundred rupees I should win the fight and my debt would be cleared;
and if he does not do that I shall probably have to work for him all
my life. How long do you intend to stay?" "My debt will be cleared
if I work for him two years" answered the new comer.

The man who overheard this conversation was much astonished and
went off to the oilman and told him all about it. Next day the whole
village had heard of it and they were all anxious for the oilman to
match his bullock against the Raja's elephant; but the oilman was
very frightened, for he feared that if he sent such a challenge, the
Raja would be angry with him and drive him out of the country. But
the leading villagers urged him and undertook to find the money if he
lost, and to persuade the Raja that the oilman was mad, if he became
angry with him. At last the oilman consented, provided that some of
the villagers went to the Raja and proposed the match; he was too
frightened to go himself. So two of the village elders went to the
Raja and asked him to match his elephant against the oilman's bullock
for five hundred rupees; the Raja was very much amused and at once
fixed a day for the fight. So they returned and told the oilman to
be ready and raised a subscription of five hundred rupees.

The evening before the contest the oilman gave the bullock a big feed
of meal and oilcake; and on the eventful morning the villagers all
collected and watched him oiling its horns and tying a bell round its
neck. Then the oilman gave the bullock a slap on its back and said
"Take care: you are going to fight an elephant; if you owe me so much
money you will win, and if not, then you will be defeated." When
he said this the bullock pawed the ground and snorted and put down
its head.

Then they all set out with the five hundred rupees to a level field
near the Raja's palace; a great crowd collected to see the fun and
the Raja went there expecting easily to win five hundred rupees. The
elephant was brought forward with vermilion on its cheeks, and a
pad on its back, and a big bell round its neck, and a mahout riding
it. The crowd called out "Put down the stakes:" so each side produced
the money and publicly announced that the owner of the animal which
should be victorious should take all the stakes. But the oilman
objected to the mahout's riding the elephant; no one was going to ride
his bullock. This was seen to be fair and the mahout had to get off;
then the fight began. The bullock snorted and blew through its nose,
and ran at the elephant with its head lowered. Then the elephant also
rushed forward but the bullock stood its ground and stamped; at this
the elephant turned tail and ran away; the bullock ran after it and
gored it from behind until it trumpeted with pain. The crowd shouted
"The Raja's elephant is beaten." And the oilman took the five hundred
rupees and they all went home. From that day the oilman no longer put
the bullock to work the oil mill but fed it well and left it free to
go where it liked. But the bullock only stayed on with him for one
month and then died.



XXV. How Sabai Grass Grew.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers who had an only
sister. These brothers undertook the excavation of a large tank;
but although they spent large sums and dug very deep they could not
reach water and the tank remained dry.

One day as they were consulting what to do to get the tank to fill,
they saw a Jogi corning towards them with a lota in his hand; they at
once called to him to come and advise them, for they thought that,
as he spent his time wandering from country to country, he might
somewhere have learned some thing which would be of use to them. All
the Jogi said to them was "You have a sister: if you sacrifice her,
the tank will fill with water." The brothers were fond of the girl,
but in their despair at seeing their labour wasted they agreed to give
the advice of the Jogi a trial. So they told their mother the next day
that, when their sister brought them out their midday meal, she was
to be dressed in her best and carry the rice in a new basket and must
bring a new water pot to draw their water in. At midday the girl went
down to her brothers with her best cloth and all her jewellry on; and
when they saw their victim coming they could not keep from tears. She
asked them what they were grieving for; they told her that nothing was
the matter and sent her to draw water in her new water-pot from the
dry tank. Directly the girl drew near to the bank the water began to
bubble up from the bottom; and when she went down to the water's edge
it rose to her instep. She bent down to fill her pot but the pot would
not fill though the water rose higher and higher; then she sang:--


    "The water has risen, brother,
    And wetted my ankle, brother,
    But still the _lota_ in my hand
    Will not sink below the surface."


But the water rose to her knees and the pot would not fill, and
she sang:--


    "The water has risen, brother,
    And wetted my knees, brother,
    But still the lota in my hand
    Will not sink below the surface."


Then the water rose to her waist and the pot would not fill, and
she sang:--


    "The water has risen, brother,
    And wetted my waist, brother,
    But still the lota in my hand
    Will not sink below the surface."


Then the water reached her neck and the pot would not fill; and
she sang:--


    The water has risen, brother,
    And wetted my neck, brother,
    But still the lota in my hand
    Will not sink below the surface."


At last it flowed over her head and the water-pot was filled, but the
girl was drowned. The tank however remained brimful of sparkling water.

Now the unhappy girl had been betrothed and her wedding day was just
at hand. On the day fixed the marriage broker came to announce the
approach of the bridegroom; who shortly afterwards arrived at the
outskirts of the village in his palki. The seven brothers met him,
and the usual dancing began.

The bridegroom's party however wished to know why the bride did not
appear. The brothers put them off with various excuses, saying that
the girl had gone with her friends to gather firewood or to the river
to draw water. At last the bridegroom's party got tired of waiting
and turned to go home in great wrath at the way in which they had
been treated. On their way they passed by the tank in which the girl
had been sacrificed and, growing in the middle of it, they saw a most
beautiful flower. The bridegroom at once determined to possess this,
and he told his drummers to pick it for him; but whenever one of them
tried to pick it, the flower moved out of his reach and a voice came
from the flower saying:--


    "Take the flower, drummer,
    But the branch you must not break."


and when they told him what the flower sang the bridegroom said that
he would try and pick it himself; no sooner had he reached the bank
than the flower of its own accord floated towards him and he pulled it
up by the roots and took it with him into the palki. After they had
gone a little way the palki bearers felt the palki strangely heavy:
and when they looked in they found the bride also sitting in it,
dressed in yellow garments; for the flower was really the girl who
had been drowned.

So they joyfully took the happy couple with drumming and music to
the bridegroom's house.

In a short time misfortune befel the seven brothers; they fell into
the deepest poverty and were forced to earn what they could by selling
leaves and sticks which they gathered in the jungle. As they went about
selling these, they one day came to the village where their sister
was living and as they cried their wares through the streets they were
told to go to the house where the marriage had taken place. They went
there, and as they were selling their leaf plates their sister saw
and recognised them; they had only ragged loincloths on, and their
skins were black and cracked like a crocodile's.

At the sight their sister began to cry. Her friends asked what was
the matter and she said a straw from the thatch had run into her eye,
so they pulled down some of the thatch; she still went on crying and
they again asked what was wrong; she said that she had knocked her
foot against a stone in the ground; so they dug up the stone and threw
it away. But she still went on weeping and at last confessed that the
miserable-looking leaf-sellers were her brothers. Then her husband's
parents told her to be comforted, and they gave the brothers oil and
bade them go and bathe and oil their bodies: but the brothers were
so hungry that when they got to the bathing place they drank the oil
and ate the oil cake that had been given to them; and came back with
their skins as rough as when they went. So then they were given more
oil and some of the household went with them and made them bathe and
oil themselves properly and then brought them to the house and gave
them new clothes and made them a feast of meat and rice. According to
the custom of the country they were made to sit down in order of age
and were helped in that order; when they had all been helped and had
eaten, their sister said to them "Now brothers you come running to
me for food, and yet you sacrificed me in the tank." Then they were
overwhelmed with shame: they looked up at the sky but there was no
escape there; they looked down at the earth; and the earth split open
and they all ran into the chasm. The sister tried to catch the youngest
brother by the hair and pull him out, calling "Come back, brother,
come back brother, you shall carry my baby about for me!" but his
hair came off in her hand and the earth swallowed them all up. Their
sister planted the hair in a corner of the garden and it is said that
from that human hair, _sabai_ grass originated.



XXVI. The Merchant's Son and the Raja's Daughter.

Once a merchant's wife and a Raja's wife were both with child and one
day as they bathed together they fell into conversation, and they
agreed that if they both bore daughters then the girls should be
"flower friends" while if one had a son and one a daughter then the
children should marry: and they committed the agreement to writing. A
month or two later the Raja's wife bore a daughter and the merchant's
wife a son. When the children grew up a bit they were sent to school,
and as they were both very intelligent they soon learnt to read and
write. At the school the boys used to be taught in an upstairs room
and the girls on the ground floor. One day the boy wrote out a copy
of the agreement which their mothers had made and threw It down to
the girl who was below.

She read it and from that day they began to correspond with each other;
love soon followed and they decided to elope. They fixed a day and
they arranged that the boy should wait for the girl under a _turu_
tree outside the town. When the evening came the girl made haste to
cook her parents' supper and then, when they went to bed, she had
as usual to soothe them to sleep by rubbing their limbs; all this
took a long time and the merchant's son soon got tired of waiting,
so he sang to the tree:--


    "Be witness be witness for me 'Turu tree'
    When the Raja's daughter comes."


and so singing he tied his horse to the roots of the tree and himself
climbed up into the branches, and sitting in the tree he pulled off
and threw down a number of twigs. Late at night the Raja's daughter
came; she saw the horse tied and the twigs scattered on the ground,
but no other sign of her lover. And at last she got tired of waiting
and called the _Turu_ tree to witness, singing:--


    "Be witness be witness for me 'Turu tree'
    When the merchant's son comes."


As she finished her song the merchant's son threw down a large branch
to her, so she looked up and saw him sitting in the tree. Then she
climbed up to him and began to scold him for putting her to the pain
of waiting so long. He retorted "It was you who made me anxious by
keeping me waiting." "That was not my fault: you know how much work
a woman has to do. I had to cook the supper and put my parents to
bed and rub them to sleep. Climb down and let us be off." So they
climbed down from the tree and mounted the horse and rode off to
a far country. On the road the girl became very thirsty but in the
dense jungle they could find no water, at last the merchant's son
threw a stone at hazard and they heard it splash in a pool; so they
went in the direction of the sound and there they found water but it
was foul and full of worms and the girl refused to drink it. She said
that she would only drink water "which had a father and mother."

So they went on their way, and after a time they came to a number
of crows holding a meeting and in the midst was an owl with its head
nodding drowsily; it was seeing dreams for them; every now and then
a crow would give it a shove and ask what it had dreamt, but the owl
only murmured that it had not finished and went off to sleep again. At
last it said "I have seen a gander and a goose go down into a river
and swim about in it."

The merchant's son and his companion went on and presently came to
a river in full flood, which was quite uncrossable; on the far bank
was a cow lowing to a calf which had been left on the bank where they
were. When she saw them the girl began to sing:--


    "The cow lows for its calf
    The calf bleats for its mother:
    My father and mother
    Are weeping for me at home."


When he heard her lament like this the merchant's son exclaimed

"You women are all alike, come let us go back."

"How can we go back now?" answered the girl "You of course can pretend
that you have been hunting; but we women lose our character if we
are hidden by a bush for a minute."

So as they could not cross the river by themselves, a goose and gander
carried them across on their backs. As they went on the merchant's
son asked the girl how far she would like to go, a six days' journey
or a six months' journey. He told her that in the six months' journey
they would only have fruits and roots and such like to eat and water
to drink, but the six days' journey was easy and free from hardship.

The girl chose the six days' journey, so they went on for six days
and came to a stream on the banks of which stood a cottage in which
lived an old woman. Before they went up to it the girl told her lover
not to eat any rice given to him by the old woman but to throw it
to the fowls; then they went and asked to be allowed to cook their
food there; now the old woman had seven unmarried sons, who were away
hunting at the time, and when she saw the Raja's daughter she wished
to detain her and marry her to one of her sons. So in order to delay
them she gave them a damp stove and green firewood to cook with;
she also offered the merchant's son some poisoned rice but he threw
it to the fowls, and when they ate it they fell down dead.

The girl could not make the fire burn with the green wood, so
they hurried away as fast as they could without waiting to cook any
food. Before they started however the old woman managed to tie up some
mustard seed in a cloth and fasten it to their horse's tail, so that
as they rode, the seed was spilt along the road they took. When the
old woman's sons came back from hunting she greeted them by saying:
"Why did you not come back sooner? I have just found a pretty wife
for you; but I have tied mustard seed to their horse's tail and it is
being scattered along the road: in one place it is sprouting in another
it is flowering; in another it is seeding and in another it is ripe;
when you get to the place where it is ripe you will catch them." So
the seven brothers pursued the two lovers and caught them up, but
the merchant's son cut down six of them with his sword; the seventh
however hid under the horse's belly and begged for mercy and offered to
serve them as groom to their horse. This man's name was Damagurguria;
they spared his life and he followed them running behind the horse;
but he watched his opportunity and caught the merchant's son unawares
and killed him with his sword.

Then he told the girl that she belonged to him and she admitted it and
asked that she might ride behind him on the horse, so Damagurguria
mounted and took her up behind him and turned homewards. He could
not see what the girl was doing and they had not gone far when she
drew his sword and killed him with it.

Then she rode back to where the body of her lover lay and began to weep
over it. As she sat there a man in shining white clothing appeared and
asked what was the matter; she told him Damagurguria had killed her
lover. Then he bade her stop crying and go and wet a _gamcha_ he gave
her and come straight back with it without looking behind her and then
pick a _meral_ twig and beat the corpse with it. So the girl took the
_gamcha_ and went and dipped it in a pool but, as she was bringing it
back, she heard a loud roaring behind her and she looked back to see
what it was; so the stranger sent her back again to the pool and this
time she did not look round though she heard the same roaring. Then
the stranger told her to join the severed head to the body and cover
it with the wet _gamcha_; and then, after waiting a little, to beat
the body with the _meral_ twig. So saying he disappeared. The girl
carefully complied with these instructions and to her joy saw the
merchant's son sit up and rub his eyes, remarking that he must have
been asleep for a long time. Great was his astonishment when he heard
how Damagurguria had killed him and how he had been restored to life
by the help of the stranger in white. This was the end of the lovers'
troubles and they lived happily ever after.



XXVII. The Flycatcher's Egg.

One day a herd boy found a flycatcher's egg and he brought it home
and asked his mother to cook it for him, but she put it on a shelf
and forgot about it. His mother was a poor woman and had to go out all
day to work; so before she started she used always to cook her son's
dinner and leave it covered up all ready for him. No sooner had she
gone to work than a _bonga_ girl used to come out of the flycatcher's
egg and first eat up the rice that had been left for the herd boy
and then quickly put water on to boil and cook some rice with pulse;
and, having eaten part of it, cover up the rest, ready for the herd
boy on his return. Then she used to comb and dress her hair and go
back into the egg. This happened every day and at last the boy asked
his mother why she gave him rice cooked with pulse every day, as he
was tired of it. His mother was much astonished and said that some
one must have been changing his food, because she always cooked his
rice with vegetables. At this the boy resolved to watch and see who
was touching his food; so one day he climbed up on to the rafters
and lay in wait. Presently out of the egg came the _bonga_ girl and
cooked the food and combed her hair as usual. Just as she was going
back into the egg, the herd boy sprang down and caught her. "Fi, Fi,"
cried she "is it a _Dome_ or a _Hadi_ who is clasping me?" "No _Dome_
or _Hadi_," said he: "we are husband and wife:" so he took her to
wife and they lived happily together.

He strictly forbade her ever to go outside the house and he said
incantations over some mustard seed and gave it to her, and told
her that, if any beggars came, she was to give them alms through the
window and, if they refused to take them in that way, then she was
to throw the mustard seed at them; but on no account to go outside
the house. One day when her husband was away a jugi came begging;
the _bonga_ girl offered him alms through the window but the jugi
flatly refused to take them; he insisted on her coming out of the
house and giving them. Then she threw the mustard seed at him and he
turned into ashes. By superior magic however he at once recovered his
own form and again insisted on her coming outside to give him alms,
so she went out to him and he saw how beautiful she was.

The jugi went away and one day he went to beg at the Raja's palace and,
talking to the Raja, he told him how he had seen a girl of more than
human beauty. The Raja resolved to possess her, and one day he took
the form of a fly and flew to the house and saw the beautiful _bonga_;
a second day he came back in the same form and suddenly caught her
up and flew off with her on his back to his palace, and in spite of
her weeping shut her up in a beautifully furnished room on the roof
of his palace. There she had to stay and her food was brought to her
there. When the herd boy came home and found that his beautiful wife
was missing he filled the air with lamentations and leaving his home
he put on the garb of a jugi and went about begging. One day he came
to the palace of the Raja who had carried off his wife; as he begged
he heard his wife's voice, so he sang:--


    "Give me, oh give me, my flycatcher wife,
    Give me my many-coloured wife."


Then they offered him a jar full of money to pacify him, but he threw
the rupees away one by one and continued his lament. Then the Raja
called for his two dogs Rauta and Paika and set them on the man and
they tore him to death. At this his wife wept grievously and begged
them to let her out since there was no one to carry her away, now
that her husband was dead.

They prepared to take away the corpse to burn it and the _bonga_
girl asked to be allowed to go with them as she had never seen the
funeral rites of a jugi: so they let her go.

Before starting she tied a little salt in the corner of her cloth. When
she reached the burning place, she sang to the two dogs:--


    "Build the pyre, Rauta and Paika!
    Alas! The dogs have bitten the jugi,
    Alas! They have chased and killed the jugi."


So the two dogs built the pyre and lay the body on it. Then she
ordered them to split more wood, singing:--


    "Cut the wood, Rauta and Paika!
    Alas! The dogs have bitten the Jugi,
    Alas! They have chased and killed the jugi."


So they split more wood and then she told them to apply the fire,
singing:--


    "Light the fire, Rauta and Paika!
    Alas! The dogs have bitten the Jugi,
    Alas! they have chased and killed the jugi."


When the pyre was in full blaze she suddenly said to the dogs "Look up,
Rauta and Paika, see the stars are shining in the day time." When the
two dogs looked up, she threw the salt into their eyes, and, while
they were blinded, she sprang into the flames and died as a _sati_
on the body of her husband.



XXVIII. The Wife Who Would Not Be Beaten.

There was once a Raja's son who announced that he would marry no woman
who would not allow him to beat her every morning and evening. The
Raja's servants hunted high and low in vain for a bride who would
consent to these terms, at long last, they found a maiden who agreed
to be beaten morning and evening if the prince would marry her. So
the wedding took place and for two or three days the prince hesitated
to begin the beating; but one morning he got up and, taking a stick
from the corner, went to his bride and told her that she must have
her beating. "Wait a minute" said she "there is one thing I want to
point out to you before you beat me. It is only on the strength of
your father's position that you play the fine gentleman like this:
your wealth is all your father's and it is on his wealth that you
are relying. When you have earned something for yourself, and made
a position for yourself, then I am willing that you should beat me
and not before."

The prince saw that what his bride said was true and held his
hand. Then, in order to earn wealth for himself, he set out on a
trading expedition, taking quantities of merchandise loaded in sacks;
and he had a large band of retainers with him, mounted on horses and
elephants, and altogether made a fine show. The princess sent one of
her own servants with the prince and gave him secret instructions
to watch his opportunity and if ever, when the prince was bathing,
he should throw away a loin cloth, to take possession of it without
the prince knowing anything about it and bring it to her. The prince
journeyed on till he came to the country called Lutia.

The Raja of Lutia was walking on the roof of his palace and he saw
the cavalcade approaching, and he sent a _sipahi_ to meet the prince
and ask him this question, "Have you the secret of prosperity for ever
or of prosperity for a day?" When this question was put to the prince
he answered that he had the secret of prosperity for ever. When the
Lutia Raja was told of this answer, he ordered his men to stop the
prince's train; so they surrounded them and seized all the merchandise
and the prince's retainers fled on their horses and elephants and
left him alone and penniless. In his distress the prince was forced
to take service with a rich Hindu, and he had nothing to live on but
what his master chose to give him, and all he had to wear was a loin
cloth like the poorest labourer.

The only man who did not desert him was the servant whom the Princess
had sent; and one day he saw that the prince had thrown away an old
loin cloth while bathing; this he picked up and took home to his
mistress, who put it away. When she heard all that had happened to
her husband, she set out in her turn to the Lutia country and all
she took with her was a mouse and a shawl. When she reached the Lutia
country the Raja as before sent a messenger to ask whether she knew
the secret of prosperity for ever or of prosperity for a day.

She answered "prosperity for a day." Thereupon the Raja had her sent
for and also all the retainers who had deserted the Prince and who
had collected together in the neighbourhood. When they had all come
the Raja said that he would now decide who should have all the wealth
which had been taken from the prince: he produced a cat and said that
the person towards whom the cat jumped should have all the wealth. So
they all sat round the Raja and the Princess had her mouse hidden
under her shawl and every now and then she kept uncovering its head
and covering it up again. The cat soon caught sight of the mouse and,
when the Raja let it go, it jumped straight to the Princess in hopes
of catching the mouse. The Raja at once adjudged all the merchandise
to her, and she loaded it on the horses and elephants and took it
home accompanied by her husband's retainers.

A few days afterwards her husband came home, having got tired of
working as a servant, and, putting a bold face on it, he went up to
her and said that now he was going to beat her; all the retainers who
had accompanied him when he set out to trade and also the servant whom
the princess had sent with him were present. Then, before them all,
the princess took up the old loin cloth and asked him if he knew to
whom it had belonged; at this reminder of his poverty the prince was
dumb with shame. "Ask your retainers" continued the princess "to whom
all the merchandise with which you set out now rightfully belongs,
ask them whether it is yours or mine, and then say whether you will
beat me."

The prince had no answer to give her and after this lesson gave up
all idea of beating his bride.



XXIX. Sahde Goala.

Once a marriage was arranged between Sahde Goala and Princess Chandaini
and on the wedding day when it began to get dusk Sahde Goala ordered
the sun to stand still. "How," said he, "can the people see the
wedding of a mighty man like myself in the dark?" So at his behest
the sun delayed its setting for an hour, and the great crowd which
had assembled saw all the grand ceremonies.

The next day Sahde and his bride set off home and it took them three
days to reach the place where he lived. Before they left they had
invited the princess's father to come and see them; accordingly a day
or two later he set out, but it took him three months to accomplish the
distance which Sahde Goala had traversed in three days. When the old
Raja reached his son-in-law's house they welcomed him and washed his
feet and offered him refreshments; and when he had eaten, he asked his
son-in-law to take him out for a stroll. So they went out, Sahde Goala
in front and the old Raja following behind him and as they walked Sahde
Goala struck his foot against a stone, and the stone was shattered to
pieces. When the Raja saw this proof of his son-in-law's superhuman
strength, he became alarmed for his daughter's safety. If Sahde ever
lost his temper with her he might clearly smash her to atoms, so he
made up his mind that he could not leave her in such keeping. When
he told his daughter what he had seen she was as frightened as her
father and begged him to take her home, so they agreed to escape
together some time when Sahde Goala was out of the way.

One morning Sahde Goala went out to watch his men working in the
fields and the old Raja and his daughter seized this opportunity to
escape. Sahde Goala had a sister named Lorokini and she ran to the
field to tell her brother that his wife was running away. "Let her go"
said Sahde Goala. The old Raja travelled faster than his daughter and
left her behind and as she travelled along alone Sahde Goala made a
flooded river flow across her path. It was quite unfordable so the
Princess stood on the bank and sang:--


    "My mother gave me birth,
    My father gave me in marriage:
    If the water upstream would stand still
    And the water downstream would flow away
    Then I could go and live in my own home."


But no such thing happened and she had to go back to her husband's
house.

When she arrived her mother-in-law gave her a large basket of cooked
rice and a pot of relish and told her to take them to the labourers
in the field. Her mother-in-law helped her to lift the basket on to
her head and she set off. When she reached the field she called to
her sister-in-law:--


    "Come Lorokini,
    Lift down from my head
    The basket of rice
    And the pot of relish."


But Lorokini was angry with her for trying to run
away and refused to help, singing:--


    "I will not come
    I will not lift down the basket:
    Prop it against a _murup_ tree:
    I will not lift it down."


Then Chandaini Rani propped it against the trunk of a _murup_ tree,
and so set it on the ground.

Then she sang to her husband:--


    "Here, husband, is the lota of water:
    Here, husband, is the tooth stick;
    Come, and wash your hands:
    If you are angry with me
    Take me back to my father and mother."


But Sahde Goala was ploughing at the head of his men and paid no
attention to her: then she sang again:--


    "Seven hundred labourers
    And twenty hundred women labourers,
    You are causing to die of thirst."


But still Sahde Goala paid no attention. Then Chandaini Rani got
angry and by leaning the basket against the _murup_ tree managed to
get it on to her head again and carried it home, and from that time
murup trees grow slanting. Directly she had taken the rice and relish
to the house she set off again to run away to her mother. As before
Sahde Goala caused a flooded river to flow across her path and as
before she sang:--


    "My mother gave me birth,
    My father gave me in marriage:
    If the water upstream would stand still
    And the water downstream would flow away
    Then I could go and live in my own home,"


And this time the water did stand still and the water below all
flowed away and she crossed over. As she crossed she said "If I am
really chaste no one will be able to touch me." And as she reached
the opposite bank she saw a young man sitting waiting for her; his
name was Bosomunda, he had been sitting waiting for her on the bank
for days without moving. When he saw Chandaini Rani mount the bank
he rose and said "Come: I have been waiting for you, you are to be
my mistress." "Fie, fie!" answered she "Am I to belong to any Dome or
Hari?" Bosomunda swore that she should be his. "If so, then follow a
little behind me so as not to tread on my shadow." So they went on, the
Rani in front and Bosomunda behind. Presently they came to a tamarind
tree on which grew two enormous fruits; the Rani pointed to them saying
"If I am to belong to you, you must pick me those fruits." So Bosomunda
began to climb the tree, and as he climbed she prayed that the tree
might grow and touch the sky; and in fact as fast as Bosomunda climbed
so the tree grew and he got no nearer to the fruit.

Then the Chandaini Rani picked up the weapons which he had laid
on the ground and threw them away one to the north and one to the
south, one to the east and one to the west, and ran off as fast as
she could. Bosomunda at first did not see her because his eyes were
fixed on the tamarind fruit, but after she had gone a long way he
caught sight of her and came down as fast as he could and, gathering
up his weapons, went in pursuit. But Chandaini Rani had got a long
start, and as she hurried along she passed a thorn tree standing by
the side of the road and she called to it "Thorn tree, Bosomunda is
coming after me, do your best to detain him for a little." As she
spoke it seemed as if a weight descended on the tree and swayed it
to and fro so that its branches swept the ground, and it answered her
"I will do like this to him." Then she went on and met a goat on the
road, and she asked it to do its best to delay Bosomunda, and the
goat pawed the ground and dug its horns into the earth and said that
it would do the same to Bosomunda. Then she went on and met a ram and
made the same request; the ram charged a tree and butted it right over
and promised to treat Bosomunda in the same way. Afterwards she came
to a bull and the bull drove its horns into a bank and brought down
a quantity of earth and said that that was the way he would treat
Bosomunda. Next she came to a buffalo and the buffalo charged a bank
of earth to show what he would do to Bosomunda. Then she came to an
elephant and the elephant trampled a clod of earth to dust and said
that he would treat Bosomunda so. Then she went on and saw a paddy
bird feeding by the roadside and she asked it to do its best to delay
Bosomunda; the paddy bird drove its bill into the earth and said that
it would treat Bosomunda in the same way.

Meanwhile Bosomunda was in hot pursuit. When he came to the thorn
tree, the tree swayed its branches and caught him with its thorns,
but he cut down the tree and freed himself; he went on a little way
and met the goat which ran at him with its horns, but Bosomunda sang:--


    "Do not fight with me, goat,
    I will cut off your legs and cut off your head
    And take them to the shrine of Mahadeo."


So saying, he killed the goat and cut off its head and tied it to
his waist and went on. Next the ram charged him but he sang:


    "Do not fight with me, Ram,
    I will cut off your legs and cut off your head
    And take them to the shrine of Mahadeo."


So saying he killed the Ram and took its head. Then in succession he
was attacked by the bull and the buffalo and the elephant, but he
killed them all and cut off their heads. Then he came to the paddy
bird, which pretended to be busily engaged in picking up insects
and gradually worked its way nearer and nearer. Bosomunda let it get
quite close and then suddenly seized it and gave its neck a pull which
lengthened it out considerably; "Thank you" said the paddy bird, as
he put it down "now I shall be able to catch all the fish in a pool
without moving." Thereupon Bosomunda caught it again and gave its neck
a jerk and that is why paddy birds have necks shaped like a letter S.

Bosomunda continued his pursuit and caught up Chandaini Rani just
as she was entering her father's house; he seized her by her hair
and managed to cut off the edge of her cloth and pull off one of her
golden anklets, and then had to let her go.

He took up his abode at the _ghat_ of a tank and began to kill every
one who came down to the water. The citizens complained to the Raja
of the destruction he was causing and the Raja ordered some valiant
man to be searched for, fit to do battle with the murderer; so they
sent for a Birbanta (giant) and the Raja promised to give him half his
kingdom and his daughter in marriage if he could slay Bosomunda. So
the Birbanta made ready for the fight and advanced brandishing his
weapons against Bosomunda. Three days and three nights they fought,
and in the end the Birbanta was defeated and killed.

Then the Raja ordered his subjects to find another champion and
a Birburi was found willing to undertake the fight in hope of the
promised reward; and as he was being taken to the field of battle
his mother met him with a ladle full of curds and told him to do a
war dance, and as he was dancing round she threw the curds at him;
he caught the whole of it on his shield except one drop which fell on
his thigh; from this his mother foresaw that he would bleed to death
In the fight, so she took some rice and ran on ahead and again met
her son and told him to do the war dance and show how he was going to
fight; and as he danced his sword shivered to atoms. His mother said,
"Is this the way in which you intended to fight, of a surety you would
have met your death." Then she made him gather together the pieces
of his sword and cover them with a wet cloth, and in a few minutes
the pieces joined together; then she allowed him to go to the fight.

When the battle began the Birburi's mother kept calling out "Well,
Bosomunda, have you killed my son?" This enraged Bosomunda and he
kept running after the old woman to drive her away, and this gave
the opportunity to the Birburi to get in a good blow; in this way
they fought for seven days and nights and at the end Bosomunda was
defeated and killed. Then the Raja gave half his kingdom to the
Birburi and married him to his daughter Chandaini Rani.

After their marriage they set out for their new home and on the
way they met Sahde Goala who had come in search of his missing
wife. "Hulloa" cried Sahde Goala "where are you taking my wife
to?" "I know nothing about your wife" said the Birburi "this is
the Raja's daughter whom I have married as a reward for killing
Bosomunda; he has given me half his kingdom from Sir Sikar to the
field of the cotton tree." Then Sahde Goala told him to go his way,
so the Birburi and the Rani went on and Sahde Goala caused a flooded
river with the water flowing bank high to cross their path. As they
waited on the bank Sahde Goala made the Birburi an offer that, if he
could carry the woman across the river without getting the sole of
her foot wet, then she should belong to him and if not Sahde Goala
should take her. The Birburi agreed and tried and tried again to get
the Rani across without wetting her, but the flood was too strong,
so at last he gave in and Sahde Goala took her back with him to their
former home. There they lived and in the course of time Chandaini
Rani bore a son and she named him Dhonontori, and after the birth of
their son the family became so wealthy (dhon) that the Hindus revered
Dhonontori as a god. And so ends the story.



XXX. The Raja's Son and the Merchants Son.

Once upon a time the son of a Raja and the son of a merchant were great
friends; they neither of them had any taste for lessons but would play
truant from school and waste their time running about the town. The
Raja was much vexed at his son's behaviour; he wished him to grow up
a worthy successor to himself, and with this object did all he could
to break off his friendship with the merchant's son, as the two boys
only led each other into mischief; but all his efforts failed and at
last he offered a reward of one hundred rupees to any one who could
separate them. One of the Raja's concubines made up her mind to earn
the reward, and one day she met the two boys as they were going out to
bathe. The Raja's son was walking ahead and the merchant's son a little
way behind; the woman ran after the merchant's son and threw her arms
round him and putting her lips to his ear pretended to whisper to him
and then ran away. When they met at the river the Prince asked the
merchant's son what the woman had told him, his friend denied that
she had said anything but for all his protestations the Prince would
not believe this. They quarrelled about it for a long time and at
last the Prince went home in a rage and shut himself up in his room
and refused to eat or be comforted. His father sent to enquire what
was the matter with him and the Prince replied that food should not
pass his lips until the merchant's son had been put to death.

Thereupon the Raja sent for some soldiers and told them to devise
some means of killing the merchant's son. So they bound the youth
and showed him to the Prince and said that they would take him to the
jungle and kill and bury him there. They then led him off, but on the
road they caught a lamb and when they got to the jungle they killed
the lamb and steeped the clothes of the merchant's son in the blood
that they might have something to show to the Prince and then went
back leaving the boy in the jungle. They took the bloody cloth to
the Prince and told him to rise and eat, but when he saw the blood,
all his old friendship revived and he was filled with remorse and
could not eat for sorrow. Then the Raja told his soldiers to find out
some friend to comfort the Prince, and they told him that they would
soon set things straight and going off to the jungle brought back the
merchant's son and took him to the Prince; and the two youths forgot
their differences and were as friendly as before.

Time passed and one day the Prince proposed to his friend that they
should run away and seek their fortunes in the world. So they fixed
a day and stole away without telling anyone, and, as they had not
taken any money, they soon had to look about for employment. They
found work and the arrangement their masters made with them was this:
their wages were to be as much rice each day as would go on a leaf;
and if they threw up their work they were to forfeit one hand and
one ear; on the other hand if their masters discharged them so long
as they were willing to work for this wage the master was to lose one
hand and one ear. The merchant's son was cunning enough to turn this
agreement to his advantage, for every day he brought a large lotus
leaf to be rilled with rice; this gave him more than he could eat
and he soon grew fat and flourishing, but the Raja's son only took
an ordinary _sal_ leaf to his master and the rice that he got on this
was not enough to keep him alive, so he soon wasted away and died.

Now the merchant's son had told his master that his name was Ujar:
one day his master said "Ujar, go and hoe that sugar cane and look
sharp about it." So Ujar went and instead of hoeing the ground dug
up all the sugar cane and piled it in a heap. When the master saw
his fine crop destroyed he was very angry and called the villagers
to punish Ujar, but when they questioned him, Ujar protested that
he was bound to obey his master's orders; he had been ordered to
hoe the sugar cane, not the ground, and he had done as he was told,
and so they had to let him off.

Another day a Hindu neighbour came to Ujar's master and asked him to
lend him his servant for a day. So Ujar went to the Hindu's house
and there was told to scrape and spin some hemp, but Ujar did not
understand the Hindu language and when he got the knife to scrape
the hemp with, he proceeded to chop it all up into little pieces;
when the Hindu saw what had happened he was very angry and called in
the neighbours, but Ujar protested that he had been told to cut the
hemp and had done so; and so he got off.

Ujar's master had an only child and one day he told Ujar to take the
child to a tank and give him a good washing, so Ujar took the child
to a tank and there proceeded to dash the child against a stone in
the way that washermen wash clothes; he knocked the child about until
he knocked the life out of him and then carefully washed him in the
tank and brought the body home and put it on the bed. Next morning
the father was surprised not to hear the child running about and,
going to look, found the dead body. The villagers assembled but Ujar
protested that his master had told him to wash the child thoroughly
and he had only obeyed orders; so they had to let him off again.

After this the master made up his mind to get rid of Ujar, but he
was in a fix: he could not dismiss him because of the agreement that
if he did not continue to employ him so long as he was willing to
serve for one leaf full of rice a day he was to lose a hand and an
ear. So he decided to kill him, but he was afraid to do so himself
for fear of being found out; so he decided to send Ujar to his
father-in-law's house and get them to do the job. He wrote a letter
to his father-in-law asking him to kill the bearer directly he arrived
before many people knew of his coming and this letter he gave to Ujar
to deliver.

On the way however Ujar had some misgivings and he opened the letter
and read it; thereupon he tore it in pieces and instead of it wrote a
letter to his master's father-in-law in which his master was made to
say that Ujar was a most valuable servant and they should give him
their youngest daughter in marriage as soon as possible. The fraud
was not found out and directly Ujar arrived he was married to the
youngest daughter of his master's father-in-law. A few days later the
master went to see how his plan had worked and was disgusted to find
Ujar not only alive but happily married.

So he thought that he would entice him into the jungle and kill him
there; with this object he one day invited Ujar to come out hunting
with him, but Ujar suspected what was up and took a hatchet with him;
and directly they got to the jungle he fell behind his master and
cut him down with his hatchet and then went home and told his wife's
relations that his master had got tired of hunting and had gone back
to his own home; no doubts were raised about his story and he lived
on happily with his wife till he died at a ripe old age.



XXXI. The Poor Widow.

Once there was a poor widow who had two children; she lived by daily
labour and if she got no work any day, then that day they had to go
without food. One morning she went out to look for work and a rich
woman called her and asked if she wanted a job; she said "Yes, that
is what I am looking for," then the rich woman said "Stay here and
pick the lice out of my hair, and I will pay you your usual wages and
give you your dinner as well." So the poor widow agreed and spent the
day picking out the lice and at evening the rich woman brought out
a measure of rice to give her as her wages and, as she was measuring
it, she felt her head itch and she put up her hand and scratched and
pulled out a large louse.

Then she got very angry and scolded the widow and said that she would
pay her nothing as she had not done her work properly and she turned
her out. Then the widow was very unhappy for she had nothing to give
her starving children and she wished that she had stuck to her usual
work. When she got home and her children began to cry for food, she
remembered that she had seen some wild _saru_ (vegetable) growing in
a certain place; so she took a basket and a sickle and telling her
children not to cry went out to gather it. It was dark and lonely
and she felt frightened but then she thought of her children and
went on and gathered the _saru_, and returned home crying because
she had nothing better to give her offspring. On the way she met an
old man who asked her why she was crying and she told him all her
story. Then he told her to take the herbs home and chop them all up
and to put some in every basket and pot she had and to cook the rest
for supper. So when she got home she did as she had been directed and
when she came to take the herbs which she had cooked out of the pot,
she found that they had turned into rice, and she and her children
ate it with joy. The next morning she found that every pot and basket
into which she had put the herbs was full of rice; and from that time
she prospered and bought goats and pigs and cattle and lived happily
ever after.

But no one knew where the old man came from, as she had forgotten to
ask him.



XXXII. The Monkey and the Girl.

Once upon a time the boys and girls of a village used to watch the
crops of _but_ growing by a river, and there was a Hanuman monkey who
wished to eat the _but,_ but they drove him away. So he made a plan:
he used to make a garland of flowers and go with it to the field and,
when he was driven away, he would leave the flowers behind; and the
children were pleased with the flowers and ended by making friends with
the monkey and did not drive him away. There was one of the young girls
who was fascinated by the monkey and promised to marry him. Some of
the other children told this in the village and the girl's father and
mother came to hear of it and were angry and the father took some of
the villagers and went and shot the monkey. Then they decided not to
throw away the body, but to burn it like the corpse of a man. So they
made a pyre and put the body on it and set fire to it; just then the
girl came and they told her to go away, but she said that she wished
to see whether they really burned him like a man. So she stood by
and when the pyre was in full blaze, she called out "Oh look, what is
happening to the stars in the sky!" at this every one looked up at the
sky; then she took some sand which she had in the fold of her cloth
and threw it into the air and it fell into their eyes and blinded them.

While they were rubbing the sand out of their eyes the girl leapt on to
the pyre, and was burned along with the monkey and died a _sati_. Her
father and brothers were very angry at this and said that the girl
must have had a monkey's soul and so she was fascinated by him;
and so saying they bathed and went home.



XXXIII. Ramai and the Animals.

Once there was a blacksmith who had five sons and the sons were always
quarrelling. Their father used to scold them, but they paid no heed;
so he got angry and one day he sent for them and said: "You waste
your time quarrelling. I have brought you up and have amassed wealth;
I should like to see what you are worth. I will put it to the test:
I will give you each one hundred rupees, and I will see how you employ
the money; if any of you puts it to profitable use, I will call him
my son; but if any of you squander it, I shall call him a girl." So
they went forth with the money and one bought buffaloes and one bought
horses and another cattle, each according to his judgement, and brought
them home. But the youngest son, who was named Ramai, soon after he
started, found some men killing a cat and he begged them not to kill
the cat, but let him have it and he bought it of them, and going on
he found some men killing a dog which they had caught stealing and
he bought it of them to save its life. By and bye he came to some men
hunting an otter and he asked what they were doing, and they said that
the otter ate the fish in a Raja's tank and so they were going to kill
it; and he asked them to catch it and sell it to him, and promised
to take it away where it could do no harm; and they did so. Then he
went on and came to some men who were killing a young black snake
and he saved that also, and then returned home with his four animals,
and he tethered the cat and the dog and the otter in the yard and he
put the snake into a pot with a lid on and hung it in the cow shed.

When his father saw Ramai's animals, he was very angry and jeered at
him and said that he had no more mind than a woman; and especially
he told him to throw away the snake at once, if he did not want it
killed. So Ramai took down the pot with the snake in it, and the snake
said: "Take me to my father and mother and they will reward you, and
when they ask what you would like, take nothing but the ring which
is on my father's hand: it is a magic ring and has the property that
it will give you whatever you ask."

So Ramai took the young snake to its home and its father and mother
were very grateful and asked what reward he would accept: and he said
he would take nothing but the ring, so they gave it to him. On the way
home he thought that he would test its virtues: so he bathed and spread
out a cloth and then prayed: "Oh ring, give me some luncheon," and
behold he saw a nice lunch heaped up in the middle of the cloth. He ate
it joyfully and went back home, and there he found that his father had
killed the other animals and he reproached him; but his father said:
"They were useless and were only eating their heads off, why should
not I kill them?" Ramai answered: "These were not useless, they were
most valuable animals, much better than those my brothers bought; if
you asked my brothers for a gold palace they could not make you one,
but I could do so at once, thanks to the snake, and I could marry a
princess and get anything else I want."

His father said that he would like to see him try: so Ramai asked
the ring for a gold palace and immediately one appeared in their
garden. Then his father was very repentant about having killed the
other animals. But Ramai's boast that he could marry a princess got
abroad and the Raja heard of it and as he was glad to have so rich
a son-in-law, he gave him his daughter in marriage. And with his
daughter the Raja sent elephants and horses, but Ramai sent them back
again, lest it should be said that he had become rich through the
bounty of the Raja; and by virtue of the ring they lived in wealthy
and prosperity.



XXXIV. The Magic Bedstead.

Once upon a time a carpenter made a bedstead, and when it was ready he
put it in his verandah. At night he heard the four legs of the bedstead
talking together and saying: "We will save the life of anyone who
sleeps on this bedstead and protect him from his enemies." When the
carpenter heard this, he decided not to part with the bed for less
than a hundred rupees. So next day he went out to try and get this
price for the bed, but people laughed at him and said that no one
could pay such a price but the Raja; so he went to the Raja and the
Raja asked why he wanted one hundred rupees for a bedstead that was
apparently worth only five or six annas. The carpenter answered that
the bed would protect its owner from all enemies; the Raja doubted at
first but as the man persisted in his story, he agreed to buy the bed,
but he stipulated that if he found the story about it not to be true,
he should take back his money.

One night the king lay awake on the bed and he heard the legs of the
bed talking, so he lay still and listened: and they said that the
Raja was in danger and that they must try to save him. So one leg
loosened itself from the bed and went away outside and it found a
tiger which had come to eat the Raja, and it beat the tiger to death,
and then came back and fixed itself into its place again. Soon a
second leg said that it would go outside; so it went and that leg met
a leopard and a bear and it beat them to death and returned. Then the
third leg said that it was its turn, and it went outside and it found
four burglars digging a hole through the wall of the palace, and it
set upon them and broke their legs and left them lying there. When
this one returned, the fourth leg went out and it heard a voice in
the sky saying: "The Raja is very cunning, I will send a snake which
shall hide in his shoe and when he puts the shoe on in the morning,
it will bite him and he will die." When this leg came back, each one
told the others what it had seen and done, and the Raja heard them and
lay awake till morning, and at dawn he called his servants and sent
them outside the palace and there they found the tiger and leopard
and bear lying dead, and the four thieves with their legs broken. Then
the Raja believed what the legs had said and he would not get up but
first ordered his servants to make a fire in the courtyard and he
had all his shoes thrown into the fire and then he got up.

After this the Raja ordered that great care was to be taken of the
bedstead and that anyone who sat on it should be put to death; and he
himself used not to sleep in it anymore but he kept it in his bedroom
that it might protect him.



XXXV. The Ghormuhas.

Ghormuhas have heads like horses and bodies and arms like men and
their legs are shaped like men's but they have only one leg each,
and they eat human beings.

One day a young man named Somai was hunting a deer and the deer ran
away to the country of the Ghormuhas and Somai pursued it, and the
Ghormuhas caught him and took him home to eat. First they smoked him
for two or three days so that all the vermin were driven out of his
body and clothes and then they proceeded to fatten him; they fed him
well every day on rice cooked with turmeric.

Somai saw how they dealt with their other victims: they tied them hand
and foot and threw them alive into a pot of boiling oil and when they
were cooked they hung the bodies up in the doorway and would take a
bite as they passed in and out; the liver and heart and brains they
cooked separately. They used to eat their own parents also: for when
a father or mother grew old they would throw them on to the roof of
the house and when they rolled down and were killed they would say to
their friends, "The pumpkin growing on our roof has got ripe and fallen
off and burst, let us come and eat it;" and then they had a feast.

Somai saw all this and was very frightened. The Ghormuhas could run
very fast and they made Somai run a race with them every day and
their plan was that they would eat him when he was strong enough to
beat them in the race. In the course of time he came to beat them in
running on the road; then they said that they would make him run in
the fields and, if he beat them there, they meant to eat him.

Somai found out their plan and he decided to try and run away; if he
stayed he would be eaten, so if they caught him when he tried to run
away he would be no worse off. So the first day they raced in the
fields Somai was winning but he remembered and stopped himself and
let himself be beaten that day. But he resolved to try and escape the
next day and the Ghorarahas had decided to eat him that day whatever
happened. So when the race began, Somai set off towards the lower lands
where the rice fields were embanked and he jumped the embankments, but
the Ghormuhas who pursued him could not jump well and tumbled and fell;
and thus he ran away to his own country and made good his escape. And
it was he who told men what Ghormuhas are like and how they live.



XXXVI. The Boy Who Learnt Magic.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had seven wives and they were
all childless, and he was very unhappy at having no heir. One day a
Jogi came to the palace begging, and the Raja and his Ranis asked him
whether he could say what should be done in order that they might
have children; the Jogi asked what they would give him if he told
them and they said that they would give him anything that he asked
for and gave him a written bond to this effect. Then the Jogi said
"I will not take elephants or horses or money, but you shall give me
the child which is born first and any born afterwards shall be yours,
do you agree?" And the Ranis consulted together and agreed. "Then,"
said the Jogi, "this is what you must do: you must all go and bathe,
and after bathing you must go to a mango orchard and the Raja must
choose a bunch of seven mangoes and knock it down with his left
hand and catch it in a cloth, without letting it touch the ground;
then you must go home and the Ranis must sit in a row according to
their seniority and the Raja must give them each one of the mangoes
to eat, and he must himself eat the rinds which the Ranis throw away;
and then you will have children." And so saying the Jogi went away
promising to return the next year.

A few days later the Raja decided to give a trial to the Jogi's
prescription and he and the Ranis did as they had been told; but the
Raja did not eat the rind of the youngest Rani's mango; he did not love
her very much. However five or six months after it was seen that the
youngest Rani was with child and then she became the Raja's favourite;
but the other Ranis were jealous of her and reminded the Raja that he
would not be able to keep her child. But when her time was full she
gave birth to twin sons, and the Raja was delighted to think that he
would be able to keep the younger of the two and he loved it much.

When the year was up the Jogi came and saw the boys and he said that
he would return when they could walk; and when they could run about,
he came again, and asked whether the Raja would fulfil his promise.

The Raja said that he would not break his bond. Then the Jogi said
that he would take the two boys and when the Raja objected that he was
only entitled to one, he said that he claimed both as they were born
at the same time; but he promised that if he took both he would teach
them magic and then let one come back; and he promised also that all
the Ranis should have children. So the Raja agreed and sent away the
boys with the Jogi and with them he sent goats and sheep and donkeys
and horses and camels and elephants and furniture of all sorts.

The Jogi was called Sitari Jogi and he was a Raja in his own
country. But before they reached his country all the animals died,
first the goats, then the sheep and the donkeys and the horses and the
camels and the elephants. And when the goats died the boys lamented:


    "The goats have died, father,
      How far, father,
    Is it to the country of the Sitari Jogi?"


and so they sang when the other animals died.

At last they reached the Jogi's palace and every day he taught them
incantations and spells. He bought them each a water pot and sent
them every morning to fill it with dew, but before they collected
enough, the sun came out and dried up the dew; one day they got a
cupful, another day half a cupful, but they never were able to fill
the pots. In the course of time they learnt all the spells the Jogi
knew and one day when they went out to gather dew, the younger boy
secretly took with him a rag and he soaked this in the dew and then
squeezed it into the pot and so he soon filled it; and the elder
boy seeing his brother's pot full, filled his pot at a pool of water
and they took them to the Jogi; but the Jogi was not deceived by the
elder boy and told him that he would never learn magic thoroughly;
but the younger boy having learned all that the Jogi knew, learnt more
still from his friends, for all the people of that country knew magic.

Then one day the Jogi took the two boys back to their home and he told
the Raja that he would leave the elder boy at home. The Raja wanted
to keep the younger one, but the Jogi insisted and the younger boy
whispered to his mother not to mind as he would soon come back by
himself; so they let him go.

The Jogi and the boy used to practise magic: the Jogi would take the
form of a young man and the boy would turn into a bullock and the
Jogi would go to a village and sell the bullock for a good price;
but he would not give up the tethering rope and then he would go away
and do something with the tethering rope and the boy would resume his
shape again and run off to the Jogi and when the purchasers looked
for their bullock they found nothing, and when they went to look for
the seller the Jogi would change his shape again so that he could
not be recognised; and in this way they deceived many people and
amassed wealth.

Then the Jogi taught the boy the spell he used with the rope, and
when he had learnt this, he asked to be taught the spell by which he
could change his own shape without having a second person to work the
spell with the rope. The Jogi said that he would teach him that later
but he must wait. Then the boy reproached the Jogi and said that he
did not love him; and he went away to his friends in the town and
learnt the spell he wanted from them, so that he was able to change
his shape at will.

Two or three days after the boy again went to the Jogi and said
"Teach me the spell about which I spoke to you the other day," and
the Jogi refused. "Then," said the boy, "I shall go back to my father,
for I see that you do not love me."

At this the Jogi grew wrathful and said that if the away he would
kill him, so the boy at this ran away in terror, and the Jogi became
a leopard and pursued him: then the boy turned himself into a pigeon
and the Jogi became a hawk and pursued him; so the boy turned himself
into a fly and the Jogi became a paddy bird and pursued him; the fly
alighted on the plate of a Rani who was eating rice, and the Jogi took
on his natural shape and told the Rani to scatter the rice which she
was eating on the ground and she did so; but the boy turned himself
into a bead of coral on the necklace which the Rani was wearing; and
the Jogi did not notice this but became a pigeon and ate up the rice
which the Rani had thrown down. When he did not find the boy among the
rice he turned himself into a Jogi again and saw him in the necklace;
then he told the Rani to break her necklace and scatter the beads on
the ground and she did so; then the Jogi again became a pigeon and
began to pick up the beads, but the boy turned himself into a cat
and hid under the verandah and when the pigeon came near, he pounced
on it and killed it, and ran outside with it. Then he became a boy
again and twisted off the bird's head and wrapped it in his cloth and
went off home; and looking behind he saw the Jogi's head come rolling
after him, so when he came to a blacksmith's fire by the side of the
road he threw the pigeon's head into it, and then the Jogi's head
also ran into the fire and was consumed.

And the boy went home to his parents.



XXXVII. The Charitable Jogi.

Once there was a very poor man with a large family; and when his eldest
son grew up he tried to arrange a marriage for him. He selected a bride
and arranged matters with her relations but then he found that he had
no money to pay for the performance of the marriage ceremonies. So he
tried to borrow from his friends and from money lenders, but no one
would lend him anything. So he proposed to the bride's relatives to
only have the betrothal that year and the marriage the year after, but
they would not agree and said that the marriage must be then or never.

Just then a Jogi came to his house to beg and he told the Jogi all
about his difficulties and asked for help; the Jogi took pity on
him and gave him twenty rupees which was all that he had collected
by begging.

Now this Jogi had two wives at home and he thought that he would get
a poor reception from them if he returned empty handed, so he picked
up two stones and wrapped them up in two pieces of cloth. And when he
reached home his wives welcomed him and brought out a bed for him to
sit on and asked about his adventures and when they saw the bundles
they wished to know what was inside and they opened them before him
and behold the stones had turned into gold. When the Jogi saw this
he wished that he had picked up three or four stones instead of only
two and he understood that Chando had given him the gold because he
helped the poor man.

This is why no money lender will refuse a loan if one is asked for
for the performance of a marriage and money so borrowed is always
paid back punctually. When the Jogi came back the next year the poor
man paid him the twenty rupees.



XXXVIII. Chote and Mote.

Once upon a time there were two brothers Chote and Mote; they were
poor but very industrious and they got tired of working as hired
labourers in their own village so they decided to try their luck
elsewhere. They went to a distant village and Chote took service
with an oilman and Mote with a potter on a yearly agreement. Chote
had to drive the oil mill in the morning and then after having his
dinner to feed the mill bullock and take it out to graze. But the
bullock having had a good meal of oilcake would not settle down to
graze alone but kept running after all the herds of cattle it saw,
and Chote had to spend his whole time running after it till he was
worn out and he was very soon sorry that he had taken up such hard
service; and was quite resolved not to stay on after his year was up.

Mote was no better off; the potter overworked him, making him carry
water and dig earth from morn to night and for all he did he got
nothing but abuse.

One day the brothers, met and Mote asked Chote how he was getting
on. Chote answered "Oh I have got a capital place; all the morning
I sit at my ease on the oil mill, then I have a good dinner and take
the bullock out to graze and as it has had a good meal of oilcake it
lies down without giving any trouble and I sit in the shade and enjoy
myself." Then Mote said "I am pretty lucky too. I have to fetch three
or four pots of water, then I have my dinner and a rest and then I
have to dig earth and knead it. Still I cannot say that I have so
little work as you; will you change with me for three or four days,
so that I may have a rest?"

Chote gladly agreed and each brother thought that he had got the better
of the other. In the morning while Mote was driving the oil mill he
was very pleased with his new job and when he had to take the bullock
out to graze he took a bedstead with him to lie on. But directly the
bullock got outside the village it rushed off bellowing towards some
other cattle and Mote had to run after it with his bedstead on his
head, and all the afternoon the bullock kept him running about till
he was worn out.

Meanwhile Chote was no better off; his unaccustomed shoulders were
quite bruised with constantly carrying water. At the potter's house
was a custard apple tree and it was believed that there was money
buried at the foot of the tree; so as Chote was a stranger, the
potter told him to water the earth by the tree to soften it, as it
was to be used for pottery. Chote softened the earth and dug it and
as he dug he uncovered pots of rupees; so he covered them up again
and dug the earth elsewhere. And at evening he went and proposed to
Mote to run away with the money. So at midnight, they went and dug it
up and ran off home. As they were not pursued, they felt safe after
a month or two, so they spent the money in buying land and cattle,
and their cultivation prospered, and they became quickly rich.



XXXIX. The Daydreamer.

Once an oil man was going to market with his pots of oil arranged on a
flat basket and he engaged a Santal for two annas to carry the basket;
and as he went along, the Santal thought "With one anna I will buy
food and with the other I will buy chickens, and the chickens will
grow up and multiply and then I will sell some of the fowls and eggs
and with the money I will buy goats; and when the goats increase,
I will sell some and buy cows, and then I will exchange some of the
calves for she-buffaloes, and when the buffaloes breed, I will sell
some and buy land and start cultivation and then I will marry and
have children and I will hurry back from my work in the fields and
my wife will bring me water and I will have a rest and my children
will say to me 'Father, be quick and wash your hands for dinner,' but
I will shake my head and say 'No, no, not yet!'"--and as he thought
about it he really shook his head and the basket fell to the ground
and all the pots of oil were smashed.

Then the oilman abused him and said that he must pay two rupees for
the oil and one anna for the pots: but the Santal said that he had
lost much more than that and the oilman asked him how that could be:
and the Santal explained how with his wages he was going to get fowls
and then goats and then oxen and buffaloes and land and how he came to
spill the basket and at that the oilman roared with laughter and said
"Well I have made up the account and I find that our losses are equal,
so we will cry quits;" and so saying they went their ways laughing.



XL. The Extortionate Sentry.

There was once a sentry outside a Raja's palace who would let no one go
in to sell anything to the Raja until they first promised to give him
half the price they received from the Raja, and the poor traders had
to promise, for their livelihood depended on selling their goods. One
day a fisherman caught an enormous fish and he thought that if he
took it to the Raja he would get a big price for it.

So he went off to the palace, but when he came to the gate the sentry
stopped him and would not let him go in, until he promised to give him
half of what he got, and after some argument he had to promise. So
he was admitted to the Raja's presence and when the Raja asked what
was the price of the fish, the fisherman said "A hundred blows with
a stick."

The Raja was very astonished and asked the meaning of such a
request. Then the fisherman said that the sentry had extorted a
promise that he should get half the price and he wanted him to get
fifty blows. At this the Raja was very angry and he had the sentry
beaten with one hundred stripes and dismissed him.



XLI. The Broken Friendship.

Once upon a time there was a Raja and his Dewan and they each had
one son, and the two boys were great friends, and, when they grew old
enough, they took to hunting and when they became young men they were
so devoted to the sport that they spent their whole time in pursuit of
game; they followed every animal they could find until they killed it,
and they shot every bird in the town.

Their parents were much distressed at this, for they thought that
if their boys spent all their time together hunting they would grow
up unruly and ignorant; so they made up their minds that they must
separate the young men so that they would not be tempted to spend so
much time in sport, but would be able to learn something useful; they
scolded the youths and told them to give up their friendship and their
hunting, but this had no effect. Then the Raja told the villagers
that he would reward any one who would break up the friendship,
and the villagers tried their best but effected nothing.

There was however an old woman in the village who one day said,
"If the Raja gave me ten rupees I would soon put a stop to their
friendship." This came to the ears of the Raja and he exclaimed "What
is ten rupees to me! bring the old woman to me and I will give her
ten rupees, if she can put an end to this friendship." So the old
woman was brought trembling before the Raja and on being questioned
undertook to break up the friendship if she were properly rewarded;
and when this was promised she asked for two men to be given to her
and she took them to her house and there she made them sling a bed
on a pole, such as is used for carrying a man on a journey and she
hung curtains all round it and drew them close and inside, on an old
winnowing fan, they put some rotten manure from a dung hill.

Then she made the two men take up the bed and she fetched a drum
and she paraded all through the bazar beating the drum with the
bed following behind her. She told the two carriers not to answer
any questions as to what was in the bed. Thus they passed out of
the town and went in the direction in which the two young men had
gone hunting. When these heard the sound of the drum and saw the
two men carrying the bed they ran up to see what it was and told
the carriers to put It down that they might look inside; so the bed
was put on the ground and the Raja's son peeped inside the curtain,
but as he caught the smell he jumped back and the Dewan's son asked
what was the matter and he said "it stinks: it is dung." The Dewan's
son would not believe him and also looked to convince himself; then
they both asked what the meaning of this was: the old woman said
that she would explain the meaning of it but only to one of them,
and the one who had heard could tell the other.

So she made the carriers take away the bed and she called the Raja's
son aside saying "Come I will tell you what it means" then she put
her arms round the neck of the Raja's son and put her lips to his
ear and pretended to whisper to him, but really she said nothing;
then she let him go and followed the carriers. The Dewan's son at
once ran to his friend and asked what the old woman had told him; the
Raja's son answered "She told me nothing at all, she only pretended
to whisper." The Dewan's son would not believe this and pressed him
to tell, saying "We have been friends for so long and have had no
secrets from each other, why won't you tell me this? if you refuse
to tell me there is an end of our friendship," but the Raja's son
persisted that he had been told nothing and proposed that they should
go and ask the old woman if it were not so; but the Dewan's son said
that that was no good because the old woman and the Raja's son had
plainly made a plot to keep him in the dark. The quarrel grew hotter
and hotter, till at last they parted in anger and each went to his
own home and from that time their friendship was broken off.

And being separated they gave up hunting and took to useful
pursuits. Thus the old woman earned her reward from the Raja.



XLII. A Story Told by a Hindu.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had two sons and after their
father's death they divided the kingdom between them. The two brothers
were inveterate gamblers and spent their time playing cards with
each other; for a long time fortune was equal, but one day it turned
against the elder brother and he lost and lost until his money and his
jewelry, his horses and his elephants and every thing that he had,
had been won by his younger brother. Then in desperation he staked
his share in the kingdom and that too he lost.

Then the younger brother sent drummers through the city to proclaim
that the whole kingdom was his; the shame of this was more than the
elder prince could bear, so he resolved to quit the country and he
told his wife of his intention and bade her stay behind. But his
faithful wife refused to be parted from him; she vowed that he had
married her not for one day nor for two but for good and all, and
that where he went, there she would go, and whatever troubles he met,
she would share. So he allowed her to come with him and the two set
off to foreign parts. After sometime their path led them through an
extensive jungle and after travelling through it for two days they
at last lost their way completely; their food gave out, they were
faint with starvation and torn with briars.

The prince urged his wife to return but she would not hear of it, so
they pushed on, supporting life on jungle fruits; sometimes the prince
would go far ahead, for his faithful wife could only travel slowly,
and then he would return and wait for her; at last he got tired of
leading her on and made up his mind to abandon her. At night they lay
down at the foot of a tree and the prince thought "If wild animals
would come and eat us it would be the best that could happen. I cannot
bear to see my wife suffer any more; although her flesh is torn with
thorns, she will not leave me. I will leave her here; may wild beasts
kill both her and me, but I cannot see her die before my eyes." So
thinking he got up quietly and went off as quickly as he could.

When the princess woke and found that she had been abandoned, she began
to weep and wept from dawn to noon without ceasing; at noon a being,
in the guise of an old woman appeared and asked her why she wept,
and comforted her and promised to lead her out of the wood and told
her that Chando had had compassion on her and would allow her to find
her husband again if they both lived.

So saying the old woman led the princess from the forest and showed
her the way to a great city where a Raja lived. The princess went
begging her way through the city to the Raja's palace and there they
engaged her as a servant.

Now her husband had also escaped from the jungle and sought employment
as a labourer but no one would give him work for more than a day
or two, and at last his search for work brought him to the city in
which the princess was; and there he was engaged as a groom in the
palace stables. The prince had changed his name and he had no chance
of knowing that his wife was in the palace, because she was confined
to the women's appartments; so some years passed without their having
news of each other.

At last one day the princess happened to go on to the roof and looking
down at the stables saw and thought she recognised her husband;
then she leaned over and listened till she heard his voice and at
that she was sure that it was he, so she hastened to the Raja and
begged to be allowed to meet her husband, and the Raja sent to call
the syce with the name which the princess had given but no one came,
for the prince would not reveal himself. Then the princess told their
story and how her husband had gambled away his half of the kingdom. The
Raja ordered any one with such a history to come forward, as his wife
was in the palace; but the prince did not reveal himself.

Then the princess said "Let all the syces cook rice and bring me a
bit of each man's cooking to taste." They did so, and when she tasted
the rice cooked by her husband, she at once said that it was his; her
husband was unable to deny it and admitted everything. Then they took
him away from his work in the stables and let him live with his wife.

After a time the Raja wrote to the younger brother asking whether
he would restore the half of the kingdom which he had won; and the
younger brother answered that he would gladly do so, if his brother
would sign an agreement never to gamble any more; it was with this
object in view and to teach him the folly of his ways that he had
dispossessed him. The elder brother gladly gave the required promise
and returned to his kingdom with his faithful wife and lived happily
ever afterwards.



XLIII. The Raibar and the Leopard.

Once upon a time a _Raibar_ was going backwards and forwards between
two families arranging a marriage and part of the road which he used
to travel ran through a forest.

One day as he was going to the bride's house he took a sack with
him intending to try and get the loan of some Indian corn from the
bride's relations; but as he was passing through the piece of jungle
he suddenly met a leopard; he was terribly frightened but collecting
his wits he addressed the animal thus "Leopard; I beg you not to eat
me; I am engaged on a work of great merit, I am making two men out
of one." This address amazed the leopard and he at once asked the
_raibar_ whether he could make him into two, and promised that if
he could his life should be spared. The _raibar_ answered readily
"Seeing that in pursuit of my profession I have made two men out of
one all over the country, of course I can make you into two leopards
if I try; all you have to do is to get into this sack and keep quiet;
if you utter a sound you will spoil the charm."

"Well," said the leopard, "I will try and see; I undertake to keep
quite quiet, and if you are successful I promise to tell the whole race
of leopards to spare the lives of _raibars_." So saying the leopard
jumped into the sack and allowed the man to tie him up tightly in
it. No sooner was this done than the _raibar_ took the sack on his
head and carried it to the bank of a river and having given it two
or three hearty whacks with his stick threw it into the water. The
sack went floating down the stream and it happened that lower down a
leopardess sat watching the water and when she saw the sack coming
along she thought that it was a dead cow floating down. So when it
came near she jumped into the water and pulled it ashore.

She then proceeded to tear open the sack, when out jumped the first
leopard; he soon explained how he came to be in the sack, and declared
that the _raibar's_ promise had been fulfilled and that she was his
destined mate. The leopardess agreed and the two set to work to tell
all the other leopards what had happened and what a kindness the
_raibar_ had done them; and so it came to pass that to the present
day leopards never interfere with _raibars_ when they are going about
arranging a marriage; no one ever heard of one being injured.

Meanwhile the _raibar_ went on his way rejoicing at having rid himself
of the leopard. But the next year, while engaged on the business of
another marriage, the _raibar_ was passing through the same jungle
when he came face to face with the very leopard that he thought he
had safely disposed of; he at once took to his heels, but the leopard
called out to him not to be afraid and to wait, as he had something
to say to him. So the _raibar_ stopped and the leopard asked whether
he did not recognise him; the _raibar_ stoutly denied all knowledge
of him. "Well," said the leopard "I am the leopard of whom you made
two out of one, and to show my gratitude I will give you any reward
you like; would you like a cow or a deer or any other animal? I will
kill you one and bring it to you."

When the _raibar_ saw the turn that things had taken he thought that
he had better take advantage of it, so he asked for a good large
nilgai. The leopard told him to come to a certain tree at noon the
next day and he would find the animal there. So they separated and the
next day at noon the _raibar_ went to the tree and found a fine nilgai
waiting for him, which he and his friends took home and ate with joy.



XLIV. The Ungrateful Snake.

There was once a Raja and his dewan and they each had one son;
these sons were married in infancy but as they grew up they never
heard anything about their having been married. When the boys reached
manhood and found no arrangements being made for their weddings they
began to wonder at the delay and often talked about it, and in the end
they agreed to run away to another country. Soon after this resolve
of theirs some horse dealers came to their home with horses to sell;
the two youths at once saw that if they could each have a horse and
learn to ride it, it would be easy for them to run away from home. So
they hurried to their fathers and begged them to buy them each one of
the beautiful horses which the dealers had brought. The Raja and the
dewan did not like to disappoint their sons so they bought the horses,
to the great delight of the boys, who used to ride them every day.

One day the Raja's son was out riding by himself and he passed by
a tank where a number of women and girls were bathing and drawing
water; as he came galloping along the women ran back in a fright;
and as they could not draw their water while he was there, an old
woman came up to him and told him to go away and not stay making eyes
at the girls as if he had no wife of his own: "What wife have I?",
said the prince, "I know nothing of having been married." "You were
married sure enough when you were an infant," replied the old woman:
"your wife is still in her father's house, but now that you have
grown up they will probably bring her home to you this year."

Then the prince asked where his wife lived and having learnt the name
of the village he galloped off home and at once began to question his
mother about his marriage; his mother told him that they intended to
have the bride brought home that year, but the prince was impatient
and proposed that he should go off at once to his father-in-law's and
see his wife, and try to persuade them to let her come back with him
without any ceremony; his mother made no objection, so he got ready
for the journey and started off on horseback. He had not gone far
when he saw a field of thatching grass on fire, and in the middle,
surrounded by the flames, was a huge poisonous snake, unable to escape.

As the prince rode by, the snake called out to him "Prince, you are
going joyously to bring home your bride, and here am I in danger of
being burned alive; will you not have pity on me and save me? If you do
I will confer a boon on you." "But if I save you," objected the prince,
"you will only eat me: snakes do not know what gratitude is." "I am
not of that kind," answered the snake: "here I am in danger of death,
I beseech you to have pity on me." These pleadings prevailed and the
prince got off his horse and beat out the fire and then spread a cloth
over the embers so that the snake could crawl out. When the snake was
safe the prince asked for the boon that had been promised him: "No boon
will you get" said the snake: "you did a foolhardy thing in saving me,
for now I am going to eat you, and you cannot escape from me."

The prince saw that there was little hope for him but he begged the
snake to allow two or three judges to decide whether it was fair that
he should be killed, after what he had done. The snake agreed to this
provided that the judges were not human beings; he was willing to be
bound by the opinions of any one else.

They set out together to look for judges and soon saw a herd of cattle
resting under a banyan tree by a pool of water, so they agreed to
make these their judges; then the prince explained to one of the
cows and the banyan tree and the water what they were to decide,
whether it was fair for the snake, whose life he had saved, now to
want to kill him. The banyan tree was the first to answer: it said
"You did good to the snake and your wages for doing good are evil;
you saved his life and he will now kill you, this is fair, this is
the justice we have learnt from human beings; you enjoy the shade of
us trees and in return you lop off our branches and sit on them, and
do us all manner of injury; it is right that the snake should eat you."

Then the prince turned to the cow: "He may eat you," answered the
cow: "the tree is right, see how men treat cattle; you drive away our
calves from us and take our milk and you beat us and make us work hard;
for all this ill treatment the snake shall eat you."

Then the prince asked the water what it had to say: "I agree with the
other two" said the water: "to return evil for good is the justice of
mankind, it is by drinking water that your very lives are preserved;
yet you spit into it and wash dirty things in it; shall not the snake
return you evil for good?" So judgment was delivered, and the snake
wanted to eat the prince; but the prince asked the tree and the cow
and the water to listen while he made one prayer; he told them how
he had been married when he was too young to know anything about it,
and how he was going for the first time to see his wife, when this
misfortune befell him; so he begged that he might be allowed to go and
see his bride and then be eaten on his way back; the banyan tree asked
what the snake thought about this proposal and the snake said that it
would make no objection if the tree and the cow and the water would be
sureties for the return of the prince within three days. So the prince
promised them faithfully that he would return and they let him go.

The prince rode on to his father-in-law's house, and when he arrived,
a bed was brought out for him to sit on and he was asked where he
came from. When he explained who he was, they at once brought water
and washed his feet and then gave him oil and a tooth stick and took
him to bathe; then they brought him curds and dried rice to eat and
afterwards killed a goat and made a feast and showed him every honour.

That evening as his wife was rubbing his arms and legs, the
prince remained silent and downcast and showed none of the joy of
a bridegroom; and when his bride asked what was the matter, he told
her that he had only come to see her for one day and that afterwards
she must try and forget all about him. At first he would not tell
her more, but when she urged him, he told her how he had to go and
surrender himself to the snake on the next day. When she heard this
she vowed that she would go with him and die with him.

The next morning came and the prince said that he must return, and
his wife said that she was going with him; so they made everything
ready and set out on their way. When they came within sight of the
banyan tree where the prince was to be killed, he tried to turn his
wife back but though he used force she refused to leave him and said
that she would first see him killed and then go home; so at last he
let her accompany him.

When they reached the tree she asked to be allowed to go in front and
be the first to meet the snake; to this the prince assented. They
had not gone far when they saw the snake awaiting them in the path
with its crest raised, and when they drew near, the prince's bride
begged the snake to eat her first, as she had nowhere to live if she
survived her husband. The snake refused and bade her go home to her
parents; she said that that was impossible; they had sold her and the
prince had bought her, in life and in death, bones and ashes. But
the snake would not listen and made for the prince to eat him. His
wife however kept in front of the snake and would not let it pass;
she called the banyan tree to witness that the snake should not eat
her husband without first killing her; without her husband she would
have no one to support her.

Then the snake promised to teach her an incantation by means of which
she could support herself, so saying, the snake conferred some magic
power upon and taught her an incantation; and promised her that if she
took some dust in her hand and repeated the incantation and then blew
on the dust, any person on whom she sprinkled the dust would at once
be burnt to ashes. Then the prince's wife asked how she should restore
the people to life and the snake taught her that also, but she was not
satisfied and said that she must try at once to see whether the snake
was deceiving her or no; so the snake bade her experiment on a _tarop_
tree which grew near. Thereupon she gathered up some dust and repeated
the incantation and blew on it and suddenly threw it over the snake,
which at once turned to ashes, and that was the end of the snake.

Then the prince and his wife went on their way rejoicing, and he was
filled with wonder at the way in which his bride had saved him by
persisting in going with him.



XLV. The Tiger's Bride.

One day a woman went to cut thatching grass and she cut such a quantity
that when she tied it up, the bundle was too big for her to lift on
to her head; so she stood and called for some one to help her, but
no one was within hearing and no one came. She called and called and
at last began to promise that she would give her daughter in marriage
to any one who would help her.

After she had called out this a few times, a tiger suddenly appeared
and asked what she wanted; she explained her difficulty and the tiger
undertook to lift the load on to her head, if she would really give
him her daughter in marriage. She promised and with the help of the
tiger took up the bundle and went home.

Two or three days after, the tiger presented himself at her house and
was duly married to the daughter. After the wedding the couple started
for the tiger's home; all the way the unhappy bride wept and sang:--


    "How far off is our home, big head?"


"You can just see the mouth of the cave" answered the tiger and in a
short time they came to a large cave. Then the tiger told her to set
to work and cook a feast while he went off and invited his friends
to come and share it. But the bride when left alone caught a cat and
killed it and hung it over the fire, so that its blood dropped slowly
into the pan and made a fizzling noise, as if cooking were going on;
and then she ran off to her mother's house and climbed a tree which
grew near it and began to sing:--


    "You married me to a ti-ti-tiger:
    You threw me to a bear:
    Take back the necklace you gave me
    Take back the bracelet and the diamonds and the coral."


Meanwhile the tiger returned with his friends and sat down outside the
cave and told his wife to be quick with the cooking of the cakes for he
heard the hissing over the fire and thought that she was cooking. At
last as she did not come out, he got tired of waiting and went in to
fetch her: then he saw that she had disappeared and had to go and tell
his friends. They were very angry at being cheated out of a feast,
and fell upon the tiger and beat him, till he ran away and was seen
no more: but his bride was left to flit from tree to tree singing:--


    "You married me to a ti-ti-tiger:
    You threw me to a bear:
    Take back the necklace you gave me
    Take back the bracelet and the diamonds and the coral."



XLVI. The Killing of the Tiger.

They say that there was a time when all living things had a common
speech and animals and men could understand each other, and in those
days there was a man-eating tiger which infested a jungle through
which a highroad ran; it preyed on people passing along the road
till no one ventured to travel, and as the country was so unsafe, the
people went in a body to the Raja and told him of the ravages of the
tiger and asked him to send a force of soldiers to hunt and shoot it.

So the Raja called together all his soldiers and promised to give half
his kingdom to any one of them who would kill the tiger, but not one
of them was brave enough to make the attempt; they said that their
business was to fight men and not tigers and leopards; then the Raja
extended his offer to all his subjects and the petitioners went home
to consult about it; and the news was published that the Raja would
give half his kingdom to the slayer of the tiger.

Now there was a poor man who was a very brave shikari of big game,
and cunning into the bargain, and he offered to go and kill the
tiger. They questioned him carefully, and when they saw that he was in
earnest they took him to the Raja to hear from the Raja's lips what
his reward should be; and the Raja promised him half his kingdom,
and wrote a bond to that effect, for he thought that the tiger would
surely kill the man. Then the shikari said that he would start the
next morning and return the next day either with the dead tiger or
with bits of its ears and claws to show that he had killed it. The
Raja told the people to watch carefully and see that the shikari did
not cheat by taking the claws and ears of a tiger with him.

The next morning the shikari started off and all he took with him was
a looking-glass and three pictures of a tiger drawn on three pieces
of paper and a hatchet; he went to the road which the tiger frequented
and climbed a banyan tree and spent the night in it. The tiger did not
pass by at all that night but in the morning it appeared and called
out "Who is up in the tree?" The shikari said "It is I." "Come down
quickly," said the tiger, "I have been looking for you." "Wait a
minute," answered the shikari, "I have been looking for you also."

"What for?" said the tiger: "Tell me first why you are looking for me,"
said the man: "To eat you," answered the tiger; then the man said,
"Well I have been hunting for you to catch you and take you away. I
have caught three or four like you and if you don't believe me, let me
get down and I will show you". The tiger got into a fright and said:
"Come down and show me." So the shikari climbed down and uncovered
his looking glass and told the tiger to look and he reflected in the
glass the pictures of the tigers which he had brought and said, "Now
I am going to catch you and put you in here also." The tiger asked
why he was to be caught and the shikari said that it was because he
had made the road unsafe by killing travellers; then the tiger begged
and prayed to be let off and promised that he would never kill any
travellers again. At last the shikari said that he would let him go,
if he would allow him to cut off his claws and the tips of his ears
and the tip of his tongue as a pledge of his good faith. The tiger
said, "Well, you may cut off one claw from each foot and the very
tip of my ears and tongue." So the shikari cut them off with his
hatchet and, after again warning the tiger, went back home; and then
presented himself with all his friends before the Raja and the Raja
gave him the promised reward, But the tiger's tongue festered and,
after roaring with pain for a whole day, it died.



XLVII. The Dream.

One night as a man and his wife lay talking in bed, the woman told
her husband that she had dreamt that in a certain place she had dug
up a pot full of rupees, and she proposed that they should go and
look for it and see whether the dream was true. While they talked, it
chanced that some thieves, who had climbed on to the roof, overheard
the conversation and at once decided to forestall the others. So they
went off to the place which the woman had described and began to dig,
and after digging a little they were delighted to come on a pot with
a lid on. But when they took off the lid an enormous snake raised
its head and hissed at them. At this the thieves cursed the woman
who had misled them and agreed to take the snake and drop it through
the roof on to the man and his wife as they lay in bed. So they shut
the snake up again and carried it off to the house and, making a hole
in the thatch, dropped it through. But as it fell the snake changed
into a stream of money, which came rattling down on the couple below;
the thieves found a snake, but it was not a real snake, it was Thakur;
and it was his will to give the money to the man and his wife. When
these two had recovered from their astonishment, they gathered up
the money, and lived in wealth ever afterwards.



XLVIII. The King of the Bhuyans.

There was once a king of the Bhuyans and near his palace was a village
of Santals; he was a kind ruler and both Santals and Bhuyans were very
happy under his sway. But when he died, he was succeeded by his son,
who was a very severe master and soon fell out with the Santals. If
he found any cattle or buffaloes grazing anywhere near his crops,
he had the cowherds beaten severely: so that no one dared to take
the cattle in that direction.

The Santals were very angry at this and longed to get even with the
Raja; they planned to turn the cattle into the Raja's crops at night
when no one could see them or catch them, but in the end their courage
failed them.

One year after the rice had been cut, but before the millet crop was
gathered, the youths and maidens of the Santal village had a dance
and danced all night till nearly morning; then they agreed that it
was not worth while to go to bed and they had better take the cattle
out to graze at once.

After grazing their fill, the cattle all collected at the midday
resting place and the cowherds were so sleepy after their night's
dancing, that they fell fast asleep on the bare ground. After a time
the buffaloes began to move again and seeing a nice field of millet
belonging to the Raja soon made their way to it and grazed the whole
field down. The Raja happened to pass that way and was filled with
wrath at the sight; he at once ordered his _sipahis_ to go and beat
the cowherds within an inch of their lives and so the _sipahis_
ran to the place with sticks. Their approach roused the sleeping
cowherds who jumped up and ran off home as hard as they could;
all but the servant of the village _paramanik_ (assistant headman)
he did not run away but went to drive the cattle out of the field;
he knew that this was his duty to his master and he was resolved to
do his duty even at the cost of his life.

As all the other boys had got away the sipahis turned their attention
to him, but as they aimed blows at him with the sticks, he caught the
blows on his arms and the sticks shivered to atoms without harming him;
so then they went to kick him but a great _cibei_ snake came rustling
up behind them; so they saw it was no use to contend with him and
desisted: whereupon he drove all the village cattle home in triumph.

The sipahis reported to the Raja how the cowherds had all made good
their escape, and how the paramanik's herd boy had driven off the
cattle. Then the Raja told them to go that afternoon at the time
the cattle were brought home for the night and wait at the end of
the village street and then give the cowherds the thrashing they
deserved; The sipahis did as they were ordered and that evening waited
for the returning herd boys; and caught them as they came home and
thrashed them within an inch of their lives. The others were all
left senseless on the ground: but the sipahis did not dare to lay
hands on the paramanik's herd boy, he drove the cattle back into the
village, and told the villagers what had been done to their sons. So
the villagers went out with beds and carried the wounded boys home;
then they assembled and resolved to go and punish the Raja, so they
went to him and asked what he meant by killing their children. "Dear
me," said the Raja, "are they really dead?" "Well, if not not quite
dead, they are very ill," was the answer. "I am sorry," said the Raja:
"I admit that I have done wrong, but if you will forgive me this time,
I will undertake to cure them in a minute and make them as well as
ever; go and fetch them here."

So the Santals went off to fetch the wounded cowherds and carried
them to the Raja, all lying senseless on beds and put them down before
him. While they were away the Raja had told his sipahis to grind some
good hot _chilis_; and when the cowherds were brought to him he told
the sipahis to thrust the chili paste up their noses; this was done
and the smarting soon made the cowherds jump up and run away in a
very lively fashion, and that was the way the Raja kept his word and
cured them.



XLIX. The Foolish Sons.

There was once a man of the blacksmith caste who had six sons; the
sons were all married and the whole family lived together. But the
sons' wives took to quarrelling and at last the sons went to their
parents and proposed that they should set up separate households,
as the women folk could not live in peace.

The blacksmith and his wife did not like the idea at all and pointed
out that it would be most inadvisable; while, so far, there was plenty
of food and clothing for all, they would find it much more expensive
to have seven separate households and split up what was quite enough
so long as they lived together, and what was to become of their old
parents who were now too old to work? The sons protested that they
would support their father and mother as long as they lived, even
though the family separated.

At last the old man said that he would put them to the test and see
whether they were clever enough to manage their own affairs and smart
enough to cheat people into giving them what they wanted. "I will
see," said he, "how you would manage to support the family in time
of famine or if we fell into poverty. I and your mother have managed
to bring up a large family, and you know nothing of the anxiety that
it has cost us; you have merely had to enjoy yourselves and eat your
meals; if you insist on it, I will let you separate, but don't blame
me afterwards. However to-morrow I will take you on a journey and
find some means of testing your cleverness."

So the next morning they made ready for the journey; their father only
allowed them to take one meal of rice tied up in their cloths and he
gave each of them one pice, which he said was their inheritance. They
set off and after travelling some way they sat down and ate up their
rice and then went on again. By the middle of the afternoon they
began to feel hungry, so the father proposed their going to a bazar
which was in sight; but between them and the bazar was a channel of
stagnant water, very deep, and with its surface covered by a coating
of weeds. They tried to cross, but directly they set foot on it they
sank through the weeds, and it was too deep for wading. So their father
said they would all camp on the bank and he would see whether they were
clever enough to get across the channel and bring food for a meal;
if they could do that he would believe that they could support their
families in time of famine.

So the old man spread his cloth on the ground and set down and watched
them try their luck one by one. The eldest brother first jumped up
to try but he could not cross the channel; everytime he tried, he
sank through the weeds, at last he gave up in despair and admitted
that he could not feed the party. Then the other brothers all tried
in turn and failed. At last it came to the turn of the youngest; he
modestly said that he was not likely to succeed where his elders had
failed but he would have a try, so he went to the edge of the water
and spreading out his cloth on the weeds lay down on it so that his
weight was distributed; in this position the weeds supported him and
he managed to wriggle himself across on his face to the other side.

Once across, he went to the bazar, and going to a shop began to
talk with the shopkeeper; after a little he asked for the loan of an
anna; the shopkeeper said that he could not lend to a stranger; the
blacksmith's son gave the name of some village as his home and pressed
for the loan, promising to pay him one anna as interest within a week
and pulling out his pice he said "See here, I will pay you this pice
as part of the interest in advance." At this the shopkeeper suffered
himself to be persuaded and lent him the anna.

With this the blacksmith's son went off to a second shop and begged
for the loan of four annas, as he had pressing need of it; he promised
to pay an anna a week interest, and to pay down at once the interest
for the first week. After some hesitation the shopkeeper was deceived
into lending the four annas. Then he went off to another shop and
borrowed a rupee by promising to pay eight annas a month as interest
and putting down four annas as advance.

Then he went to a Marwari's shop and asked for the loan of ten rupees;
the Marwari asked for interest at the rate of one rupee a day; the
blacksmith's son protested that that was too high but offered to pay
one rupee every two days and to pay one rupee of interest in advance;
the Marwari hesitated, but after being given a name and address--which
were however false--he gave way and took his signature to a bond
and lent him the ten rupees. At this the blacksmith's son set off in
triumph to rejoin his brothers; he crossed the water in the same way
as before and took the ten rupees to his father.

Then they all went on to another bazar and bought dried rice
and sweetmeats and curds and had a grand feast. Then their father
proceeded to point out to his sons how, except the youngest, they were
all useless; they had been unable to cross the channel or to make
anything of their own pice of capital; they had nothing to answer,
and all went home and from that day nothing was heard of any proposal
to divide the family until the old father and mother died.



L. Kora and His Sister.

There were once seven brothers and they had one sister who was the
youngest of the family. The six eldest brothers were married but no
wife had been found for the youngest; for three years enquiries were
made to try and find a suitable bride for him, but all in vain. At last
the young man, whose name was Kora, told his parents and brothers not
to trouble any more, as he would find a wife for himself; he intended
to bring a flowering plant from the forest and plant it by the stand
on which the watering pots were kept, and then he would marry any
maiden who picked one of the flowers and put it in her hair.

His father and mother approved of this proposal, so the next day he
brought some sort of flowering plant and planted it by the water-pot
stand. He charged all his family to be most careful that no one
of his own relations picked the flower and also to warn any of the
village girls who wanted to pick it, that if she did so and put it
in her hair, she would thereby become his wife; but if, knowing this,
anyone wished to do so, they were not to prevent her.

The neighbours soon got to hear what the plant meant and used often
to come and look at it, and Kora watched it growing, till after
a time it produced a bud and then a beautiful and sweet-scented
flower. All the village girls came to see the beautiful flower;
and one day Kora's sister when she went to the water-stand to get
some water to drink, caught hold of it and longed to pick it, it
looked so pretty. Her mother saw what she was doing and scolded her
for touching the forbidden flower, but the girl begged to see what
it would look like in her hair; there could be no harm done if she
pulled the whole plant up by its roots and put it in her hair and
then replanted it; no one would know what had happened. In spite of
her mother's remonstrances she insisted on doing this and having seen
how the flower looked in her hair carefully replarited it.

Soon afterwards Kora came home and went to see his flower; he knew
at once that some one had worn it and called to his mother and asked
who it was. She protested that she knew nothing about the matter,
but Kora said that he could tell by the smell that it had been
worn and then he showed that there was also a hair sticking to the
flower. Then his mother admitted that in spite of all she could say,
his sister had worn the flower and planted it again in the ground.

When she saw that she was found out, the girl began to cry, but her
father said that it was clearly fated that she and Kora should matry
and this was the reason why they had been unable to find any other
bride; so they must now arrange for the wedding. Accordingly rice was
got ready and all the usual preparations made for a marriage. The
unfortunate girl saw that flight was her only means of escape from
such a fate, so one day she ran away; all she took with her was a
pet parrot.

For many days she travelled on and one day she stopped by a pool
to bathe and as she rubbed her limbs she collected the scurf that
she rubbed off her skin and put in on the ground in one place; then
she went on with her bathing; but at the place where she had put the
scurf of her skin, a palm tree sprang up and grew so rapidly, that,
by the time she came out of the water, it had become a large tree.

The girl was struck by this strange sight and at once thought that
the tree would afford her a safe refuge; so she climbed up it with
her parrot in her hand and when safely seated among the leaves she
begged the palm tree to grow so tall that no one would be able to find
her, and the tree grew till it reached an unusual height. So the girl
stayed in the tree top and the parrot used to go every day and bring
her food. Meanwhile her parents and brothers searched high and low
for her for two or three days, for the wedding day was close at hand,
but their search was of course in vain; and they concluded that the
girl must have drowned herself in some river.

Time passed and one day at noon, a Mahuli girl, who was taking her
basket-ware to market, stopped to rest in the shade of the palm tree:
and as she sat there, Kora's sister called to her from the top of
the tree and asked her to give her a small winnowing fan in exchange
for a bracelet The Mahuli girl told her to throw the bracelet down
first. Kora's sister made no objection to this, and when she had got
the bracelet, the Mahuli girl threw up a winnowing fan which soared
right up to where Kora's sister was sitting. Before the Mahuli girl
went on her way, Kora's sister made her promise never to let anyone
see the bracelet whew she went about selling her baskets as otherwise
it would be stolen from her; and secondly on no account to let it be
known that there was anyone in the palm tree, on pain of death. The
Mahuli girl kept her promise and whenever she went out selling baskets
she used to keep her bracelet covered with her cloth.

One day it chanced that she went to the house where Kora lived to sell
her wares and they asked her why it was that she kept her arm covered;
she told them that she had a sore on it; they wanted to see how big
the sore was, but she refused to show it, saying that if she showed
it she would die. They laughed at such a ridiculous story and at last
forced her to show her arm, which of course was quite well; but they at
once recognised the bracelet and asked where she had got it from. The
Mahuli girl refused to tell them and said that if she did, she would
die. "What a foolish girl you are" they objected "first you say you
will die if you show us your arm and then if you tell us where you
got this bracelet from; it belonged to our daughter whom we have lost,
and so you must tell us! Come, we will give you a basket full of rice
if you tell us." The Mahuli girl could not resist this offer, and when
the basket of rice was produced, she told them where the palm tree was,
in which Kora's sister was hiding. In all haste the father and mother
went to the tree and found that it was much too high for them to climb:
so they begged their daughter to come down and promised not to marry
her to her brother; but she would not come down: then they sang:--


    "You have made a palm tree from the scrapings of your skin
    And have climbed up into it, daughter!
        Come daughter, come down."


But she only answered:--


    "Father and mother, why do you cry?
    I must spend my life here:
    "Do you return home."


So they went home in despair.

Then her sisters-in-law came in their turn and sang:--


    "Palm tree, palm tree, give us back our sister:
    The brother and sister have got to be married."


But she would not answer them nor come down from the tree, so they
had to go home without her.

Then all her other relations came and besought her to come down,
but she would not listen to them. So they went away and invoked a
storm to come to their aid. And a storm arose and cold rain fell,
till the girl in the palm tree was soaked and shivering, and the
wind blew and swayed the palm tree so that its top kept touching the
ground. At last she could bear the cold and wet no more and, seizing
an opportunity when the tree touched the ground, she slipped off. Her
relations had made all the villagers promise on no account to let
her into their houses; so when she went into the village and called
out at house after house no one answered her or opened to her. Then
she went to her own home and there also they refused to open to her.

But Kora had lit a big fire in the cow house and sat by it warming
himself, knowing that the girl would have to come to him; and as she
could find no shelter elsewhere she had to go to his fire, and then
she sat and warmed herself and thought "I fled for fear of this man
and now I have come back to him; this is the end, I can no longer stay
in this world; the people will not even let me into their houses. I
have no wish to see them again."

So she sat and thought, and when she was warmed, she lay down by
the side of Kora; and he wore tied to his waist a nail-cutter; she
unfastened this and cut her throat with it as she lay. Her death
struggles aroused Kora, and he got up and saw the ground covered with
her blood and he saw that she had killed herself with his nail-cutter;
then he took counsel with himself and also cut his throat in the same
way. In the morning the two corpses were found lying side by side,
and it was seen that their blood refused to mingle but had flowed in
opposite directions.

So they took the bodies away to burn them and laid them on one pyre;
and when the fire was lit, it was seen that the smoke from the two
bodies rose separately into the air. Then all who saw it, said "We
wished to marry brother and sister but Chando would not approve of it;
see how their blood would not mingle though spilt on the same floor,
and how the smoke from the pyre rises in two separate columns; it is
plain that the marriage of brother and sister is wrong." From that
time such manages have been discontinued.



LI. A Story on Caste.

There was once a village inhabited only by Musahars. Among them was
one girl who was so beautiful that she seemed more than human. Her
father and mother were so proud of her looks that they determined
not to marry her to a man of their own caste. They were constantly
discussing whom they should choose as a son-in-law; one day they began
to consider who were the greatest persons in the world. The old woman
was of opinion that there was no one greater than Chando, the Sun God,
and suggested that they should marry the girl to him. Her husband
agreed and off they set and presented themselves before Chando. Chando
asked why they had come. "O Chando, we understand that you are the
greatest being in the world and we have come to marry our daughter
to you," Chando answered "I fancy there is some one greater than I,"
"Who is he?" asked the parents. "The cloud is greater than I, for it
can hide my face and quench my rays."

At this the father and mother hurried off with their daughter in search
of the Cloud, and when they found him, told him that they had brought
their daughter to give him to wife, as he was the greatest being in
the world. "I may be great," said the Cloud, "but there is a greater
than I, the Wind. The Wind rises and blows me away in a minute." So
they went in search of the Wind and when they found him, explained
to him why they had brought him their daughter. The Wind said "I am
strong but there are stronger than I: the Mountains are stronger. I can
blow things down or whirl them away, but I cannot move the mountains."

So on they went to the Mountain and explained their errand. The
Mountain said "I am great but there are more powerful than I. The
ground-rat is more powerful, for however high I may be the ground-rats
burrow holes in me and I cannot resist them."

The poor parents by this time began to feel rather discouraged,
but still they made up their minds to persevere and went on to look
for the ground-rat. They found him and offered him their daughter in
marriage, but the ground-rat denied that he was the most powerful
being on earth, the Musahars were more powerful for they lived by
digging out ground-rats and eating them.

The hapless couple went home very dejectedly, reflecting that they
had begun by despising their own caste and had gone in search of
something greater and had ended where they begun. So they arranged
to marry their daughter to a man of their own caste after all.

_Moral_ You should not despise your own caste or race; you cannot
help what caste you are born into. A Santal may learn to read and
write and associate with men of good position and thereby his mind
may be perverted. He may wish to change his caste become a Sadhu, or
a Kherwar, or a Boistab, or a Mussulman, or a Christian or anything
else; but people will still know him for a beef-eating Santal. If he
becomes a Christian, no one will think him the equal of a Saheb or
a Brahman; no Saheb will marry his daughter or give him his daughter
in marriage. Remember what happened to the Musahar, who despised his
own caste. God caused you to be born in a certain caste. He and not
we made the different castes and He knows what is good and bad for us.



LII. Tipi and Tepa.

Tipi and Tepa dwelt together and lived on baked cakes. One day they
met a bear in the jungle. "Now I will eat you" growled the bear. "Spare
us," said Tipi and Tepa "and to-morrow we will beg some food and bake
it into cakes and give it to you," So the bear let them go away to beg;
but when they came back they ate the food which they had procured and
then hid themselves inside a hollow gourd. The bear came and looked
about for them but could not find them and went away.

The next day Tipi and Tepa again went out begging and as luck would
have it again met the bear. "Now I will eat you" said the bear. "No"
said they "let us go and beg some food for you." So they went off
begging and came back and baked cakes and ate them and then hid
inside the gourd. The bear came and carried off the gourd on its
shoulder and began to pick plums and other fruit and put them into
the gourd. As fast as the fruit was put in Tipi and Tepa ate it
up. "It is a very funny thing that the gourd does not become full"
thought the bear. But Tepa ate so much that at last he burst, with
such a noise that the bear threw down the gourd and ran away.



LIII. The Child with the Ears of an Ox.

Once upon a time a son was born to a certain Raja and the child had
the ears of an ox. The Raja was very much ashamed and let no one
know. But the secret could not be kept from the barber who had to
perform the ceremony of shaving the child's head. However the Raja
made the barber vow not to tell anyone of what he had seen.

So the barber went away, but the secret which he might not tell had an
unfortunate effect; it made his stomach swell to an enormous size. As
the barber went along in this unhappy condition he met a Dom who asked
why his stomach was so swollen. The barber said that it was because
he had shaved the Raja's child and had seen that it had the ears of
an ox. Directly he had broken his vow and blurted out the secret,
his stomach returned to its usual size.

The Dom went his way and cut down a tree and made a drum out of the
wood, and went about playing on the drum and begging. He came to the
Raja's palace and there he drummed and sang:--


    "The son of the Raja
    Has the ears of an ox."


When the Raja heard this, he was very angry, and swore to punish the
barber who must have broken his vow. But the Dom assured the Raja
that he knew nothing about the matter; that it was the drum that sang
the words and not he and that he had no idea what they meant. So the
Raja was pacified and gave the Dom a present and sent him away and
the barber was not punished.



LIV. The Child Who Knew His Father.

Once upon a time there was a girl whose parents took the greatest
care that she should not be familiar with any of the young men of
the village. But in spite of their precautions she formed an intimacy
with a young man and was presently found to be with child. When this
became known the villagers held a panchayat to enquire into the matter,
but the girl flatly declined to give any information and her father
and brothers were unable to point out the offender. So the village
elders decided to let the matter stand over till the child was born.

When the birth took place the question arose in whose name its head
should be shaved; as its father was still unknown, the villagers
decided that this should be settled when the child was old enough to
talk. So when the child was two or three years old and could prattle
a little, the girl's father went to the headman and _paranic_ and
asked them what was to be done. They said that he must pay a fine to
them and another to the villagers, because he had made the village
unclean for so long, and give a feast to the villagers and then they
would find out the father of the child and make him marry the girl;
and if he refused to do this, he would be outcasted. The unfortunate
man agreed and then the _jog manjhi_ and _godet_ were sent to call
all the men of the neighbourhood to a meeting.

They assembled in their best clothes and pagris and sat down in rows,
and in the middle a circle was drawn on the ground; then prayers were
offered to Chando and the child was set in the circle and told to find
its father. The child began to walk slowly along the lines of men but
it did not stop till it came to its real father, who was sitting a
little apart, and then it threw itself into his arms. Thus the truth
was discovered and the man married the girl and, as he was very poor,
went to live in his father-in-law's house.



LV. Jogeshwar's Marriage.

Once upon a time there was a young man of the weaver caste, named
Jogeshwar. He was an orphan and lived all alone. One summer he planted
a field of pumpkins on the sandy bed of a river. The plants grew well
and bore plenty of fruit: but when the pumpkins were ripe, a jackal
found them out and went every night and feasted on them. Jogeshwar
soon found out from the foot-marks who was doing the damage; so he set
a snare and a few days later found the jackal caught in it. He took
a stick to beat its life out, but the jackal cried: "Spare me and I
will find you a wife." So Jogeshwar stayed his hand and released the
jackal who promised at once to set off about the business.

The jackal kept his word and went to a city where a Raja lived. There
he sat down on the bank of one of the Raja's tanks. To this tank the
servants from the palace brought the pots and dishes to be washed,
and to this tank also came the Rani and princesses to bathe. Whenever
the servants came to wash their dishes, the jackal kept on repeating:
"What sort of a Raja is this whose plates are washed in water in
which people have bathed? there is no Raja like Raja Jogeshwar: he
eats of golden plates and yet he never uses them a second time but
throws them away directly he has eaten off them once."

The servants soon carried word to the Raja of the jackal who sat by
the tank and of his story of Raja Jogeshwar. Then the Raja sent for
the jackal and asked why he had come: the jackal answered that he was
looking for a bride for Raja Jogeshwar. Now the Raja had three or four
daughters and he thought that he saw his way to a fine match for one
of them. So he sent for the young women and asked the jackal to say
whether one of them would be a suitable bride for Raja Jogeshwar. The
jackal chose the second sister and said that he would go and get the
consent of Raja Jogeshwar.

The jackal hurried back and told the astonished weaver that he had
found a Raja's daughter for him to marry. Jogeshwar had nothing to
delay him and only asked that an early day might be fixed for the
wedding. So the jackal went back to the Raja and received from him
the knotted string that fixed the date of the wedding.

The jackal had now to devise some means by which Jogeshwar could
go through the wedding ceremonies without his poverty being found
out. He first went to the Raja and asked how many attendants Raja
Jogeshwar should bring with him, as he did not want to bring more
than the bride's father could entertain. The Raja was too proud to
fix any number and said they could bring as many as they liked.

Jogeshwar having no relations and no money, was quite unable to arrange
for a grand procession to escort him; he could only just afford to hire
a palki in which to be carried to the bride's house; so the jackal
sent word to all the jackals and paddy birds of the neighbourhood to
come to a feast at the palace of the bride, an invitation which was
eagerly accepted. At the time fixed they started off, with all the
paddy birds riding on the backs of the jackals. When they came within
sight of the palace, the jackal ran on ahead and invited the Raja to
come out and look at the procession as there was still time to send
them back, if they were too many, but it would be a great disgrace
if they were allowed to arrive and find no entertainment. The Raja
went out to look and when he saw the procession stretching away for a
distance of two miles or more with all the paddy birds looking like
white horsemen as they rode on the backs of the jackals, his heart
failed him and he begged the jackal to send them away, as he could
not entertain such a host.

So then the jackal hurried back and turned them all away and Jogeshwar
reached the palace, accompanied only by his palki bearers.

Before the wedding feast, the jackal gave Jogeshwar some hints as to
his behaviour. He warned him that three of four kinds of meat and
vegetables would be handed round with the rice, and bade him to be
sure to help himself from each dish--of course in his own house the
poor weaver had never had more than one dish to eat with his rice--and
when _pan_ was handed to him after the feast he was not to take any
until he had a handful of money given him; by such behaviour he would
lead every one to think that he was really a prince. Jogeshwar did
exactly as he was told and was thought a very grand personage.

The next evening Jogeshwar set off homewards with his bride, the
bride's brothers and attendants accompanying them. They travelled on
and on till the bride's party began to grow tired and kept asking the
jackal how much further they had to go. The jackal kept on putting them
off, till at last they came in sight of a grove of palm trees, and he
told them that Raja Jogeshwar's palace stood among the palm trees but
was so old and weather worn that it could not be seen from a distance.

When they reached the palm grove and found nothing but Jogeshwar's
humble hut, the bride's brothers turned on the jackal and asked what
he meant by deceiving them. The jackal protested that he had told no
lies: the weaver ate every day off plates made of dry leaves and threw
them away when done with and that was all he meant when he talked of
golden plates. At this excuse they turned on him and wanted to beat
him, but he ran away and escaped.

The bride's friends went back and told the Raja how things had turned
out and as divorce was not lawful for them, the Raja could only send
for his daughter and her husband and give them an estate to live on.



LVI. The Strong Man.

There was once a Strong man but no one knew of his strength. He was in
the service of a farmer who made him headman over all his labourers. In
those days much of the country was still covered with jungle. One
day the farmer chose a piece of forest land which he thought suitable
for cultivation and told his labourers to set to work and clear it,
and as usual after giving his orders he troubled himself no more
about the matter, as he could fully rely on the Strong man.

The next morning, the Strong man set the other labourers to work
ploughing a field and then said that he would go and have a look
at the jungle which his master wanted cleared. So he went off alone
with only a stick in his hand. When he reached the place, he walked
all round it, and saw how much could be made into good arable land,
and then he began to clear it. He pulled up the trees by the roots and
piled them into a heap and he took the rocks and threw them to one side
and made the ground quite clear and smooth, and then went back to the
house. On being asked why he had been so long away, he answered that he
had been pulling up a few bushes at the place which was to be cleared.

The following morning the Strong man told the farm labourers to take
their ploughs to the clearing and begin to plough it. When the farmer
heard this, he was puzzled to think how the land could be ready for
ploughing so soon, and went to see it and to his amazement found the
whole land cleared, every tree pulled up by the roots and all the
rocks removed.

Then he asked the Strong man whether he had done the work by
himself. The Strong man answered "no," a number of people had
volunteered to help him and so the work had been finished in a day.

The farmer said nothing but he did not believe the story and saw that
his servant must really be a man of marvellous strength. Neither
he nor the farm labourers let any one else know what had happened,
they kept it to themselves.

Now the Strong man's wages were twelve measures of rice a year. After
working for four years he made up his mind to leave his master and
start farming on his own account. So he told the farmer that he wished
to leave but offered to finish any work there was to do before he went,
that no one might be able to say that he had gone away, leaving his
work half done. The farmer assured him that there was nothing for
him to do and gave him rice equal to his four years' wages. The rice
made two big _bandis_, each more than an ordinary man could lift,
but the Strong man slung them on to a bamboo and carried them off
over his shoulder.

After he had gone a little way, it struck the farmer that it would
not do to let him display his strength in this way and that it would
be better if he took the rice away at night. So he had the Strong man
called back and told him that there was one job which he had forgotten
to finish; he had put two bundles of sahai grass into the trough to
steep and had forgotten to twist it into string. Without a word the
Strong man wait and picked the _sabai_ out of the water and began
to twist it, but he could tell at once by the feel that the _sabai_
had only just been placed in the water and he charged the farmer with
playing a trick on him. The farmer swore that there was no trick and,
rather than quarrel, the Strong man went on with the work.

While he was so engaged the farmer offered him some tobacco, and the
Strong man took it without washing and wiping his hands. Now no one
should prepare or chew tobacco while twisting sabai; if one does not
first wash and dry one's hands one's strength will go. The Strong
man knew this, but he was so angry at being called back on false
pretences that he forgot all about it.

But when he had finished the string and the farmer said that he might
go, he essayed to take up the two _bandis_ of rice as before. To his
sorrow he found that he could not lift them. Then he saw the mistake
that he had made. He had to leave one _bandi_ behind and divide the
other into two halves and sling them on the bamboo and carry them
off with him.

The Strong man's cultivation did not prosper, and after three or four
years he found himself at the end of his means and had again to take
service with a farmer.

One day when field work was in full swing the Strong man had a quarrel
with his new master. So when he had finished the morning's ploughing
he pulled the iron point of the ploughshare out of its socket and
snapped it in two. Then he took the pieces to his master and explained
that it had caught on the stump of a tree and got broken. The master
took the broken share to the blacksmith and had it mended. The next
day the Strong man went through the same performance and his master
had again to go the blacksmith. The same thing happened several days
running, till at last the farmer decided to keep watch and see what
really happened. So he hid himself and saw the Strong man snap the
ploughshare in two; but in view of such a display of strength he was
much too frightened to let his servant know that he had found out
the trick that was being played on him. He took the pieces to the
blacksmith as usual and at the smithy he found some of his friends
and told them what had happened. They advised him to set the Strong
man to twisting sabai string and then by some pretext induce him to
take tobacco. The farmer did as they advised and in about a fortnight
the Strong man lost all his strength and became as other men. Then
his master dismissed him and he had to go back to his house and his
strength never returned to him.



LVII. The Raja's Advice.

Once upon a time an aged Raja lay dying. Before he breathed his
last he sent for his only son and gave him the following advice. "My
son," he said, "never go on a journey alone; do not associate with
low people, for if you do no one will respect you; never confide a
secret to your wife; do not tell outsiders the affairs of your house;
do not let village affairs go beyond the village street, and never
get into a rage."

The son succeeded to the Raja and shortly afterwards set out to pay
a visit to his wife's relations. He started alone and after going
some distance he remembered his father's injunctions never to go on
a journey alone. He had gone too far to go back and he saw no one
within call, so he looked about and presently found a crab hole. He
set to work and dug out the crab and fixing it in his _pagri_ continued
his journey.

By-and-bye he came to a river. Now in this river lived a crocodile,
which had leagued with a crow to destroy travellers crossing the
river. Whenever the crow saw anyone coming, it gave warning to the
crocodile, and the crocodile then seized the traveller as he entered
the river, while the crow pecked out his eyes. In this way they had
been the death of many travellers. So when the crow saw the young
Raja coming, it cawed to the crocodile, which hastened to the ford
and seized the Raja as he stepped into the water, while the crow flew
at his head. But the crab caught the crow by the leg and nipped it so
hard that the crow, in agony, called out to the crocodile to let the
man go, as it was being killed. So the crocodile released its hold
and the Raja struggled to the bank, and then caught the crow which
was held fast by the crab and wrung its neck. Then he went back home
with the crab, reflecting on the wisdom of his father's advice.

Later on, the Raja thought that he would put another of his father's
maxims to the proof and see what would happen if he told his wife
a secret. So he took a spade and buried an old earthen pot in the
corner of his garden. He let his wife see him and she promptly asked
what he was burying; he put her off, but that night she insisted so
much on knowing, that, after swearing her to secrecy, he told her
that a child had come straying to his house and he had killed it to
obtain good luck and had buried the body.

Time passed, and one day the Raja had a quarrel with his wife, he began
to beat her and she in return abused him and kept on calling out that
he was a murderer, who had buried a child in his garden. Their next
door neighbour heard all this and, directly she found the Raja's
wife alone, asked whether what she said was true. The Raja's wife,
being still in a passion, asserted that it was quite true. The story
was soon all over the town, and the townspeople rose and seized the
Raja and charged him with the murder. Then he took them to the garden
and made them dig up what he had buried and they found only an old pot.

So they had to pay him compensation for making a false charge, and
the Raja valued more than ever the advice given him by his father.



LVIII. The Four Jogis.

Once four Jogis were out on a begging expedition and came to a city
were a Raja lived. As they went along they discussed how they should
beg of the Raja; and while they were discussing the point, they saw a
field rat and one of them exclaimed "I know how I shall beg of him! I
shall say 'See, he throws up the earth, scrapety scrape!'" This did not
help the other three, but, further on, some frogs jumped into a pond as
they passed by, and one of the others at once said "I know what I shall
say! I shall say 'plumpety plump! down he has sat.'" A little later,
they saw a pig wallowing in the mud, and the third Jogi called out
"I have it! I shall say 'Rub away, rub away! Now some more water! Rub
away, rub away! I know, my boys, what you are going to do.'" The
fourth Jogi was still in perplexity but, when they came in sight of
the Raja's city, he exclaimed "I know what I shall say 'Highways and
byeways, what a big city! The kotwal is going his rounds, his rounds.'"

Then they got a man to write down these four forms of address on a
sheet of paper and presented it to the Raja. The Raja took it, and
read it, and could not make head or tail of it. And when the four
Jogis saw him looking so puzzled, they got frightened and took to
their heels, for they could not read themselves and were not sure of
what the paper really contained.

Now the Raja's chief officer was a Tehsildar, and he had also a Barber,
who shaved him every day, And that evening after the Jogis had run
away, the Tehsildar proposed to the Barber that, when shaving the
Raja the next morning, he should cut the Raja's throat and they could
then divide the kingdom between them, and the Barber consented. Not
content with this, the Tehsildar and the palace chowkidar that same
night tried to break into the Raja's palace and steal his money and
jewelry. They began to cut a hole through the mud wall of the Raja's
room, but it chanced that the Raja was so puzzled by the paper which
the Jogis had put into his hand, that he kept on reading it over and
over again, and just as the Tehsildar and chowkidar had half cut their
way through the wall, they heard the Raja saying "See, he throws
up the earth, scrapety, scrape!" At once they concluded that they
had been heard and they crouched down; the Raja went on "Plumpety,
plump! down he has sat." This made them think that they had been seen
and the chowkidar crept to the door to listen: he heard the Raja saying
"Highways and byeways, what a big city! The kotwal is going his rounds,
his rounds!" Then the chowkidar felt sure that he was discovered and
he ran off with the Tehsildar, without completing their burglary.

The next morning the Barber went to shave the Raja, and, while he was
sharpening the razor, the Raja again began to study the mysterious
paper, murmuring "Rub away, rub away, now some more water: Rub away,
rub away! I know my boy what you are going to do." The Barber thought
that the Raja referred to his rubbing water over his face for shaving,
and concluded that the Tehsildar had revealed the plot; so he threw
himself at the Raja's feet and confessed everything, swearing that
the Tehsildar and not he was to blame. The Raja at once sent for
the chowkidar to take the Tehsildar and Barber to prison. When the
chowkidar came in he found the Raja repeating "See he throws up the
earth, scrapety, scrape!" He at once concluded that the Raja was
referring to the burglary and he fell on his knees and confessed all
that had happened. This was news to the Raja, but he went and saw the
place where the wall had been partly cut through, and then he sent
all the guilty men to prison and despatched messengers to look for
the Jogis who had been the means of saving his life and property;
but the Jogis had been so frightened and had run away so far, that
they were never found.



LIX. The Charitable Raja.

There was once a Raja who was very charitable; he used to give a new
cloth and a good meal to every one who came and begged of him. But
one day a Jogi came and refused to take what was offered to him: he
demanded that the Raja should give him his kingdom and everything
that he had. The Raja thought it wrong to refuse the request, and
went out into the world with his wife and his two young children,
a beggar. For a long time they wandered about living on charity,
till their clothes were worn to rags, and then they chanced to hear
of a rich merchant who gave a cloth to any beggar who asked it of him;
so they resolved to go to him for help. When they reached the village
where the merchant lived, the Rani left the Raja with the two children
to cook some dinner and went to the merchant's house to beg for some
clothes; but when the merchant saw her he fell in love with her and
shut her up and would not let her go. To be saved from the merchant's
designs the Rani prayed that she might be smitten with disease and
at once she became very ill.

After waiting in vain for her return the Raja set off with his two sons
to look for her and presently came to a flooded river. He carried one
child across first but, as he was returning for the other, he was swept
away by the current and the children were left alone. A Goala woman,
going to the river for water, found them, and as she was childless
took them home with her and brought them up.

Meanwhile the Raja was carried down stream by the flood and was washed
ashore, bruised and wounded, a long way down. At the place where he
landed a large crowd was collected; for the Raja of the country had
lately died leaving no heir, and the widow had ordered all the people
to assemble in order that two elephants, belonging to the late Raja,
might choose his successor. The half-drowned Raja joined the crowd and
as he sat looking on, one elephant, passing by all its own people,
came to him and put the golden necklace on his neck and the other
elephant lifted him on to its back and carried him off and seated him
on the Raja's throne; and as he sat on the throne all his wounds and
bruises were healed. Years passed and the Raja's two sons grew up,
and as the Goala woman who had adopted them was very poor, they went
out into the world to earn their living. As it chanced, they took
service as sipahis with the Raja their father, whom of course they
did not recognise. Just after their arrival the Raja arranged a great
festival at which people from all parts assembled; and among others
the merchant went there with the Raja's wife, in hopes that among
the crowd he might find some physician able to cure the woman. When
he arrived, he went to the Raja and asked that two sipahis might be
deputed to keep watch over the woman he had brought. The Raja sent
his two newly enlisted sipahis, and thus the sons were set to guard
their own mother, and it was not long before they found out their
relationship. The Rani was delighted to recover her long lost children,
but when she heard that her husband had been washed away by the river
and drowned, she began to weep and wail. The merchant went to the Raja
and complained that the sipahis who had been sent, had thrown the woman
into great distress and the Raja thereupon sent for all the parties
in order that he might enquire into the matter. When he heard their
story, he at once recognised that it was his own wife and sons who
stood before him and thus the whole family was happily united. Then
his wife prayed to Thakur that if she were really the wife he had
lost and had been faithful to him, she might be restored to health;
water was poured over her and she was at once cured of her disease,
and they all lived happily ever afterwards.



LX. A Variant.--The Wandering Raja.

Once there was a Raja who was very prosperous; but his wife found
their life of wealth and ease monotonous, and she continually urged
him to travel into other countries and to see whether other modes
of life were pleasant or distressful; she pestered her husband so
much that at last he gave way. He put his kingdom in charge of his
father's sister and her husband and set off with his wife and his
two sons as an ordinary traveller.

After travelling some days they got tired of eating the parched rice
which they had brought with them and thought they would boil some rice
for their dinner. So the Rani went into a bazar to get cooking pots,
and a light for the fire. She went to the house of a rich merchant for
these, but he was attracted by her beauty and seized her and shut her
up and would not let her go back, but kept her as his wife. The Raja
and his sons soon got tired of waiting for her; he concluded that
the journey was merely a pretext of his wife's to escape from him,
as she had disappeared the first time that he let her out of his sight.

So he turned to go home and soon came to a river which had to be
crossed, he left his sons on the bank and went into the water to
see how deep it was and as he was wading in, a large fish came and
swallowed him. The fish swam away down stream and was caught in the
net of some fishermen. When they saw how big a fish they had caught,
they decided to take it to the Raja of that country. The Raja bought
it at a high price, but when it was cut open at the palace the man
it had swallowed was found alive inside; so the Raja of the country
appointed him one of his retainers.

Meanwhile the two boys had been found abandoned on the bank of the
river by a cowherd, who was too poor to bring them up, so he took
them also to the Raja; and they rejoiced to meet their father and
when they grew up, were also appointed retainers.

They had to travel all over the country on the Raja's business and it
happened that they one day came to the village where their mother was
and they met and recognised her; she told them how she had been seized
and confined and begged them to bring her husband to her. So the sons
fetched their father and the Rani told her husband how unhappy she was
and begged him to get her released, and he promised to ask the help
of his master. When the Raja of the country heard the story he took
pity on them and went with a body of soldiers and seized the wicked
merchant and ordered him to give up all his wealth and as the merchant
tried to conceal where some of his money was buried, the Raja cut
him down with his sword. He also laid a heavy fine on the villagers,
because they had not sent word to him of the capture of the Rani.

Then he took home the Raja who had been swallowed by the fish and his
wife and sons, and entertained them for some days, and then gave them
elephants and horses and men and all the merchant's property and sent
them to their own country. The uncle and aunt who had been appointed
Regents came out to meet them and escorted them home.

Two or three days after the aunt asked the Raja how he had got his
elephants and horses and money, and he said "They are the profits
of my wife's sin; I will not tell you the whole story for if you
heard it you also might be led astray; my wife induced me to travel
by false pretences. It is not good to follow the advice of a woman;
it is by mere chance that you see me alive to-day." His wife heard
what he said, and she went out and cut her throat from remorse;
and they went and burned her body.



LXI. The Two Wives.

There were once a Raja and his Dewan who had each one son, and the
two boys were great friends. Both had been married in their infancy
and when they grew up and heard that they had wives, they agreed to
go together and visit them. So they set out, and they arranged that
on account of the superior rank of the Raja's son they would go first
and visit his wife; and they also agreed that, as they were going to
a strange place, they would keep together day and night.

When they reached the house of the Prince's father-in-law they were
received with great honour and when night came they lay down with
their beds side by side. Presently the Prince's wife came to him
and began to rub his arms and legs, until she had soothed him off to
sleep. The Dewan's son pretended also to go fast asleep, but really
he was careful to keep awake, for he thought it safer to be on the
watch in a strange place.

His prudence was rewarded, for after a time he saw the Prince's wife
leave her sleeping husband and go out of the house.

The Dewan's son followed her and saw her enter the house of a Gosain
who lived on the outskirts of the village. He went near and listened at
the door. He heard the Gosain ask the young woman why she was so late
in coming, and her answer that she had been detained by the visit of
her husband. The Gosain reproached her for not having told him that
she was married, and she protested that she had known nothing about
it until her husband appeared. The Gosain said that she must choose
between him and her husband, and she answered that she would never
give him up. "Then" said the Gosain "if you really mean it, go and
bring me your husband's head." At this the Dewan's son hurried back
and lay down on his bed. Presently he saw the woman come with a sword
and cut off her husband's head. But when she took it to the Gosain,
he rose and beat her with his iron pincers and drove her out, swearing
that he would have nothing more to do with a woman who was so heartless
as to kill her own husband. Then the woman returned and placed the
severed head by her husband's body and raised a great outcry, that
her husband had been murdered. The people of the house came and at
first they charged the Dewan's son with the crime and were about to
put him to death; but he called the Gosain as a witness and the real
facts were proved by his evidence, and the murderess was hanged.

The Dewan's son would not allow the Prince's body to be burnt but
insisted on taking it with him, that it might be cremated at his own
home. So he took it on his back and carried it off.

He thought that, as he had come so far, it would be better to visit
his own wife before going home. So, when he reached the village where
his wife lived, he hid the Prince's body in a hollow tree and went
to his father-in-law's house.

That night when they had gone to bed, the Dewan's son saw that his
wife had something on her mind, so he resolved to watch her.

When she thought that he was asleep, he saw her rise and go out of the
house. He followed her to a shrine of Mahadeb; there she smeared the
ground with cowdung and worshipped the god and said "O Siva! I have
worshipped you for many days; now my husband has come to take me to
his house, and you must find another worshipper." The Mahadeb answered
"You have served me for many days; call hither your husband; as you
have worshipped me for so long, I will confer a boon on you." So she
went and called her husband and as he knew what had happened, he had
no hesitation in going with her to the shrine. There the Siv bade him
ask a boon, and he prayed that the Raja's son might be restored to
life, The Siv bade them bring the body and cover it with a wet cloth;
and when they had done so, the body began to breathe and presently
the Prince rose up alive and well. The Dewan's son told him all that
had happened and the next day they went home, taking with them the
wife of the Dewan's son, through whose virtue and piety the Prince
had been restored to life.



LXII. Spanling and His Uncles.

There was once a little man named Spanling (Bita) because he was
only a span (_Bita_) high; and he had a beard one span and four
finger-breadths long. His father was dead, and he lived alone with
his mother and he was as cunning as anyone in the world. He had one
cow-buffalo and this he always grazed at night, for fear that the sun
might melt it. Once it happened that as he was following his buffalo,
he got buried in its droppings and he was so small that he could not
get out.

However, next morning, some girls, who were gathering cowdung for fuel,
found him and set him free. Spanling decided to get rid of the buffalo
after this; so he killed it and flayed it and when the skin was dry,
took it away to sell. Before he found a purchaser night came on,
so he climbed a tree with his hide to be out of danger. During the
night a gang of thieves came to the tree, and began to divide their
booty. While there were busy over this, Spanling let the hide fall
with a clatter into their midst, and they all ran away in a fright,
leaving all their stolen goods behind.

When day dawned, Spanling climbed down and found piles of gold waiting
for him. He took it home and sent his mother to borrow a wooden measure
from his uncles to measure it with. When he returned the measure,
one of the gold pieces was left sticking in a crack. His uncles at
once hastened to enquire how he came to be measuring gold. Spanling
told them that he had sold his buffalo skin at a town which he named,
for an enormous price and no doubt they could find the same market, if
they chose to kill their buffaloes. The uncles hurried home and killed
all their buffaloes and took the hides to the city, which Spanling
had named, but they were only laughed at when they asked more than
the price which was paid every day for hides. The uncles came home
very angry at the way in which they had been tricked by Spanling,
and in revenge they burnt his house down. Finding himself homeless,
Spanling gathered the ashes of his house into sacks, loaded them on
a cart and drove away. When evening came he camped by the roadside
in company with some other carters and, in the middle of the night,
he quietly changed his sacks of ashes for some of the sacks in the
other carts. When he got home he found that the sacks which he had
stolen were full of gold coins. He again sent to his uncles for a
measure and when the measure was returned a gold coin was again left
sticking in a crack. The uncles at once came to enquire how Spanling
had got the money. He told them that he had sold the ashes of his
house for gold and, as their houses were bigger than his, they would
doubtless make their fortunes if they burnt them down and sold the
ashes. The uncles took his advice but when they tried to sell the
ashes they were only laughed at for their pains.



LXIII. The Silent Wife.

There was once a madcap of a fellow, whose wife got on very well with
him and did all the house work very nicely, but she would never speak
a single word to him. As nothing he tried would make her speak, the
madcap at last hit on a plan of taking her on a long journey. But even
when he told his wife that she must come with him to a far country,
she did not utter a word. When all was ready for a start the madcap
bathed his feet and took a _lota_ of water into the house and pouring
it out, prayed to the spirit of his grandfather thus "Grandfather,
grant that my wife may speak; if you do not fail me in this, I will
make offerings to you on my return; grant that we may come back
together happily; teach her to speak to me soon."

Then he set out with his wife and they travelled on until they entered
a dense forest, where there was no sign of human habitation. As they
went on, the tailor birds and babblers began to chatter and scream
at them. The madcap got angry at this and called out to the birds
that if they did not stop, he would chase them and go on chasing
them for a day and a night. Then he sat down and watched them. His
wife stood waiting by his side, and soon she began to wonder what she
would do and where she would go, if her husband really went in chase
of the birds. So at last she spoke to him and said "Come, get up;
we must make haste out of this jungle." Directly the words were out
of her mouth, the madcap knelt down and bowing to the ground said
"I thank you, Grandfather". Then he rose and went on with his wife.

Presently they met a bear; the madcap called out "You brute of a bear,
what do you mean by coming to meet us like this? I will chase you and
go on chasing you till to-morrow morning." But his wife besought him
to come along and not leave her. Directly she spoke, the madcap cried
"Bravo" and kneeling down thanked his grandfather. They went on and
presently a jackal crossed their path; the madcap cursed it and vowed
that he would chase it all the night. Again his wife urged him to
come on and again the madcap knelt down and thanked his grandfather;
but his wife did not know why he did so, nor did she trouble to ask.

Just as they reached the edge of the forest they saw a leopard and this
also the madcap threatened to chase. "Then go and chase it," said his
wife, who now felt safe. So he went in pursuit of the leopard, but
after going a little way he lost sight of it and went back to where
his wife was. "What has become of all your boasting?" said she. "You
have not chased it till to-morrow morning." "No," said the madcap
"I have killed it; if you don't believe me, come and see." But she
did not want to go back into the jungle and said no more about it. As
his wife had broken her silence the madcap saw no use in going further
and they turned homewards; all the way his wife went on chatting and
singing along with him. When he reached home he sacrificed a number of
goats to his grandfather, and lived happily with his wife ever after.



LXIV. The Dumb Shepherd.

There was once a very rich and powerful Raja and in his heart he
thought that there was no one so powerful in the world as himself;
thus he thought but he told no one of his thought. One day he made
up his mind to see whether others could guess what he was thinking,
so he called together his officers and servants and dependants and
bade them tell him what thought was in his heart. Many of them made
guesses, but not one gave an answer which satisfied the Raja.

Then the Raja told his dewan that he must without fail find some
one who would, guess his thought, and he gave the dewan exactly one
month's time in which to search. The dewan searched high and low but
all in vain, and as the time drew near he grew more and more anxious,
for he feared that he would fall into disgrace. But he had a daughter
and she consoled him and told him to cheer up, as she would find a
man on the day fixed to read the Raja's thoughts. The dewan had to
take what comfort he could from this promise, and when the appointed
day arrived, his daughter brought a dumb shepherd whom they employed
and bade her father take him to the Raja. The dewan thought it very
unlikely that the dumb shepherd would succeed where others had failed,
but he saw no alternative to following his daughter's advice.

So the dewan presented himself before the Raja with the dumb shepherd
and found a large company assembled to see what happened. The two
stood before the Raja and the dumb man looked at the Raja. Then
the Raja held up one finger, at this the dumb shepherd held up two
fingers. Then the Raja held up three fingers, but at this the dumb
man made signs of dissent and ran away as fast as he could. Then the
Raja laughed and seemed very pleased and praised the dewan for having
brought him such a clever man, and gave the dewan a rich reward.

The dewan was still at a loss to know what had happened, and begged the
Raja to explain what had passed between him and the shepherd. "When
I held up one finger," said the Raja "I asked him whether I alone
was Raja, and he by holding up two reminded me that there was God,
who was as powerful as I am. Then I asked him whether there was any
third, and he vehemently denied that there was. Thus he has read my
thoughts, for I have always been thinking that I alone am powerful,
but he has reminded me that there is God as well, but no third."

Then they all went their ways, and that night the dewan questioned
the dumb shepherd as to how he had been able to understand the Raja:
and the dumb man explained "I have only three sheep of my own, and
when I appeared before the Raja he held up one finger, meaning that
he wanted me to give him one of my sheep, and as he is a great Raja
I offered to give him two; but when he held up three ringers to show
that he wanted to take all three from me, I thought that he was going
too far and so I ran away."

By this lucky chance the dewan earned his reward from the Raja.



LXV. The Good Daughter-in-Law.

There was once a very rich man who had seven sons and the sons were
all married and lived with their father. The father was a miser: he
lived in the poorest manner in spite of all his wealth and hoarded
all his money. His eldest daughter-in-law managed the household and
she alone of the family did not approve of the miserly way in which
the family affairs were conducted.

One day a Jugi came to the house and asked for alms. The eldest
daughter-in-law happened to be away at the time, fetching water from
the stream. Those of the family who were at home flatly declined to
give the poor beggar anything and turned him away from the house. So
the Jugi went away, cursing them for their miserliness. On his way
he met the eldest daughter-in-law coming back with her jar of water
and she asked the Jugi why he seemed so angry. When she heard how he
had been treated, she at once besought him to return to the house and
explained that she was the housekeeper and that that was the reason
why none of the others had ventured to give him alms.

The Jugi returned with her and she gave him a _seer_ of rice to put
in his bag. At first the Jugi refused to take it, on the ground that
she was only giving it for fear of his curses but she assured him
that she never refused alms to anyone who begged. So the Jugi took
the rice and then asked what boon she would accept in return. The
woman at first said that she was in want of nothing, but, on the Jugi
pressing her, she said that she would like to be able to understand
the language of birds and beasts and to see the disembodied souls of
men. Then the Jugi took a feather from his bag and drew it across her
eyes and blew into her eyes and ears and she found herself possessed
of the powers for which she had asked. But before he left, the Jugi
told her that she must never reveal to any human being the boon he
had conferred on her, for if she did she would die.

Years passed and nothing happened but then it chanced that a Chamar
who lived at the end of the village died, and as he had been a good
and kind man his family wept bitterly at their loss. The woman saw the
spirit of the Chamar being taken away in a grand chariot and she also
wept for the death of so good a man. Her family became very suspicious
at her showing sorrow for the death of a stranger of another caste.

A few days later the miserly father-in-law died and the woman saw
three beings dragging him out of the house by his heels, and she
laughed to see him treated so for his sins. But the family were
shocked by her laughter and concluded that she was a witch and had
killed her father-in-law by her witchcraft; so after the funeral
they held a family council and called on the woman to explain why
she had laughed. She assured them that if she told she would die,
but they insisted and at last she told them of the boon conferred on
her by the Jugi, and what she had seen, and then she lay down upon
her bed and died.



LXVI. The Raja's Dream.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had no children. So he and his
wife agreed that he should marry again. His second wife bore him two
sons, and they were very pleased that the Raja should have heirs and
all lived happily together. But after the two sons had been born,
the elder Rani also gave birth to a son. This caused discord in the
family, for the younger Rani had counted on her sons succeeding to
the Raja, but now she feared that the son of the elder Rani would be
preferred. So she went to the Raja and besought him to send away the
elder Rani and her son. The Raja listened to her and gave the first
wife a separate estate and a separate house and sent them away.

Time passed and one night the Raja had a dream, the meaning of which
he could not understand; he dreamt that he saw a golden leopard
and a golden snake and a golden monkey dancing together. The Raja
could not rest until he had found out the meaning of the dream,
so he sent for his younger wife and her two sons and consulted
them. They could give no explanation, but the younger son said that
he had a presentiment that his brother, the son of the elder Rani,
could interpret the dream. So that son was sent for, and when he
appeared before his father and heard the story of the dream, he said
"This is the interpretation: the three golden animals represent us
three brothers, for we are like gold to you. Thakur has sent this
dream in order that we may not fight hereafter; we cannot all three
succeed to the Raj and we shall assuredly fight if one is not chosen
as the heir. It is intended that whichever of us can find a golden
leopard, and a golden snake and a golden monkey and make them dance
before the people, he is your principal son and shall be your heir,"
The Raja was pleased with this interpretation and told his three sons
that he would give the Raj to whichever of them could find the three
animals by that day year.

The sons of the younger Rani went away, feeling that it was useless
for them to make any attempt to fulfil the conditions; even if they
got a goldsmith to make the animals, they would never be able to make
them dance.

But the other brother went to his mother and told her all that had
happened, and she bade him be of good courage and he would find the
animals; if he went to a Gosain who lived in the jungle, he would be
told what to do.

So the Raja's son set out, and after travelling for some days he found
himself benighted in a dense jungle. Wandering about, he at last saw
a fire burning in the distance, so he went to it and sat down by it
and began to smoke. Now the Gosain was sleeping near by and the smell
of the smoke awoke him, and he rose and asked who was there.

"O uncle, it is I."

"Really, is it you my nephew? Where have you come from so late
at night?"

"From home, uncle."

"What has brought me to your memory now? You have never paid me a
visit before. I am afraid that something has happened."

"You need not fear that, I have come to you because my mother tells
me that you can help me to find the golden leopard and the golden
snake and the golden monkey."

At this the Gosain promised to help the Raja's son to find the animals
and then put the cooking-pot on the fire to boil; and in it he put
only three grains of rice, but when it was cooked, they found that
there was enough to make a meal of. When they had eaten, the Gosain
said "Nephew, I cannot tell you what you have to do; but further in
the jungle lives my younger brother: go to him and he will tell you."

So when it was morning the Raja's son set out, and in two days he
reached the second Gosain and told him of his quest. The Gosain
listened to his story and put the cooking-pot on to boil and in it
threw two grains of rice, and this, when cooked, was sufficient for
a good meal. After they had eaten, the Gosain said that he could
not tell how the animals were to be found, but that he had a still
younger brother who could tell. So the next morning the Raja's son
continued his journey, and in two or three days he came to the third
Gosain and there he learnt what was to be done. This Gosain also put
the pot on to boil but in the pot he only put one grain of rice and
a bit of a grain, yet when cooked it was enough for a meal.

In the morning the Gosain told the Raja's son to go to a blacksmith
and have a shield made of twelve maunds of iron and with its edge so
sharp that a leaf falling on it would be cut in two. So he went to
the blacksmith and had a shield made, and took it to the Gosain. The
Gosain said that they must test it, and he set it edgewise in the
ground under a tree and told the Raja's son to climb the tree and
shake some leaves down. The Raja's son climbed the tree and shook
the branches, but not a leaf fell. Then the Gosain climbed up and
gave the tree a shake and the leaves fell in showers and every leaf
that touched the edge of the shield was cut in two. Then the Gosain
was satisfied that the shield was rightly made.

Then the Gosain told the Raja's son, that further on in the jungle
he would find a pair of snakes living in a bamboo house; and they
had a daughter whom they never allowed to come out of the house; he
must fix the sharp shield in the door of the house and hide himself
in a tree, and when the snakes came out they would be cut to pieces;
then, when the snakes were dead, he was to go to their daughter and
she would show him where to find the golden animals. So the Raja's
son set out and about noon he came to the home of the snakes, and he
set the shield in the doorway as the Gosain had said, and at evening,
when the snakes tried to come out of the house, they were cut to
pieces. When her father and mother were dead, the daughter came out
to see what had happened, and the Raja's son saw that she was very
beautiful. He went to her and began to talk and it did not take them
long to fall in love with each other. The snake maiden soon forgot
her father and mother, and she and the Raja's son lived together in
the bamboo house many days.

The snake maiden strictly forebade him to go anywhere to the west or
south of the house, but one day he disobeyed her and wandered away
to the west. After going a short distance he saw golden leopards
dancing, and directly he set eyes on them, he himself was changed
into a golden leopard and began to dance with the others. The snake
maiden soon knew what had happened, and she followed him and led him
back and restored him to his own shape.

A few days later, the Raja's son went away to the south and there he
found golden snakes dancing on the bank of a tank and directly he saw
them, he too became a golden snake and joined the dance. Again the
snake maiden fetched him back and restored him to his own form. But
again the Raja's son went out to the south-west and there he saw
golden monkeys dancing under a banyan tree, and when he saw them he
became a golden monkey; again the snake maiden brought him back and
restored him to human shape.

After this the Raja's son said that it was time for him to go back
home. The snake maiden asked why he had come there at all, and then
he told her all about the Raja's dream and said that as he had found
the animals he would now go home.

"Kill me first" said the snake maiden; "you have killed my parents
and I cannot live alone here." "No, I will not kill you, I will take
you with me" answered the Raja's son, and the snake maiden gladly
agreed. Then the Raja's son asked how he was to take the golden animals
with him, for so far he had only seen where they were. The snake
maiden said that if he faithfully promised never to desert her, nor
take another wife, she would produce the animals for him when the time
came. So he swore never to leave her and they set out for his home.

When they reached the place where the third Gosain lived, the Raja's
son said that he had promised to visit the Gosain on his homeward
journey and show him the golden animals; but he did not know what
to do, as he had not got the animals with him. Then the snake maiden
tied three knots in his cloth and bade him untie them when the Gosain
asked to see the animals. So the Raja's son went to see the Gosain,
and the Gosain asked whether he had brought the golden leopard and
snake and monkey.

"I am not sure" answered the other, "but I have something tied up in
my cloth," and he untied the three knots and found in them a clod of
earth, a potsherd and a piece of charcoal. He threw them away and went
back to the snake maiden, and asked why she had put worthless rubbish
in his cloth. "You had no faith" said she "if you had believed, the
animals would not have turned into the clod and the potsherd and the
charcoal." So they journeyed on, till they came to the second Gosain,
and he also asked to see the golden animals and this time the Raja's
son set his mind hard to believe and, when he untied the knots, there
were a golden leopard and a golden snake and a golden monkey. Then
they went on and showed the animals to the first Gosain, and then
went to the house where his mother lived.

When the appointed day came, the Raja's son sent word to his father
to have a number of booths and shelters erected in a spacious plain,
and to have a covered way made from his mother's house to the plain,
and then he would show the dancing animals. So the Raja gave the
necessary orders, and on the day fixed all the people assembled
to see the fun. Then the Raja's son set the three animals on the
ground and his wife remained hidden in the covered way and caused
the animals to dance. The people stayed watching all day till evening
and then dispersed, That night all the booths and shelters which had
been erected were changed into houses of gold; and when he saw this,
the Raja left his younger wife and her children and went and lived
with his first wife.



LXVII. The Mongoose Boy.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had two wives. By his first
wife he had six sons, but the second wife bore only one son and he
was born as a mongoose. When the six sons of the elder wife grew up,
they used to jeer at their mongoose brother and his mother, so the
Raja sent his second wife to live in a separate house. The Mongoose
boy could talk like any man but he never grew bigger than an ordinary
mongoose and his name was Lelsing.

One day the Raja called all his sons to him and said that he wished,
before he died, to divide his property among them. But the sons said
that they had rather he did not do so then; they wished to go abroad
and see the world, and if he would give each of them some capital to
start, with, they would go abroad and trade and even if they did not
make much profit they would have the advantage of seeing the world.

So the Raja gave his six sons twenty rupees each to start business
with; but when Lelsing also asked for some money, his brothers jeered
at him and declared that he certainly could not go with them, for
he would only get eaten up by some dog. Lelsing made no answer at
the time but afterwards he went to his father alone and begged again
for some money. At last the Raja, though he scarcely believed that
Lelsing would really go out trading, gave him ten rupees.

The six brothers made everything ready and one morning set out on
their travels, without saying anything to Lelsing. But Lelsing saw them
start and followed after them, and as the brothers were resting in the
middle of the day they looked back and saw Lelsing galloping along to
overtake them. So they all travelled together for three or four days,
till they came to a great jungle and camped on its outskirts. There
they debated how long they should stay away from home and they decided
that they would trade for six months and then go back.

The next morning they entered the jungle, and as they travelled through
it, the six brothers managed to give Lelsing the slip, so that when
they came out of the forest they found themselves at Nilam bazar, but
Lelsing after wandering about for some time came out at Sujan bazar.

The six brothers bought sun-horses at Nilam bazar, and began to
trade. But Lelsing at Sujan bazar looked about for someone who would
engage him as a servant. No one would employ a mongoose, and Lelsing
was in despair, for he had very little money. At last he began to
enquire whether anyone would sell him a cheap horse, and learnt that
the horse market was at Nilam bazar; so he went to Nilam bazar and
there found his brothers trading, but he did not make himself known
to them. He tried to buy a horse but they were all too highly priced
for him, so at last he had to be content with buying a donkey for
three rupees and some articles to trade with.

When the six months expired, the brothers went home; and a little after
them came Lelsing, leading his donkey, his brothers laughed at him
but the Raja did not laugh; and Lelsing showed his father and mother
what profits he had made by his trading, which his brothers declined
to do. The Raja was pleased with Lelsing for this and declared that,
in spite of his shape, he was a man and a Raja. It only made his
brothers more angry with him to hear Lelsing praised.

Two or three years later there was a famine in the land. Lelsing
foresaw it and he dug a large hole in the floor of his house and buried
in it all the grain on which he could lay his hand. The famine grew
severe, but Lelsing and his mother always had enough to eat from their
private store. But his brothers were starving and their children cried
from want of food. Lelsing had pity on them and sent his mother with
some rice for them to eat. The Raja and his sons were amazed that
Lelsing should have rice to give away, and they went to his house
to see how much he had; but they found the house apparently empty,
for they did not know of the store buried in the ground. Puzzled
and jealous the brothers made up their minds to burn down Lelsing's
house. So one night they set fire to it, and it was burnt to ashes:
the store buried in the ground was however uninjured.

Lelsing put the ashes of his house into sacks and, loading them on
his donkey, set out to sell them. As he found no buyers, he rested for
the night under a tree by the road side. Presently a band of merchants
with well loaded pack-bullocks came to the place. "You must not camp
here" called out Lelsing to them "I have two sacks of gold coin here
and you may take an opportunity to steal them. If you are honest men,
you will go to a distance." So the merchants camped a little way off,
but in the middle of the night they came and carried off Lelsing's
sacks, leaving two of their own in their place, and hurried on their
way. In the morning Lelsing made haste to carry home the sacks which
had been changed, and when he came to open them he found them full
of rice and rupees. He sent his mother to borrow a measure from his
brothers with which to measure the rupees; and when he returned it,
he sent it to them full of rupees.

His brothers came running to know where he had found so much money. "I
got it by selling the ashes of my house" said Lelsing "and it is a
pity that I had only one house; if I had had more houses, I should
have had more ashes, and should have got more money still." On hearing
this the brothers at once made up their mind to burn their own houses,
and take the ashes for sale. But when they did so and took the ashes
for sale from village to village they were only laughed at for their
pains, and in the end had to throw away the ashes and come back empty
handed. They were very angry at the trick which Lelsing had played
on them and decided to kill him and his mother; but when they went
to the house to do the murder, Lelsing happened to be away from home
and so they were only able to kill his mother.

When Lelsing came home he found his mother lying dead. He placed the
body on his donkey and carried it off to burn it on the banks of the
Ganges. As he went, he saw a large herd of paek bullocks coming along
the road. He quickly propped the body of his mother against a tree
which grew by the road and himself climbed into its branches, and when
the bullocks came up he began to call out "Take care, take care: you
will have my sick mother trampled to death." But the drivers were too
far behind to hear what he said. When they came up, he climbed down
from the tree and charged them with having allowed their bullocks to
kill his mother. The drivers had no wish to face a charge of murder;
and in the end, to secure their release, they made over to Lelsing
all their bullocks, with the merchandize which they were carrying.

Lelsing threw his mother's corpse into some bushes, and drove the
laden bullocks home. Naturally his brothers wanted to know where he
had got such wealth from, and he explained that it was by selling
the dead body of his mother and he was sorry that he had only one
to dispose of. At once his brothers went and killed all their wives,
and took the corpses away to sell; but no one would buy and they had
to return disappointed.

Another trick that Lelsing played his brothers was this: he used to
mix rupees in the food he gave his donkey, and these passed out in
the droppings; and Lelsing took care that his brothers should know of
it. They found no rupees in the dung of their horses, and consulted
Lelsing as to the reason why. He told them that if they gave their
horses a blow with an axe while they ate their grain, they would
find rupees in the dung. The brothers did as they were advised,
but the only result was that they killed all their horses.

More and more angry, the brothers resolved to kill Lelsing by guile. So
they went to him and said that they had found a wife for him, and
would take him to be married. When the procession was ready, Lelsing
got into a palki. His brothers made the doors of the palki fast and
carried him off towards a deep river, into which they meant to throw
him, palki and all.

When they reached the river, they put the palki down and went to
look for a suitably deep pool. Lelsing found that he was outwitted,
and began to weep and wail. Just then a shepherd came by, driving a
flock of sheep and asked what was the matter. Lelsing cried out that
they were going to marry him against his will, but that anyone who
would take his place in the palki could marry his bride. The shepherd
thought that this would be a great opportunity to get a wife without
spending any money on the marriage, and readily changed places with
Lelsing, who drove away the flock of sheep. The brothers soon came
back and, picking up the paiki, threw it into the river and went home,
thinking that they had at last got rid of Lelsing.

But four or five days later Lelsing appeared, driving a large flock of
sheep. His brothers asked him, in amazement where he had come from,
"You threw me" said Lelsing "into a shallow pool of the river where
there were only sheep, but in the deeper parts there are cattle
and buffaloes as well. I can take you to fetch some of them if you
like. You take your palkis to the bank of the river,--for I cannot
carry you all--and then shut yourselves inside and I will push you
into the water." So the brothers took their palkis to the river side
and shut themselves in, and each called out "Let me have the deepest
place, brother." Then Lelsing pushed them in one by one and they were
all drowned. Then he went home rejoicing at the revenge which he had
taken for their ill treatment of him.



LXVIII. The Stolen Treasure.

Once upon a time three jars full of money were stolen from a Raja's
palace. As all search was fruitless the Raja at last gave notice that,
whoever could find them, should receive one half of the money. The
offer brought all the _jans_ and _ojhas_ in the country to try their
hand, but not one of them could find the treasure.

The fact was that the money had been stolen by two of the Raja's own
servants and it fell to the duty of these same two men to entertain
the _ojhas_ who came to try and find the money. Thus they were able
to keep watch and see whether any of them got on the right track.

Not far from the Raja's city lived a certain tricky fellow. From his
boyhood he had always been up to strange pranks, and he had married
the daughter of a rich village headman. At the time that the Raja's
money was stolen his wife was on a visit to her father, and after
she had been some time away, he went to fetch her home. However, on
his way, he stopped to have a flirtation with a girl he knew in the
village and the result was that he did not get to his father-in-law's
house till long after dark. As he stood outside he heard his wife's
relations talking inside, and from their conversation he learnt that
they had killed a capon for supper, and that there was enough for
each of them to have three slices of capon and five pieces of the
vegetable which was cooked with it.

Having learnt this he opened the door and went in. The household
was amazed at his arriving so late at night but he explained that he
had dreamt that they had killed a capon and were having a feast: and
that there was enough for them each to have three slices of capon and
five pieces of vegetable, so he had come to have a share. At this his
father-in-law could do nothing but have another fowl killed and give
him supper; he was naturally astonished at the Trickster's powers of
dreaming and insisted that he must certainly go and try his luck at
finding the Raja's stolen money.

The Trickster was taken aback at this, but there was no getting
out of it; so the next morning he set out with his father-in-law to
the Raja's palace. When they arrived they were placed in charge of
the two guilty servants, who offered them refreshments of curds and
parched rice. As he was washing his hands after eating, the Trickster
ejaculated, "Find or fail I have at any rate had a square meal,"
Now the two servants were named Find and Fail and when they heard
what the Trickster said, they thought he was speaking of them, and
had by some magic already found out that they were the thieves.

This threw them into consternation, and they took the Trickster aside
and begged him not to tell the Raja that they were the thieves. He
asked where they had put the money, and they told him that they had
hidden it in the sand by the river. Then he promised not to reveal
their guilt, if they would show him where to find the money when
the time came. They gladly promised and took him to the Raja. The
Trickster pretended to read an incantation over some mustard seed,
and then taking a bamboo went along tapping the ground with it. He
refused to have a crowd with him, because they would spoil the spell,
but Find and Fail followed behind him and showed him where to go. So he
soon found the jars of money and took them to the Raja, who according
to his promise gave him half their contents.



LXIX. Dukhu and His Bonga Wife.

Once upon a time there was a man named Bhagrit who had two sons named
Lukhu and Dukhu; and Lukhu used to work in the fields, while Dukhu
herded the buffaloes. In summer Dukhu used to take his buffaloes to
drink and rest at a pool in the bed of a dry river.

Now in the pool lived a _bonga_ girl and she fell in love with
Dukhu. So one day as he was sitting on the bank she appeared to
him in the guise of a human maiden. She went up to him and began to
talk, and soon they became great friends and agreed to meet at the
same place every day. As the girl was beautiful Dukhu fell deeply in
love with her and resolved to marry her, not knowing that she was a
_bonga_. One day the _bonga_-girl asked Dukhu to come home with her to
dinner, as he had stayed too late to go to his own house; but he said
he was too shy to do so, as her parents knew nothing about him. The
_bonga_-girl said "Oh no, I have told my people all about our love,
but if you won't come with me, stay here till I fetch you some rice;
it is too late for you to go home now; by the time you come back, the
buffaloes will have wandered off for their afternoon grazing." So Dukhu
agreed to wait while she brought the rice, and she got up and moved
away and disappeared behind some bushes, but a minute later Dukhu saw
her come smiling towards him with a pot of rice on her head; though
how she had fetched it so quickly he could not make out. She came to
him and put it down and told him to wash his hands and come and eat
his dinner. Dukhu asked her whether she had had her own dinner and she
said that she would go back and have that later. Then he proposed that
she should eat part of what she had brought; and she said that she
would do so, if he did not want it all. Dukhu resolved to test her,
for it would be a proof of true love, if she ate what he left over. So
after eating half the rice he said that he was satisfied and when she
found that Dukhu would eat no more she took what was left; then he was
satisfied that she really loved him and they began to talk of getting
married, and he told her that there would be no difficulty about it,
as his elder brother Lukhu was already married.

Then Dukhu asked the _bonga_ to take him to her house to see her
parents, so one day she led him into the pool and as he went in, the
water never came above his ankles; and somehow they passed along a
broad road until they came to the _bonga_ girl's house, and this was
full of tigers and leopards and snakes. At the sight of them Dukhu was
too frightened to speak; the _bonga_ said that she would not let them
touch him and offered him a large coiled-up snake to sit on; but he
would not sit down till she came and sat by his side. Then the _bonga_
father and mother asked their daughter whether this was her husband,
and when she said "yes" they came and made obeisance to him.

After they had had their dinner she took him back and he knew that
she was a _bonga_; but still he could not give her up. After this
the _bonga_ girl brought Dukhu his dinner every day on the bank of
the river, and he never went home for his midday-meal at all. His
brother's wife asked him why he did not come home and he said that
he did not get hungry and was content with some buffalo's milk; but
she did not believe him and resolved to watch and see who brought
him his dinner, but though she went and watched every day she only
saw him sitting alone, and the _bonga_ girl was invisible to her. But
one day she saw him disappear into the pool, and come out again.

When she told this at home, Dukhu's father, Bhagrit, got very angry
and decided to find out who made Dukhu disappear into the pool. He
resolved to bale out the water and find out what was at the bottom. So
he sent for men with baling baskets and began to divide off the water
with dams, but out of the water a voice was heard, singing;--


    "Do not dam the water, father,
    Do not dam the water, father,
    Your daughter-in-law, the Ginduri fish is dying."


At this sound the workmen were frightened and stopped; but Bhagrit
made them go on, saying that whatever happened should be on his
head. And when the dams were finished, they began to bale out the
water; thereupon a voice sang:--


    "Do not bale the water, father,
    Do not bale the water, father.
    Your daughter-in-law, the Ginduri fish is dying."


But they paid no attention and baled the water dry, and at the bottom
of the pool they found an enormous fish, for the _bonga_ girl had
turned into a fish. And they went to kill it, but the fish sang:--


    "Do not hit me, father,
    Do not hit me, father,
    Your daughter-in-law, the Ginduri fish is dying."


Nevertheless they killed it and dragged it on to the bank. Then they
began to cut it up, and as they did so, it sang:--


    "Do not cut me, father,
    Do not cut me, father,
    Your daughter-in-law, the Ginduri fish, is dying."


Nevertheless they cut it up, and Bhagrit divided the pieces among the
workmen, but they were too frightened to take any and preferred to
take the smaller fishes as their share. So he told Lukhu's wife to take
up the pieces and wash them: and as she did so the song was heard:--


    "Do not wash me, sister,
    Do not wash me, sister,
    The Ginduri fish is dying."


And she was very frightened, but her father made her wash them and
then they took home the pieces and lit a fire and ground spices and
turmeric and heated oil and made ready to cook the fish. Then the
fish sang again:--


    "Do not cook me, sister,
    Do not cook me, sister,
    The Ginduri fish, sister, is dying.'


But she nevertheless put the pieces into the pot to boil, when lo and
behold, out of the pot jumped the pretty _bonga_ girl. Then Bhagrit
said to his neighbours.--"You see by my persistence I have got a
daughter-in-law"--and she was duly married to Dukhu. At the wedding
the _bonga_ girl said "Listen, Father and all of you: I tell you and
I tell my husband--however much we quarrel let not my husband strike
me on the head, let him beat me on the body, I shall not mind; but
on the day that he hits me on the head: I shall depart for good."

After the marriage the family became very prosperous and their
crops flourished and every one liked the _bonga_ girl; but between
her and her husband there were constant quarrels and their friends
could not stop them. One day it happened that Dukhu smacked her
on the head. Then the _bonga_ girl began to cry and called her
father-in-law and mother-in-law and said "Father, listen, the father
of your grandson has turned me out, you must do your work yourselves
to-day;" then she took her child on her hip and left the house; and
they ran after her and begged her to return, but she would not heed;
and they tried to snatch the child from her but she would not give
it up, and went away and was seen no more.



LXX. The Monkey Husband.

One very hot day some children were bathing in a pool, when a Hanuman
monkey snatched up the cloth which one of the girls had left on the
bank and ran up a tree with it. When the children came out of the water
and went to take up their clothes, they found one missing, and looking
about, they saw the monkey in the tree with it. They begged the Hanuman
to give it back, but the monkey only said--"I will not give it unless
its owner consents to marry me."--Then they began to throw sticks
and stones at him but he climbed to the top of the tree out of the way.

Then they ran and told the parents of the girl whose cloth had been
stolen; and they called their neighbours and went with bows and arrows
and threatened to shoot the monkey if he did not give up the cloth,
but he still said that he would not, unless the girl would marry
him. Then they shot all their arrows at him but not one of them hit
him; then the neighbours said. "This child is fated to belong to the
monkey and that is why we cannot hit him." Then the girl's father
and mother began to cry and sang:--


    "Give the girl her cloth,
    Her silk cloth, monkey boy,"


and he answered


    "If she consents to marry me I will give it:
    If she consents I will put it in her hand."


And as he did not listen to the father and mother, her father's
younger brother and his wife sang the same song, but in vain; and
then the girl herself begged for it, and thereupon the monkey let
down one end of the cloth to her; and when she caught hold of it,
he pulled her up into the tree, and there made her put on her cloth
and ran off with her on his back.

The girl was quite willing to go with him and called out as she was
carried away: "Never mind, father and mother, I am going away." The
Hanuman took her to a cave in the mountains and they lived on
fruit,--mangoes or jack or whatever fruit was in season. The monkey
climbed the trees and shook the fruit down; but if the girl saw by
the marks of teeth that the monkey had bitten off any fruit, instead
of only shaking it down, she would not eat it, and pretended that
she had had enough; for she would not eat the leavings of the monkey.

At last the girl got tired of having only fruit to eat; and demanded
rice. So the monkey took her to a bazar, and leaving her on the
outskirts of the village under a tree, he went and stole some pots from
a potter and rice and salt and turmeric and pulse and sweetmeats from
other shops, and brought them to the girl. Then she collected sticks
and lit a fire and cooked a meal; and the monkey liked the cooked
food, and asked her to cook for him every day. So they stayed there
several days. Then the girl asked for more clothes and the monkey
tried to steal them too, but the shopkeepers were on the watch and
drove him away.

The girl soon got tired of sleeping under a tree so they went back
to the cave and the monkey gathered mangoes and jackfruit and told
her to go and sell them in the market and then she would be able to
buy cloth. But when she had sold the fruit, she stayed in the village
and took service with a well-to-do shopkeeper, and never returned to
the monkey. The monkey watched for her and searched for her in vain,
and returned sorrowfully to his hill; but the girl stayed on in the
village and eventually married one of the villagers.



LXXI. Lakhan and the Wild Buffaloes.

Once upon a time there was the only son of a widow, who used to tend
the sheep and goats of a Raja and his name was Lakhan. One day he
harnessed one of the goats to a plough and ploughed up a piece of high
land and sowed hemp there. The crop grew finely, but one night a herd
of wild buffaloes came and ate it all up; at this Lakhan resolved to
pursue the buffaloes and shoot them.

His mother did all she could to dissuade him but he made up a bundle
of provisions, and set off on his journey with a stick, and a bow
and arrows, and a flute made of the castor oil plant. He tracked the
buffaloes for some days and one evening he came to the house of an
old witch (hutibudhi) and he went up to it and asked the witch if he
might sleep there. She answered "My house is rough and dirty, but
you can choose a corner to sleep in; I can give you nothing more,
as I have not a morsel of food in the house." "Then," said he,
"I must go to bed hungry" and he lay down supperless.

In the middle of the night the witch began to gnaw at Lakhan's bow
and he heard her gnawing and called out "What are you munching? Give
me at bit," but she answered that it was only a little pulse which
she had gleaned from the fields and she had finished it. So Lakhan
said no more; but during the night the witch bit his bow to pieces
and when he saw this in the morning, he was very unhappy; for it was
useless to find the bison, if he had nothing to shoot them with.

So he went home and had an iron bow and arrows made by a blacksmith,
and then started off again. As before he came to the witch's house
and arranged to sleep there; and in the night the witch tried to
bite the bow to pieces, and Lakhan heard her crunching it and asked
her what she was eating: she said it was only a little grain which
she had gleaned. In the morning he found the bow all right, but the
witch's jaws were badly swollen. Lakhan laughed at her and asked what
was the matter and she said that she had toothache.

So Lakhan went on his way rejoicing and at last reached the place
where the wild buffaloes rested at night; he waited there and while he
waited he swept away all the droppings and made the place clean, and
then climbed up into a tree. At evening great herds of buffaloes came
to the place and they were so many that Lakhan was afraid to shoot. So
he stayed there, and every day he used to sweep the place clean, while
the buffaloes were away, and at night time hid himself in the tree.

The buffaloes determined to find out who their benefactor was, and they
chose an old cow to stay behind and watch. The next day the old cow
pretended that she was too weak to rise, and was left behind when the
herd went out to graze. Lakhan thought that she was too old to do him
any harm, so, although she was there, he got down from the tree and
cleaned up the place as usual, and even swept quite close up to the
old cow buffalo. In the evening the other buffaloes came back and the
old cow told them that it was a human being who swept their resting
place clean; and when they promised not to hurt him, she pointed out
the tree where Lakhan was. Then the buffaloes told him to come down
and swore not to kill him but to support him and keep him as their
servant. They told him to make a leaf bowl and they filled this with
their milk, as much as he could drink, and they arranged that he should
stay at the sleeping place and keep it clean, and when he wanted milk
he was to play on his flute and they would come at the sound.

So every noon he used to blow the flute and the cows came, running
and gave him more milk than he wanted so that he used even to bathe
himself in milk, and this made his hair grow very long.

One day a parrot belonging to a Raja saw him drying his long hair
in the sun and the parrot went to the Raja and told him that he had
found a husband for the Raja's daughter, with beautiful long hair;
but that no one could go near where he lived because of the wild
buffaloes; however the parrot undertook to bring him with the help
of a tame crow of the Raja's: so the crow and the parrot flew off to
the jungle, and they decided that the best way to entice Lakhan away,
was to carry off his flute. So when the cows gave him milk at noon and
he put down his flute, the crow seized it in his beak and flew away to
the top of a tree. When Lakhan missed the flute and saw the crow with
it, he began to throw stones but the crow flew off with it, keeping
just out of range; the crow flew from tree to tree and seemed to be
always just about to drop the flute and in this way enticed Lakhan on,
till they came to the Raja's palace and Lakhan followed the crow right
inside and they shut the door on him and made him marry the princess.

After some time his wife's brothers began to talk rudely about
him saying "I suppose this fellow is some poor orphan, without any
relations" and when Lakhan heard this he said that if they wanted
to see his cattle and buffaloes they must make a yard for them. So
the Raja gave orders for a large cattle yard to be made, and when it
was ready Lakhan took his flute and put his wife on the roof of the
palace and he himself climbed a tree and blew on the flute. Then the
wild buffaloes came running at the sound and gored to death every
one they met, and Lakhan and his wife became Raja and Rani.



LXXII. The Boy with the Stag.

Once all the men of a village went out to hunt in the hills and a
certain orphan boy wanted to go with them, and although they told him
that there was no water in the hills and he would die of thirst, he
insisted on starting. The first day they found no water, but the orphan
boy managed to endure it; but the second day he suffered so much, that
he begged the hunters to take him to water; they told him that there
was no water and they could not take him to any. So he set off alone
in the direction in which he understood there might be water, but he
soon lost his way in the jungle; so in despair he climbed a _meral_
tree and picked the fruit and threw it in all directions and to his
joy he heard one fruit splash as it fell into water; so he climbed down
and sure enough close to the tree he found a pool and drank his fill.

And then he saw a fawn stuck fast in the mud at the edge of the pool,
so he fixed an arrow to his bow and crept towards it, resolved to
catch it alive if he could, but if it ran away, to shoot it. The fawn
did not move and he managed to seize it and pulling it out of the mud,
he rubbed it clean and put his bow string round its neck and took it
home. The fawn grew up into a stag and he trained it to fight and
one day he matched it to fight with a goat. The agreement was that
the owner of the winner should take both the animals; in the fight
the stag was victorious, so the boy won the goat. Then he matched his
stag with a ram and a bullock and even with a buffalo, and the stag
was always victorious and in this way he soon grew rich. Seeing him
so rich one of the villagers gave him his daughter in marriage and
took him to live in his house, and so he lived happily ever afterwards.



LXXIII. The Seven Brothers and the Bonga Girl.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers who lived all alone in
the jungle, far from human habitations. None of them was married
and they lived on the game they killed. It chanced that a _bonga_
maiden saw the youngest brother and fell deeply in love with him. So
one day when all the brothers were away hunting, she placed in their
house seven nicely cooked plates of rice.

When the brothers returned in the evening from the chase, they were
astonished to find the rice waiting for them; all but the youngest said
that it must be some plot to kill them and refused to touch the food,
but the youngest wished to eat it. His brothers would not let him and
told him to throw the rice away; so he took it outside the house, but
instead of throwing it away, he ate up the whole seven plates full,
without letting his brothers know. But when they went to bed that
night, the youngest brother snored loudly, because he had eaten so
much, and thereby his brothers guessed that he had eaten the rice,
and they were very unhappy for they were sure that he was about to
die. However in the morning he was none the worse; so they went out
hunting as usual but the youngest brother suffered continually from
thirst, the result of overeating, and this convinced his brothers
that he had eaten the rice, though he denied it.

When they reached home that evening, they again found seven dishes of
rice placed ready for them. And that day the youngest brother and the
youngest but one ate; and the day after there was the rice again, and
the three youngest ate it. Then the eldest brother said: "To-morrow
I will stay behind and watch, and see who it is who brings the rice;
we have no servant, if I can catch the person who is so kind to us,
I will engage him as a cook for us, and we need have no more of this
mystery. Do you bring back my share of the game you shoot."

So the next morning the eldest brother stayed behind and hid himself
and watched. But he could not see the _bonga_, though she brought
the rice as usual; and when he told his brothers this, it was decided
that the second brother should stay behind the next day, and see if
he had better luck; and that day they all ate the rice, except the
eldest brother, who said that he would never eat it, until he knew
who brought it; so the next day the second brother watched but he
also could not see the _bonga_.

One by one all the brothers watched in vain, until only the youngest
one was left. Then they said to the youngest brother: "Now it is
your turn and if our friend does not show himself to you, we will
eat no more of his rice." So the next day the other brothers went
off to hunt and the youngest stayed at home; he did not trouble to
hide himself, but sat in the house making a bow. At noon he saw the
_bonga_ girl coming with the rice on her head, but he took no notice
and pretended to be looking down at something. Then the _bonga_ came
into the courtyard and put down the rice and looked about and said:
"I saw something like a man here, where has he got to?" and she
looked into the house and still the youngest brother kept silent;
then she spoke to him and asked whether he was ill, that he had not
gone hunting. He answered her that he was not ill, but had been left
to watch for the person who brought them rice every day. Thereupon
the _bonga_ went outside and brought in the rice and putting it down,
said: "It is I who do it. Come, wash your hands and I will give you
your dinner," but he said: "First tell me what all this means," and
she said: "It means that I want to live with you." He objected. "How
can I marry you when my brothers are not married?" She answered that
if he married her, they would soon find wives for his brothers. Then
she urged him to eat, but he said that if he ate one plateful, his
brothers would question him, so the _bonga_ girl went and brought an
extra dish and he ate that. And as they talked together, he soon fell
deeply in love with her, and promised to consult his brothers about
her living with them; but he saw a difficulty which would arise if
she married him, for his elder brothers would not care even to ask
her for water, and thus she would be really of very little use in the
house; so with some hesitation he proposed that she should marry the
eldest brother and then they could all talk freely to her; but the
girl would not agree to this and said that there would be no harm at
all in their talking to her, provided that they did not touch her,
and she would not mind giving his elder brothers water.

So they plighted their troth to each other, subject to the consent of
the brothers, and towards evening the _bonga_ girl left, promising
to return on the morrow. When the brothers returned they discussed
the matter and agreed that the youngest should marry the girl,
provided that she promised to keep house for them. So the next day
the girl came back and stayed with them; and they found wives for
the other brothers, and got cattle and buffaloes and broke up land
for cultivation and though the brothers did not altogether give up
hunting, they became rich.

A certain jogi found out where they lived and once every year he came
to ask for alms; one year he came just after the _bonga_ girl had
borne a child, so as she was doing no work, it was her sisters-in-law
who brought out food for the jogi. But at this he was displeased, and
said that he would only eat at the hands of the girl, who had given
him food the year before. They told him that she was in child-bed and
could not come out. Then he said: "Go and tell her that the Jhades Jogi
has come and wants her arm tassel." So she sent out her arm tassel
to him and he put it in his bag and got up and went away. Thereupon
the _bonga_ girl arose and left her baby, and followed him, and never
came back. At evening the brothers returned from hunting, and heard
what had happened. They were very distressed and told their wives
to look after the baby while they went in pursuit. They followed as
hard as they could and caught up the Jogi on the banks of a river;
then they tried to shoot him, but their arrows were powerless against
him, and he by magic turned the seven brothers into stones.

So the Jogi carried off the woman to his home. He was a Raja in his
own country and he had a big garden; and an old woman who looked
after it used to make garlands every day and bring them to the Rani,
and the Rani used to pay their weight in silver for them. In the
course of time the child who was left behind grew up and when he
used to play with his fellows at pitch and toss and there was any
dispute about the game his playmates would say "Fatherless boy,
you want to cheat!" So he asked his aunts whether it was true that
he had no father and they told him that the Jhades jogi had carried
off his mother, and how his father and uncles had gone in pursuit and
had never returned. So the boy decided to go in search of his mother
and he set off, and first he met some goatherds and he sang to them:--


    "Ho, Ho, goatherds
    Have you seen the Jhades Jogi
    On this road?"


But they could tell him nothing. And then he met some shepherd boys,
and he sang to them:--


    "Ho, Ho, shepherds,
    Have you seen the Jhades jogi
    On this road?"


But they could tell him nothing. Then he met some boys tending
buffaloes and he sang;--


    "Ho, ho, buffalo herds,
    Have you seen the Jhades jogi
    On this road?"


But they could tell him nothing. Then he came to a thorn bush, with
a number of rags fluttering on it, and he sang:--


    "Ho, ho, plum bush,
    Have you seen the Jhades jogi
    On this road?"


And the plum tree said "The Jhades jogi brought your mother this way,
and I did my best to stop them. If you don't believe me see the rags as
a proof." And he put his hand on the tree and went on. And then he came
to a squirrel which was chattering in a banyan tree, and he sang:--


    "Ho, ho, squirrel,
    Have you seen the Jhades jogi
    On this road?"


And the squirrel said "I have been calling you since yesterday. The
jogi brought your mother this way, go on and you will overtake
them. And your father and uncles also came this road." The boy was
cheered by this news and he put his hand on the squirrel's back and
said "You are a fine fellow to give me this clue" and the marks of
his fingers were imprinted on the squirrel and that is why squirrels
have striped backs to the present day.

Then he went on and came to a river and he decided to sit and have
his lunch there; he did not know that his father and uncles had been
turned into stones in that very place, but as he sat and ate, his eyes
were opened and he saw the stones weeping, and he recognised them,
and he dropt a little food on each that they might eat, and pursued
his way, until he came to the Jhades jogi's kingdom, and he went to
the old woman who kept the Jogi's garden and asked to be allowed to
stay with her and help her to make the garlands.

One day when he had made a garland, he tied to it a ring which had
belonged to his mother. So when the old woman took the garland to the
Rani, the Rani wondered why it weighed so heavy, and when she examined
it she saw her own ring. Then she asked the old woman who had tied the
ring there, and when she heard that a strange boy had come, she at
once ran to him and recognised her own son.

Then they planned how they could kill the Jhades jogi and escape! The
mother agreed to find out in what lay the life of the Jogi. So she
questioned him and worried him till he told her that his life lay in a
certain pumpkin vine. Then the boy went and cut down the pumpkin vine,
but the Jogi did not die; then the Rani worried and worried the Jogi
till he told her that his life lay in his sword; then the boy stole
the sword and burnt it in a fire of cowdung, but still the Jogi did not
die; then his mother again worried and plagued the Jogi till at last he
told her the truth and said "In the middle of the sea is a cotton tree,
and on the tree are two Bohmae birds; if they are killed I shall die."

So the boy set off to the sea and on the road he met three old
women and one had a stool stuck to her back, and one had a bundle of
thatching grass stuck on her head, and the third had her foot stuck
fast to a rice-pounder, and they asked him where he was going, and he
told them, "to visit the shrine of the Bohmae bird": then they asked
him to consult the oracle and find out how they could be freed from
the things which were stuck fast to them, and he promised to do so.

By-and-bye he came to the sea and was puzzled as to how he was to
cross it. As he walked up and down the shore he saw an alligator
rolling about in pain with a swollen stomach; and when it saw the boy
it said "I am like to die with this pain in my stomach, how can I be
cured?" and the boy proposed that it should take him to the cotton
tree in the midst of the sea and there they might learn a remedy from
the Bohmae birds. The alligator agreed, so the boy got on its back
and was taken across the water. Then the boy sat at the foot of the
cotton tree and sang:--


    "Come down, Bohmae birds,
    I wish to consult the oracle."


But the birds were frightened and flew to the top of the tree. But as
he went on singing, they became curious and came down and asked what
was the matter, and he said "There are three old woman and one has a
stool stuck to her and one a bundle of grass and one a rice pounder;
how are they to be freed?" And they said "The first old woman never
asked visitors to her house to take a seat; if she does so in future
she will get rid of the stool,"--and as they said this they came
nearer--"and the second old woman, if she saw anyone with straws
sticking in their hair never offered to take them out. If she does
so in future she will be freed," and as they said this they came
nearer still--"and the third old woman would not allow widows and
orphans to use her rice pounder: if she does so she will be freed:"
and as they said this they came quite near, and the boy seized them
and broke their wings, and as he did so the Jogi's arms were broken;
then he snapped off their legs, and as he did so the Jogi's legs were
broken; and the birds screamed and the Jogi howled.

Then the alligator carried the boy back, and by the time it reached
the shore it was cured of its pain. On his way back the boy told the
three old women of what the birds had said; and when he got to the
Jogi's palace he twisted off the heads of the Bohmae birds and then
the Jogi's head fell to the ground.

Then he started homewards with his mother, carrying the birds and
their heads; and the Jogi's head came rolling after them. But he saw
a blacksmith's fire burning by the side of the road and he threw the
birds into the fire and the Jogi's head rolled into the fire and was
burnt, and that was the end of him. When they came to the river where
his father and uncles were turned into stones, he bathed in the river,
and then put a cloth over the stones and they were restored to human
shape; and they rubbed their eyes and said "We must have slept a long
time" and were astonished when they heard how the Jogi had turned
them into stones. Then they all went home and lived happily ever after.



LXXIV. The Tiger's Foster Child.

Once upon a time a Potter woman went to dig earth for making pots,
and while she was working she was prematurely delivered of a boy. And
she considered whether she should carry the child home, or the basket
of clay, but in the end decided to take the clay which was urgently
wanted, while she would doubtless have plenty more children in the
course of time. So she went away, leaving the baby in the pit. At
evening a tiger came by and heard the child crying and he took pity
on it and carried it away and he and his wife reared it.

As the child grew up they used to take him to the tigers' assembly. He
was not at all afraid of the tigers and understood all they said
and one day he heard them saying that the Pargana (tribal chief)
tiger was a great man-eater. At this he was very angry and set off to
look for the man-eater, without telling his foster parents. When the
Pargana tiger saw the boy coming he had just finished cleaning his
teeth, and he thought "This is lucky, here is my breakfast coming;"
but just as he was about to spring on the boy, the boy caught hold
of him and tore him to pieces.

The news of this exploit soon spread, and the tigers called a meeting
to consider the matter, and they told the foster father that he must
take steps to prevent the boy doing any such thing again. So the
tiger and tigress went home and told the boy that it was time that
he went back to his own people, as he had brought shame upon them;
the boy objected that men would not receive him, but they told him to
go as an orphan boy and beg in the villages till he found his mother.

So he went away and when he came to a village he sang:--


    "My mother went to dig earth
    And left me in the pit;
    The tiger and the tigress of the jungle
    Reared me--give me alms,"


And thus he went begging from village to village and one day he came
to the village where his father and mother lived. His mother heard
him a long way off and running to him knew him for her son. Then she
brought water and oil and turmeric and bathed him and anointed him,
and gave him new clothes and fed him on curds and parched rice. And
the villagers collected, and when they heard the stories of the mother
and son, they believed them and gave a feast in honour of the boy,
and took him into the village.



LXXV. The Caterpillar Boy.

Once there was an old woman who lived on the grain she could collect
from other people's threshing floors. One day as she swept up a
threshing floor she found a caterpillar among the paddy; she threw
it away but it came crawling back again; she threw it away again,
but it said "Do not throw me away, take me home with you and you
will prosper." So she let it stay and that day she found that she
collected a whole basketful of rice; at this she was delighted, and
put the caterpillar on the top of her basket and took it home. There
she asked the caterpillar what work it would do, and it said that
it would watch the paddy, when it was spread out to dry after being
boiled, and prevent the fowls and pigs from eating it.

So the caterpillar used to watch the paddy while the old woman went out
looking for food; and every day she brought back a full basket of rice,
and so she soon became rich. It got whispered about that the old woman
was so prosperous, because she had a caterpillar boy in her house.

One day the caterpillar said that he wanted to go and bathe, so he
went to the river and took off his caterpillar skin, and bathed, and
as he rubbed his head, one or two hairs came out, and these he wrapped
up in a leaf and set the packet to float down the stream. Lower down
the stream a princess was bathing and when she saw the packet come
floating down, she had it fished out, and when she opened it she saw
the hairs inside and she measured them and found them to be twelve
fathoms long; then the princess vowed that she would not eat rice,
till she found the man to whom the hairs belonged. And she went home
and shut herself in her room and refused to eat.

At this her father and mother were much distressed, and when they heard
what had happened the Raja said "Well she wants a husband, I will find
him for her." And he sent a notice throughout his kingdom saying that
he would give his daughter and half his kingdom to the man who had
hair twelve fathoms long. Everyone who heard this came with his sons
and the princess was told to look at them and choose whom she liked;
but none had hair twelve fathoms long, and she would take none of
them. Then the Raja asked whether everyone in the kingdom had come,
and he was told that there was a caterpillar boy, who lived with an
old woman, who had not come, so the Raja sent to fetch him, but he
said that he had no arms or legs and could not go; so they sent a
palki for him and he was brought in that. And when the palki was set
on the ground, the caterpiller boy rolled out and the princess said
that he should be her husband.

At this her father and mother were much ashamed and remonstrated with
her, but she persisted in her fancy, so the marriage took place. They
sent the newly married pair to live in a house at the outskirts of the
village and only one maidservant accompanied the princess. Every night
the caterpillar boy used to take off his skin and go out to dance,
and one night the maidservant saw him and told her mistress. And they
agreed to watch him, so the next night they pretended to go to sleep,
but when the caterpillar boy went out, they took his skin and burnt
it on the fire; and when he came back, he looked for it, but could
not find it. Then the princess got up and caught him in her arms,
and he retained his human form, and he was as handsome as a god.

In the morning the caterpillar boy and his wife stayed inside the
house, and the Raja sent some children to see what had happened, and
the children brought back word that there was a being in the house,
but whether human or divine they could not say. Then the Raja went
and fetched his son-in-law to the palace, but the caterpillar was not
pleased and said to his wife; "They treat me very well now that they
see that I am a man, but what did they do before?" However he stayed
in his father-in-law's palace.

Presently the Raja said that his kingdom was too small to give half of
it to his son-in-law, so he proposed that they should go and conquer
fresh territory, and carve out a kingdom for the caterpillar boy. So
they went to war and attacked another Raja, but they were defeated and
their army cut to pieces. Then the son-in-law said that he would fight
himself; so he drew his sword and brandished it and it flashed like
lightning and dazzled the eyes of the enemy and his shield clanged
on his thigh with a noise like thunder; and he defeated the other
Raja and took his kingdom and carried off all his wealth.

But the Raja thought that as his son-in-law was so strong, he would
one day kill him also and take his kingdom: so he resolved to find a
means to kill him. On their way back from the war they found no water
on the road and were distressed with thirst. One day they came to a
large tank and found it dry. So they made a sacrifice in the hopes
that water would flow. First they sacrificed goats and sang:--


    "Tank, we are giving goats
    Trickle out water!
    Tank, we are giving goats
    Flow, water!"


But no water came. Then in succession they sacrificed sheep, and oxen
and buffaloes, and horses and elephants, but all in vain: and after
each failure the Raja said "Son-in-law, it is your turn," and at
last his son-in-law said "Well, let it be me;" and he armed himself
and mounted his horse and went and stood in the middle of the tank,
and he sang:--


    "Up to my knees the water, father,
    The water, father, has oozed out."


And the Raja answered:--


    "Do you, my son, remain standing there,"


And as he sang the water welled out up to his horse's knee and then
to its belly; and he still sang and the water rose to the horse's
back and then to his own waist, and to his chest, and he still sang,
and it reached his mouth and then he was completely submerged and
the tank was full. Then they all drank their fill and the Raja said
to his men "We have sacrificed this Saru prince. I will kill any of
you who tells my daughter what has happened" and they promised not
to tell, but they forgot that there were two dogs with them. And
when they got home each man's wife brought out water and welcomed
him and the princess asked where her husband, the Saru prince, was,
and no one answered; then she sang:--


    "Oh Father, my father; How far away
    Is the Saru Prince, the Gindu Raja?"


and the Raja answered


    "My daughter, my darling, the Saru Prince, the Gindu Raja
    Is very far away, amusing himself with hunting."


And she sang to them all, but no one told her anything, and then she
sang to the two dogs, who were named Chaura and Bhaura:--


    "Oh Chaura, oh Bhaura,
    How far away
    Is the Saru Prince, the Gindu Raja?"


and they answered


    "Oh sister, oh Rani!
    Your father has sacrificed him
    In the big tank."


Thereupon she began to cry, and every day she sat and cried on the
bank of the tank.

Now the two daughters of the Snake King and Queen had received the
Saru Prince as he disappeared under the water, and when they heard
the princess crying every day they had pity on her; she used to sing:--


    "Oh husband! Oh Raja!
    My father has sacrificed you
    In the big tank.
    Oh husband! Oh Raja,
    Take me with you too."


So the daughters of the Snake King and Queen took pity on her and
told their frog chowkidar to restore the Saru Prince to his wife;
and the Prince and his wife went home together. When the Raja and
his wife saw their son-in-law again, they were terrified, but he said
nothing to reproach them. The princess however could not forgive them
for trying to kill her husband and always looked angrily at them;
then the Raja and the Rani took counsel together and agreed that
they had done wrong to the prince, and that he must be a magician;
and they thought that their daughter must also be a magician, as she
had recognised the prince when he was a caterpillar, and she could
not even see his long hair; so they were afraid and thought it best
to make over the kingdom to their son-in-law, and they abdicated in
his favour, and he took the kingdom.



LXXVI. The Monkey Nursemaid.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers who were all married and
each had one child and the brothers arranged to engage a boy to carry
the children about; so they sent for a boy and to see if he was strong
enough, they made a loaf as big as a door and they told the boy to take
it away and eat it; but he was not strong enough to lift it; so they
told him that he could not carry their children. Now a Hanuman monkey
was looking on from the top of a tree, and he came down and carried
off the loaf and ate it. Thereupon the mothers engaged him to carry
the children, and he used to carry the whole seven about on his back.

One day the children were running about the house and kept interfering
with their mothers' work, and the mothers scolded the monkey for not
keeping them out of the way. Then the monkey got sulky and carried
off the children to a distant hill and did not bring them back at
evening. So the mothers got very anxious, but the villagers laughed
at them for engaging a monkey, instead of a human being, to look
after the children.

When the mothers heard that the monkey had taken the children to
the hill, they were still more unhappy, for in the hill lived a
_rakhas_ (ogre) but it was too late to go in search of them that
night. Meanwhile the monkey for fear of the _rakhas_ had carried the
children up to the top of a palm tree and when the _rakhas_ spied
them out he tried to climb the tree, but the monkey drove him away
by throwing the palm fruit at him.

However the monkey was really in a fix, for he was sure that the Rakhas
would return, and he knew that if he let the children be eaten, their
parents would make him pay for it with his life. So he went off to a
blacksmith and bought sharp knives and tied them on to the trunk of the
palm tree: and when the Rakhas came back and tried to climb the tree,
he was so badly cut by the knives, that he fell down to the ground with
a thud and lay there groaning. Then the monkey cautiously descended and
the Rakhas begged him to cure his wounds; the monkey answered that he
would cure him if he gave him complete outfits for the children. The
Rakhas said that he would give them directly he was cured. So the
monkey applied some medicines and recited the following spells:--


    "Rustling, rustling sesamum,
    Slender sesamum:
    Tell your grandfather,
    Tell him of seven waist strings.

    Rustling, rustling sesamum,
    Slender sesamum:
    Tell your grandfather,
    Tell him of seven dhotis."


And in succeeding verses, he mentioned seven coats, seven pair of
shoes, seven hats, seven swords, seven horses, and seven hogs; and as
he repeated the incantation he blew on the Rakhas, and he was healed.

The Rakhas was to give the things mentioned in the incantation, but
when seven hogs were mentioned he objected and wished only to give one,
and in the end the monkey agreed to be content with two; so the Rakhas
departed and the next day appeared with seven waist strings, seven
dhoties, seven coats, seven hats, seven pairs of shoes, seven swords,
seven horses and two hogs. Then the monkey rigged the children out in
this apparel and mounted them on the horses; and the monkey and the
Rakhas mounted on the two hogs,--the Rakhas having faithfully promised
not to eat the children or their parents,--and they all set out for
the children's home. When the mothers saw the cavalcade come jingling
along, they were frightened at first; but when they recognised their
children they were delighted, and they gave the monkey and Rakhas a
good dinner. Then the monkey made over the children to their parents
and gave up his post as nurse, and left amid the good wishes of all.



LXXVII. The Wife Who Could Not Keep a Secret.

Once there was a man of the Goala caste, who looked after the cattle
of a rich farmer. One day a cow dropped a calf in the jungle without
the Goala knowing, and at evening the cow came running to join the
others, without the calf. When they got home the cow kept on lowing
and the master asked whether she had had a calf; the Goala had to
confess that the calf had been left in the jungle; the master scolded
him well, so he took a rope and stick and went out into the night.

But when he got to the jungle he could not hear the calf, so he
decided to wait where he was till the morning; he was too frightened
of wild animals to stay on the ground, so he climbed a tree leaving
the stick and rope at the foot of it. Soon a tiger smelt him out and
came to the place. Then the stick and the rope took council together
as to how they could save their master; the stick saw that it could
not see in the dark and so was powerless; so the rope agreed to fight
first, and it whirled itself round in the air with a whistling noise,
and the tiger hearing the noise and seeing no one, got frightened,
and thought that there was an evil spirit there; so it did not dare
to come very near and in the morning it took itself off.

Then the Goala saw the cow come to look for her calf, so he took up the
stick and rope and followed her. The cow soon found her calf and asked
it whether it had not been very cold and uncomfortable all night; but
the calf said "No mother, I put my foot in these four pots of rupees
and they kept me warm," The Goala heard this and resolved to see if
it were true; so he dug up the earth where the calf had been lying and
soon uncovered the rims of four pots full of money. But the Goala did
not care to take the money home for fear his wife should talk about
it; he resolved to see first whether his wife could keep a secret.

So he went home and told her to cook him some food quickly; she asked
why, and he said "The Raja has a tortoise inside him and I am going
to look at him." Then his wife said that she must fetch some water,
and she went off with the water pot. On the way she met several women
of the village, who asked her why she was fetching water so early, and
she said, "Because the Raja has a tortoise inside him and my husband is
going off to see it." In less than an hour the village was full of the
news, and the rumour spread until it reached the ears of the Raja. The
Raja was very angry and said that he would kill the man who started
the report, unless he could prove it to be true. So he sent messengers
throughout the country to trace back the rumour to its source.

One messenger found out that it was the Goala who had started the story
and told him that the Raja wanted to give him a present; so he gladly
put on his best clothes and went off to the Raja's palace. But the
Raja had him bound with ropes, and then questioned him as to why he
had told a false story. The Goala admitted that his story was false,
but explained that he had only told it to his wife, in order to see
whether she could keep a secret, because he had found four pots of
money. The Raja asked where the money was and the Goala said that he
would show it, but he wanted to know first how much of it he was to
have, for himself. The Raja promised him half; so the Goala led men
to the place and they dug up the money, and the Goala kept half and
became a rich man.

_Moral_. However friendly you are with a man do not tell him what is
in your heart, and never tell your wife the real truth, for one day
she will lose her temper and let the matter out.



LXXVIII. Sit and Lakhan.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had two wives and a concubine,
but after giving birth to her second son, the first Rani died, and the
name of her elder boy was Sit and that of the younger was Lakhan. The
two children used to cry for their mother but the second Rani never
comforted them, for she hated them; it was the concubine who used to
bathe them and care for them, and their father loved them much. They
used to go to the place where their father sat administering justice
and Sit would sit behind his father and Lakhan in front. The second
Rani hated to see them with their father and would tell the concubine
to drive them away; but she refused and said that it was natural for
a father to love his motherless children; so the Rani kept silent,
but anger remained in her heart.

At last the Rani feigned to be ill and kept her bed; the Raja sent
for doctors and _ojhas_, and they came and saw that she could not
rise and they wanted to feel her pulse, but she would not let them
touch her; all she would do was to make the concubine tie a string
to her wrist and let the doctors hold the other end of the string;
so the doctors diagnosed the disease as best they could in this way
and gave her medicines, but she got no better.

After some days the Rani sent for the Raja and said "I am dying and
you don't care; these doctors' medicines do me no good; there is one
medicine only which will cure me." The Raja asked "What is it? I will
get it for you." Then the Rani made him swear by Kali that he would
give her the medicine she wanted, and he swore blindly. Then the
Rani said "If I eat the livers of Sit and Lakhan I shall get well,
and if not I shall die." At this request the Raja was struck dumb.

Now the concubine and a sipahi had overheard the conversation, and
when they heard what the Rani said, they withdrew and the concubine
went and told Sit and Lakhan of what was in store for them, and Sit
began to cry:--but Lakhan said "Do not cry brother, our father gave
us life, and it is for him to take it away if he will." So the Raja
came out from the Rani's room and when he saw the boys he wept and
he went to them and told them to eat their rice quickly, but they
would not eat; then he had their best clothes brought for them and
told them to put them on, but they refused. Then the Raja called for
_sipahis_ and the _sipahi_ who had been with the concubine, and two
others, came and the Raja told them with tears in his voice to take
the two boys away and let him never see them again, and he added so
that the boys should not hear "Bring me their livers." So the sipahis
took away the boys, and as they passed through the bazar they bought
them some sweetmeats. After walking for a time they came to a jungle;
then Sit said to the sipahis "How far are we to go? Do here what is
in your minds."

But the sipahis went on further; then Sit again told them to do what
they had to do. But the sipahis said "Do not be frightened, we shall
not kill you; we shall not obey your father; you must go away and
never come back here."

Now two dogs had followed them, attracted by the smell of the
sweetmeats, and the _sipahis_ caught and killed them and cut out their
livers, and they put them on a plate and took them to the Raja. The
Rani was delighted and had the livers cooked, and ate them and the
next day she rose from her bed.

Meanwhile Sit and Lakhan travelled on, and in a few days they had
eaten all their food and were very tired, and one evening they sat
down at the foot of a tree in the jungle intending to spend the night
there. In that tree a pair of birds had their nest. Every year they
hatched their eggs and reared the young: but every year when the young
were half grown, a snake came and devoured them. That year also there
were two young in the nest, and on the day that the boys rested at the
foot of the tree the snake had resolved to eat them. But when it came,
the boys heard it moving in the leaves and killed it.

At evening the old birds returned and the nestlings said that the boys
had saved their lives, and asked the old birds to give them some of
the food that they had brought. So they threw down two bits of food,
and it was ordained that whoever ate the first piece, should marry
the daughter of a Raja, and whoever ate the second piece, should
spit gold; and it chanced that Sit ate the first piece, and Lakhan
the second. The next morning the boys went on their way, and the Raja
of the country was looking for a husband for his daughter and he had
sent an elephant out with a flower in its trunk and it was arranged
that the princess should marry the man to whom the elephant gave the
flower. The elephant came upon Sit sitting by the side of the road,
while Lakhan was at a distance; and when the elephant saw Sit, it
went up and gave him the flower and the attendants mounted him on
the elephant and took him to the Raja and he married the princess.

A few days after the wedding Sit sat outside the palace with his wife,
and did not come in though it was evening, and the Raja asked him why
he was sitting outside in the dew. Then Sit began to cry and lament
his brother, singing--


    "O Brother Lakhan, where have you gone?
    O younger brother, where have you gone?"


Then the Raja heard how he had been separated from his brother,
and he promised to send men in search of Lakhan, and they found
him in the house of a potter; but the potter refused to give him up
until he had been paid for the days that he had entertained him; but
really the Potter had become wealthy, because whenever Lakhan opened
his mouth he spat gold, and he did not wish to lose such a valuable
guest. Then Sit mounted his horse and took five rupees and gave them to
the Potter in payment for his entertainment, and brought Lakhan home
with him. When they found that Lakhan spat gold they were very glad
to keep him and the Raja gave him his second daughter in marriage;
and Lakhan made the whole family rich.

Meanwhile Sit and Lakhan's father had fallen into poverty; his country
had been conquered and his army destroyed and he and his wife wandered
about begging; when the boys heard this, they sent for the concubine
who had been good to them, and she came and lived with them, but they
did not forgive their father and step-mother.

_Moral_. There is no controlling a second wife and they are hard to
get on with. First wives are the best, they are obedient and agree
with the opinions of their husband.



LXXIX. The Raja Who Went To Heaven.

Once upon a time there was a Raja, who had many water reservoirs
and tanks, and round the edges he planted trees, mangoes, pipals,
palms and banyans; and the banyan trees were bigger than any. Every
day after bathing the Raja used to walk about and look at his trees,
and one morning, as he did so, he saw a maiden go up to a banyan tree
and climb it, and the tree was then carried up to the sky, but when
he went in the evening he saw the tree in its place again; the same
thing happened three or four days running. The Raja told no one, but
one morning he climbed the banyan tree before the maiden appeared, and
when she came, he was carried up to the sky along with the tree. Then
he saw the maiden descend and go and dance with a crowd of Gupinis
(Divine milk maids) and the Raja also got down and joined in the dance.

He was so absorbed in the dance that he took no note of time; so
when at last he tore himself away, he found that the banyan tree had
disappeared. There was nothing to be done, but stay where he was;
so he began to wander about and he soon came to some men building a
palace as hard as they could. He asked them for whom the palace was
being built, and they named his own name. He asked why it was being
built for him, and they said that Thakur intended to bring him there,
because he was a good ruler, who did not oppress his subjects and
gave alms to the poor and to widows and orphans.

There was no difference between night and day up in the sky, but
when the Raja came back, he found that the banyan tree was there,
and he climbed up it and was carried back to earth by it. Then
he went home and told his people that he had been on a visit to a
friend. After that the Raja used to visit the banyan tree every day,
and when he found that it did not wither although it had been taken
up by the roots, he concluded that what he had seen was true and he
began to prepare for death. So he distributed all his wealth among
his friends and among the poor; and when his officers remonstrated
he made them no answer. A few days later he died, and was taken to
the palace which he had seen being built.

It is said that what you give away in this world, you will get back
in the next; there you will get good wages for what you have done in
this life.



LXXX. Seven-Tricks and Single-Trick.

Seven-Tricks and Single-Trick were great friends, but some one
told Seven-Tricks that Single-Trick was the cleverer man of the
two. Seven-Tricks pondered over this but felt sure that his very name
showed that he was the cleverer; so one day he went to pay a visit
to Single-Trick, and put the matter to the test When Single-Trick saw
him coming, he called a pretty girl and hid her inside the house and
told his wife to put the rice on to boil. Seven-Tricks arrived and was
pressed to stay for the midday meal; he accepted and Single-Trick's
wife brought them water to wash their hands and when they sat down,
helped them to the rice.

As they ate, Single-Trick pretended to get very angry and began to
abuse his wife "You lazy slattern, why have you put no salt in the
rice? I will beat you for this, I will beat you into a girl again." So
saying he caught up a club and gave her a blow with it, and pushed her
into the house and pretended to continue the beating inside; and then
came out dragging with him the pretty girl whom he had hidden. When
Seven-Tricks saw this transformation he made up his mind to steal the
club, and try whether he could beat his own wife into a girl again. So
when he went home he secretly took away the club, and the next day when
his wife was giving him his dinner he pretended to get angry with her
for not putting salt in the rice, and snatching up the club gave her
a good pounding with it, and drove her into the house and then pulled
her forth again; but to his dismay she did not look a day younger than
before. Seven-Tricks was puzzled but could only opine that he had not
beaten the woman hard enough, so he beat her till her bones cracked;
but still there was no result and he had to give up in despair.

After a time Seven-Tricks paid another visit to Single-Trick, and
Single-Trick invited him to come hunting in the forest; before they
started Single-Trick told his wife to go and buy a hare and keep
it in the house. The two friends set off, and after a time they
put up a hare; Single-Trick had brought with him his dog, which
was a shocking coward and no good at hunting; when they saw the hare
Single-Trick loosed the dog calling "After it, after it, drive it right
home." And the coward of a dog, directly it was free, put its tail
between its legs and ran straight home. "Come along home now; that
is a splendid sporting dog, it is sure to have taken the hare home;"
so saying Single-Trick set off back, and when they arrived he asked
his wife whether the dog had brought home a hare. "Yes", said she,
"I have put it in that room" and promptly produced the hare that she
had bought. Seven-Tricks at once resolved to possess himself of a dog
that brought the game home by itself, and the next night he came and
stole it, and in the morning took it out hunting. He soon started a
hare and loosed the dog after it; the dog ran straight away in the
direction of the house, and Seven-Tricks followed at his leisure,
and asked his wife where the dog had put the hare. "Hare," said she
"there is no hare, the dog came running back alone." "Perhaps I was
too slow and gave him time to eat the hare," thought Seven-Tricks;
so he took it out again and when he loosed it after a hare, he ran
after it as fast as he could to see what it did. Everyone laughed to
see the hunter chasing his dog, instead of his game. When he got to the
house of course there was no hare, and so he gave up trying to hunt.

Another day he paid a visit to Single-Trick and Single-Trick asked him
to come out fishing. Before they started Single-Trick told his wife to
buy some live _codgo_ fish and keep them ready in the house. When they
came to a pool, Single-Trick at once let down his line and soon got
a bite from a _codgo_ fish; as he pulled it out he threw it, rod and
all, behind him in the direction of his home and said to Seven-Tricks
"_Come_ along home, I expect that all the fish in the pool will have
reached home by now," Directly they got to the house Single-Trick
asked his wife whether the fish had come. "Yes", said she, "I have
put them all in this basket" and brought out a basket of live _codgo_
fish. Seven-Tricks at once made up his mind to steal the wonderful
fishingrod, so he came back that evening and managed to abstract it,
and next morning went fishing with it. Directly he had caught a _codgo_
fish, he threw it over his shoulder and went off home and asked whether
the fish had arrived, but he only got laughed at for his folly. Then
he was convinced that Single-Trick was more than a match for him,
and he would have nothing more to do with him.



LXXXI. Fuljhari Raja.

There was once a Raja named Fuljhari and he was childless; he and his
wife made pilgrimages to many shrines but all in vain, the wished-for
son never arrived. One day a Jugi came to the palace begging and
the Raja asked the holy man to tell him how he could have a son;
then the Jugi examined the palms of their hands but having done
so remained silent. The Raja urged him to speak but the Jugi said
that he feared that the reply would be distasteful to the Raja and
make him angry. But the Raja and his wife begged for his advice,
and promised to do him no harm whatever he said. At last the Jugi
explained that they could never have a child unless they separated,
and the Raja went right away and the Rani lived with another man;
with this he took his departure.

Then the Raja and his wife consulted together and the Raja proposed to
take the Jugi's advice, as he felt that he could not leave his kingdom
without an heir; so he said that he would go away to a far country,
on pretence of visiting a distant shrine; but the Rani feared that
if, on his return, he found that she had borne a child, he would
kill her or at least turn her and the child out to beg their bread;
but the Raja assured her that he would never treat her in that way
and after making his final arrangements he went off to a far country.

There he stayed some years and in the meanwhile the Rani had five sons;
at last she wrote to her husband to come home and directly he reached
the palace he bade the Rani to bring the boys to him, that he might
embrace and acknowledge them; so they were brought and he took them
one by one in his arms and kissed them, and he saw that they were
all the images of himself. But when he kissed the youngest child he
was suddenly struck with blindness. Then he rose in wrath and ordered
the child to be taken away and killed; but the mother had pity on it
and persuaded the soldiers not to kill it but to convey it away to
a far country.

The child's name was Lita and he grew up and was married to the
daughter of the Raja of the land and lived in his father-in-law's
house. But Lita was always tormented by the thought that he had been
the cause of his father's blindness; although he would not tell anyone
of his sorrow, he used to get up when every one was asleep and spend
the night in tears. One night his wife surprised him weeping and
begged him to tell her what was the matter. She pressed him until he
told her how, immediately his father kissed him, he had gone blind
and how his mother had smuggled him out of the country and saved his
life, but how the recollection of the harm he had done tormented him
and how he longed to be able to return to his own country and restore
his father's sight. His wife on hearing this at once began to comfort
him and assured him that she would help him to obtain a medicine which
would restore his father's sight. In a range of mountains was a Rakhas
who had a daughter who was buried in a heap of Fuljhari flowers; if
Lita went and could persuade the Rakhas to let him marry his daughter,
he could then get a Fuljhari flower and if that were rubbed on his
father's eyes his sight would be restored.

So Lita set out towards the mountains and sat down by the road side
at their foot. Presently the Rakhas and his wife came by; the wife
asked him what he was sitting there for; he said that he was looking
out for some one who would have him to come and live in his house as
a son-in-law. The Rakhas paid no heed to this and proposed to eat up
Lita at once, but his wife begged him to spare the young man and take
him home and marry him to their daughter, who was very lonely. The
Rakhas gave way and they took Lita to the cavern in which they lived
and there was their daughter buried under a heap of flowers. They
made her get up, and told her that they had brought a husband for her.

Lita and his bride lived happily together and were soon deeply
in love with each other, and after a time he told her about his
father's blindness and how he wished to try to cure it with one of
her flowers. She readily agreed to help him; so the next day she
went to her father and said that she wished to pay a short visit to
her husband's home; the Rakhas consented and she and Lita took their
leave. She told Lita that when the Rakhas offered him a farewell gift,
he should take nothing but a hair from the Rakhas' head; this he did
and they tied the flower and the hair up carefully and set off to the
home, where Lita's first wife was awaiting them. She told her parents
that Lita had come back with one of his sisters, and that she now
wished to go back with them on a visit to their home. Her parents
assented and the three of them set out and one evening reached the
outskirts of the village in which Lita had been born. They camped
under a roadside tree, but in the middle of the night they took out
the Rakhas' hair and said to it "Make us a golden palace" and at
once a golden palace sprang up. Next morning all the residents of
the village collected to see the wonderful new palace, and Lita told
them to bring their Raja and he would cure him of his blindness. So
they went and fetched the old blind Raja and directly Lita touched
his eyes with the flower his sight was restored. Then they wept over
each other and told all that had happened. And the old Raja and his
wife came and lived with Lita and his wives and the other brothers
stayed on at their old home; and they all lived happily ever after.



LXXXII. The Corpse of the Raja's Son.

There was once a blacksmith named Chitru who had a very pretty
wife; and the woman attracted the attention of the son of the
Raja. Chitru suspected that his wife was unfaithful to him, and one
night he pretended to go away from home, but really he lay in wait
and surprised the prince visiting his wife; then he sprang out upon
him and strangled him.

But when he found himself with the corpse of the prince on his hands,
he began to wonder what he should do to avoid being convicted of the
murder. At last he took up the corpse and carried it to the house
of two dancing girls who lived in the village, and laid it down
inside. Soon after the dancing girls woke up and saw the corpse
lying in their room; they at once aroused their parents, and when
they found that it was the corpse of the Prince, they were filled
with consternation.

Now Chitru had a reputation for cunning, so they decided to send
for him quietly and take his advice. When he came they begged him to
save them; he pretended to be much surprised and puzzled and at last
undertook to get them out of their difficulty, if they paid him one
hundred rupees; they gladly paid him the money, and then he took up
the corpse and carried it off and laid it down on the verandah of the
house of a _mahajan_ who lived near. Soon after some one came out of
the house and found the corpse; at once they were all in consternation
and sent for the clever Chitru to help them out of their difficulty.

Chitru refused to lift a finger unless he were paid two hundred rupees,
and when he had got the money he took up the corpse and put it in a
sitting position in a little patch of _brinjals_ which a Koeri had
planted by his front door. At dawn the Koeri came out and saw what
he thought was a thief stealing his brinjals, and promptly threw
a stone at the man. The corpse fell over, and when the Koeri went
to see who it was he found the dead body of the Raja's son. As it
was daylight, he had no opportunity of making away with the body,
so he was arrested and sent for trial. He was acquitted, because he
had acted unwittingly, but he was too frightened of the Raja to stay
any longer in the village and absconded as soon as he could.

Chitru, who was the real murderer, made his wife promise to keep
silence by threats and was three hundred rupees the better for the
business.



LXXXIII. The Sham Child.

There was once a Raja who had two wives and each Rani had a maidservant
who was the Raja's concubine; but none of them had any children. In
the course of time the ladies began to quarrel and when they appealed
to the Raja, he found that the elder Rani was to blame and turned
her out of the palace, and sent her to live in a palm leaf hut on
the outskirts of the town. Her faithful maidservant followed her,
and the two supported themselves by begging. But they barely got
enough to keep body and soul together.

After a few days the maidservant asked permission of her mistress to
play a trick on the Raja, by which they should at least get sufficient
food. The Rani assented and the maidservant went off to the Raja
and told him that the wife whom he had turned out was five months
with child, and that it was a disgrace that one who was to be the
mother of his heir should have to beg her bread. On hearing this the
Raja somewhat relented towards the Rani, and he ordered money to be
sent her sufficient to provide her with food, and had a proper house
prepared for her. When the proper time arrived, the maidservant went
to the Raja and told him that a son had been born; at this joyful
news the Raja became still more generous and told the maidservant
that she was free to take whatever was wanted for the child.

This suited the maid and her mistress excellently; so long as they
could keep up the deception they lived in comfort; when the child
was supposed to have grown old enough to run about, they asked for
the price of some anklets with bells on them and bought a pair,
and whenever the Raja passed by the house in which the Rani lived,
the maidservant made her mistress rattle the anklets, and then went
outside and told the Raja to listen to the anklets tinkling as his son
ran about the house. The Raja would tell the maidservant not to let the
boy run about too much, lest he should fall and hurt himself; then she
would hurry inside and tell the Rani to stop the jingling, and then
come and tell the Raja that the boy was resting in his mother's lap;
but for all this the Raja was never given an opportunity of seeing
his son.

However as time went on the Raja chose a bride and arranged for
his son's wedding; the bride's friends did not come to inspect the
bridegroom; a day was fixed right off for the wedding. As this day drew
near, the Rani became more and more frightened, for it seemed that her
deception must at last be discovered, and she would probably be put
to death. But the maidservant encouraged her and promised to devise
a plan; so when the day came for them to start for the bride's house
she made a paste of ground mowah flowers and out of this fashioned
an image of a child; and when the procession started off, with the
Raja in a palki, and drummers, and palki-bearers, the maidservant
was also carried in a palki and pretended that she was holding the
child. Off they started and as it was too far to go in one day,
they stopped for the night at a bazar, where there was the shrine
of a saint. At midnight the maidservant arose and went to the shrine
and called to the spirit (bonga) which dwelt there, and said that he
must grant her a boon, and if not it would be the worse for him; the
spirit asked what she wanted and she showed the paste image and said
that she was going with the procession to marry her son, and somehow
on the way he had been turned into paste; if the spirit would not
give her another son, she would spit on him and curse him. The spirit
saw that she meant what she said, and for fear of being spat upon,
he produced a boy from somewhere and gave him to her. The maidservant
was delighted at her success and bowed down three times in reverence
to the spirit and took away the boy and put him in her palki.

The next morning they rose and reached the bride's house and
the wedding took place in due form. As they were returning, the
maidservant sent on two men to warn her mistress of what had happened
and to tell her to get ready a feast. So when they reached home there
was a feast ready and the bride's friends were duly entertained and
dismissed. Afterwards the Raja fell out with his second wife and left
the palace where she lived and came and stayed with the elder Rani,
whom he had formerly turned out.



LXXXIV. The Sons of the Kherohuri Raja.

The Kherohuri Raja had five sons, and he made up his mind that he would
only marry them to five sisters. So he sent out Brahmans and Jugis to
search the world to find a Raja with five unmarried daughters. And
at the same time the Chandmuni Raja had five marriagable daughters,
and he made up his mind that he would marry them to five brothers;
he did not care what their rank in life was, but he was determined
to find a family of five brothers to marry his daughters. And he
also told all the Brahmans and Jugis who wandered about begging,
to look out for a family of five unmarried brothers.

One day it chanced that the emissaries of the Kherohuri Raja and
those of the Chandmuni Raja met at a river; both parties were resting
after taking their midday meal and as they smoked they fell into
conversation, and soon found that their meeting was most fortunate;
each party had found the Tery thing they wanted, so they all set off
to the palace of the Kherohuri Raja in order that the Chandmuni Raja's
messengers might see the young men.

The Kherohuri Raja ordered them to be hospitably entertained and food
to be set before them; they however refused to eat anything till they
had seen the five bridegrooms. The five young men were then introduced
and as they appeared to be sound in wind and limb and in all respects
satisfactory, there was no further obstacle to the entertainment. The
next day the Kherohuri Raja sent out officials to visit and inspect the
daughters of the Chandmuni Raja, and as their report was satisfactory,
nothing remained but to fix the day for the wedding.

When the time came for the bridegrooms and their retinue to set off
to the country of the Chandmuni Raja, they and their servants and
followers all started, so that no one was left at home but their
mother. After they had gone a little way the eldest prince stopped
them and said "that they could not leave their mother all alone, what
would she do supposing some sudden danger arose?" The others agreed
that this was so, but the difficulty was to decide who should stay;
not one of the other brothers would consent to do so. So at last the
eldest brother said that he would stay, and he gave them his shield
and sword and told them to perform his marriage for him by putting
the vermilion on the bride's forehead with his sword.

When they reached the home of the Chandmuni Raja they proceeded at
once to perform the vermilion ceremony, beginning with the eldest
daughter; but when the sword was produced and she was told that she
must go through the ceremony with the sword, as her bridegroom had not
come, she began to cry and make a great to-do. Nothing would induce
her to consent. "Why was her husband the only one who had not come
in person? he must be blind or lame or married;" this resistance put
all the others into a difficulty, for the younger sisters could not
be married before the elder. At last after much talking her father
and mother persuaded the eldest daughter to go through the ceremony;
the women put vermilion on the sword and with the sword the mark
was made on the bride's forehead; and then the younger sisters were
married and after a grand feast the whole party set out for the palace
of the Kherohuri Raja.

On the way they were benighted in the midst of a great jungle twelve
_kos_ wide, and the palki bearers declined to go any further in
the dark, so they had all to camp where they were. In the middle of
the night, suddenly sixteen hundred Rakhases descended on them and
swallowed up the whole cavalcade, elephants and horses and palkis and
men. In this danger the eldest princess who had been married to the
sword prayed to Chando saying "O Chando! I have never yet set eyes
on my husband; he is not with me here. I pray thee carry my palki in
safety up into the sky." And Chando heard her prayer and lifted her
palki up into the air and preserved her, but all those who were left
on the ground were swallowed up by the Rakhases; when the day dawned
not one was to be seen.

As the princess from mid air gazed on this melancholy spectacle, a
parrot came flying over and she called to it and begged it to take a
letter for her to her husband in the palace of the Kherohuri Raja. The
parrot obeyed her behest, and when the eldest prince read the letter
and learned what had happened, he made a hasty meal and saddled his
horse and was ready to start; but as it was nearly evening he thought
it better to wait till the next day.

Very early the following morning he set out and when his bride saw
him come riding along she prayed to Chando that if it were really her
husband the palki might descend to the ground; it immediately sank, and
the bride and bridegroom met; then she told him all that had happened
and gave him the shield and sword that he had sent to represent him at
the marriage; with these in his hands he waited and when at nightfall
the Rakhases returned, the Prince slew everyone of them with his
sword; and as he killed them the Rakhases vomited up the elephants,
horses and men that they had eaten. Then his wife told the prince to
dip a cloth in water and wring it out over the dead and as the water
fell on them they all became alive again, elephants, horses and men.

But his brothers far from being grateful to him for having restored
them to life, took counsel together saying. "Now that he has delivered
us from this danger, he will think that he has a claim on us and will
treat us as his servants; let us cut open his stomach and then the
Rakhas will eat him." So they turned on him, cut open his stomach,
and went their ways. Then the wounded prince told the palki-bearers
to carry his bride back to her father's house.

When they appeared before the Chandmuni Raja, he upbraided them for
not having brought the prince too, to try if he could not have been
healed. Meanwhile the prince lay in the jungle groaning for a whole
day and night; then Chando and his wife heard his cries and came
down and told him to push in his entrails and when he had done so,
they gave him a slap on his stomach and he became whole again. Then as
he was afraid to return to his home where his brothers were, he went
begging to his father-in-law's house; as he came to it, his wife said
to her sister-in-law that the beggar seemed to be like her husband,
so she went to him and they recognised each other and he was taken in
and well treated and lived there many years. In the end he was seized
with a desire to go and see his old mother, and, his wife consenting
to go with him, they set off to his father's home; when his brothers
saw him come, they were filled with fear and made him Raja over them
and they became his servants and he lived in prosperity for the rest
of his life.



LXXXV. The Dog Bride.

Once upon a time there was a youth who used to herd buffaloes; and as
he watched his animals graze he noticed that exactly at noon every
day a she-dog used to make its way to a ravine, in which there were
some pools of water. This made him curious and he wondered to whom
it belonged and what it did in the ravine; so he decided to watch,
and one day when the dog came he hid himself and saw that when it
got to the water, it shed its dog skin and out stepped a beautiful
maiden, and began to bathe; and when she had finished bathing she put
on the skin and became a dog again, and went off to the village; the
herdboy followed her and watched into what house she entered, and he
enquired to whom the house belonged. Having found out all about it,
he went back to his work.

That year the herdboy's father and mother decided that it was time
for him to marry and began to look about for a wife for him; but he
announced that he had made up his mind to have a dog for his wife
and he-would never marry a human girl.

Everyone laughed at him for such an extraordinary idea, but he could
not be moved; so at last they concluded that he must really have
the soul of a dog in him, and that it was best to let him have his
own way. So his father and mother asked him whether there was any
particular dog he would like to have for his bride, and then he gave
the name of the man into whose house he had tracked the dog that
he had seen going to the ravine. The master of the dog laughed at
the idea that anyone should wish to marry her, and gladly accepted
a bride's price for her; so a day was fixed for the wedding and the
booth built for the ceremony and the bridegroom's party went to the
bride's house and the marriage took place in due form and the bride
was escorted to her husband's house.

Every night when her husband was asleep, the bride used to come out
of the dog's skin and go out of the house; and when her husband found
out this, he one night only pretended to go to sleep and lay watching
her, and when she was about to leave the room he jumped up and caught
hold of her and seizing the dog skin, threw it into the fire, where
it was burnt to ashes, so his bride remained a woman, but she was
of more than human beanty. This soon became known in the village and
everyone congratulated the herdboy on his wisdom in marrying a dog.

Now the herdboy had a friend named Jitu and when Jitu saw what a
prize his friend had got, he thought that he could not do better
than marry a dog himself. His relations made no objection and a
bride was selected and the marriage took place, but when they were
putting vermilion on the bride's forehead she began to growl; but
in spite of her growling they dragged her to the bridegroom's house,
and forcibly anointed her with oil and turmeric; but when the bride's
party set off home, the dog broke loose and ran after them; then
everyone shouted to Jitu to run after his bride and bring her back,
but she only growled and bit at him, so that he had at last to give
it up. Then everyone laughed at him so much that he was too ashamed
to speak, and two or three days later he hanged himself.



LXXXVI. Wealth or Wisdom.

Once upon a time there were a Raja and a rich merchant, and they
each had one son. The two boys went to the same school and in the
course of time became great friends; they were always together out of
school hours; the merchant's son would take his meals at the Raja's
palace or the Raja's son would eat with his friend at the merchant's
house. One day the two youths began a discussion as to whether wealth
or wisdom were the more powerful: the Raja's son said that wealth
was most important, while the merchant's son declared for wisdom; the
discussion waxed hot and neither would yield his opinion. At last the
merchant's son declared; "It is of no use for us to argue like this,
let us put it to the test: let us both go to some far country and
take service with some master for a year, and try whether wealth or
wisdom is the more successful." The Prince agreed to this plan and
they fixed a day for starting

Then they both went home and collected what money they could lay hands
on and, when the time arrived, started off early one morning. After
they had travelled some distance the Prince began to think of how his
parents must be searching for him, for he had said nothing about his
going away; but the merchant's son comforted him by saying that he
had left word of their intentions at his home, and his relations would
tell the Raja; so they continued on their way, and after a time they
came to a certain country where the merchant's son proposed that they
should look for employment. But now that it had come to the point, the
prince did not like the idea of becoming a servant and he said that he
would live on the money which he had brought with him, and which would
last for a year or two. "You may do as you like" answered his friend
"but for my part I must look for work." So he went to a village and
found employment as a teacher in a school; his pupils gave him his
food and also some small wages, so that he had enough to live on,
without spending any of the money he had brought with him.

Meanwhile the Raja's son hired a house in the village and began
to lead a riotous life; in a very short time He had wasted all his
money on his evil companions and was reduced to absolute starvation;
for when his money came to an end, all his so-called friends deserted
him. Thin and wretched, he went to the merchant's son and asked him
either to take him back to his father's home or to find him work. His
friend agreed to find him some employment, and after a little enquiry
heard of a farmer who wanted a servant to take a bullock out to graze
and to fill a trough with water once a day. The prince thought that
he could easily manage that amount of work, so he went to the farmer
and engaged himself as his servant.

The terms of service were these:--If the prince threw up his work one
of his little fingers was to be cut off, but if the farmer dismissed
him while he was working well then the farmer was to lose a little
finger; and if the prince grazed the bullock and filled the trough
with water regularly, he was to get as much cooked rice as would
cover a plantain leaf, but if he did not do the work he was to get
only what would go on a tamarind leaf. The prince readily agreed to
these terms, for he thought that the work would not take him more than
an hour or two. But unhappily for him, things did not turn out as he
expected. On the first morning he took the bullock out to graze, but
the animal would not eat; whenever it saw any other cattle passing,
it would gallop off to join them, and when the prince had run after
it and brought it back, nothing would make it graze quietly; it
kept running away in one direction or another with the prince in
pursuit. So at last he had to bring it home and shut it up in the
cow-shed and even that he found difficult.

Then they set him to filling the trough, and he found that he could
not do that either, for the trough had a hole in the bottom and had
been set over the mouth of an old well; and as fast as the prince
poured the water in, it ran away, but he was too stupid to see what
was the matter and went on pouring till he was quite tired out; so as
he had not completed the tasks set him, he only got a tamarind leaf
full of rice for his supper; this went on every day and the prince
began to starve, but he was afraid to run away and tell his troubles
to the merchant's son, lest he should have his little finger cut off.

But the merchant's son had not forgotten his friend and began to
wonder why the Prince kept away from him. So one day he went to pay
him a visit and was horrified to find him looking so ill and starved;
when he heard how the prince was only getting a tamarind leaf full
of rice every day, because he could not perform the task set him, he
offered to change places with the Prince and sent him off to teach in
the school while he himself stayed with the farmer. The next morning
the merchant's son took the bullock out to graze and he also found
that the animal would not graze quietly but spent its time in chasing
the other cattle, so at noon he brought it home and set to work to
fill the trough; he soon found the hole in the bottom through which
the water escaped and stopped it up with a lump of clay and then he
easily filled the trough to the brim. Then in the afternoon he took
the bullock out again to graze and when he brought it back at sunset
he was given a plantain leaf full of rice; this meant more food than
he could possibly eat in a day.

He was determined that the bullock should not give him any more
trouble, so the next morning when he took it out to graze, he took with
him a thick rope and tethered the animal to a tree; this saved him
all the trouble of running after it, but it was clear that it would
not get enough to eat in that way, so he made up his mind to get rid
of it altogether, and when he took it out in the afternoon, he took
with him a small axe and drove the bullock to a place where a herd of
cattle were grazing and then knocked it on the head with the axe and
threw the body into a ravine near by. Then he hid the axe and ran off
to his master and told him that the bullock had started fighting with
another animal in the herd and had been pushed over the edge of the
ravine and killed by the fall. The farmer went out to see for himself
and when he found the dead body lying in the ravine he could not but
believe the story, and had no fault to find with his cunning servant.

A few days later, as the rice crop was ripe, the farmer told the
merchant's son to go to the fields to reap the rice. "How shall I
reap it?" asked he. "With a sickle," replied the farmer. "Then it
will be the the sickle and not I, that reaps it" "As you like,"
said the farmer, "you go along with the sickle, no doubt it knows
all about it;" so they got him a sickle and he went off to the
fields. When he got there, he noticed how bright the sickle looked,
and when he touched it, he found it quite hot from being carried
in the sun. "Dear, dear," said he, "I cannot let this sickle reap
the rice: it is so hot that it must have very bad fever; I will let
it rest in the shade until it gets better," so he laid it down in a
shady spot and began to stroll about. Presently up came the farmer,
and was very angry to find no work going on. "Did I send you out to
stroll about, or to start cutting the rice?" roared he. "To cut the
rice," answered the merchant's son, "but the sickle has fallen ill
with high fever and is resting in the shade; come and feel how hot
it is." "You are nothing but an idiot," answered the farmer. "You
are no good here; go back home and start a fire in the big house and
boil some water by the time I get back." The merchant's son was only
on the lookout for an excuse to annoy the farmer and the words used
by the farmer were ambiguous; so he went straight back to the farm
and set the biggest house on fire. The farmer saw the conflagration
and came rushing home and asked the merchant's son what on earth he
meant by doing such mischief. "I am only doing exactly what you told
me; nothing would induce me to disobey any order of yours, my worthy
master." The farmer had nothing more to say; his words would bear the
construction put upon them by the merchant's son, and he was afraid
to dismiss him lest he should have to lose his little finger; so he
made up his mind to get rid of this inconvenient servant in another
way, and the next day he called him and told him that he must send
word to his father-in-law of the unfortunate burning of the house,
and the merchant's son must carry the letter.

The latter accordingly set off with the letter, but on the road he
thought that it would be just as well to see what the letter was
really about; so he opened it and found that it contained a request
from the farmer to his father-in-law to kill the bearer of the letter
immediately on his arrival. The merchant's son at once tore this up
and wrote another letter in the farmer's name: saying that the bearer
of the letter was a most excellent servant and he wished him to marry
into the family; but that as he himself had no daughters he hoped that
his father-in-law would give him one of his daughters to wife. Armed
with this he proceeded on his journey. The father-in-law was rather
surprised at the contents of the letter and asked the merchant's
son if he knew what it was about; he protested complete ignorance:
the farmer had told him nothing, and as he was only a poor cowherd,
of course he could not read. This set suspicion at rest; the wedding
was at once arranged and duly took place, and the merchant's son
settled down to live with his wife's family.

After a time the farmer got news of what had happened, and when he
saw how the merchant's son had always been sharp enough to get the
better of him, he began to fear that in the end he would be made to
cut off his finger; so he sought safety in flight. He ran away from
his house and home and was never heard of more.

When news of this came to the ears of the merchant's son, he set
out to visit his old friend the Prince and found him still teaching
in the little village school. "What do you think now," he asked him,
"is wisdom or money the better. By my cleverness, I got the better of
that farmer; he had to give me more rice than I could eat. I killed his
bullock, I set fire to his house, and I got a wife without expending
a picc on my marriage; while you--you have spent all the money you
brought with you from home, and have met with nothing but starvation
and trouble; what good has your money done you?" The Prince had not
a word to answer.

Two or three days later the Prince proposed that they should go back to
their parents; his friend agreed but said that he must first inform his
wife's relations, so they went back to the village where the merchant's
son had married, and while they were staying there the Prince caught
sight of a Raja's daughter and fell violently in love with her.

Learning of the Prince's state of mind the merchant's son undertook
to arrange the match; so he sent his wife to the Raja's daughter with
orders to talk of nothing but the virtues and graces of the Prince
who was staying at their house. Her words had their due effect and
the Raja's daughter became so well disposed towards the Prince, that
when one day she met him, she also fell violently in love with him
and felt that she could not be happy unless she became his wife. So
the wedding duly took place, and then the Prince and the merchant's
son with their respective wives returned to their fathers' houses.



LXXXVII. The Goala and the Cow.

Once upon a time a young man of the Goala caste was going to his
wedding; he was riding along in a palki, with all his friends, to
the bride's house and as he was passing by a pool of water he heard a
voice saying, "Stop you happy bridegroom; you are happy, going to fetch
your bride; spare a thought for my misfortune and stay and pull me out
of this quagmire." Looking out he saw a cow stuck fast in the mud at
the edge of the pool, but he had no pity for it and harshly refused
to go to its help, for fear lest he should make his clothes muddy.

Then the cow cursed the Goala, saying, "Because you have refused to
help me in my extremity, this curse shall light on you, directly you
touch your bride you shall turn into a donkey." At these words the
Goala was filled with fear and telling the bearers to put down the
palki he alighted and ran and pulled the cow out of the mud; this done,
he begged her to withdraw the curse, but the cow declared that this
was impossible, what she had said was bound to come to pass. At these
words the Goala began to lament and threw himself at the feet of the
cow, beseeching her; at length the cow relented, and promised that
though the curse could not be withdrawn it should be mitigated and
it would be possible for his wife to restore him to human shape. So
the Goala had to take what comfort he could from this and returning
to the palki he told his friends what had passed. Much downcast the
procession continued its way, wondering what would be the upshot of
this adventure.

Arrived at the bride's house, they proceeded to celebrate the wedding;
but as the Goala touched the bride with his finger to apply the
vermilion mark to her forehead, he suddenly became a donkey. The
company were filled with dismay and the bride's parents declared that
they would never let their daughter go away with such a husband,
but the bride herself spoke up and said that as Thakur for some
reason had given her such a husband she would cleave to him, and
nothing that her relations said could shake her purpose; so when the
bridal party set out homewards, she went with them to her husband's
house. But there everyone laughed at her so much for having married
a donkey that she made up her mind to run away to another country;
so one day she packed up some provisions for the journey and set out,
driving the donkey before her.

She journeyed on and on till one day she happened to come to a tank
with a large well near it; she turned the donkey loose to graze on
the banks of the tank and sat down by the well to eat some of the
food which she had with her. In the fields below the tank were some
twenty ploughmen in the service of the Raja of that country, driving
their ploughs; and when it got past noon these men began to grumble,
because; no one had brought them their dinner; as it got later and
later they became more and more violent, and vowed that when anyone
did come they would give him a good beating for his laziness. At last
one of the maid-servants of the Raja was seen coming along, carrying
their food in a basket on her head and with her child running by her
side. The sight pacified the ploughmen and the maid-servant hastened
to set down the basket near them and then went off to the well to
draw some water for them.

Just as she was ready to let down the water-pot, a wedding procession
passed along the road with drums and music, making a fine show. The
maid could not keep her eyes off this, but at the same time did not
wish to keep the ploughmen waiting any longer; so, with her eyes on
the procession, she tied the well-rope, as she thought round the neck
of the water-pot, but really, without knowing it, she tied the rope
round the neck of her own little child and proceeded to lower him
into the well. When she pulled up the rope she found that she had
strangled her own child.

She was of course much distressed at this, but she was even more
afraid of what might be done to her and at once hit on a device to save
herself from the charge of murder. Taking the dead child in her arms
she ran to the ploughmen and scattered all the food she had brought
about the ground; then with the child still in her arms, she ran to
the Raja and complained to him that his ploughmen had assaulted her,
because she was late in taking them their dinner, had knocked the
basket of food all about the ground and had beaten her child to death;
she added that a strange woman was grazing a donkey near the place
and must have seen all that passed.

The Raja at once sent a Sipahi to fetch the ploughmen and when they
came before him he asked them what had happened, and bade them swear
before _Sing bonga_ whether they were guilty of the murder. The
ploughmen solemnly swore to speak the truth, and then told the Raja
exactly what had happened, how the woman had killed her child by
mistake and then falsely charged them with the murder. Then the
Raja asked them whether they had any witnesses, and they said that
there was no one of their own village present at the time, but that
a strange woman was grazing an ass on the banks of the tank, who
must have seen all that happened. Then the Raja sent two sipahis to
fetch the woman, telling them to treat her well and bring her along
gently. So the sipahis went to the woman and told her that the Raja
wanted her on very important business; she made no demur and went to
fetch her donkey. The sipahis advised her to leave it behind to graze,
but she said that wherever she went the donkey must go and drove it
along with her.

When she appeared before the Raja he explained to her what had
happened, and how the maid-servant told one story about the death
of the child and the ploughmen another, and he charged her to speak
the truth as to what she had seen. The Goala's bride answered that
she was ready to take an oath and to swear by her donkey: if she
spoke the truth the donkey would turn into a man, and if she lied
it would retain its shape. "If you take that oath," said the Raja,
"the case shall be decided accordingly." Then the Goala's wife began
to tell all that she had seen and how the ploughmen were angry because
their dinner was late, and how the maid-servant had gone to the well to
draw water and had strangled her child by mistake and had then knocked
over the basket and charged the ploughmen with the murder. "If I have
lied may Chando punish me and if I have spoken the truth may this ass
become a man;" so saying she laid her hand on the back of the animal
and it at once resumed its human shape.

This was sufficient to convince the Raja, who turned to the
maid-servant and reproached her with trying to ruin the ploughmen by
her false charge. She had no answer to make but took up the dead body
of the child and went out without a word.

Thus the Goala was restored to his original shape, but he and his
faithful wife did not return to their own relations; they took service
with a farmer of that country and after a time they saved money and
took some land and lived prosperously and well. From that time men
of the Goala caste have always been very careful to treat cattle well.



LXXXVIII. The Telltale Wife.

Once upon a time a man was setting out in his best clothes to attend
a village meeting. As he was passing at the back of the house his
maid-servant happened to throw a basket of cowdung on the manure heap
and some of it accidentally splashed his clothes. He thought that he
would be laughed at if he went to the meeting in dirty clothes so he
went back to change them; and he put the dirty cloth he took off in
an earthen pot and covered the mouth with leaves and hung it to the
roof of the room in which he and his wife slept.

Two or three days later his wife began to question him as to what
was in the pot hanging from the roof. At first he refused to tell
her; but every time she set eyes on it she renewed her questioning;
for a time he refused to gratify her curiosity, saying that no woman
could keep a secret, but she protested that she would tell no one;
her husband's secrets were her own; at last he pretended that his
patience was worn out and having made her promise never to tell a soul,
he said "I have killed a man, and to prevent the murder being traced
I cut off his head and hid it in that pot; mind you do not say a word
or my life will be forfeit."

For a time nothing more was said, but one day husband and wife had
a quarrel; high words and blows passed between them and at last the
woman ran out of the house, crying: "You have struck me, I shall let
it be known that you are a murderer." She went to the village headman
and told him what was hidden in the pot; the villagers assembled and
bound the supposed murderer with ropes and took him to the police. The
police officer came and took down the pot and found in it nothing but
a stained cloth. So he fined the headman for troubling him with false
information and went away. Then the man addressed his fellow-villagers
in these words "Listen to me: never tell a secret to a woman and be
careful in your conversation with them; they are sure to let out a
secret and one day will turn your accusers."

From that time we have learnt the lesson that anything which you tell
to a woman will become known.



LXXXIX. The Bridegroom Who Spoke in Riddles.

Once upon a time there were two brothers; the elder was named
Bhagrai and was married, but the younger, named Kora, was still a
bachelor. One day Bhagrai's wife asked her husband when he intended
to look out for a wife for Kora, for people would think it very mean
of them if they did not provide for his marriage. But to his wife's
astonishment Bhagrai flatly refused to have anything to do with the
matter. He said that Kora must find a wife for himself. His wife
protested that that was impossible as Kora had no money of his own,
but Bhagrai would not listen to her and refused even to give Kora
his share in the family property.

Bhagrai's cruel conduct was very distressing to his wife; and one day
as she was sitting picking the lice out of Kora's head, she began to
cry and Kora felt her tears dropping on to his back; he turned round
and asked his sister-in-law why she was crying. She said that she
could not tell him, as it would only make him unhappy, but he would
not be put off and said that she had no right to have any secrets
from him and at last she told him that Bhagrai had said that he must
arrange his own marriage without any help from them. At this cruel
news Kora began to cry too and falling on his sister-in-law's neck
he wept bitterly. Then he went and fetched his clothes and bow and
arrows and flute and what other little property he had, and told his
sister-in-law that he must go out into the world and seek his fortune,
for he would never get a wife by staying at home. So she tied up some
dried rice for him to eat by the way and let him go.

Kora set out and had not travelled far, before he fell in with an
old man who was travelling in the same direction as himself and they
agreed to continue their way together. After walking some miles, Kora
said "I have a proposal to make: let us take it in turns to carry each
other: then we shall neither of us get tired and shall do the journey
comfortably." The old man refused to have anything to do with such an
extraordinary arrangement: so on they went and by and bye came to a
tank which seemed a good place to rest and eat some food by. The old
man sat down at the steps leading down to the water, but Kora went
and sat on the bank where it was covered with rough grass. Presently
he called out "Friend, I do not like the look of this tank: to whom
does it belong?" The old man told him the name of the owner, "Then
why has he put no post in the middle of it?" This question amazed his
companion for there was the usual post sticking up in the middle of
the tank in front of them: he began to think that he had fallen in
with a lunatic: however he said nothing and they went on together:
and presently they passed a large herd of cow-buffaloes: looking at
them Kora said "Whose are these: why have they no horns?" "But they
have got horns: what on earth do you mean by saying that they have
not?" replied his companion, Kora however persisted "No, there is not
a horn among them." The old man began to lose his temper but they went
on and presently passed by a herd of cows, most of them with bells tied
round their necks. No sooner did Kora catch sight of them than he began
again "Whose can these cows be? Why have they not got bells on?" "Look
at the bells," said the old man "cannot you use your eyes?" "No," said
Kora, "I cannot see a bell among them." The old man did not think it
worth while to argue with him and at evening they reached the village
where he lived: and Kora asked to be allowed to stay with him for the
night. So they went to his house and sat down on a string bed in the
cow-shed while the women folk brought them out water to wash their
feet. After sitting awhile, Kora suddenly said "Father, why did you
not put up a king post when you were making this cow-shed?" Now at
that very moment he was leaning against the king post and the old man
was too puzzled and angry at his idiotic question to say anything: so
he got up and went into the house to tell his wife to put some extra
rice into the pot for their visitor. His wife and daughter at once
began asking him who their guest was: he said that he knew nothing
about him except that he was an absolute idiot. "What is the matter
with him," asked the daughter: "he looks quite sensible": then her
father began to tell her all the extraordinary things that Kora had
said: how he had proposed that they should carry each other in turn:
and had declared that there was no post in the middle of the tank: and
that the buffaloes had no horns and the cows no bells: and that there
was no king post to the cow house. His daughter listened attentively
and then said "I think it is you, father, who have been stupid and
not our guest: I understand quite well what he meant. I suppose that
when he proposed that you should carry each other, you had not been
doing much talking as you went along?" "That is so," said her father,
"we had not spoken for a long time:" "Then all he meant was that you
should chat as you went along and so make the way seem shorter: and as
to the tank, were there any trees on its banks?" "No, they were quite
bare." "Then that is what he meant when he talked about the post:
he meant that the tank should have had trees planted round it: and
as to the buffaloes and cows, there was doubtless no bull with either
herd." "I certainly did not notice one," said her father. "Then that is
what he was talking about: I think that it was very stupid of you not
to understand him." "Then what does he mean by the king post in the
cow house" asked the old man. "He meant that there was no cross beam
from wall to wall," "Then you don't think him a fool at all?" "No,
he seems to me very sensible." "Then perhaps you would like to have
him for your husband?" "That is for you and my mother to decide."

So the old man went off to his wife and asked her what she thought
about the match and they both agreed that it would be very suitable:
the girl understood Kora's riddles so well that they seemed made for
each other. So the next morning when Kora proposed to start off on
his journey again, the old man asked whether he would care to stay
with them and marry his daughter. Kora was delighted to find a wife so
soon, and readily agreed to work for five years in his father-in-law's
house to win his bride: so a day was fixed for the betrothal ceremony,
and thus Kora succeeded in arranging his own marriage.



XC. The Lazy Man.

Once upon a time three brothers lived together: the youngest of
them was named Kora and he was the laziest man alive: he was never
willing to do any work but at meal times he was always first on the
spot. His laziness began to drag the family down in the world, for
they could not afford to feed a man who did no work. His two elder
brothers were always scolding him but he would not mend his ways:
however the scolding annoyed him and one day he ran away from home.

He had become so poor that he had nothing on but a loin cloth: it
was the middle of winter and when the evening drew on he began to
shiver with cold: so he was very glad when he came to a village to
see a group of herdboys sitting round a fire in the village street,
roasting field rats. He went up to them and sat down by the fire to
warm himself. The herd boys gave him some of the rats to eat and when
they had finished their feast went off to their homes to sleep. It was
nice and warm by the fire and Kora was too lazy to go round the village
looking for some one who would take him in for the night: so he made
up his mind to go to sleep by the fire. He curled himself up beside it
and was about to take off his waist cloth to spread over himself as
a sheet when he found a bit of thread which he had tied up in one of
the corners of the cloth. "Why!" thought he "cloth is made of thread:
so this thread must be cloth! I will use it as a sheet." So he tied
one end of the thread round his big toe and wound the other end round
his ears and stretching himself out at full length soon fell asleep.

During the night the fire died down and a village dog which was on
the prowl came and coiled itself up on the warm ashes and also went
to sleep alongside Kora.

Now the headman of that village was a well-to-do man with much land
under cultivation and a number of servants, and as it was the time
when the paddy was being threshed he got up very early in the morning
to start the work betimes. As he walked up the village street he came
on the man and dog lying fast asleep side by side. He roused up Kora
and asked him who he was and whether he did not find it very cold,
lying out in the open. "No" answered Kora, "I don't find it cold:
this is my dog and he has eaten up all my cold: he will eat up the
cold of a lakh of people." The headman at once thought that a dog
that could do this would be a very useful animal to possess: he had
to spend a lot of money in providing clothes for his farm labourers
and yet they all suffered from the cold, while if he could get hold
of the dog he and all his household would be permanently warm: so he
asked Kora what price he set on the dog. Kora said that he would sell
it for fifty lakhs of rupees and no less: he would not bargain about
the matter: the headman might take it or leave it as he liked. The
headman agreed to the terms and taking Kora to his house paid him
over the money. Kora made no delay in setting off homewards and when
he arrived the first thing he did was to tell his brothers to find
him a wife as he had now enough money to pay all the expenses of his
marriage. When his brothers found that the lazy one of the family
had come home with such a fortune they gave him a very different
reception from what they used to before, and set to work to arrange
his marriage and the three brothers all lived happily ever after.

Meanwhile the headman who had bought the dog sent for his labourers and
told them of his luck in finding such a valuable animal. He bade them
tie it up at the door of the hut on the threshing floor in which they
slept: and in the morning to lead it round with them as they drove
the oxen that trod out the grain, and then they would none of them
feel cold. That night the labourers put the matter to the test but
although the dog was tied up by the door the men in the hut shivered
all night long as usual. Then in the morning they one after the other
tried leading the dog as they drove the oxen round the threshing floor
but it did not make them any warmer, so they soon got tired and tied
the dog up again. Presently their master came along and asked what
they had done with the dog and was told that the animal would not
eat up the cold at all. The headman would not believe that he had
been duped and began to lead the dog round to try for himself. Only
too soon he had to admit that it made no difference. So, in a rage
he caught up a stick and beat the poor dog to death. Thus he lost
his money and got well laughed at by all the village for his folly.



XCI. Another Lazy Man.

Once upon a time there was a man named Kora who was so lazy that his
brothers turned him out of the house and he had to go out into the
world to seek his fortune. At first he tried to get some other young
man of the village to keep him company on his travels but they all
refused to have anything to do with such a lazy fellow, so he had to
set out alone. However, he was resolved to have a companion of some
sort, so when he came to a place where a crab had been burrowing he
set to work and dug it out of the ground and took it along with him,
tied up in his cloth.

He travelled on for days and weeks until he came to a country which
was being devastated by a Rakhas who preyed on human beings, and the
Raja of the country had proclaimed that any one who could kill the
Rakhas should have one of his sisters in marriage and a large grant of
land. Kora however knew nothing of all this and that evening he camped
for the night under a tree on the outskirts of a village. Presently
the villagers came out and begged him to come and spend the night
in one of their houses, as it was impossible for a man to sleep
safely in the open by himself. "Do not trouble about me," said Kora,
"I am not alone: I have a companion and we two shall be quite safe
together." The villagers saw no one with him and could not understand
what he was talking about, but as he would not listen to them they
had to leave him to his fate.

Night came on and as usual Kora untied the crab from his cloth and
soon fell asleep. About midnight the Rakhas came prowling along and
seeing Kora sleeping alone made towards him. But the crab rushed at
the Rakhas and climbing up his body seized his neck with its claws
and slit the windpipe. Down fell the Rakhas and lay kicking on the
ground. The noise awoke Kora, who seized a big stone and dashed out
the brains of the Rakhas. He then cut off the tips of the ears and
tongue and claws and wrapped them up in his cloth and lay down to
sleep again with the crab in his bosom.

At dawn the chowkidar of the village, who was a Dome, came on his
rounds and found the Rakhas lying dead. He thought that it would be
easy for him to obtain the credit of having killed it: so he cut off
one of the legs and hurrying home told his wife and children to clear
out of the house at once: he had nothing more to do with them, as he
was going to marry the Raja's sister and become a great landowner. Then
he rushed out into the village, shouting out that he had killed the
Rakhas. The villagers all went to see the dead body and found it lying
near the tree under which they had left Kora to spend the night. They
were not quite convinced that the Dome's story was true and asked
Kora who had really killed the Rakhas. He declined to answer but asked
that he and the Dome might both be taken to the Raja, and then proof
would be forthcoming as to who was really entitled to the Reward.

So the villagers took up the dead body and carried it off to the Raja,
taking Kora and the Dome with them. The Raja asked what proof there
was as to who had killed the Rakhas: and first the Dome produced the
leg which he had cut off; but Kora unrolled his cloth and showed the
ears and tongue and claws of the Rakhas. It was at once seen that
the leg which the Dome had brought wanted the claws, so his fraud was
clearly proved and he was driven from the assembly with derision and
had to go and humbly make his peace with the wife whom he had turned
out of his house. But the nuptials of Kora and the Raja's sister
took place at once and they were given a fine palace to live in and
a large tract of country for their own.

Kora never allowed himself to be separated from his faithful crab and
this led to his life being saved a second time. A few nights after
he was married, Kora was lying asleep with the crab upon his breast,
when two snakes began to issue from the nostrils of his bride: their
purpose was to kill Kora but when they saw the watchful crab they
drew in their heads again. A few minutes later they again looked out:
then the crab went and hid under the chin of the Princess and when
the snakes put out their heads far enough it seized both of them with
its claws: the snakes wriggled and struggled until they came entirely
out of the nose of the princess and were dragged to the floor where
the crab strangled them. In the morning Kora awoke and saw what the
crab had done: he asked what he could do to show his gratitude to
his faithful friend, and the crab asked to be set free in some pond
which never dried up and that Kora would rescue it if any one ever
succeeded in catching it. So Kora chose a tank and set the crab free
and every day he used to go and bathe in that tank and the crab used
to come and meet him.

After living in luxury for a time Kora went with a grand procession
of horses and elephants to visit his industrious brothers who had
turned him out of their home for laziness, and he showed them that
he had chosen the better part, for they would never be able to keep
horses and elephants for all their industry: so he invited them to
come and live with him on his estate and when they had reaped that
year's crops they went with him.



XCII. The Widow's Son.

Once upon a time there was a poor woman whose husband died suddenly
from snake bite, leaving her with one little girl. At the time she
was expecting another child and every day she lamented the loss of
her husband and prayed to Chando that the child she should bear might
be a son: but fresh troubles came upon her, for when her husband's
brothers saw that she was with child they declared that she had been
unfaithful to her husband and had murdered him to conceal her shame:
and although they had no proof of this, they seized on all their dead
brother's property and land and left the widow nothing but the bare
house to live in.

But Chando had pity on her and when her time was full a boy was born
to her. She gave thanks to Chando and devoted herself to bringing up
the child. The boy grew up and learned to walk and talk and one day he
asked his mother where his father was. She told him that a snake had
bitten his father before he was born. Thereupon the boy embraced her
and told her not to cry as he would support her and take the place
of his father. The mother was filled with wonder and gratitude at
the boy's intelligence.

In answer to her daily prayers she met with kindness at all hands:
when she went out working her employers gave her extra wages: when
she went gleaning something extra was left for her, and if she had
to beg no one refused to give her alms, so in time she was able to
get together some household requisites and start keeping fowls and
pigs. By selling these she saved enough money to buy goats and sheep:
and in course of time was able to think of buying a cow.

By that time her son--whom she called Bhagraihad grown up to be a boy
and took an interest in all that went on: so he asked his mother how
he could tell when to buy a heifer. She said that if when the seller
was showing a cow to an intending purchaser the animal dropped dung,
it should be bought without hesitation, as such a cow was sure to take
kindly to its new home and to have plenty of calves: another equally
good sign was if the cow had nine teeth. Thereupon Bhagrai declared
that he would set out to buy a cow and be guided in his choice by
these signs and not come back till he found one. His mother thought
that he was too young to undertake such a business but at last yielded
to his entreaties. Then he tried to get some one in the village to go
with him on his expedition but no one of his own friends or relations
would go, so he had to arrange with a man of the blacksmith caste to
keep him company.

Early one morning they set out, enquiring as they went along whether
any one had a cow for sale. For a long time they were unsuccessful
but after passing right through the territories of one Raja, they at
length came to a village where they heard of a heifer for sale. As
they were examining it it dropped dung, and on inspection its mouth
showed nine teeth. Bhagrai at once declared that he must buy it
and would not listen to the blacksmith who tried to dissuade him
because, although the animal was full grown, it had had no calf and
was probably barren. Bhagrai however preferred to be guided by the
signs of which his mother had told him, and after a certain amount
of haggling bought the animal for five rupees. The money was paid
and he and the blacksmith set off homewards with the cow.

Night overtook them and they turned into a village and asked to be
allowed to sleep in the verandah of one of the houses: and permission
being given they tied the cow to a post and went to sleep. In the
middle of the night the owner of the house came and took away their
cow and tied an old and worthless one of his own in its place. On
waking in the morning Bhagrai and the blacksmith saw at once what
had happened and charged the owner of the house with the theft. He
vehemently denied all knowledge of the matter and after they had
quarrelled for a long time went to call the villagers to arbitrate
between them. But he took care to promise the headman and leading
villagers a bribe of five rupees if they decided the case in his
favour: so the result was a foregone conclusion and the arbitrators
told Bhagrai to take away the old worthless cow.

He however refused to accept the decision and said that he would go and
find two people to represent him on the panchayat. The villagers raised
no objection for they knew that he was a stranger, and thought that
they could easily convince any persons he might pick up. Bhagrai set
off towards a village he saw in the distance but lost his way in the
jungle, and as he was wandering about he came on two jackals. On seeing
him they started to run but he called to them to stop and telling
them all that had happened asked them to come to the panchayat. The
jackals answered that it was clear that the villagers had been bribed,
but they would come and do what was possible. They told him to bring
the villagers with both the cows to a big banyan tree outside the
village. All the villagers went out to meet the jackals and Bhagrai
stood up in the midst and began to explain his grievance.

Meanwhile the jackals sat quite still, seeming to take no interest
in what was going on. "A fine pair these are to have on a panchayat"
said the villagers to each other, "they are nearly asleep: they have
been up all night catching crabs and grasshoppers and now are too tired
to keep awake." "No," said one jackal, "we are not as sleepy as you
think: we are quite willing to take a part in deciding this dispute:
but the fact is that I and my wife have a quarrel and we want you
first to decide that for us and then we will take up the question of
the cow; if you villagers can settle our difference satisfactorily
we shall be able to conclude that you have given a fair judgement on
the complaint of this orphan boy."

The villagers told him to continue and he explained "I and my wife
always go about together: we eat at the same time and drink at the
same time and yet she drops dung twice a day while I do so only once:
what is the reason of this?" The villagers could think of no answer and
the jackal bade them ask his wife: so they laughed and asked whether
it was true that she dropped dung twice to the he-jackal's once. But
the jackal reproved them for their levity, wise men of old had said
that it was wrong to jest when men of weight met to decide a dispute;
so they became serious and the she-jackal answered "It is true that
I drop dung twice to his once: there is an order laid on me to do so:
I drop dung once at the same time that he does: that excrement falls
to the ground and stays there: but the second time the excrement falls
into the mouths of the ancestors of those men who take bribes and
do injustice to the widow and orphan and when such bribetakers reach
the next world they will also have to eat it. If however they confess
their sin and ask pardon of me they will be let off the punishment:
this is the reason why I have been ordered to drop dung twice." "Now
you have heard what she has to say" put in the he-jackal "what to you
think of the explanation? I hope that there are no such bribetakers
among you: if there are they had better confess at once."

Then all the villagers who had agreed to take a share of the bribe
and had helped to rob the boy of his cow confessed what they had done
and declared that the boy should have his cow again, and they fined
the thief five rupees. So Bhagrai and the blacksmith went gladly on
their way and the blacksmith soon told all his neighbours of the two
wonderful jackals who talked like men and had compelled the villagers
to restore the stolen cow. "Ah" said the boy's mother "they were not
jackals, they were Chando," When Bhagrai's uncles heard all this and
saw how he and his mother had prospered in spite of the loss of all
their property, they became frightened and gave back the land and
cattle which they had taken, without waiting for them to be claimed.



XCIII. The Boy Who Was Changed into a Dog.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers: the six eldest were
married, but the youngest was only a youth and looked after the
cattle. The six married brothers spent their life in hunting and
used often to be away from home for one or two months at a time. Now
all their six wives were witches and directly their husbands left
home the six women used to climb a peepul tree and ride away on it,
to eat men or do some other devilry. The youngest brother saw them
disappear every day and made up his mind to find out what they did. So
one morning he hid in a hollow in the trunk of the peepul tree and
waited till his sisters-in-law came and climbed up into the branches:
then the tree rose up and was carried through the air to the banks of
a large river, where the women climbed down and disappeared. After a
time they came back and climbed into the tree and rode on it back to
the place where it came from. But as they descended they saw their
brother-in-law hiding in the trunk and at first they tried to make
him promise not to tell what he had seen, but he swore that he would
let his brothers know all about it: so then they thought of killing
him, but in the end the eldest said that this was not necessary and
she fetched two iron nails and drove them into the soles of his feet
whereupon he at once became a dog. He could understand all that was
said but of course could not speak. He followed them home and they
treated him well and always gave him a regular helping at meals as
if he were a human being and did not merely throw him the scraps as
if he were a dog: nor would he have eaten them if they had.

A month afterwards the other brothers came home and asked if all had
gone well in their absence. Their wives said that all was well except
that the youngest brother had unfortunately disappeared without leaving
any trace. While they were talking the dog came up and fawned on the
brothers, so they asked where it had come from and the women said
that it had followed them home on the day that they were looking for
the missing boy: and they had kept it ever since. So matters rested:
the brothers searched high and low but could not find the missing
boy and so gave up the quest.

Now the Raja of that country had three daughters whom he had tried in
vain to get married: whenever a bridegroom was proposed to them they
declared that he was not to their liking and they would have nothing
to do with him. At last their father said that as they would not let
him choose husbands for them, they must make the choice themselves:
he proposed to assemble all the men in his kingdom on a certain day
and there and then they must take to themselves husbands.

So proclamation was made that all the men were to assemble outside
the palace and that three of them would receive the Raja's daughters
in marriage without having to pay any brideprice. On the fixed day
a great crowd collected and among others went the six brothers: and
the dog followed them. Then the three princesses were brought out
and three flies were caught: round one fly was tied a piece of white
thread for the eldest princess and round the second fly a red thread
for the second princess: and round the last fly a blue thread for
the youngest princess. Then the three princesses solemnly promised
that each would marry the man on whom the fly marked with her colour
settled, and the flies were let loose. The red fly and the blue fly
soon settled on two of the men sitting in the crowd but the white
fly flew high in the air and circled round and at last settled on
the dog which was sitting beside the six brothers.

At this the crowd laughed and jeered but the eldest princess said
that she must accept what fate had decreed and that she would marry
the dog. So the betrothal ceremony of the three princesses took place
at once, soon followed by their weddings. The husbands of the two
youngest princesses took their brides home, but the eldest princess
stayed in her father's house with her dog.

One day after its dinner the dog was lying on its side asleep and the
princess chanced to see the heads of the iron nails in its feet: "Ah,"
thought she, "that is why the poor dog limps." So she ran and fetched
a pair of pincers and pulled out the nails: no sooner had she done
so than the dog was restored to its human shape and the princess was
delighted to find that not only was he a man but also very handsome:
and they settled down to live happily together.

Some months later the six brothers resolved to go and visit the Raja,
so that the princess might not feel that the dog she had married had
no friends in the world. Off they set and when they reached the Raja's
palace they were amazed to find their younger brother and still more
so when they heard the story of all that had happened to him.

They immediately decided to take vengeance on their wives and when
they reached home gave orders for a large well to be dug: when it
was ready they told their wives to join in the consecration ceremony
which was to ensure a pure and plentiful supply of water: so the
six witches went to the well and while their attention was occupied,
their husbands pushed them all into the well and filled it up with
earth and that was the end of the witches.



XCIV. Birluri and Birbanta.

Birluri was of the Goala caste and Birbanta of the oilman's caste. And
this is the story of their fight.

Birluri was very rich, with great herds of cattle and buffaloes but
Birbanta's wealth consisted in tanks and ponds. Birluri used every
day to water his cattle at Birbanta's ponds: and this made Birbanta
very angry: he felt it an injustice that though Birluri was so rich
he would not dig his own ponds: so he sent word that Birluri must
stop watering his cattle or he would be killed. Birluri answered
the messengers that he was quite ready to fight Birbanta: for though
Birbanta had made the tanks, it was God who had made the water in them
and so he considered that his cattle had a perfect right to drink the
water. When Birbanta heard this he fell into a rage and vowed that
he would not let the cattle drink, but would kill every living thing
that went down to the water. From that day he let no one drink from
his tanks: when women went to draw water he used to smash their water
pots and put the rims round their necks like necklaces: all wild birds
and animals he shot: and the cattle and buffaloes he cut down with his
axe: and at last he proceeded to kill any human beings who went there.

When the Raja of the country heard this he was very angry and bade
his _sipahis_ search for some one strong enough to overcome and kill
Birbanta: and he promised as a reward the hand of one of his daughters
and half his kingdom. So the _sipahis_ made proclamation all through
the country and at last Birluri heard of it and volunteered to fight
Birbanta. Then the Raja fixed a day for the fight, so that all the
country might know and Birbanta also have due warning.

Both the combatants made ready for the fray: Birbanta was armed with
a sword and a shield like a cart wheel and was skilful at sword play,
while Birluri's weapon was the quarter-staff. The day arrived and
Birluri girded up his loins and set out, twirling his staff round
his head. Now his father and mother were both dead; but on the road
his mother met him in the guise of an old woman, so that he did not
recognise her. She greeted him and asked where he was going and when
she heard that it was to fight Birbanta she said "My son, you are very
strong: but if he asks for water do not give it him, for if you do,
he will assuredly kill you: but when he throws away his sword, do you
make haste and take it and slay him with it." So saying she went on her
way and when Birluri came within a _kos_ of the fighting place he began
to twirl his staff and he made such a cloud of dust that it became
dark as night and in the darkness the staff gleamed like lightning.

When Birbanta saw this he rose up and shouted "Here comes my enemy:
I will fight my best and we will see who will conquer" and when he saw
Birluri armed only with a quarter-staff he felt sure that he would
not be overcome by such a weapon: so he grasped his sword and took
his shield on his arm and went out to the fight The fray was fast
and furious: Birbanta hacked and hacked with his sword but Birluri
caught all the blows on his quarterstaff and took no injury. At
last the end of the staff was hacked off leaving a sharp point:
then Birluri transfixed Birbanta with the pointed end and Birbanta
faltered: again he thrust him through and Birbanta acknowledged
himself defeated, saying "My life is yours: let me drink some water
at your hands before you kill me." So Birluri agreed to a truce and
they stopped fighting. Then Birluri cut down a palm tree and dipped
it into Birbanta's tank and holding out the end to Birbanta told him
to suck it. Birbanta refused to take it and asked him to give him
water in his hands: but Birluri remembered his mother's warning and
refused. Then Birbanta in despair threw away his sword and shield
and Birluri snatched up the sword and smote off his head: and this
is the song of victory which Birluri sang.--


    "Birbanta stopped the _ghat_ for the golden oxen--
    The dust is raised up to heaven!
    Birbanta sat by the _ghat_ of the oxen--
    The lightning is flashing in the sky!
    He has made an embankment: he has made a tank:
    But the water he collected in it, has become his enemy!"


Then Birluri was taken to the Raja and married to one of the Raja's
daughters and given one half of the Raja's kingdom.

After a time Birluri told his wife that they must go back to his
home to look after the large herds of cattle which he had left behind
him. But his wife laughed at him and would not believe that he owned
so much property: then Birluri said that if she would not go with
him he would call the cattle to come to him: so he called them all by
name and the great herd came running to the Raja's palace and filled
the whole barn yard and as there was no room for them to stay there,
they went away into the jungle and became wild cattle.



XCV. The Killing of the Rakhas.

Once upon a time a certain country was ravaged by a Rakhas to such
an extent that there were only the Raja and a few ryots left. When
things came to this pass, the Raja saw that something must be done:
for he could not be left alone in the land. Ryots need a Raja and a
Raja needs ryots: if he had no ryots where was he to get money for
his support: and he repeated the verse of the poet Kalidas:


"When the jungle is destroyed, the deer are in trouble without jungle:
When the Raja is destroyed, the ryots are in trouble without their
Raja:
When the good wife of the house is destroyed, good fortune flees away."


So thinking the Raja made a proclamation throughout all the land that
if any one could kill the Rakhas he would reward him with the hand of
one of his daughters and half his kingdom. This proclamation was read
out by the headman of a certain village to the assembled villagers
and among the crowd was a mischievous youth, named Jhalka, who when
he heard the proclamation called out that he could kill the Rakhas in
ten minutes. The villagers turned on him "Why don't you go and do so:
then you would marry the Raja's daughter and we should all bow down
to you." At the thought of this Jhalka began to skip about crying "I
will finish him off in no time." The headman heard him and took him
at his word and wrote to the Raja that in his village there was a man
who undertook to kill the Rakhas. When Jhalka heard this he hurried
to the headman and explained that he had only been joking. "I cannot
treat such things as a joke" answered the headman: "Don't you know
that this is a Raja's matter: to deal with Rajas is the same as to
deal with _bongas_: you may make a promise to the _bongas_ in jest,
but they will not let you off it on that plea. You are much too fond
of playing the fool."

Ten or twelve days later sipahis came from the Raja to fetch Jhalka:
he told them that he had only spoken in jest and did not want to go
to the Raja, but they took him away all the same.

Before he started he picked out a well-tempered battle axe and begged
his father to propitiate the _bongas_ and pray that he might be
saved from the Rakhas. When he was produced before the Raja, Jhalka
again tried to explain that there had been a mistake, but the Raja
told him that he would be taken at his word and must go and kill the
Rakhas. Then he saw that there was nothing left for him but to put
his trust in God: so he asked that he might be given two mirrors and
a large box and when these were brought he had the box taken to the
foot of a large banyan tree which grew by a ford in the river which
flowed by the hill in which the Rakhas lived: it was at this ford
that the Rakhas used to lie in wait for prey.

Left alone there Jhalka put one of the mirrors into the box and then
tightened his cloth and climbed the banyan tree with his battle axe
and the other mirror. He was not at all happy as he waited for the
Rakhas, thinking of all the people who had been killed as they passed
along the road below the tree: however he was determined to outwit
the Rakhas if he could. All night long he watched in vain but just at
dawn the Rakhas appeared. At the sight of him Jhalka shook so much
with fright that the branches of the tree swayed. The Rakhas smelt
that there was a human being about and looking up into the tree saw
the branches waving. "Ha," said he, "here is my breakfast."' Jhalka
retorted "Ha! here is another Rakhas to match those I have got"
"What are you talking about?" asked the Rakhas: "I am glad to have
met you at last" returned Jhalka. "Why?" asked the Rakhas, "and what
are you trembling for?" "I am trembling with rage: we shall now see
whether I am to eat you or you are to eat me."

"Come down and try."

"No, you come up here and try."

Jhalka would not leave the tree and the Rakhas would not climb it:
so they waited. At last the Rakhas asked "Who are you? I have seen a
thousand men like you" And Jhalka answered "Who are you? I have seen
a thousand like you." At this the Rakhas began to hesitate and wonder
whether Jhalka was really his equal in strength, so he changed the
subject and asked what the big box was. "That is the box into which
I put Rakhases like you when I catch them; I have got plenty more at
home." "How many are there in the box?" "Two or three."

The Rakhas asked to see them, but Jhalka would not leave the tree until
the Rakhas had sworn an oath to do him no harm; then he came down and
opened the box and made the Rakhas look into the mirror inside the box;
and he also held up the second mirror saying that there was another
Rakhas. The Rakhas was fascinated at the sight of his own reflection;
when he grinned or opened his mouth the reflection did the same; and
while he was amusing himself with making different grimaces Jhalka
suddenly cut him down with the battleaxe, and he fell down dead. Then
Jhalka cut off the ears and tongue and toes and hastened with them
to the Raja. When it was found that the Rakhas was really dead the
Raja assembled all his subjects and in their presence married Jhalka
to his daughter and made over to him half the kingdom and gave him
horses and elephants and half of everything in his palace.



XCVI. The Children and the Vultures.

Once upon a time all the women of a village went to the jungle to
gather _karla_ fruit; and one of them was pregnant. In the jungle she
felt that her time was come and she went aside without telling any
of her friends and gave birth to twin boys. The other women went on
gathering fruit and when they had filled their baskets and were on
their way home they noticed that one of their number was missing,
but as it was late they were afraid to go back and look for her,
and besides they felt sure that she must have been devoured by some
wild animal.

Meanwhile the mother of the twins began to call to her friends,
but they were far out of hearing; so she debated whether she should
carry home the two babes or her basket of _karla_ fruit; she did
not feel strong enough to carry both the infants in her arms and so
she decided to take the basket of fruit, especially as she would
probably have plenty more children, while the _karla_ fruit could
not be replaced. She covered the twins with leaves of the Asan tree
and went home.

But when her husband heard what had happened he was very angry,
and scolded her well; she could easily have thrown away the fruit
and carried home the children in the basket tinsead of taking so
much trouble about the _karla_ fruit, as if no one had ever seen
any before. He wanted to take a few friends and go and look for the
children at once; but his father and mother begged him not to risk his
life in the jungle at night; the woman had been a fool but that could
not be remedied; people must learn by experience; as the Hindu proverb
says "When your caste goes, wisdom comes." They could not allow the
breadwinner of the family to risk his life; though the roof and doors
of the house had gone, the walls remained; as long as the tree stood
new branches would grow; but if the tree fell there was no more hope;
so in the end the children were left where they were.

No sooner had the mother gone than a pair of king vultures swooped down
to make a meal of the children but they cried so pitifully that the
vultures had hot the heart to kill them but instead carried them up
to their nest and brought them food: and nurtured them. And when the
children began to walk they carried them down to the ground and when
they were big enough to take care of themselves they told them to go
into the neighbouring villages and beg; but they forbade them to go
towards the village in which their real parents lived. So every day
the two boys went out begging, and as they went from house to house,
they sang:--


    "Our mother took away the _karla_ fruit
    She covered us up with Asan leaves.
    The pair of King vultures
    Reared us.--Give us alms."


And people had pity on them and gave them enough to live on. One day
the two boys thought that they would go and see what the country was
like in the direction which had been forbidden to them; so they set
out singing their usual song, and when they came to the house where
their mother lived she heard them sing and knew that they must be her
children; so she called them and bathed them and oiled their bodies
and told them that she was their mother and they were very glad to
stay with her.

But when the children did not return, the vultures flew in search
of them and circled round and round in the air looking for them. The
mother saw them and knew what they wanted, so she took the children
into the house and hid them under a large basket. But the vultures flew
down to the house and tore a hole in the thatch and entered through it
and overturned the basket and seized the children. Then the father and
mother also caught hold of them and the vultures pulled and the parents
pulled until the children were torn in two and the vultures flew away
with the portions they had secured. The father and mother sorrowfully
burnt on a pyre the remains of the children that were left to them.

The vultures when they reached their nest were unwilling to eat the
flesh of the children they had reared, so they set fire to their nest;
but as the flames rose high, some juice spirted out from the burning
flesh on to the vultures and they tasted it and found it so good
that they pulled the rest of the flesh out of the flames and ate it,
and from that time vultures feed on human bodies.



XCVII. The Ferryman.

There was once a ferryman who plied a ferry across a big river, and he
had two wives. By the elder wife he had five sons and by the younger
only one. When he grew old he gave up work himself and left his sons
to manage the boats; but the step-brothers could not agree and were
always quarrelling. So the father gave one boat to the son of the
younger wife and told him to work it by himself at a separate crossing
higher up the river, while the five other brothers plied to old ferry.

It turned out that most passengers used to cross at the youngest
brother's ferry and as he had no one to share the profits with him,
his earnings were very large. Because of this he used to jeer at his
other brothers who were not so well off. This made them hate him more
than ever, and they resolved to be revenged; so one day when he was
alone in the boat they set it adrift down the river without any oars.

As he drifted helplessly down the river he saw a river snake, as
long as the river was broad, waiting for him with open mouth. He
thought that his last hour had come, but he seized a knife which was
in the boat and waited. When the stream brought him within reach,
the snake swallowed him, boat and all, and swam to the bank. When he
felt the snake climbing up the bank he began to cut his way out of its
stomach with his knife, and soon made a wound which killed the snake
and enabled him to make his way out and pull out the boat. Then he
looked about him and saw a large village near by; so he went towards
it to tell the villagers how he had killed the great snake. But when
he reached it he found it deserted; he went from house to house but
found no one. At last he came to a house in which there was one girl,
who told him that she was the only inhabitant left, as the great river
snake had eaten up all the other people. Then he told her how he had
killed the snake and took her to see its dead body. The village was
full of the wealth left by its former inhabitants; so he and the girl
decided to stay there, and there were such riches that they lived
like a Raja and Rani.

One morning his wife told him that she had had a dream, in which
she was warned that he must on no account go out towards the south
of the village; but he laughed at her, because he had up to that
time moved about wherever he liked without any harm. She begged him
to listen to her advice, because it was by her wisdom that she had
saved her life when every one else in the village had been killed,
so for a few days he obeyed her, but one morning he took a sword and
went off towards the south. He had not gone far when he came to a cow,
which had fallen into a pit, and it called to him. "Oh Brother, I have
fallen into great trouble; help me out and one day I will do the same
to you, if you ask my aid." So he took pity on the cow and pulled it
out. Going on a little further he came to a buffalo which had stuck
fast in a bog and it also called to him for help and promised to do
the like for him in case of need. So he pulled it out of the mud,
and went on his way. Presently he came to a well and from the depths
of the well a man who had fallen into it cried to him for help; so he
went and pulled him up; but no sooner had the man reached the surface
than he turned and pushed his rescuer down the well and ran away.

His wife waited and waited for his return and when he did not come,
she divined that he had gone towards the south in spite of her
warning. So she went to look for him and presently found him at the
bottom of the well. So she let down a rope and pulled him up and gave
him a scolding for his folly.

After this they thought it best to leave that country, so they embarked
on the boat and travelled back to his father's house.



XCVIII. Catching a Thief.

There was once a rich Raja; and in order to frighten away thieves
whenever he woke up at night he used to call out--


    "What are you people saying? I know all about it:
    You are digging the earth and throwing the earth away:
    I know all about it: you are skulking there scraping a hole."


One night a gang of thieves really came and began to dig a hole
through the mud wall of the Raja's house. And while they were at work
the Raja woke up and called out as usual. The thieves thought that
they were discovered and bolted. The next morning the hole they had
been making was found, and the Raja ordered his sipahies to catch the
thieves. The head of all the thieves was a Bhuyan by caste and for
five rupees he would catch any thief you wanted. So the sipahies were
told to bring this Bhuyan and they went to a potter and asked. "Ho,
maker of pots, he who makes whole paddy into _china_: where does he
live?" And the potter answered. "He who heats pewter; his house is
over there." Following this direction they found the Bhuyan and he
caught the thieves for them.



CHAPTER XCIX

XCIX. The Grasping Raja.

There was once a Raja who was very rich. He was a stern man and
overbearing and would brook no contradiction. Not one of his servants
or his subjects dared to question his orders; if they did so they got
nothing but abuse and blows. He was a grasping man too; if a cow or a
goat strayed into his herds he would return the animal if its owner
claimed in the same day; but he would not listen to any claim made
later. He was so proud that he thought that there was no one in the
world wiser than himself.

It happened that a certain man living in the kingdom of this Raja
lost a cow; one evening it did not come back to its stall from
the grazing-ground; so the next day he set out to search for it and
questioned every one he met. He soon got news that a cow like his had
been seen in the Raja's herd. So he went to look, and there, among
the Raja's cattle, he saw his own cow. He asked the cowherd to let him
take it away; but the cowherd refused to do so without a written order
from the Raja. So the owner went off to the Raja and claimed his cow;
but the Raja would not listen and gave him only abuse and turned him
out. Then he went to his friends and asked them to help him but they
were afraid to do anything and advised him to regard the cow as lost
for good.

So the unfortunate man took his way homeward very unhappily; on the way
he sat down by the bank of a stream and began to bewail his loss. As
he cried, Thakur took pity on him and sent a jackal to him. The jackal
came and asked why he was crying, and when it had heard the story of
the loss of the cow, it said "Cheer up! go back to the Raja and tell
him that you want a panchayat to settle the matter about the cow;
and that you intend to call one whether he agrees to abide by its
decision or no. If he agrees, come back quickly to me and I will
arrange to get back your cow for you." So off went the owner of the
cow to the Raja and told him that he wanted to call a panchayat. The
Raja made no objection and bade him call the neighbours together. The
poor man did so and then hurried off to the jackal and told it how
things had turned out. The jackal returned with him to the outskirts
of the city and then sent him to the Raja to say that the panchayat
must be held on the plain outside the city--for the jackal was afraid
of the dogs in the city.

When the Raja received this message it made him very angry, however he
went outside the city and met the panchayat and ordered them to get
to business quickly. Then the owner of the cow stood up and told his
story and the neighbours who had assembled called to him encouragingly,
but the jackal sat in the background and pretended to be asleep. When
the tale was finished, the Raja told the people who had assembled to
give their decision, but they were all so afraid of the Raja that not
one ventured to speak. As they kept silence the Raja turned to the
owner of the cow. "Well, where are the people who are going to judge
the case? No one here will say a word." "That is my judge," said the
man pointing to the jackal. "Why it is fast asleep; what sort of a
judge is that?" But just then the jackal shook itself and said. "I
have had a most remarkable dream." "There, he has been dreaming,
instead of listening to the case." exclaimed the Raja.

"O Raja don't be so scornful" said the jackal, "I am a cleverer judge
than you." "You, who are you? I have grown old in judging cases and
rinding out the truth; and you dare to talk to me like that!" "Well,"
retorted the jackal, "if you are so clever guess the meaning of my
dream; and if you cannot, give the man back his cow; if you can say
what it means, I will acknowledge that you are fit to be a Raja. This
is what I dreamt.--I saw three die in one place; one from sleepiness;
one from anger and one from greed. Tell me what were the three and
how did they come to be in one place."

This riddle puzzled every one, but the friends of the man who had
lost his cow saw their opportunity and began to call out to the Raja
to be quick and give the answer. The Raja made several guesses, but
the jackal each time said that he was wrong, and asserted that the
real answer would strike every one present as satisfactory. The Raja
was completely puzzled and then suggested that there was no coherency
in dreams: if the jackal had had some meaningless dream, no one could
guess it. "No," said the jackal, "you just now laughed at the idea that
any one should come to a panchayat and go to sleep; and what you said
was true; I would not really go to sleep on an occasion like this;
and I did not really dream. Now show that you are cleverer than I;
if you can, you keep the cow."

The Raja thought and thought in vain, and at last asked to be told the
answer to the puzzle. First the jackal made him write out a promise
to restore the cow and to pay twenty-five rupees to the panchayat;
and then it began:--"In a forest lived a wild elephant and every
night it wandered about grazing and in the day it returned to its
retreat in a certain hill. One dawn as it was on its way back after
a night's feeding, it felt so sleepy that it lay down where it was;
and it happened that its body blocked the entrance to a hole which
was a poisonous snake. When the snake wanted to come out and found
the way blocked, it got angry and in its rage bit the elephant and the
elephant died then and there. Presently a jackal came prowling by and
saw the elephant lying dead; it could not restrain itself from such a
feast and choosing a place where the skin was soft began to tear at
the flesh. Soon it made such a large hole that it got quite inside
the elephant and still went on eating. But when the sun grew strong,
the elephant's skin shrunk and closed the hole and the jackal could
not get out again and died miserably inside the elephant. The snake
too in its hole soon died from want of food and air. So the elephant
met its death through sleepiness and the snake through anger and the
jackal through greed. This is the answer to the puzzle, but Chando
prevented your guessing it, because you unjustly took the poor man's
cow and as a lesson to you that he is lord of all, of the poor and
weak as well as of Rajas and Princes."

When the jackal concluded all present cried out that the answer was
a perfect one; but the Raja said "I don't think much of that; I know
a lot of stories like that myself." However he had to give back the
cow and pay twenty-five rupees to the panchayat. In gratitude to the
jackal the owner of the cow bought a goat and gave it to the jackal
and then the jackal went away and was seen no more.



C. The Prince Who Would Not Marry.

There was once a Raja who in spite of having many wives was childless;
and his great desire was to have a son. He made many vows and performed
every ceremony that was recommended to him, but in vain. At last a
Jogi came to his kingdom and hearing of his case told him that if he
would pray to Thakur and give away to the poor one-fourth of all his
wealth, he should have a son.

The Raja followed the Jogi's advice, and in due time his youngest wife
bore him a son; a son so fair and so beautiful that there was no one
on earth to match him. When the boy grew up, they began to think about
his marriage and the Raja said that he would only marry him to a bride
as fair and as beautiful as himself. It did not matter whether she were
poor or rich, all that was needful was that she should be a match for
his son in looks. So messengers were sent out to all the surrounding
kingdoms to look for such a bride. They searched for years; nine years,
ten years passed and still no bride was found to match in looks the
Prince. After ten years had passed the Prince heard of this search and
he went to his father and announced that he did not wish to marry; and
that if he ever should wish to do so, he would find a wife for himself.

The Raja was very angry at this and said that the Prince wished to
bring him to shame; every one would say that the Raja was too mean
to arrange a marriage for his only son. But the Prince was obstinate
and persisted that he did not wish the Raja to take any steps in the
matter. At this the Raja grew more and more angry, until at last he
ordered the Prince to be taken to prison and kept there, until he
promised to marry any one whom his father chose.

Every day the warders asked whether he would yield and every day he
refused; and it is impossible to say how long he would have languished
in prison, had not the wife of the Parganna of the Bongas come one
night to the prison with two other bongas. They began to talk about
the Prince's hard case. The warders heard them talking, but could see
no one. The Bonga Parganna's wife proposed that they should provide
a _bonga_ bride for the Prince, for it was certain that no human
bride could be his match for beauty. The two bongas agreed that it
was a good idea but the Prince had declared that he would not marry
and that was a difficulty. "Let him see the bride I offer him and see
what happens" answered the old _Bonga's_ wife. So the next night when
the Prince was asleep a beautiful bonga maiden was brought to the
prison and when he awoke he saw her sitting by his side. He fell in
love with her at first sight and exchanging rings with her promised
that she should be his wife.

Then the warders, who had been watching, ran to the Raja and told him
that the Prince had agreed to marry. The Raja came and took the Prince
and his bride out of the prison, and the wedding was celebrated with
great rejoicings throughout the kingdom.



CI. The Prince Who Found Two Wives.

There was once a Raja who had an only son. When the Prince grew up the
courtiers proposed to the Raja that he should arrange for his son's
marriage; the Raja however wished to postpone it for a time. So the
courtiers used to laugh and say to the Prince "Wait a little and
we will find you a couple of wives;" the young man would answer,
"What is that? I can find them for myself. If you offered to find me
ten or twelve wives there would be something in it." The Raja heard
of his boasting like this and was very angry and said "Well if he is
so sure that he can find a wife for himself, let him do it;" and he
took no further steps to arrange for his son's marriage.

Now the Prince had a most beautiful voice and used also to play on
the one-stringed lute. He used often to sit up half the night singing
and playing to himself. One night as he sat singing, he heard a laugh
and looking round saw a beautiful _bonga_ girl. He asked who she was
and how she had come there, and she told him that she lived close
by and could not help coming to see who it was, who was singing so
beautifully. After that she used to visit the Prince every night,
but always disappeared before dawn. This went on for some weeks
and then the Prince asked her to stay and be his wife. She agreed,
provided he would first go to her home and see her relations. So
the next night he went with her; and found that her father was also
a Raja and very rich. He stayed there three or four days; while his
mysterious disappearance caused the greatest consternation at his own
home. However he returned quietly by night and was found sleeping as
usual in his bed one morning. Then he told his parents all that had
happened and how he had left his wife behind at her father's house.

Two or three days later the Prince fell very ill: every sort of remedy
was tried in vain. As he grew worse and worse, one day a messenger came
from his father-in-law and offered to cure him if he were removed to
his wife's house. So he was carried thither and when he arrived he
found that his wife was also very ill; but directly he was brought
to where she lay, at the mere sight of each other they both became
well again.

After some months the Prince and his wife set out to return to their
own home. They were benighted on the way; so they tied their horses
to a tree and prepared to camp under it. The Prince went to a bazar
to buy provisions and while there, was arrested on a false charge
and was sent to prison. The Princess waited and waited and at last
felt sure that something must have detained him against his will. She
would not leave the spot, and to make it less likely that she should
be molested, she dressed herself as a man.

Some days passed and the Prince did not return; then one morning an
old woman passing by came and asked for a light for her hookah, and
stayed talking for some time. The old woman was struck by the sweet
face and gentle voice of the stranger, and on her return told the
daughter of the Raja of that country that there was a strange young
man, who looked and talked very differently from any of the young men
of that neighbourhood. The Raja's daughter was curious to see him,
and the next morning she went with the old woman and talked with the
disguised Princess. Before she left she was deeply in love with him,
and directly she reached home she sent word to her father that she
had seen the man whom she must marry. "It is of no use to thwart
one's children," said the Raja and at once sent messengers to bring
the stranger to marry his daughter.

When the disguised Princess was brought before the Raja, she said
that she had no objection to being married provided that it was done
according to the custom of her own country, and that was that the
vermilion should be applied to the bride's forehead with a sword. The
Raja made no objection; so the Princess took her husband's sword and
put vermilion on it and then applied it to the bride's forehead; and
so the marriage was complete. But when the Princess was left alone
with her bride, she confessed that she was a woman and told her all
her history and how her husband had disappeared in the bazar.

Then the Raja's daughter went to her father and told him what had
happened and had enquiries made and speedily had the Prince released
from prison. Then the prince himself again put vermilion on the
forehead of the Raja's daughter, and a few days later set off home
with both his wives. This was the way in which he found two wives
for himself, as he had boasted that he would.



CII. The Unfaithful Wife.

Once upon a time there were two brothers and as their wives did not
get on well together, they lived separately. After a time it came
to the ears of the elder brother that the younger brother's wife
was carrying on an intrigue with a certain Jugi; so he made up his
mind to watch her movements. One night he saw a white figure leave
his brother's house and, following it quietly, he saw it go into the
Jugi's house, and creeping nearer, he heard his sister-in-law's voice
talking inside. He was much grieved at what he had seen, but could
not make up his mind to tell his brother.

One day the elder brother found that he had no milk in the house,
as all his cows had run dry; so he sent a servant to his brother's
house to ask for some milk; but the younger brother's wife declined
to give any, and sent word that her brother-in-law was quite rich
enough to buy milk cows if he wanted milk. The elder brother said
nothing at this rebuff, but after a time it happened that the younger
brother's cows all became dry, and he in his turn sent to his elder
brother for milk. The elder brother's wife was not disposed to give
it, but her husband bade her not bear malice and to send the milk.

After this the elder brother sent for the other and advised him to
watch his wife and see where she went to at night. So that night the
younger brother lay awake and watched; and in the middle of the night
saw his wife get up very quietly and leave the house. He followed her;
as the woman passed down the village street, some Mahommedans, who had
been sitting up smoking ganja, saw her and emboldened by the drug set
out to see who it was, who was wandering about so late at night. The
woman took refuge in a clump of bamboos and pulled down one of the
bamboos to conceal herself. The Mahommedans surrounded the clump but
when they saw the one bamboo which the woman held shaking, while all
the rest were still--for it was a windless night--they concluded that
it was an evil spirit that they were pursuing and ran away in a panic.

When they were gone, the woman came out from the bamboos and went on to
the Jugi's house. Her husband who had been watching all that happened
followed her: and having seen her enter the Jugi's house hastened
home and bolted his door from inside. Presently his wife returned
and found the door which she had left ajar, fastened; then she knew
that she was discovered. She was however full of resource; she began
to beg to be let her in, but her husband only showered abuse upon her
and bade her go back to the friend she had left. Then she took a large
stone and heaved it into a pool of water near the house. Her husband
heard the splash and concluded that she was drowning herself. He did
not want to get into trouble with the police, as would surely be the
case if his wife were found drowned, so he ran out of the house to the
pool of water to try and save her. Seizing this opportunity his wife
slipped into the house and in her turn locked the door from inside;
so that her husband had to spend the rest of the night out-of-doors.

He could not be kept out of the house permanently and the next day he
gave his wife a thrashing and turned her out. At evening however she
came back and sat outside in the courtyard, weeping and wailing. The
noise made her husband more angry than ever, and he shouted out to her
that if she did not keep quiet he would come and cut off her nose. She
kept on crying, and the Jugi heard her and sent an old woman to call
her to him. She declared that if she went her husband would know and be
the more angry with her, but she might go if the old woman would sit
in her place and keep on crying, so that her husband might believe
her to be still in the courtyard. The old woman agreed and began
to weep and wail, while the other went off to the Jugi. She wept to
such purpose that the husband at last could not restrain his anger,
and rushing out into the darkness with a knife, cut off the nose,
as he supposed, of his wife.

Presently the wife came back and found the old woman weeping in real
earnest over the loss of her nose. "Never mind, I'll find it and fix it
on for you," so saying she felt about for the nose till she found it,
clapped it on to the old woman's face and told her to hold it tight
and it would soon grow again. Then she sat down where she had sat
before and began to lament the cruelty of her husband in bringing a
false charge against her and challenged him to come out and see the
miracle which had occurred to indicate her innocence. She repeated
this so often that at last her husband began to wonder what she meant,
and took a lamp and went out to see. When he found her sitting on the
ground without a blemish on her face, although he had seen her with
his own eyes go to the Jugi's house, he could not doubt her virtue
and had to receive her back into the house.

Thus by her cunning the faithless wife escaped the punishment which
she deserved.



CIII. The Industrious Bride.

Once upon a time a party of three or four men went to a village to
see if a certain girl would make a suitable bride for the son of one
of their friends; and while they were talking to her, another young
woman came up. The visitors asked the first girl where her father
was and she told them that he had gone to "meet water."

Then they asked where her mother was, and she said that she had gone
"to make two men out of one." These answers puzzled the questioners,
and they did not know what more to say; as they stood silent the other
girl got up and went away remarking, "While I have been waiting here,
I might have carded a seer of cotton." The men who were looking for
a girl who would make a good wife, at once concluded that they had
found what they wanted: "How industrious she must be to talk like
that" thought they--"much better than this other girl who can only
give us incomprehensible answers." And before they left the village
they set everything in train for a match between their friend's son
and the girl who seemed so industrious.

When they got home and told their wives what they had done they
got well laughed at: their wives declared that it was quite easy to
understand what the first girl had meant: of course she meant that
her father had gone to reap thatching grass and her mother had gone
to thresh _dal_. The poor men only gaped with astonishment at this
explanation.

However the marriage they had arranged duly took place, but the fact
was that the bride was entirely ignorant of how to clean and spin
cotton. It was not long before this was found out, for, in the spring,
when there was no work in the fields, her father-in-law set all the
women of the household to spinning cotton; and told them that they
and their husbands should have no new clothes until they had finished
their task. The bride, who had been so carefully chosen, tried to learn
how to spin by watching the others, but all in vain. The other women
laughed at her efforts and she protested that it was the fault of the
spinning wheel: it did not know her; her mother's spinning wheel knew
her well and she could spin capitally with that. They jeered at the
idea of a spinning wheel having eyes and being able to recognise its
owner; however one day the young woman went and fetched her mother's
spinning wheel and tried to spin with that. She got on no better than
before, and could only explain it by saying that the spinning wheel
had forgotten her.

Whatever the reason was, the other women all finished their spinning
and received their new clothes, while she had nothing to show. Then her
father-in-law scolded her and told her that it was too late to make
other arrangements and as she could not get any new clothes the best
thing for her to do would be to smear her body with _Gur_ and stick
raw cotton all over it. A _parrab_ soon came round and all the other
women got out their new clothes and went to see the fun. The clumsy
bride had no new clothes and she took her father-in-law's advice and
smeared her body with _gur_ and covered herself with raw cotton and
so went to the _parrab_.

Her husband was very angry that she should have taken her
father-in-law's jest in earnest, and when she came home he gave her
a good beating and turned her out of the house. And that was the end
of the "industrious" bride.



CIV. The Boy and His Fate.

There was once a Raja and Rani who had had three sons, but they had
all died when only three or four months old. Then a fourth son was
born, a fine handsome child; and he did not die in infancy but grew
up to boyhood. It was however fated that he should die when he was
sixteen years old and his parents knew this and when they saw him
coming happily home from his games of play, their eyes filled with
tears at the thought of the fate that hung over him.

One day the boy asked his father and mother why it was that they were
so sorrowful: and they told him how his three little brothers had died
and how they feared that he had but little longer to live. On hearing
this the boy proposed that he should be allowed to go away into a
far country, as perhaps by this means he might avoid his fate. His
father was glad to catch at the faintest hope and readily gave his
consent: so they supplied him with money and mounted him on a horse,
and off he set.

He travelled far and settled down in a place that pleased him. But
in a short time the messengers of death came to the Raja's palace to
take him away. When they did not find him, they followed in pursuit
along the road which he had taken; they wore the likeness of men and
soon traced out the Raja's son. They presented themselves to him and
said that they had come to take him home again. The prince said that
he was ready to go, but asked them to allow him to cook and eat his
rice before starting. They told him that he might do this if he were
quick about it: he promised to hurry, and set to his cooking: he put
sufficient rice into the pot to feed them all and when it was ready
he offered some to each of the messengers. They consulted together
as to whether they should eat it, but their appetites got the better
of their caution and they agreed to do so, and made a good meal. But
directly they had finished they began to debate what they should do;
they had eaten his rice and could no longer compass his death.

So they told him frankly that Chando had sent them to call him;
he was to die that night and they were to take away his spirit; but
they had made the mistake of eating at his hands and although they
must take him away, they would give him advice as to how he might
save his life: he was to take a thin piece of lamp-wick and when
Chando questioned him, he was to put it up his nose and make himself
sneeze. The prince promised to remember this, and that night they
took his spirit away to Chando, but when Chando began to question
him he made himself sneeze with the lamp-wick; thereupon Chando at
once wrote that he should live for sixty years more and ordered the
messengers to immediately restore his spirit to its body. Then the
prince hastened back to his father and mother, and told them that he
had broken through his fate and had a long life before him; and they
had better make arrangements for his marriage at once. This they did
and he lived to a ripe old age, as he had been promised.



CV. The Messengers of Death.

There was once a Brahman who had four sons born to him, but they
all died young; a fifth son however was born to him, who grew up
to boyhood. But it was fated that he too should die before reaching
manhood. One day while his father was away from home, the messengers of
death came to take him away. The Brahman's wife thought that they were
three friends or relations of her husband, who had come to pay a visit,
and gave them a hearty welcome. And when she asked who they were,
they also told her that they were connections of her husband. Then
she asked them to have some dinner and they said that they would eat,
provided that she used no salt in the cooking. She promised not to
do, but what she did was to scatter some salt over the bottom of the
dish. Then she cooked the rice and turned it into the dish and gave
it to them to eat. They ate but when they came to the bottom of the
dish they tasted the salt which had been underneath. Then the three
messengers said "She has got the better of us; we have eaten her salt
and can no longer deceive her; we must tell her why we have come."

So they told her that her son was to die that night and that Chando
had sent them to take away his spirit: all they could do was to
let her come too, and see the place to which her son's spirit was
going. The mother thought that this would be a consolation to her,
so she went with them. When they arrived in the spirit world they
told the Brahman's wife to wait for them by a certain house in which
dwelt her son's wife; and they took the boy to Chando. Presently they
brought him back to the house in which his wife dwelt and near which
his mother was waiting and she overheard the following conversation
between the boy and his wife. The wife said "Have you come for good
this time, or must you again go back to the world?"

"I have to go back once more."

"And how will you manage to return again here?"

"I shall ask for the dust of April and May and if it is not given
to me I shall cry myself to death; and if that fails, I shall cry
for a toy winnowing fan; and if they give me that, then I will cry
for an elephant and if that fails then on my wedding day there will
be two thorns in the rice they give me to eat and they will stick
in my throat and kill me. And if that does not come to pass, then,
when I return home after the wedding, a leopard will kill a cow and
I shall run out to chase the leopard and I shall run after it, till
I run hither to you."

"When you come back," said his wife, "bring me some of the vermilion
they use in the world" and the boy promised.

The messengers then took the Brahman's wife home, and shortly
afterwards the boy was born again. His mother had carefully guarded
the memory of all that she had heard in the other world; and when
the child asked for the dust and the winnowing fan and the elephant,
she at once gratified his desires. So the boy grew up, and his wedding
day arrived. His mother insisted on accompanying him to the bride's
house, and when the rice was brought for the bride and bridegroom
to eat together, she asked to be allowed to look at it first, and on
examining it pulled out the the two thorns; and then her son ate it
unharmed. But when the wedding party returned home and the ceremony
of introducing the bride to the house was being performed, word
was brought that a leopard had killed one of the cows; at once the
bridegroom ran out in pursuit; but his mother followed him and called
out, "My son, your wife told you to take her some of the vermilion of
this world; here is some that I have brought, take it with you." At
this her son stopped and asked her to explain what she meant; then
she told him all and he went no more in pursuit of the leopard:
so he stayed and grew up and lived to a good old age.



CVI. The Speaking Crab.

There was once a farmer who kept a labourer and a field woman to do
the work of the farm; and they were both very industrious and worked
as if they were working on their own account and not for a master.

Once at the time of transplanting rice, they were so busy that they
stayed in the fields all day and had their meals there and did not
go home till the evening. During this time it happened that the man
had unyoked his plough bullocks and taking his hoe began to dress the
embankment of the field, and as he dug, he dug out a very large crab;
so he plucked some leaves from the bushes and wrapped the crab in
them and fetching the yoke rope from the plough, he tied the bundle
up tightly with it and put it on the stump of a tree, intending to
take it home in the evening; but when he went home he forgot about it.

Now the crab was alive and in the middle of the night it began to
struggle to get out, but could not free itself. It happened that just
then the farmer was walking in the field to see that no one came to
steal his rice seedlings, and the crab began to sing:--


    "This servant, this servant, father,
    And this maidservant, this maidservant, father,
    Caught me while digging the bank:
    And in leaves, leaves, father,
    With the yoke rope, yoke rope, father
    Tied me and left me on the stump."


At this sound the farmer was very frightened, and puzzled also;
for he thought, "If this were a human being crying, every one in
the neighbourhood would have heard and woke up, but it seems that
I alone am able to hear the sound; who can it be who is talking
about my servants?" So he went back to bed and told no one. The next
morning when the labourer looked for his yoke ropes, he missed one;
and then he remembered that he had used it to tie up the crab; so he
went to the place and found his rope. When his master brought them
their breakfast that day and they had finished eating, the labourer
began to tell how he had lost one of the yoke ropes and had found
it again: and how he had used it for tying up the crab which he had
found. The master asked whether the crab was alive or dead; and the
labourer said that it was dead.

Then the master said "My man you have done a very foolish thing;
why did you tie it up alive? Last night I could not sleep for its
crying. Why did you imprison the innocent creature until it died?" And
he told them the song it had sung, and forbade them ever to cause
such pain to living creatures. He said "Kill them outright or you will
bring disgrace on me; when I heard the lament I thought it was a man,
but now I learn from you that it was a crab. I forbid you ever to do
the like again." And at the time of the Sohrai festival the farmer
called together all his household and sang them the song and explained
its meaning to them, and the men who heard it remember it to this day.



CVII. The Leopard Outwitted.

There was once a man-eating leopard, whose depredations became so
serious, that the whole neighbouring population decided to have a
great hunt and kill it. On the day fixed a great crowd of beaters
collected, and their drums made a noise as if the world were being
turned upside down.

When the leopard heard the shouting and the drumming, it started to
escape to another jungle, and as it was crossing a road it came on
a merchant driving a packbullock. The merchant tried to run away,
but the leopard stopped him and said "You must hide me or I will eat
you." The merchant continued to run, thinking that if he helped the
leopard it would surely eat him afterwards, but the leopard swore an
oath not to eat him if he would only hide it. So the merchant stopped
and took one of his sacks off the bullock and emptied it out and tied
up the leopard in it, and put it on the bullock and then drove on.

When they got out of hearing of the hunters the leopard asked to be
let out; but directly the sack was untied it said that it would devour
the merchant. The merchant said "You can of course eat me, but let us
consult an arbitrator as to whether it is fair." The leopard agreed
and as they were near a stream, the man asked the water whether it was
fair that he should be killed, after he had saved the leopard's life;
the water answered "Yes; you men wash all manner of filthy things
in me; let it eat you!" Then the leopard wanted to eat him, but the
merchant asked leave to take two more opinions; so he asked a tree;
but the tree said "Men cut me down; let the leopard eat you."

The merchant was very downcast to find everyone against him and
the leopard said, "Well, whom will you consult next? You have so
many friends;" so they went on and presently met a jackal and the
merchant said that he would appeal to him. The jackal considered for
some time and then said "I don't understand how you hid the leopard;
let me see how it was done; and then I shall be able to decide," The
merchant said "I hid him in this sack." "Really," said the jackal,
"show me exactly how you did it" So the leopard got into the sack
to show how he was hidden; then the jackal asked to be shown how
the leopard was carried out of danger; so the merchant tied up the
sack and put it on the bullock. "Now," said the jackal, "drive on,
and when we come to yonder ravine and I tell you to put the sack down,
do you knock in the head of the leopard with a stone." And the merchant
did so and when he had killed the leopard, he took it out of the sack
and the jackal ate its body.



CVIII. The Wind and the Sun.

Once the Wind and the Sun disputed as to which was the more
powerful. And while they were quarreling a man came by wrapped
in a shawl and wearing a big _pagri_. And they said "It is no good
quarrelling; let us put our power to the test and see who can deprive
this man of the shawl he has wrapped round him." Then the Wind asked
to be allowed to try first and said "You will see that I will blow
away the blanket in no time," and the Sun said, "All right, you go
first." So the Wind began to blow hard; but the man only wrapped
his shawl more tightly round him to prevent its being blown away and
fastened it round himself with his _pagri_; and though the Wind blew
fit to blow the man away, it could not snatch the shawl from him;
so it gave up and the Sun had a try; he rose in the sky and blazed
with full force and soon the man began to drip with sweat; and he took
off his shawl and hung it on the stick he carried over his shoulder
and the Wind had to admit defeat.



CIX. The Coldest Season.

One winter day a bear and a tiger began to dispute as to which is
the coldest season of the year; the bear said July and August, which
is the rainy season, and the tiger said December and January, which
is the winter season. They argued and argued but could not convince
each other; for the bear with his long coat did not feel the cold of
winter but when he got soaked through in the rain he felt chilly.

At last they saw a man coming that way and called on him to
decide--"but have a care"--said the tiger--"if you give an opinion
favourable to the bear, I will eat you;" and the bear said "If you
side with the tiger, _I_ will eat you." At this the man was terror
stricken but an idea struck him and he made the tiger and the bear
promise not to eat him if he gave a fair decision and then he said
"It is not the winter which is the coldest, nor the rainy season which
is the coldest, but windy weather; if there is no wind no one feels
the cold much either in the winter or in the rainy season." And the
tiger and the bear said "You are right, we never thought of that"
and they let him go.



CHAPTER II

Part II.

To a people living in the jungles the wild animals are much more than
animals are to us. To the man who makes a clearing in the forest,
life is largely a struggle against the beasts of prey and the animals
who graze down the crops. It is but natural that he should credit
them with feelings and intelligence similar to those of human beings,
and that they should seem to him suitable characters around which to
weave stories.

These stories are likely to be particularly current among a people
occupying a forest country, and for this reason are less likely to
appear in collections made among the inhabitants of towns. It is a
strange coincidence and presumably only a coincidence that Story 118,
'The Hyena outwitted' is known in a precisely similar form among the
Kaffirs of South Africa.



CX. The Jackal and the Crow.

Once upon a time a crow and a jackal became bosom friends and they
agreed that the crow should support the jackal in the hot weather
and the jackal support the crow in the rainy season. By-and-bye the
jackal got discontented with the arrangement, and vowed that it would
not go on supporting an animal of another species, but would take
some opportunity of eating it up. But he did not let this appear,
and one day he invited the crow to a feast and gave him as many frogs
and grasshoppers as he could eat and treated him well and they parted
very affectionately.

Then a few days later the crow invited the jackal to dinner in
return; and when the jackal arrived the crow led him to an ant-hill
and showed him a hollow gourd which he had filled with live mice and
said "Here is your dinner." The jackal could not get his nose into
the hole of the gourd so, to get at the mice, he had to break it. And
the mice ran all over the place and the jackal jumped about here and
there trying to catch them. At this sight the crow stood and laughed;
and the jackal said to himself "Very well, my friend, you invited me
here to have a laugh at me; wait till I have finished with the mice;
then it will be your turn."

So when he had caught all the mice he could, he declared that he
had had as much as he could eat and would like to go and sleep off
his meal. As they said farewell and were salaaming to each other,
the jackal pounced on the crow and ate him up; not a bone or a claw
was left. Then the jackal began to skip with joy and sang:--


    "I ate a gourdful of mice
    And by the side of the ant-hill
    I ate the crow: Hurrah!"


And singing thus he went skipping homewards; and on the way he
met a fowl and called to it to get out of the way or he would eat
it,--singing:--


    "I ate a gourdful of mice
    And by the side of the ant-hill
    I ate the crow:--Hurrah!"


And as the fowl did not move he ate it up; then he skipped on and
came to a goat and he sang his verse and told it to get out of the
way and as it did not, he ate it; and in the same way he met and
killed a sheep and a cow and he ate the liver and lungs of the cow;
and then he killed a buffalo and ate its liver and lungs; and by this
time he was as full as he could hold. Then he came to a pool of water
and he called to it to get out of the way or he would drink it up and
as it did not move, he drank it dry. Then he came to a post and said
"Get out of my way or I will jump over you"--


    "I ate a gourdful of mice
    And by the side of the ant-hill
    I ate the crow--Hurrah!"


And so saying he tried to jump over it; but he was so full of what
he had eaten and drunk that he leaped short and fell on the point of
the stake and was transfixed, so that he died.



CXI. The Tiger Cub and the Calf.

A Tigress and a Cow used to graze in a dense jungle, and they were
both with young. They became great friends and agreed that they
would marry their children to each other. In the course of time the
tigress gave birth to a she-cub and the cow to a bull-calf. They kept
the young ones in the same place and used to go and graze together,
and then return at the same time to suckle their young. On their way
back they used to drink at a certain river, the tigress up the stream
and the cow lower down. One day it happened that the cow got first
to the river and drank at the upper drinking place, and the tigress
drank lower down. And the froth from the cow's mouth floated down the
stream and the tigress tasted it and found it nice, and this made her
think that the flesh of the cow must also be good; so she resolved to
eat the cow one day. The cow saw what was in the mind of the tigress
and she left some of her milk in a bowl, and said to her calf:
"The tigress has resolved to eat me; watch this milk and when you
see it turn red like blood, you will know that I have been killed;"
then she went off to graze with the tigress.

The two youngsters always used to play together very happily but
that day the calf would not play but kept going to look at the bowl
of milk; and the tigress cub asked the reason. The calf told her
what his mother had said; then the tigress cub said that if this
happened she would never suck from her mother again and it would
be better for them both to run away. So the two kept going to look
at the bowl of milk, and about midday they saw that it had changed
to blood and they both began to weep. Shortly after, the tigress
came back, and flies were clustered round her mouth because of the
blood on it. The tigress told her daughter to come and suck, but she
said that she would wait till the cow came and then she and the calf
could have their meal together as usual; at this the tigress frowned
terribly and the cub was frightened, so she said, "Very well, mother,
I will suck, but first go and wash your mouth; why are the flies
clustered round it?" So the tigress went off but she did not wash,
she only ate some more of the cow. While she was away, the calf and
the cub ran off to another jungle, and when the tigress came back,
she searched for them with horrid roarings and could not find them,
and if she had found them she would have killed them.



CXII. The Jackal and the Chickens.

Once upon a time a jackal and a hen were great friends and regarded
each other as brother and sister; and they agreed to have a feast to
celebrate their friendship; so they both brewed rice beer and they
first drank at the jackal's house and then went to the hen's house;
and there they drank so much that the hen got blind drunk, and while
she lay intoxicated the jackal ate her up. The jackal found the flesh
so nice that he made up his mind to eat the hen's chickens too; so
the next day he went to their house and found them all crying "Cheep,
cheep," and he asked what was the matter; they said that they had lost
their mother; he told them to cheer up and asked where they slept;
they told him 'on the shelf in the wall'.

Then he went away; but the chickens saw that he meant to come and eat
them at night, so they did not go to sleep on the shelf but filled
it with razors and knives and when the jackal came at night and felt
about the shelf he got badly cut and ran away screaming.

But a few day later he paid another visit to the chickens, and condoled
with them on the loss of their mother and again asked where they slept,
and they told him, 'in the fireplace.' Directly the jackal was gone,
they filled the stove with live embers and covered them up with ashes;
and went to sleep themselves inside a drum. At night the jackal
came and put his paws into the fireplace; but he only scraped the
hot embers up against his belly and got burnt; this made him scream
and the chickens burst out laughing. The jackal heard them and said
"You have got me burnt; now I am going to eat you." They said, "Yes,
uncle, but please eat us outside the house; you did not eat our mother
in her own house; take us to yonder flat rock."

So the jackal took up the drum but when he got to the rock he
accidentally let it fall and it broke and the chickens ran away in
all directions; but the chicken that had been at the bottom of the
drum had got covered with the droppings of the others and could not
fly away; so the jackal thought "Well it is the will of heaven that
I should have only one chicken; it is doubtless for the best!" The
chicken said to the jackal, "I see that you will eat me, but you
cannot eat me in this state; wash me clean first."

So the jackal took the chicken to a pool and washed it; then the
chicken asked to be allowed to get a little dry; but the jackal said
that if it got dry it would fly away. "Then," said the chicken, "rub
me dry with your snout and I will myself tell you when I am ready to
be eaten;" so the jackal rubbed it dry and then proceeded to eat it;
but directly the jackal got it in his mouth it voided there, so the
jackal spat it out and it flew away.

The jackal thought that it had gone into a hole in a white ant-hill,
but really it had hidden elsewhere; however the jackal felt for it
in the hole and then tried in vain to scrape the hole larger; as he
could not get into the hole he determined to sit and wait till hunger
or suffocation forced the chicken to come out. So he sat and watched,
and he sat so long that the white ants ate off his hind quarters;
at last he gave up and went off to the rice fields to look for fish
and crabs. There he saw an old woman catching fish, and he asked
to be allowed to help her. So the old woman sat on the bank and the
jackal jumped and twisted about in the water and presently he caught
a _potha_ fish which he ate; but as the jackal had no hind quarters
the fish passed through him none the worse. Soon the jackal caught the
same fish over again, and he laughed at the old woman because she had
caught none. She told him that he was catching the same fish over and
over again, and when he would not believe her she told him to mark with
a thorn the next one which he caught; he did so and then found that
he really was catching and eating the same fish over and over again.

At this he was much upset and asked what he should do. The old woman
advised him to go to a cobbler and get patched up; so he went and
killed a fowl and took it to a cobbler and offered it to him if he
would put him to rights; so the cobbler sewed on a leather patch
with a long leather tail which rapped on the ground as the jackal
went along. Then the jackal went to a village to steal fowls and he
danced along with his tail tapping, and sang:


    "Now the Moghul cavalry are coming
    And the Koenda Rajas.
    Run away or they will utterly destroy you."


And when the villagers heard this they all ran away and the jackal
entered the village and killed as many fowls as he wanted.

A few days later he went again to the village and frightened away the
villagers as before; but one old woman was too feeble to run away and
she hid in a pig sty, and one fowl that the jackal chased, ran into
this sty and the jackal followed it, and when he saw the old woman,
he told her to catch the fowl for him or he would knock her teeth out;
but she told him to catch it himself; so he caught and ate it. Then
he said to the old woman. Say "Toyo" (jackal) and she said "Toyo;"
then he took a currypounder and knocked all her teeth out and told
her again to say "Toyo;" but as she had no teeth she said "Hoyo;"
this amused the jackal immensely and he went away laughing.

When the villagers returned, the old woman told them that it was only
a jackal who had attacked the village, so they decided to kill him;
but one man said "You won't be able to catch him; let us make an image
of this old woman and cover it with birdlime and set it up at the end
of the village street; he will stop and abuse her, and we shall know
where he is." So they did this, and the next morning, when the jackal
came singing along the road, they hid inside their houses. When the
jackal reached the village, he saw the figure of the old woman with
its arms stretched out, and he said to it, "What are you blocking
my road for? get out of the way; I knocked your teeth out yesterday:
arn't you afraid? Get out of the way or I will kick you out."

As the figure did not move he gave it a kick and his leg was caught
in the birdlime; then he said, "Let me go, you old hag, or I will
give you a slap." Then he gave it a slap and his front paw was stuck
fast; then he slapped at it with his other paw and that stuck; then
he tried to bite the figure and his jaws got caught also; and when
he was thus helpless the villagers came out and beat him to death
and that was the end of the jackal.



CXIII. The Jackal Punished.

Once a hen and a jackal were great friends, and they decided to
have a feast and each brewed beer for the occasion; the hen brewed
with rice, and maize and millet and the jackal brewed with lizards,
locusts, frogs and fish. And when the brew was ready, they first
went to the jackal's house, but the hen could not touch his beer,
it smelt so bad and the jackal drank it all; then they went to the
hen's house and her beer was very nice and they both drank till the
hen got very drunk and began to stagger about; and the jackal made
up his mind that the hen must be very nice to eat, as her beer was
so good to drink and when he saw her drunk he was delighted and sang:


    "Fowl, do not graze in the field!
    The jackal laughs to see you.
    Paddy bird, do not fish in the pond!
    You pecked a piece of sedge thinking it was a frog's leg!
    Do not drink rice beer, O fowl!
    The jackal laughs to see you.


And so saying he gobbled her up; and her chickens cried at the
sight. Then the jackal resolved to eat the chickens also, so he came
back the next day, and asked them where they slept and they said
"In the hearth." But when the jackal had gone, the chickens planned
how they should save their lives.

Their mother had laid an egg and as there was no one to hatch it now,
they said, "Egg, you must lie in the fireplace and blind the jackal;"
and they said to the paddy husker, "You must stand by the door and
when the jackal runs out you must knock him down;" and they told the
paddy mortar to wait on the roof over the door and fall and crush
the jackal. So they put the egg among the hot ashes in the fireplace
and they themselves sat in a cupboard with axes ready; and when the
jackal came he went to the fireplace and scratched out the ashes;
and the egg burst and spirted into his eyes and blinded him and as
he ran out of the door the paddy husker knocked him over; and as he
crawled away the paddy mortar fell on him from the roof and crushed
him; then the chickens ran out and chopped him to pieces with their
axes and revenged the death of their mother.



CXIV. The Tigers and the Cat.

In former days tigers and cats were friends and used to hunt together
and share the game they caught; and they did not eat the game raw
but used to cook it as men do.

One day some tigers and a cat had killed a deer and they had no fire
with which to cook it; then the tigers said to the cat "You are small,
go and beg a light from yonder village." But the cat said that he was
afraid to go; however they urged him saying "You have a thin tail and
plump feet; you can bring it in a trice." So, as they all insisted on
his going, he at last consented; and said "Well, I will go; but don't
expect me to be very quick; if I get a good opportunity for fetching
the fire, I will come back soon." They said "All right, go and run
off with a small fire-brand and we will meet you outside the village."

So the cat went off and coming to a house, went inside to pull a
firebrand from the hearth. On the fire some milk was boiling; and
the cat thought "This smells very nice, I will have a taste of it"
and he found it so nice that he made up his mind to drink it all,
before he took away the fire-brand. But in order to lap the milk
he had to put his feet on the fireplace, and it was so hot that he
burnt his feet and had to get down; so then he sat down and waited
till the fire went out and the hearth grew cool, and then he lapped
up the milk and ran off with a piece of smouldering wood.

Meanwhile the tigers had got tired of waiting and had eaten the deer
raw; and they were very angry at being made to eat raw flesh and swore
that they would eat the cat too. When they saw the cat bringing the
fire they ran to meet him and abused him and cried out "You have made
us eat raw flesh; we will eat you too, dung and all" On hearing this
threat the cat ran back to the village in fear of his life; and the
tigers followed in pursuit; but when they got near the village, the
village dogs all ran out barking and the tigers were frightened and
turned back and the cat was saved. From that day tigers and leopards
have eaten raw flesh; and cats bury their excrement, because of what
the tigers had said.

Every day the tigers went to the village in search of the cat; but when
the dogs barked they slunk away; for the tigers were very frightened
at the sight of the dogs' curly tails; they thought that the tails
were nooses and that they would be strangled by them. One day one
of the tigers met a jackal and called to him "Nephew, listen to me;
a cat made us eat raw flesh and has escaped into this village and I
want to catch it, but the dogs come barking at me. I don't mind that,
but I am very frightened of their nooses. Now, you are very like a
dog, cannot you go and tell them not to use their nooses." The jackal
answered, "Uncle, you are quite mistaken; what you see are their tails,
not nooses; they will not strangle you with them." So the tiger took
courage and the next day went to the village to hunt for the cat,
but he could not find it. And when the dogs barked he got angry and
caught and killed one of them; and from that time tigers and leopards
eat dogs.



CXV. The Elephant and the Ants.

In the days of old there was a great deal more jungle than there is
now, and wild elephants were very numerous; once upon a time a red ant
and a black ant were burrowing in the ground, when a wild elephant
appeared and said "Why are you burrowing here; I will trample all
your work to pieces;" the ants answered "Why do you talk like this;
do not despise us because we are small; perhaps we are better than
you in some ways;" The elephant said "Do not talk nonsense: there is
nothing at which you could beat me; I am in all ways the largest and
most powerful animal on the face of the earth." Then the ants said
"Well, let us run a race and see who will win, unless you win we
will not admit that you are supreme." At this the elephant got into
a rage and shouted; "Well, come we will start at once," and it set
off to run with all its might and when it got tired it looked down
at the ground and there were two ants. So it started off again and
when it stopped and looked down, there on the ground were two ants;
so it ran on again, but wherever it stopped it saw the ants, and at
last it ran so far that it dropped down dead from exhaustion.

Now it is a saying that ants are more numerous in this world than
any other kind of living creature; and what happened was that the
two ants never ran at all, but stayed where they were; but whenever
the elephant looked at the ground, it saw some ants running about
and thought that they were the first two, and so ran itself to death.

This story teaches us not to despise the poor man, because one day
he may have an opportunity to put us to shame.

From this story of the elephant we should learn this lesson; the
Creator knows why He made some animals big and some small and why
He made some men fools; so we should neither bully nor cheat men who
happen to be born stupid.



CXVI. A Fox and His Wife.

Once upon a time there were a fox and his wife who lived in a hole with
their five little ones. Every evening the two foxes used to make their
way to a bazar to feed on the scraps thrown away by the bazar people;
and every night on their way home the following conversation passed
between them. The fox would say to his wife, "Come tell me how much
wit you have," and she would answer him by, "Only so much as would
fill a small vegetable basket." Then she in her turn would ask "And
how much wit have you?" "As much as would load twelve buffaloes."

One night as they were on their way home as usual, the two suddenly
found themselves face to face with a tiger, who greeted them by saying
"At last my friends, I have got you."

At this the fox for all his wit, could not utter a word but crouched
down and shook with fright. Mrs Fox however was not at all inclined
to give way to despair. She saluted the tiger and said "Ah, uncle,
do not eat us up just now; I and my husband have a dispute and we want
you to settle it for us." The tiger was mollified by being addressed by
so respectful a name as uncle, and answered in a gentler voice "Well,
my niece, tell me what is the point and I will decide it for you."

"It is this," went on Mrs. Fox, "we have five children and we wish
to divide them between us but we cannot decide how to do so; I say
that I will take three and leave him two; while he wants to take
three and leave me two. We came out to look for some man to settle
the dispute but have not met one: and now providentially you have
appeared before us like a god; no doubt you will be able to make the
division for us." The tiger reflected that if he managed things well,
he would be able to eat not only the two foxes but their young ones
as well, so he graciously agreed to make the division.

The foxes then invited him to come back with them to the hole in which
they lived, and when they reached it, Mr. Fox bolted into it saying
that he was going to bring out the children. As however he did not come
out again, Mrs. Fox said that it was clear that he could not manage the
children by himself, and she would go and help; and thereupon proceeded
to back into the hole, keeping her face turned towards the tiger.

Seeing her disappearing the tiger thought to seize her, but as she kept
her eyes on him he could only say "Hullo, what is the matter? Why are
you going in backwards?" "Oh, uncle," replied Mrs. Fox, "how could
I turn my back on so great a personage as you?" and with that she
disappeared. Presently the tiger heard the two foxes calling out from
inside "Goodbye, uncle, you can go away now; we have arranged how to
divide the children ourselves." Then he saw how he had been fooled
and flew into a terrible rage and tried to squeeze his way into the
hole; but it was much too small and at last he had to go away baffled:
and so the foxes were saved by Mrs. Fox's wit.



CXVII. The Jackal and the Crocodiles.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had an only son. As the boy grew
up his father sent him to a school to learn to read and write. One
day on his way back from school, the boy sat down by the road side to
rest, and placed his school books on the ground by his side. Suddenly
a jackal came along and snatched up the bundle of books and ran away
with it; and though the boy ran after it, he failed to catch the jackal
and had to go and tell his father how he had lost his school books. The
Raja told him not to mind, as it was a very good omen and meant that
he would grow up as clever as a jackal; and so the matter ended as far
as the boy was concerned; and his father bought him a new set of books.

But the jackal ran off to the side of a tank and taking a book from
the bundle sat down and began to read it aloud. He kept on saying over
and over again "Ibor, obor, iakoro sotro" "Ibor obor iakoro sotro."

Hearing the noise a crocodile who lived in the tank poked his head
out of the water and began "Well, nephew, what is that you are
repeating?" "I am only reading a book, uncle."

"What, nephew, do you know how to read and write?"

"Yes, certainly I do," answered the jackal.

"In that case," returned the crocodile "would you mind teaching my
five children?" The jackal was quite willing to be their master, but
a difficulty struck the crocodile; the jackal lived on high land, and
the little crocodiles could not go so far from the water. The jackal
at once suggested a way out of the difficulty: "Let the crocodile
dig a little pool near where the jackal lived and put the children
into it. Then the jackal could take the little crocodiles out of it
when he was giving them their lessons and put them back again when
they had finished." So it was arranged, and in two or three days the
crocodile dug the pool and the jackal began the lessons.

Each morning the jackal took the five little crocodiles out of the
water and told them to repeat after him what he said, and then he began
"Ibor obor iakoro sotro" "Ibor obor iakoro sotro." But try as they
might the little crocodiles could not pronounce the words properly;
then the jackal lost his temper and cuffed them soundly. In spite of
this they still showed no signs of improvement, till at last the jackal
made up his mind that he could not go on with such unsatisfactory
pupils, and that the best thing he could do would be to eat them up
one at a time. So the next morning he addressed the little crocodiles,
"I see that you can't learn, when I take you in class all together: in
future I will have you up one at a time and teach you like that." So
he took one out of the water and began to teach it; but the little
crocodile could not pronounce its words properly, so in a very short
time the jackal got angry and gobbled it up. The next day he took out
another, which soon met the same fate as its brother; and so things
went on till the jackal had eaten four out of the five.

When there was only one left, the crocodile came to see how the lessons
were getting on. The sight of him put the jackal in a terrible fright;
but he answered the crocodile that the children were making very fair
progress. "Well, I want to see them. Come along and let us have a
look at them."

This was awkward for the jackal, but his wits did not desert him;
he ran on ahead to the pool and going into the water, caught the one
little crocodile which remained, and held it up, saying "See here is
one." Then he popped it under the water and brought it up again and
said "See, here's another" and this he did five times and persuaded
the crocodile that he had seen his five children.

The crocodile pretended to be satisfied but he was not quite easy in
his mind and would have preferred to see all the five little ones
at once. However, he said nothing, but made up his mind to watch
the jackal; so the next day he hid himself and waited to see what
happened. He saw the jackal take the little crocodile out of the water
and begin the lesson--"Ibor obor iakoro." Then when the unfortunate
pupil still failed to pronounce the words, the jackal began to give
it cuffs and blows. At this sight the crocodile ran forward and
caught the jackal, crying out "Show me my other four little ones;
is this the way you treat my children?" The jackal had no answer to
give and the crocodile soon put an end to his life and took back his
one remaining child to the tank where he lived.



CXVIII. The Bullfrog and the Crab.

There was a Raja who had no head and there was a Tiger who had no
tail. One day they met in a nullah. "Here's a fine dinner for me"
said the Tiger. "Here's a fine dinner for me!" said the Raja. At
this retort the Tiger's courage oozed away; and he did not dare to go
any nearer; but he called out "Well, if I am to be your dinner, come
and catch me:" and the Raja called out "If I am to be your dinner,
come and catch me." So they stood challenging each other, but neither
took a step forward. Then the Tiger became abusive and called out,
"What have you done with your head?" the Raja retorted "What is a tiger
without a tail? You also are short of a member. I may have no head
but I have more legs than you." The Tiger could think of no retort
to make to this and so said "Come, don't let us quarrel any more;
let us be friends; I live near here, where do you live?"

"My home is also near here."

"Then we are neighbours: there is no reason why we should be enemies."

"Who knows what you are at?" answered the Raja: "for you are
pretending that you cannot see aright, but it is quite true that we
are neighbours." "You are right," said the other, "I admit that I
did wrong, and I bow down before you." So they saluted each other and
the Tiger said "Let's have a song to show what good friends we are:
and he sang (to the rice planting tune):


    "The Frog King and the Frog Queen
    Sat at their front door.
    The Frog King's marriage is going on:
    Look, my master!
    The Frog King and the Frog Queen!
    The Frog King's marriage is going on."



CXIX. The Hyaena Outwitted.

Once upon a time there was a great tiger who lived in a forest;
and all the other animals that lived in the forest treated him as
their Raja, down to the very birds. They all felt safe under his
protection, because he was so much feared that no men dared hunt in
that forest. One day it happened that this Raja tiger killed a man
and made such a enormous meal on the flesh, that he got very bad
indigestion. The pain grew worse and worse, till he felt sure that
his last hour was come.

In his agony he sent for a hyaena and offered to make him his _dewan_,
if only he would call all the other animals of the forest to come
and pay a farewell visit to their lord. The hyaena readily agreed
but thought it would be better to send another messenger, while
he stayed by the tiger to see that all the animals duly presented
themselves. Just then a crow flew overhead; so they called him and
deputed him to summon all the animals.

The crow flew off and in a short time all the animals assembled before
the tiger and paid their respects to him and expressed wishes for his
speedy recovery;--all except the jackals. They had been summoned along
with the others; but somehow they paid no attention and only remembered
about it in the afternoon. Then they were very frightened as to what
would be the consequence of their remissness; but one chief jackal
stood up and told them not to fear, as he would contrive a way of
getting the better of the hyaena. There was nothing else to be done,
so they had to put what trust they could in their chief and follow
him to the Tiger.

On his way the chief jackal picked up a few roots, and took them with
him. When they reached the place where the suffering monarch lay,
the hyaena at once began to abuse them for being late, and the Tiger
also angrily asked why they had not come before; then the chief jackal
began humbly "O Maharaja, we were duly summoned; your messenger is not
to blame; but we reflected that it was useless merely to go and look at
you when you were so ill: that could do you no good; so we bestirred
ourselves to try and find some medicine that would cure you. We have
searched the length and breadth of the jungle and have found all that
is necessary, except one thing and that we have failed to find." "Tell
me what it is," said the hyaena, "and I will at once despatch all
these animals to look for it and it will surely be found." "Yes,"
echoed the tiger, "what is it?" "Maharaja," said the jackal, "when you
take these medicines, you must lie down on the fresh skin of a hyaena,
which has been flayed alive; but the only hyaena we can find in the
forest is your _dewan_" "The world can well bear the loss of one
hyaena," said the Tiger: "take him and skin him." At these words all
the animals set upon the hyaena and flayed him alive; and the tiger
lay down on the skin and took the medicines brought by the jackal;
and as he was not seriously ill, his pain soon began to pass away.

"That is a lesson to the hyaena not to scold us and get us into
trouble," said the jackal, as he went home.



CXX. The Crow and the Egret.

A crow and a white egret once made their nests in the same tree,
and when the nestlings began to grow up the crow saw how pretty and
white the young egrets were, and thought them much nicer than her
own black young ones. So one day when the egret was away, the crow
changed the nestlings and brought the little white egrets, to her
own nest. When the mother egret returned and found the ugly little
black crows in her own nest, it did not take her long to see what
had happened and she at once taxed the crow with the theft. The crow
denied all knowledge of the matter and a fine quarrel ensued.

Quarrelling led to nothing and they agreed to refer the dispute
to the decision of a money-lender, whose house stood by the tree
in which the two nests were. The crow, as the less shy of the two,
flew down and asked the money-lender to come out and settle their
dispute. The first question the money-lender asked was what they were
going to give him. The egret promised to catch him a fine _rohu_ fish,
which was what she was accustomed to eat, but the crow said that she
would give him a golden necklace. The money-lender said that the fees
must be brought first before he heard the case, so the egret flew off
and caught a big fish, but the crow went to where a Raja was bathing
and carried off the gold chain which the Raja had left on the bank
of the river. The money-lender then gave his decision, which was in
favour of the party who had given him the most valuable present;
he decided that the young birds must stay where they were. "But,"
protested the egret "how have my white nestlings become black?" "That
is quite natural" answered the money-lender, "a white cow may have a
black or brown calf: why should not you have black young ones?" And
so saying he drove them away.

The poor egret was not at all content with this unjust decision,
and was about to renew the quarrel, when a jackal came racing by;
it had just made its escape from some hunters. "Where are you off to
so fast, uncle?" called out the egret. "I am in arrears with my rent
and am hurrying to pay it to the Raja," answered the jackal. "Stay and
listen to my grievance," begged the egret, and she told the jackal all
that had happened and how the money-lender had let himself be bribed
by the gold necklace. The jackal was very indignant, "A man who could
give a decision like that would call a buffalo, a bullock or a pig,
a sheep. It is no decision at all; I cannot stop now, but I will come
back to-morrow and decide the matter for you and before doing so,
I will stuff the mouth of that unjust judge with filth." So saying
the jackal hurried off.

The money-lender heard all that passed and was filled with shame at
having earned the contempt of the jackal; he feared more disgrace on
the morrow, so he at once called the crow and made her return the
egret's nestlings, and the next morning when the jackal came back
it found that everything had been settled to the satisfaction of
the egret.



CXXI. The Jackal and the Hare.

A jackal and a hare were sworn friends. One day they planned to have
a dinner of rice cooked with milk. So the hare crouched down under a
bush which grew by the side of a road leading to a busy market; and
the jackal stayed watching a little way off. Presently some men came
along, taking rice to sell at the market. When they saw the hare by
the side of the road, they put down their baskets of rice and ran to
catch the hare. He led them a long chase, and then escaped. Meanwhile
the jackal carried off as much of the unguarded rice as he wanted. By
the same trick they got hold of milk, and firewood, and a cooking pot,
and some leaf plates; Thus they had everything necessary for the meal
except fire.

So the jackal ran off to a village and went to the house of a poor old
woman who was pounding dried plum fruit into meal, and asked her for
a light "Go into the house and take a brand from the fire yourself"
said the old woman: "No" said the jackal "you go and get it; and I
will pound your meal for you, while you are away." So the old woman
went into the house; and while she was away the jackal put filth into
the mortar and covered it up with meal. Then he took away the lighted
brand, and after he had gone the old woman found that all her meal
was spoilt.

Then the jackal cooked their rice and milk and when it was ready,
they began to discuss which should first go and bathe, before they
began to eat. At last the jackal went off; he hurried over his bath
and came back as quickly as possible. Then the hare went, and he
spent a long time having a thorough bath. While the hare was away,
the jackal ate as much of the rice as he wanted and then filled the
pot with filth and covered it over with rice. When the hare came
back, they debated which should help the rice. At last they agreed
that the hare should do so; but when the hare had taken out a little
rice he found the pot full of filth. "So it is for this that I took
all the trouble to get the provisions for our meal" cried the hare;
and threw the contents of the pot over the jackal and drove him away.

The jackal went off and made a drum, and every day he sat in the sun
beneath a bank and played the drum. The hare heard the sound and one
day he went to the jackal and asked to be allowed to play the drum. The
jackal handed it over but the hare beat it and shook it so vigorously
that at last it was smashed to pieces. Then the hare ran away.



CXXII. The Brave Jackal.

Once upon a time a he-goat ran away for fear of being slaughtered and
took refuge in a leopard's cave. When the leopard came back to the
cave the goat called out "Hum Pakpak," and the leopard ran away in
a fright. Presently it met a jackal and called out "Ah! my sister's
son, some fearful animal has occupied my house!" "What is it like,
uncle?" asked the jackal "It has a wisp of hemp tied to its chin,"
answered the leopard: "I am not afraid, uncle," boasted the jackal,
"I have eaten many animals like that, bones and all." So they tied
their tails together and went back to the leopard's cave. When the
two drew near the goat stood up: and the leopard said "This morning
he called out something dreadful at me." At this they both fled,
and in their struggles to separate all the hair on the jackal's
tail was scraped off and the jackal called out "Alas, alas! Uncle,
you have scraped off all my skin!"



CXXIII. The Jackal and the Leopards.

Once upon a time a leopard and a leopardess were living with their
cubs; and when the parents were away a jackal used to go to the cubs
and say "If you won't pay up the paddy you owe, give me something on
account." And the cubs gave him all the meat which their parents had
brought; and as this happened every day the cubs began to starve. The
leopard asked why they looked so thin although he brought them lots of
game and the cubs explained that they had to give up all their food to
the jackal from whom he had borrowed paddy. So the leopard lay in wait
and when the jackal came again to beg of the cubs he chased him. The
jackal ran away and hid in a crack in the ground; the leopard tried
to follow and got stuck in the crack and was squeezed to death. The
jackal came out and kicked the dead body, crying "I see you lying in
wait for me."

Now the jackal wore silk shoes and a silk dhoti and he went back to
the leopard's family and asked who would look after them now the
leopard was dead. They said that they would live with him; so the
jackal stayed there and they all went hunting deer. The jackal lay in
wait and the leopards drove the game to him. But when the deer came
out, the jackal was too frightened to attack them and climbed to the
top of an ant-hill to be out of the way. So when the leopards came
up they found that the jackal had killed nothing. But the jackal only
complained that they had not driven the deer in the right direction. So
the next day the leopardess lay in wait and the jackal and the cubs
beat the jungle; when they came up they found that the leopardess
had killed a fine deer. "Now," said the jackal "let me first offer
the game as a sacrifice to the spirit of our dead leopard;" so saying
he tried to bite a hole in the deer but the skin was too tough. So
he made the leopardess tear the skin and then he pushed inside the
carcase and ate up all the entrails. When he had had as much as he
could eat he came out and let the leopards begin their meal.

Another day they wished to cross a flooded river. The young leopards
offered to carry the jackal over on their shoulders but the jackal was
too proud to allow this. So the leopards all jumped across the stream
safely but when the jackal tried he fell into the middle of the water
and was carried away down stream. Lower down a crocodile was lying on
the bank sunning itself "Pull me out, pull me out!" called the jackal
"and I will bring you some fat venison." So the crocodile pulled him
out. "Now open your mouth and shut your eyes" said the jackal and when
the crocodile obeyed he popped a large stone into its jaws and ran
away. This made the crocodile very angry and it vowed to be revenged.

The jackal used to go every day to a certain tank to drink: and to
reach the water he used to sit on the root of an _arjun_ tree which
projected from the bank. The crocodile observed this habit and one
day lay in wait under the water by the _arjun_ tree and when the
jackal came to drink caught him by the leg. The jackal did not lose
his presence of mind but called out "What a fool of a crocodile to
catch hold of the root of the tree instead of my leg." On hearing
this the crocodile let go its hold and the jackal laughed and ran away.

Every day the jackal used to lie in the sun on the top of a stack of
straw. The crocodile found this out and buried itself in the straw
and waited for the jackal. That day it happened that the jackal found
a sheep-bell and tied it round his neck so that it tinkled as he
ran. When it heard the bell the crocodile said "What a bother! I am
waiting for the jackal and here comes a sheep tinkling its bell." The
jackal heard the crocodile's exclamation and so detected the trick;
he at once went and fetched a light and set fire to the heap of straw
and the crocodile was burnt to death.



CXXIV. The Fool and His Dinner.

A man once went to visit his mother-in-law and for dinner they gave
him rice with a relish made of young bamboo shoots. The man liked it
extremely and thought that it was meat, but he saw no pieces of meat;
so he asked his mother-in-law what it was made of; and behind him was
a door made of bamboos: so the mother-in-law said, "I have cooked
that which is behind you;" and he looked round and saw the door;
so he resolved to carry off the door, as it made such good eating,
and in the middle of the night he took it off the hinges and ran away
with it. In the morning the door was missed and the mother-in-law
guessed what had happened and had a hearty laugh.

Meanwhile the man went home with the door and chopped it up and gave
the pieces to his wife to cook; the wife said that it was useless
to cook dry chips but he insisted and said that her mother had made
a beautiful dish of them. So they were cooked and the man sat down
to eat; but they were all hard and tasteless; then he scolded his
wife and she told him to cook them himself if he was not pleased;
so he cooked some himself and the result was the same; and his wife
laughed at him and when the villagers heard of it they nicknamed him
"Silly", and used to call the name after him when they met him.



CXXV. The Stingy Daughter.

Once a man went to visit his married daughter: he intended to arrive
in time for dinner; so though he passed some edible herbs on the way
he did not stop to eat them.

When he arrived he was duly welcomed and after some conversation he
told his daughter that he must return the same day; she said "All
right, but wait till it gets hot." (The father understood this to be
a metaphorical way of saying "Wait till the dinner is cooked.") But
the daughter was determined not to cook the rice while her father was
there: so they sat talking and when the sun was high the daughter
went into the yard and felt the ground with her foot and finding
it scorching she said "Now father, it is time for you to be going:
it has got hot" Then the old man understood that she was not going
to give him his dinner. So he took his stick and got up to go.

Now the son-in-law was a great hunter and that day he had killed
and brought home a peacock; as he was leaving, the father said "My
daughter, if your husband ever brings home a peacock I advise you
to cook it with mowah oil cake; that makes it taste very nice." So
directly her father had gone, the woman set to work and cooked
the peacock with mowah oil cake; but when her husband and children
began to eat it they found it horribly bitter and she herself tasted
it and found it uneatable; then she told them that her father had
made fun of her and made her spoil all the meat. Her husband asked
whether she had cooked rice for her father; and when she said "No"
he said that this was the way in which he had punished her; he had
had nothing to eat and so he had prevented their having any either;
she should entertain all visitors and especially her father. So they
threw away the meat and had no dinner.



CXXVI. The Backwards and Forwards Dance.

There was once a Santal who owed money to a money-lender: the lender
went to dun him every day but as he had nothing to pay with he used
to hide in the jungle and as he had no warm clothes he used to light a
fire to warm himself by; and when the fire was low he would sit near it
and when it blazed up he would move back from it. When the money-lender
asked the man's wife where he was, she always replied "He is dancing
the 'Backwards and Forwards' dance." The money-lender got curious
about this; and said that he would like to learn the dance. So one
evening the Santal met him and offered to teach him the dance but,
he said he must be paid and what would the money-lender give? The
money-lender said that he would give any thing that was asked; so the
Santal called two witnesses and before them the money-lender promised
that if the Santal taught him the dance he would let him off his debt.

The next morning the Santal took the money-lender to the jungle and
told him to take off his clothes as they would dance with only loin
cloths on; then he lit a heap of straw and they sat by it warming
themselves; and he purposely made only a small fire at first. Then
the money-lender asked when they were going to begin to dance but the
Santal said "Let us warm ourselves first, I am very cold," so saying he
piled on more straw and as the fire blazed up they moved away from it;
and when it sank they drew nearer again. While this was going on the
two witnesses came up and the money-lender began to object that he was
not being taught to dance; but the Santal said, "What more do you want;
don't you keep moving backwards and forwards in front of the fire? This
is the 'Backwards and Forwards' dance." Seeing how he had been tricked
the money-lender was much upset and he appealed to the witnesses, but
they decided against him; and he went home crying and lost his money.



CXXVII. The Deaf Family.

Formerly Santals were very stupid and much afraid of Hindus; and once
a Santal was ploughing at a place where two roads met and a Hindu
came along and asked him, in Hindi, where the two roads went to; now
the Santal did not understand Hindi and was also deaf and he thought
that the Hindu said "These two bullocks are mine,"--and he answered
"When did I take your bullocks?" The Hindu sat down and repeated his
question; but the Santal did not understand and continued to assert
that the bullocks were his and were named Rice eater and Jaituk [2]
and had formed part of his wife's dowry; the Hindu kept on asking
about the roads and at last the Santal got frightened and thought
"perhaps my father-in-law took the bullocks from this man and at
any rate he will beat me and take them by force"; so he unyoked his
bullocks and handed them over to the stranger; and the Hindu when he
found out what was meant went off with them as fast as he could.

Soon after the Santal's mother brought him out his dinner and he
told her what had happened about the bullocks! And she also was deaf
and thought that he was complaining that the rice had no salt in
it; so she answered, "Your wife gave it to me like this; I cannot
say whether she put salt into it; come, eat it up." After he had
eaten his dinner the old woman took the dishes home; and she found
her husband cutting out a rice pounder; and she told him how their
son had scolded her because there was no salt in the rice; and the
husband was also deaf and he thought that she wanted to know what
he was making and he answered crossly "It may be a rice pounder and
it may be a rice mortar." And as often as she repeated her story he
made this answer and told her not to worry him. Then she went to her
daughter-in-law who was also deaf and sat spinning in the verandah;
and she scolded her for not putting salt in the rice; and she answered
"Who knows what I am spinning; the thread may be all knotty, but
still I reel it up." And this is the end of the story. Thus the man
lost his bullocks through cross questions and crooked answers; and
as the whole family talked like that they soon became poor.



CXXVIII. The Father-in-Law's Visit.

A man once went to visit his married daughter in the month of October
and he went round the fields with his son-in-law to see how his crop
was growing. At each rice field they came to, the father-in-law said
"You have not dammed up the outlets" and the son-in-law said "Yes,
I have; the water is standing in the fields all right," and could not
understand what the old man meant. The next day they both set off to
visit some friends at a distance; and the son-in-law carried his shoes
in his hand except when they came to a river when he always put them
on; and when they were going along in the sun he carried his umbrella
under his arm, but when they came to any shady trees he put it up;
and he did the same on the way back. The old man was very astounded
at this but made no remark. On reaching the house however he told his
daughter that he was sorry that her husband was a mad man and told
her what had happened. His daughter said, "No, father, he is not mad:
he has a very good reason; he does not wear his shoes on dry ground
because he can see where he is going; but in a river you cannot see
what is under-foot; there may be sharp stones or thorns and so he
puts on his shoes then; and he puts up his umbrella under trees lest
falling branches should hit him or the droppings of birds fall on him,
but in the open he can see that there is nothing to hurt him."

Her father admitted that these were good reasons and he had been
foolish not to understand them; he then took his leave.

And in the following January he visited them again; and when he saw
their stock of rice he asked how much they had, and the son-in-law
said that there was only what he saw. "But," said the old man, "When
I saw your fields you had a very fine crop coming on." "The crop was
good," answered the son-in-law "but I owed rice to the money-lender
and I have had to pay that back and I have had to pay my rent and
this is all that I have left." "Ah!" said the father-in-law, "when
I saw your fields I told you that you had not dammed up the outlets;
by outlets I meant these drains; as water flows away through an outlet
so has your wealth flowed away to money-lenders and landlords; is not
this so?" And the son-in-law admitted that he was right and that his
words had had a meaning.



CXXIX. Ramai and Somai.

Once two poor men named Ramai and Somai came to a village and took
some waste land from the headman, and ploughed it and sowed millet;
and their plough was only drawn by cows and their ploughshare was
very small, what is called a "stumpy share;" and when they had sowed
a little the rains came on; and Somai gave up cultivation and took
to fishing and for a time he made very good profits by catching and
selling fish; and he did not trouble even to reap the millet he had
sown; he laughed at Ramai who was toiling away clearing more land
and sowing maize and rice. He used to go and look at him and tell
him that he would never get a crop while he had nothing better than a
"stumpy" plough; it would probably break to pieces one day and then he
would be helpless; he had much better take to fishing which gave quick
and easy returns. Ramai made no answer, but when the rains were over
there was no more fishing to be done; and Somai was left to starve
and had to go from village to village begging. But Ramai reaped his
millet and lived on that till his maize was ripe and then his maize
supported him until his rice was ripe and he always had plenty to eat;
and to show his despite for Somai, after he had had a good dinner,
he would come out in front of his house and call out "What of the
stumpy share now?" Every day after eating he would come out and say
"At first I worked hard and suffered hunger but now I am eating in
happiness; and you were happy then but now you are starving."



CXXX. The Two Brothers.

There were once two brothers who were constantly quarrelling and
one afternoon after a heated quarrel the younger brother asked the
villagers to come and judge between them. The villagers agreed to meet
the next morning. At cockcrow the next day the elder brother went to
the other's house and woke him up and said "Brother, this is a bad
business; you have called in the villagers and they will certainly
fine us both for quarrelling; it would be much better for us to save
the money and spend it on a pig; then we and our families could have
a feast." "I quite agree," said the younger brother, "but now I have
summoned the villagers, what can be done? If I merely tell them to
go away, they will never come again when I summon them."

The elder brother said, "I have a plan; when they come they will ask
how the quarrel began and what abusive words I used; and then you
must tell them that that is a point which they have to decide; and
then they will be able to do nothing and will go away." The younger
brother agreed to this and when the villagers came and asked what the
quarrel was about he said, "Don't you know what the quarrel was? That
was the very matter I wanted you to decide; if you don't know, how
can you judge about it?" And this answer he repeated to all their
questioning; then they got angry and said that he was mocking them;
and they declined to give any decision, but said that the brothers
must give them dinner as they had detained them so long; but the
brothers flatly declined to do so as no decision had been given,
and the villagers went away grumbling, while the brothers bought a
pig with the money they had saved and had a jolly feast and as they
ate the elder brother said: "See what a good plan mine was; but for
it we should now have been feasting others at our expense."



CXXXI. The Three Fools.

Once upon a time three men were sitting at the foot of a tamarind
tree and a stranger came up to them with a bunch of plantains on his
shoulder and he put the plantains on the ground in front of them and
bowed and went away. Thereupon the three men began to quarrel as to
who was to have the plantains; each said that they were his because
it was to him that the man had bowed. So they started calling each
other "Fool" and after quarrelling for some time one said "Well, yes,
I admit that I am a great fool" and the other two asked why he thought
himself a fool and he said "Well one day my wife went to the jungle
with the other village women to get firewood and left our baby in my
charge; as she was a long time coming back the child became hungry
and began to cry; I walked him about but he would not stop crying;
I tried to feed him with rice and with rice water and with _Gur_
and with cow's milk but he would not eat or stop crying; I was in
despair when his mother came back and took him up and gave him the
breast and the child was quiet at once.

Seeing this I said to my wife "Human milk must be sweeter than
anything else." My wife said "Who can say whether it is nice; we
all drink it when we are infants; but when we grow up we cannot say
what it is like." Then I said that I would try what it was like and I
sucked her breast and found that it was much sweeter than cow's milk;
after that I formed the habit and used to drink her milk every day;
and as I left none for the child it died soon afterwards of starvation;
this shows what a fool I am."

Then one of the other men said "But I am a bigger fool than you." And
they asked him in what way; and he said "I was married and was very
much in love with my wife; once when she had gone on a visit to her
father's I went to fetch her home; and she was got up in all her
finery, with her hair well dressed and vermilion on her forehead
and red _arta_ on her feet. On our way home it began to rain and we
took shelter in a village; and when the shower was over we went on;
and we came to a river which was in flood from the rain; the water
was up to a man's armpits and I decided to carry my wife across so
that the _arta_ on her feet might not get washed off. So I took her
on my shoulder and to prevent her feet getting wet I held her feet
uppermost and as her head was under water when I got across I found
that she had been drowned; and if I had not been such a fool she
would not have been killed."

Then the third man said "And I also am a fool. I had quarrelled with
my own family so I lived with my wife in a house alone at the end of
the village and we had no children. Now I was very fond of smoking;
and one night I wanted a light for my hookah but there was none in the
house; so I started to go and ask for a light from some neighbour;
but as it was very dark I did not like to leave my wife all alone:
nor did I like to send her out alone to ask for the light; so at last
I took my hookah in my hand and set my wife astride on my shoulder
and went round from house to house like that, asking for a light;
and all the villagers laughed like anything; so I am a fool." Then
they agreed that they were all three fools and had better divide the
plantains equally among them and go home; and that is what they did.



CXXXII. The Cure for Laziness.

There was once a man who lived happily with his wife, but she was very
lazy; when work in the fields was at its height she would pretend
to be ill. In June and July, she would begin to moan as if in pain,
and when every one else had gone off to work she would eat any rice
that they had left over; or if there were none, would cook some for
herself; Her father-in-law decided to call in some _ojhas_ to examine
her and if they could not cure her, then to send her back to her
father: so he called in two _ojhas_ and told them to do their best,
as he did not want the woman's relations to complain that she had
not been properly treated.

So the first _ojha_ felt her pulse and smiled and said nothing, and
the second _ojha_ felt her pulse and smiled and said nothing, and
when the father-in-law asked them if they knew what was the matter,
they answered that the illness was very serious and medicines must be
applied; the father-in-law said "Yes; but you must get the medicines
or tell me exactly what is wanted and I will arrange for it;" this
conversation took place before the woman; the _ojhas_ said "Very well,
we will do what you want but before applying the medicine we shall
have to do some incantations;" the father-in-law answered "Do whatever
is necessary to make a good job of it. Don't spare anything; try and
get everything ready by to-morrow: for we are in great difficulty; I
do not like to leave the patient alone in the house and yet I cannot
spare anyone to look after her;" the _ojhas_ promised and got up
and went out with the father-in-law, and in the village street they
told him that laziness was all that was the matter with the woman,
but that they knew a medicine which would cure her; so they went
to the jungle and dug up two very big tubers of the _tirra_ plant,
as big as pumpkins, and in the evening they went to the man's house
and told him that they had found the medicine, and that the whole
household was to come to the cross roads at the end of the village
very early the next morning with the patient and they would exorcise
the disease and apply remedies.

At cockcrow the next morning the two _ojhas_ brought the two tubers
and put them down at the end of the village street, and then went to
the house where the sick woman lived and awoke the inmates, and they
borrowed a pot of water and some vermilion and an old winnowing fan
and then they all went to the place where the tubers had been left,
and the _ojhas_ made the patient sit on the winnowing fan facing the
east and painted her with vermilion; then they waved pig's dung round
her head and tied the two tubers round her neck and told her to walk
up and down the village street three times; and that would remove
the spell that was on her. So the woman began to walk up the village
street and every one laughed at her and the children ran after her
and smacked her and jumped and shouted for joy and the _ojhas_ called
out to her "You must not take off the tubers until you are cured."

The woman walked up and down twice, but then she was so ashamed at
being laughed at that she threw away the tubers and ran off home;
then they all laughed the more; and followed her to the house, and
the _ojhas_ asked whether she was cured that she had taken off the
remedies they had applied; she only smiled in answer and they told
her to take care because if she ever got ill again they would apply
the same remedy; but from that day the woman completely recovered
and did her fair share of all the work.



CXXXIII. The Brahman's Powers.

A long time ago a Brahman came from the west and did many wonders to
the astonishment of those who saw him. He came to a certain village
and at first put up in an old bamboo hut; there he sat motionless
for three or four days and so far as anyone could see ate and drank
nothing. The villagers said that he must eat during the night, so
four men arranged to watch him continuously; two by day and two by
night; but though they watched they could not detect him eating or
drinking. Then the villagers collected and began to question him
and as his answers seemed worthy of credit they began to bring him
offerings of milk; one day he asked to be supplied with coolies
that he might rebuild the hut in which he had taken up his abode;
so coolies were brought and he made them collect bricks and prepare
mortar and at the end of the day's work they asked to be paid; then
the Brahman wrapped himself in his cloth and repeated some _mantras_,
whereupon pice fell tinkling down from his body and with them he paid
the coolies; and so it was every day until the house was finished. All
this was a source of great wonder to those who saw it.



CXXXIV. Ram's Wife.

It is a custom among us Santals that husband and wife do not mention
each other's names; and even if a husband sometimes mentions his
wife's name in a case of urgent necessity, the wife will never speak
her husband's; in the same way a man may not mention the name of his
younger brother's wife or of his wife's elder sister; women again may
not use the name of their younger sister's husband or their husband's
elder brother. Our forefathers have said that if any one breaks this
rule his children will be born deaf or dumb; we believe this and fear
to break through the custom.

There was once a man named Ram who was ploughing his field; when he
got to the end he found that he had not brought the seed with him;
so he called out to his wife, pretending however that he was speaking
to his daughter "Seed, daughter, seed!" And she called back "What
do you want it for? Are you going to sow it?" (eram = will you sow)
and every time he called, she answered "Eram?" At this he lost his
temper and ran up to the house and asked what she meant by speaking
his name, when he told her to bring out the seed for sowing; and
thereupon he proceeded to give her a good thrashing. His wife said to
him "Your name is the same as the word for 'sow,' it is a very fine
name you have got." At this Ram laughed and asked how he could help
having the name which his father and mother had given him. At this
she giggled. "Then why are you hurt by it? You had better in future
take out the seed corn with you and then you won't have to call to me;
if you do I shall answer you as I did to-day."

To the present day people do not use the forbidden words; or if
compelled to they spit on the ground first; even Christian converts do
not like to infringe the rule if many people are present and usually
speak of a person with a forbidden name as the father, or mother of
such and such a child.



CXXXV. Palo.

There was once a man named Dhuju, and he had sons named Ret Mongla,
Saru Sama and Chapat champa; and their wives were named Chibo, Porbet
and Palo.

One rainy season the family was busy with the ploughing: Ret Mongla
used to take the plough cattle out to get some grazing before the sun
rose; and his two brothers took the ploughs to the fields a little
later and the old father used to look on and tell them what to do. It
was their practice when they wanted to attract each other's attention
to call out: "Ho!" and not "Ya!" or "Brother." One day it had been
arranged that they should sow _gundli_ in a field; but when the
eldest brother arrived at the place with the bullocks ready to plough
he found that his two brothers had not turned up with the ploughs;
so he began to call "Pal, ho!" (Pal = plough share).

Now just then the wife of the youngest brother, Palo, had gone towards
that field to throw away the sweepings of the cowshed and she thought
Ret Mongla was calling her name; this surprised her and made her
very angry; and she made up her mind to pay him back and then if she
were scolded for not paying proper respect to her husband's eldest
brother to explain that he had insulted her first. So that morning
when she took out their breakfast to the men working in the field,
she pretended to be in great hurry, and putting down her basket near
the place where the three brothers were ploughing, called out to them:
"Come, stop ploughing," and then with scarcely an interval: "Look
sharp and come and eat; or if you don't I will take your breakfast away
again." So the brothers stopped their work and ate their breakfasts.

But when Palo had gone back and they were sitting having a chew
of tobacco, the eldest brother began: "Did you notice how that girl
behaved to me just now; she spoke to me in a most rude way as if I were
not a person to whom she owed respect." The other two said that they
had noticed it themselves, and her husband Chapat Champa said that he
would punish her for it when he got home. Directly he got to the house
he began scolding her and she made no answer, but that night when they
were alone together she told him that what she had done was because
Ret Mongla had insulted her by calling her by name. The next day her
mother-in-law took her to task but Palo gave the same explanation.

Then Ret Mongla's mother went to him and asked him whether there was
any truth in this counter-charge; he saw at once what had happened
and explained that he had never called out his sister-in-law by name;
he had called out for the plough; "Pal ho! Pal ho!" because his brothers
had not got the ploughs ready; when Palo understood what a mistake she
had made, she was covered with confusion and they brought water and she
washed Ret Mongla's feet as she had done on the day of her marriage,
and they salaamed to each other and peace was restored. But if the
mistake had not been explained Palo would have been turned out of
the family.



CXXXVI. The Women's Sacrifice.

This is a story of the old days when the Santals both men and women
were very stupid. Once upon a time the men of a certain village had
fixed a day for sacrificing a bullock; but the very day before the
sacrifice was to take place, the Raja's _sipahis_ came to the village
and carried off all the men to do five days forced labour at the Raja's
capital. The women thus left alone suffered the greatest anxiety;
they thought it quite possible that their husbands and fathers would
never be allowed to return or even be put to death; so they met in
conclave and decided that the best thing they could do would be to
carry out the sacrifice which the men had intended to make and which
had been interrupted so unexpectedly.

So they made haste to wash their clothes and bathe, and by way
of purification they fasted that evening and slept on the bare
ground. Then at dawn they made ready everything wanted for the
sacrifice and went to the jungle with the bullock that was to be
the victim. There at the foot of a _sal_ tree they scraped a piece
of ground bare and smeared it with cow dung; then they put little
heaps of rice at the four corners of a square and marked the place
with vermilion; then they sprinkled water over the bullock and led
it up to the square.

But here their difficulties began for none of them knew what
incantations the men said on such an occasion; they wasted a lot of
time each urging the other to begin, at last the wife of the headman
plucked up courage and started an invocation like this: "We sacrifice
this bullock to you; grant that our husbands may return; let not the
Raja sacrifice them but grant them a speedy return." Having got as
far as this she wanted the other women to take a turn, but they said
that her invocation was capital and quite sufficient; and they had
better get on to the sacrifice at once. Easier said than done; they
none of them knew how to do it; as they all hung back the headman's
wife scolded them roundly and bade them take the axe and kill the
beast; then they all asked where they were to strike the animal:
"Where its life resides," said the headman's wife. "Where is that,"
asked the women. "Watch and see what part of it moves," answered she,
"and strike there." So they looked and presently the bullock moved
its tail: "That's where its life is," shouted they; so three or
four of them caught hold of the rope round the animal's neck and
one woman seized the axe and struck two blows at the root of the
animal's tail. She did it no harm but the pain of the blow made
the bullock pass water. "See the blood flowing," cried the women,
and eagerly caught the stream in a vessel; then the sacrificer dealt
another blow which made the bullock jump and struggle until it broke
loose and galloped off. The women followed in pursuit and chased it
through a field of cotton; the bullock knocked off many of the ripe
cotton pods and these the women thought were lumps of fat fallen from
the wounded bullock, so they took them home and ate them; such fools
were the women in those days.



CXXXVII. The Thief's Son.

Once upon a time a goat strayed into the house of a certain man who
promptly killed it and hid the body. At evening the owner of the
goat missed it and came in search of it. He asked the man who had
killed it whether he had seen it, but the latter put on an innocent
air and declared that he knew nothing about it but he invited the
owner of the missing animal to look into the goat house and see if
it had accidentally got mixed up with the other goats. The search
was of course in vain.

Directly the owner had gone the thief brought out the body and skinned
and cut it up, and every one in the house ate his fill of flesh. Before
they went to sleep the thief told his sons to be careful not to go
near any of the other boys when they were grazing the cattle next day,
lest they should smell that they had been eating meat.

Next morning the thief's son took his goats out to graze and was
careful not to go near any of the other boys who were tending cattle;
whenever they approached him he moved away. At last they asked him what
was the matter; and he told them that they must keep at a distance lest
they should smell what he had been eating. "What have you eaten?" The
simpleton replied that he had been eating goat's flesh and that there
was still some in the house. The cowherds at once ran off and told the
owner of the lost goat. The news soon spread and the villagers caught
the man who had killed the goat and searched his house and found the
flesh of the goat. Then they fined him one rupee four annas and made
him give another goat in exchange for the one he had stolen.



CXXXVIII. The Divorce.

There was once a man who had reason to suspect his wife's
faithfulness. He first tried threatening and scolding her; but this
had no good effect, for far from being ashamed she only gave him
back harder words than she received. So he set to work to find some
way of divorcing her without making a scandal. One day when he came
home with a fine basket of fish which he had caught he found that his
father-in-law had come to pay them a visit. As he cleaned the fish
he grumbled at the thought that his wife would of course give all the
best of them to her father; at last an idea struck him. As he handed
over the fish to his wife he told her to be careful not to give her
father the heads of the _mangri_ fish nor the dust of tobacco, as
it was very wrong to give either of those things to a visitor. "Very
well," she answered; but to herself she thought "What does he mean by
forbidding me to do these things? I shall take care to give my father
nothing but the heads of the fish" for her pleasure was to thwart her
husband. So when the evening meal was ready she filled a separate plate
for her father with nothing but the fish heads. As her husband heard
the old man munching and crunching the bones he smiled to himself at
the success of the plot. When his father was about to leave he asked
for some tobacco, and the woman brought him only tobacco dust which she
had carefully collected out of the bottom of the bag. The old gentleman
went off without a word but very disappointed with his treatment.

A few days later the woman went to visit her father's house, and
then he at once asked her what she meant by treating him as she had
done. "I am sorry," said she: "I did it to spite my husband; he went
out of his way to tell me not to give you the heads of the fish and
the dust of tobacco, and so I picked out nothing but heads for you
and gave you all the tobacco dust I could collect because I was so
angry with him." From this her father easily understood that husband
and wife were not getting on well together.

Time passed and one day her mother went to visit the troublesome
wife. As she was leaving, her daughter asked whether there was any
special reason for her coming. Her mother admitted that she had come
hoping to borrow a little oil to rub on the cattle at the coming
Sohrae festival, but as her son-in-law was not there she did not like
to mention it and would not like to take any without his consent. "O
never mind him!" said the woman and insisted on her mother taking
away a pot--not of cheap mowah or mustard oil,--but of ghee.

Now a little girl saw her do this and the tale was soon all over the
village; but the undutiful wife never said a word about it to her
husband, and it was only after some days that he heard from others
of his wife's extravagance. When it did reach his ears he seized
the opportunity and at once drove her out of the house, and when
a panchayat was called insisted on divorcing her for wasting his
substance behind his back. No one could deny that the reason was a
good one and so the panchayat had to allow the divorce. Thus he got
rid of his wife without letting his real reason for doing so be known.



CXXXIX. The Father and the Father-in-Law.

There was once a Raja who had five sons and his only daughter was
married to a neighbouring Raja.

In the course of time this Raja fell into poverty; all his horses
and cattle died and his lands were sold. At last they had even to
sell their household utensils and clothes for food. They had only
cups and dishes made of gourds to use and the Raja's wife and sons
had to go and work as day labourers in order to get food to eat. At
last one day the Raja made up his mind to go and visit his married
daughter and ask her husband's family to give him a brass cup (_bati_)
that he might have something suitable to drink out of. Off he went
and when he reached the house he was welcomed very politely by his
daughter's father-in-law and given a seat and water to wash his feet,
and a hookah was produced and then the following conversation began.

"Where have you come from, father of my daughter-in-law?"

"I have walked from home, father of my son-in-law?"

"You come here so often that you make me quite frightened! How is
it? Is it well with you and yours? with body and skin? Would it not
be well for us to exchange news?"

"Yes indeed; for how can you know how I am getting on if I do not tell
you. By your kind enquiries my life has grown as big as a mountain,
my bosom is as broad as a mat, and my beard has become as long as a
buffalo horn."

"And I also, father of my daughter-in-law, am delighted at your
coming and enquiring about me; otherwise I should wonder where you had
settled down, and be thinking that you did not know the way relations
should behave to each other; at present, I am glad to say, the seed
left after sowing, the living who have been left behind by death,
by your favour and the goodness of God, are all doing well. Is it not
a proverb. 'The eye won't walk, but the ear will go and come back in
no time.' Now the ear is the visitor and so far as it has looked our
friends up, it is well with all, so far as I know."

The other answered; "Then I understand that by the goodness of God,
all is very well with you all, O father of my son-in-law. That is
what we want, that it may be well with us, body and soul."

"Life is our wealth; life is great wealth. So long as life lasts
wealth will come. Even if there is nothing in the house, we can work
and earn wealth, but if life goes where shall we obtain it?"

The visitor answered "That is true; and we have been suffering
much from the 'standing' disease; (i.e. hunger) I have tried to get
medicine to cure it in vain; the Doctors know of none. I should be
greatly obliged if you could give me some medicine for it."

"The very same disease has overflowed this part of the country"
was the reply:--at this they both laughed; and the visitor resumed,--

"Don't they say 'we asked after them and they did not ask anything
about us in return;'? it is right now for me to ask how you are
getting on" and so saying he proceeded in his turn to put the same
questions and to receive the same answers.

Then they went out and bathed and came back and had some curds and rice
and sat for a while smoking their hookahs. Then a goat was killed and
cooked and they had a grand feast. But the Raja did not forget about
the _bati_, and he took his daughter aside and told her to sound her
mother-in-law about it. She brought back a message that if he wanted
anything he should ask for it himself. So he went very shamefacedly
to his host and told him that be must he leaving: "Well, good-bye, are
you sure you only came to pay us a visit and had no other object?" The
Raja seized the opening that this reply gave him and said "Yes, I had
something in my mind; we are so poor now that we have not even a brass
cup to drink out of, and I hoped that you would give me one of yours."

"My dear Sir, you say that you have gourds to drink but of: we have
not even that; we have to go down to the stream and drink out of our
hands; I certainly cannot give you a _bati._" At this rebuff the poor
Raja got up and went away feeling very angry at the manner in which
he had been treated.

When he reached home the Raja vowed that he would not even live in the
neighbourhood of such faithless friends so he went with all his family
to a far country. In their new home his luck changed and he prospered
so much that in a few years he became the Raja of the country.

Meanwhile the other Raja--the father-in-law,--fell into such poverty
that he and his family had to beg for their living.

The first Raja heard about this and made a plan to attract them to the
place where he lived. He ordered a great tank to be dug and promised
the workers one pice for each basket of earth they removed. This
liberal wage attracted labourers from all sides; they came in such
numbers that they looked like ants working and among them came the
father-in-law and his family and asked the Raja for work. The Raja
recognised them at once though they did not know him; at first the
sight of their distress pleased him but then he reflected that if he
cherished anger Chando would be angry with him, so he decided to treat
them well and invited them to his palace. The poor creatures thought
that they were probably doomed for sacrifice but could only do as
they were bid. Great was their amazement when they were well fed and
entertained and when they learnt who their benefactor was they burst
into tears; and the Raja pointed out to them how wrong it was to laugh
at the poor, because wealth might all fly away as theirs had done.



CXL. The Reproof.

A poor man once went to visit his daughter's father-in-law who was very
rich. The rich man was proud of his wealth and looked down on poverty;
so he made no special entertainment for his visitor and only gave him
rice and _dal_ for his dinner. When they went out to bathe he stood
on the bank of the tank and began to boast. "I made this tank; all the
land over there belongs to me; all those buffaloes and cattle you see,
belong to me; I have so many that I have to keep two men to milk them."

The visitor said nothing at the time but that afternoon as host and
guest sat smoking together they saw a beggar standing in front of
the house. The sun was very powerful and the ground was so hot that
the beggar kept shifting from one foot to another as he stood out
in the sun. Then the poor visitor spoke up and said "It is strange
that when you made such a nice house you made the roof without
eaves." "Where are your eyes? Cannot you see the eaves?" asked the
host in astonishment. The other answered "I see that you have made
a house as high as a hill but if it had any eaves, surely that poor
beggar there would not be standing out in the sun; and this morning
you must have been mistaken in saying that that tank was yours for
otherwise you would have given me fish for dinner; and I think that
they were only rocks and tufts of grass which you pointed out to me
as your flocks and herds for otherwise you would have offered me some
milk or curds." And the rich man was ashamed and had no answer to make.



CXLI. Enigmas.

Once upon a time a man and his son went on a visit to the
son's father-in-law. They were welcomed in a friendly way;
but the father-in-law was much put out at the unexpected visit
as he had nothing ready for the entertainment of his guest. He
took an opportunity to go into the house and said to one of his
daughters-in-law. "Now, my girl, fill the little river and the big
river while I am away; and polish the big axe and the little axe and
dig out five or six channels, and put hobbles on these relations who
have come to visit us and bar them Into the cow house. I am going to
bathe and will come back with a pot full of the water of dry land,
then we will finish off these friends."

The two visitors outside overheard this strange talk and began to
wonder what it meant. They did not like the talk about axes and digging
channels, it sounded as if their host meant to kill them as a sacrifice
and bury their bodies in a river bed; rich men had been known to do
such things. With this thought in their minds they got up and began
to run away as fast as their legs could carry them. But when the young
woman saw what they were doing she ran after them and called them back.

They reluctantly stopped to hear what she had to say; and when she came
up they reproached her for not having warned them of the fate in store
for them. But she only laughed at their folly and explained that what
her father-in-law meant was that she should wash their feet and give
them a seat in the cow house; and make ready two pots of rice beer and
polish the big and little brass basins and make five or six leaf cups
and he would bring back some liquor and they would all have a drink. At
this explanation they had a hearty laugh and went back to the house.



CXLII.  The Too Particular Wife.

There was once a man with a large tumour on his forehead and his wife
was so ashamed of it that she would never go about with him anywhere
for fear of being laughed at. One day she went with a party of friends
to see the _Charak Puja_. Her husband wished to go with her but she
flatly declined to allow him.

So when she had gone he went to a friend's house and borrowed a
complete set of new clothes and a large pagri. When he had rigged
himself out in these he could hardly be recognised; but his forehead
with the tumour was quite visible. Then he too went off to the fair
and found his wife busy dancing. After watching her for some time he
borrowed one of the drums and began to play for the dancers; and in
particular he played and danced just in front of his wife.

When he saw that his wife was preparing to go home he started
off ahead, got rid of his fine clothes and took the cattle out to
graze. Presently he went back to the house and asked his wife whether
she had enjoyed the fun. "You should have come to see it for yourself,"
said she.

"But you would not let me! Otherwise I should have gone."

"Yes," answered his wife, "I was ashamed of the lump on your forehead
but other people do not seem to mind, for there was a man there with
a lump just like yours who was playing the drum and taking a leading
part in the fun and no one seemed to laugh at him: so in future I
shall not mind going about with you."



CXLIII. The Paharia Socialists.

Formerly before the Santals came into the country the four _taluqs_
of Sankara, Chiptiam, Sulunga and Dhaka formed the Paharia Raj and
the whole country was dense jungle. Then the Santals came and cleared
the jungle, and brought the land under cultivation. The Paharia Raja
of Gando was named Somar Singh and he paid tribute to the Burdwan Raja.

Once ten or twelve Paharias went to Burdwan to pay the annual
tribute. After they had paid in the money the Raja gave them a feast
and a room to sleep in and sent them one bed. The Paharias had a
discussion as to who should sleep on the bed and in order to avoid any
ill-feeling about it they decided that they would all sleep on the
ground and put their feet on the bed and then they could feel that
they had all an equal share of it. This they did and in the morning
the Burdwan Raja came in and found them all lying in this strange
position and was very much amused. He explained that he had sent the
bed for the use of the chief man among them and asked whether they had
no distinctions of rank. "Yes" they said "we have in our own villages;
but here we are in a foreign land and as we do not all belong to one
village who is to decide which is the chief among us. Away from home
we are all equal."



CXLIV. How a Tiger Was Killed.

In the days when the Santals lived in the jungle country there was
once a man who had a patch of maize by the bank of a stream; and to
watch his crop he had put up a platform in his field. Now one day
he stole a goat and killed it; he did not take it home nor tell his
family; he took it to the maize patch with some firewood and fire and
a knife and a hatchet; and he hoisted all these on to his platform
and lit a fire in the bottom of an earthen pot and cut up the goat
and began to cook and eat the flesh. And a tiger smelt the flesh and
came and sat down under the platform.

As the man ate he threw down the bones and as he threw them the tiger
caught them in its mouth; and after a time the man noticed that he
did not hear the bones strike the ground; so he looked down quietly
and saw the tiger; then he was very frightened for he thought that
when he could no longer keep the tiger quiet by throwing down bits
of meat, the tiger would spring up unto the platform and eat him.

At last a thought struck him and he drew the head of his hatchet off
the handle and put it in the fire till it became red-hot; and meanwhile
he kept the tiger quiet by throwing down pieces of meat. Then when
the axe head was ready he picked it out of the fire and threw it down;
the tiger caught it as it fell and roared aloud with pain; its tongue
and palate and throat were so burnt that it died.

Thus the man saved himself from the tiger and whether the story be
true or no, it is known to all Santals.



CXLV. The Goala's Daughter.

There was once a man of the _Goala_ caste who had an only daughter and
she grew up and was married, but had no child; and after twenty years
of married life she gave up all hope of having any. This misfortune
preyed on her mind and she fell into a melancholy. Her parents asked
her why she was always weeping and all the answer she would give was
"My sorrow is that I have never worn clothes of "Dusty cloth" and
that is a sorrow which you cannot cure." But her father and mother
determined to do what they could for their daughter and sent servants
with money into all the bazars to buy "Dusty cloth". The shopkeepers
had never heard of such an article so they bought some cloth of any
sort they could get and brought it to the Goala; when he offered it
to his daughter she thanked him and begged him not to waste his money:

"You do not understand" said she--"what I mean by "Dusty cloth." God
has not given it to me and no one else can; what I mean by 'Dusty
cloth' is the cloth of a mother made dusty by the feet of her
child." Then her father and mother understood and wept with her,
saying that they would do what man could do but this was in the hands
of God; and they sang:--


"Whatever the child of another may suffer, we care not:
But our own child, we will take into our lap, even when it is covered
with dust."



CXLVI. The Brahman's Clothes.

There was once a Brahman who had two wives; like many Brahmans he lived
by begging and was very clever at wheedling money out of people. One
day the fancy took him to go to the market place dressed only in
a small loin cloth such as the poorest labourers wear and see how
people treated him. So he set out but on the road and in the market
place and in the village no one salaamed to him or made way to him
and when he begged no one gave him alms. He soon got tired of this
and hastened home and putting on his best _pagri_ and coat and dhoti
went back to the market place. This time every one who met him on the
road salaamed low to him and made way for him and every shopkeeper
to whom he went gave him alms: and the people in the village who had
refused before gladly made offerings to him. The Brahman went home
smiling to himself and took off his clothes and put them in a heap
and prostrated himself before them three or four times, saying each
time. "O source of wealth: O source of wealth! it is clothes that
are honoured in this world and nothing else."



CXLVII. The Winning of a Bride.

Formerly this country was all jungle; and when the jungle was first
cleared the crops were very luxuriant; and the Santals had large
herds of cattle, for there was much grazing; so they had milk and
curds in quantities and _ghee_ was as common as water; but now milk
and curds are not to be had. In those days the Santals spent their
time in amusements and did not trouble about amassing wealth, but
they were timid and were much oppressed by their Rajas who looted any
man who showed signs of wealth. Well, in those days the winters were
very cold and there used to be heavy frost at nights. And there was a
man who had seven grown-up daughters and no son; and at the time of
threshing the paddy he had to undergo much hardship because he had
no son to work for him; he had to sleep on the threshing floor and
to get up very early to let out the cattle; and as the hoar frost
lay two inches deep he found it bitterly cold.

In those days the villagers had a common threshing floor; and one
day this man was talking to a friend and he jestingly asked whether
he would spend a night naked on the threshing floor; and the friend
said that he would if there were sufficient inducement but certainly
not for nothing. Then the father of the seven daughters said "If
you or any one else will spend a night naked on the threshing floor
I will give him my eldest daughter in marriage without charging any
bride price."--for he wanted a son-in-law to help him in his work. A
common servant in the employ of the village headman heard him and
said "I will accept the offer;" the man had not bargained for such
an undesirable match but he could not go back from his word; so he
agreed and said that he would choose a night; and he waited till it
was very cold and windy and then told the headman's servant to sleep
out that night. The servant spent the night on the threshing floor
without any clothes in spite of the frost and won his bride.



CHAPTER IV

Part IV

The following stories illustrate the belief in Bongas, i.e. the spirits
which the Santals believe to exist everywhere, and to take an active
part in human affairs. Bongas frequently assume the form of young men
and women and form connections with human beings of the opposite sex.

At the bidding of witches they cause disease, or they hound on the
tiger to catch men. But they are by no means always malevolent and
are capable of gratitude. The Kisar Bonga or Brownie who takes up his
abode in a house steals food for the master of the house, and unless
offended will cause him to grow rich.



CXLVIII. Marriage with Bongas.

There have been many cases of Santals marrying _bonga_ girls. Not of
course with formal marriage ceremonies but the marriage which results
from merely living together.

In Darbar village near Silingi there are two men who married
_bonga_. One of them was very fond of playing on the flute and his
playing attracted a _bonga_ girl who came to him looking like a human
girl, while he was tending buffaloes. After the intimacy had lasted
some time she invited him to visit her parents, so he went with her
and she presented him to her father and mother as her husband. But he
was very frightened at what he saw; for the seats in the house were
great coiled up snakes and on one side a number of tigers and leopards
were crouching. Directly he could get a word alone with his wife he
begged her to come away but she insisted on his staying to dinner;
so they had a meal of dried rice and curds and _gur_ and afterwards
he smoked a pipe with his _bonga_ father-in-law and then he set off
home with his _bonga_ wife. They were given a quantity of dried rice
and cakes to take with them when they left.

After seeing him home his wife left him; so he thought that he would
share the provisions which he had brought with a friend of his; he
fetched his friend but when they came to open the bundle in which
the rice and cakes had been tied, they found nothing but _meral_
leaves and cow dung cakes such as are used for fuel. This friend saw
that the food must have been given by _bongas_ and it was through
the friend that the story became known.

In spite of this the young man never gave up his _bonga_ wife until
his family married him properly. She used to visit his house secretly,
but would never eat food there; and during his connection with her
all his affairs prospered, his flocks and herds increased and he
became rich, but after he married he saw the _bonga_ girl no more.

The adventures of the other young man of the same village were much
the same. He made the acquaintance of a _bonga_ girl thinking that
she was some girl of the village, but she really inhabited a spring,
on the margin of which grew many _ahar_ flowers. One day she asked
him to pick her some of the _ahar_ flowers and while he was doing
so she cast some sort of spell upon him and spirited him away into
the pool. Under the water he found dry land and many habitations;
they went on till they came to the _bonga_ girl's house and there he
too saw the snake seats and tigers and leopards.

He was hospitably entertained and stayed there about six months;
one of his wife's brothers was assigned to him as his particular
companion and they used to go out hunting together. They used tigers
for hunting-dogs and their prey was men and women, whom the tigers
killed, while the _bonga_ took their flesh home and cooked it. One
day when they were hunting the _bonga_ pointed out to the young
man a wood cutter in the jungle and told him to set the tiger on to
"yonder peacock"; but he could not bring himself to commit murder;
so he first shouted to attract the wood cutter's attention and then
let the tiger loose; the wood cutter saw the animal coming and killed
it with his axe as it sprang upon him.

His _bonga_ father-in-law was so angry with him for having caused
the death of the tiger, that he made his daughter take her husband
back to the upper world again.

In spite of all he had seen the young man did not give up his _bonga_
wife and every two or three months she used to spirit him away under
the water: and now that man is a _jan guru_.



CXLIX. The Bonga Headman.

Sarjomghutu is a village about four miles from Barhait Bazar on
the banks of the Badi river. On the river bank grows a large banyan
tree. This village has no headman or _paranic_; any headman who is
appointed invariably dies; so they have made a _bonga_ who lives in
the banyan tree their headman.

When any matter has to be decided, the villagers all meet at the banyan
tree, where they have made their _manjhi than_; they take out a stool
to the tree and invite the invisible headman to sit on it. Then they
discuss the matter and themselves speak the answers which the headman
is supposed to give. This goes on to the present day and there is no
doubt that these same villagers sometimes offer human sacrifices,
but they will never admit it, for it would bring them bad luck to
speak about it.

The villagers get on very well with the _bonga_. If any of them has
a wedding or a number of visitors at his house, and has not enough
plates and dishes, he goes to the banyan tree and asks the headman
to lend him some. Then he goes back to his house, and returning in a
little while finds the plates and dishes waiting for him under the
tree; and when he has finished with them he cleans them well and
takes them back to the tree.



CL. Lakhan and the Bongas.

Once a young man named Lakhan was on a hunting party and he pursued
a deer by himself and it led him a long chase until he was far from
his companions; and when he was close behind it they came to a pool
all overgrown with weeds and the deer jumped into the pool and Lakhan
after it; and under the weeds he found himself on a dry high road
and he followed the deer along this until it entered a house and he
also entered. The people of the house asked him to sit down but the
stool which was offered him was a coiled up snake, so he would not
go near it; and he saw that they were _bongas_ and was too frightened
to speak. And in the cattle pen attached to the house he saw a great
herd of deer.

Then a boy came running in and asked the mistress of the house
who Lakhan was; she said that he had brought their kid home for
them. Lakhan wanted to run away but he could not remember the road
by which he had come. Two daughters of the house were there and they
wanted their father to keep Lakhan as a son-in-law; but their father
told them to catch him a kid and let him go; so they brought him a
fawn and the two girls led him back and took him through the pool to
the upper world: but on the way they put some enchantment on him,
for two or three weeks later he went mad and in his madness he ran
about from one place to another and one day he ran into the pool and
was seen no more, and no one knows where he went or whether the two
bonga maidens took him away.



CLI. The House Bonga.

Once upon a time there was a house _bonga_ who lived in the house
of the headman of a certain village; and it was a shocking thief;
it used to steal every kind of grain and food, cooked and uncooked;
out of the houses of the villagers. The villagers knew what was going
on but could never catch it.

One evening however the _bonga_ was coming along with a pot of boiled
rice which it had stolen, when one of the villagers suddenly came upon
it face to face; the _bonga_ slunk into the hedge but the villager
saw it clearly and flung his stick at it, whereupon the _bonga_ got
frightened and dropped the pot of rice on the ground so that it was
smashed to pieces and fled. The villager pursued the _bonga_ till he
saw it enter the headman's house. Then he went home, intending the
next morning to show the neighbours the spilt rice lying on the path;
but when the morning came he found that the rice had been removed,
so he kept quiet.

At midday he heard the headman's servants complaining that the rice
which had been given them for breakfast was so dirty and muddy that
some of them had not been able to eat it at all; then he asked how
they were usually fed "Capitally," they answered "we get most varied
meals, often with turmeric and pulse or vegetables added to the rice;
but that is only for the morning meal; for supper we get only plain
rice." "Now, I can tell you the reason of that" said the villager,
"there is a greedy _bonga_ in your house who goes stealing food at
night and puts some of what he gets into your pots for your morning
meal." "That's a fine story" said the servants: "No, it's true" said
the villager, and told them how the evening before he had made the
_bonga_ drop the rice and how afterwards it had been scraped up off
the ground; and when they heard this they believed him because they
had found the mud in their food.

Some time afterwards the same man saw the _bonga_ again at night
making off with some heads of Indian corn; so he woke up a friend
and they both took sticks and headed off the _bonga_, who threw down
the Indian corn and ran away to the headman's house. Then they woke
up the headman and told him that a thief had run into his house. So
he lit a lamp and went in to look, and they could hear the _bonga_
running about all over the house making a great clatter and trying to
hide itself; but they could not see it. Then they took the headman to
see the Indian corn which the _bonga_ had dropped in its flight. The
next day the villagers met and fined the headman for having the
_bonga_ in his house; and from that time the _bonga_ did not steal
in that village, and whenever the two men who had chased it visited
the headman's house the _bonga_ was heard making a great clatter as
it rushed about trying to hide.



CLII. The Sarsagun Maiden.

There was once a Sarsagun girl who was going to be married; and a
large party of her girl friends went to the jungle to pick leaves
for the wedding. The Sarsagun girl persisted in going with them as
usual though they begged her not to do so. As they picked the leaves
they sang songs and choruses; so they worked and sang till they came
to a tree covered with beautiful flowers; they all longed to adorn
their hair with the flowers but the difficulty was that they had no
comb or looking glass; at last one girl said that a _bonga Kora_
lived close by who could supply them; thereupon there was a great
dispute as to who should go to the _bonga Kora_ and ask for a mirror
and comb; each wanted the other to go; and in the end they made the
Sarsagun girl go. She went to the _bonga Kora_ and called "Bonga Kora
give a me mirror and comb that we may adorn our hair with _Mirjin_
flowers." The Bonga Kora pointed them out to her lying on a shelf
and she took them away.

Then they had a gay time adorning their hair; but when they had
finished not one of the girls would consent to take back the mirror
and comb. The Sarsagun maiden urged that as she had brought them it
was only fair that someone else should take them back; but they would
not listen, so in the end she had to take them. The Bonga Kora pointed
to a shelf for her to place them on but when she went to do so and
was well inside his house he closed the door and shut her in. Her
companions waited for her return till they were tired and then went
home and told her mother what had happened. Then her father and brother
went in search of her and coming to the Bonga Kora's home they sang:


    "Daughter, you combed yourself with a one row comb
    Daughter, you put _mirjin_ flowers in your hair
    Daughter, come hither to us."


But she only answered from within--


    "He has shut me in with a stone, father
    He has closed the door upon me, father
    Do you and my mother go home again."


Then her eldest brother came and sang the same song and received the
same answer; her mothers's brother and father's sister then came and
sang, also in vain; so they all went home.

Just then the intended bridegroom with his party arrived at the village
and were welcomed with refreshments and invited to camp under a tree;
but while the bridegroom's party were taking their ease, the bride's
relations were in a great to-do because the bride was missing; and
when the matchmaker came and asked them to get the marriage ceremony
over at once that the bridegroom might return, they had to take
him into the house and tell him what had happened. The matchmaker
went and told the bridegroom, who at once called his men to him and
mounted his horse and rode off in a rage. Now it happened that the
drummers attached to the procession had stopped just in front of the
home of the _Bonga Kora_ and were drumming away there; so when the
bridegroom rode up to them his horse passed over the door of the Bonga
Kora's home and stamped on it so hard that it flew open; standing just
inside was the Sarsagun girl; at once the bridegroom pulled her out,
placed her on his horse and rode off with her to his home.



CLIII. The Schoolboy and the Bonga.

There was once a boy who went every day to school and on his way
home he used always to bathe in a certain tank. Every day he left his
books and slate on the bank while he bathed and no one ever touched
them. But one day while he was in the water a _bonga_ maiden came
out of the tank and took his books and slate with her under the
water. When the boy had finished bathing he searched for them a
long time in vain and then went home crying. When the midday meal
was served he refused to eat anything unless his books were found:
his father and mother promised to find them for him and so he ate a
very little. When the meal was finished his father and mother went
to the bonga maiden and besought her--singing


    "Give daughter-in-law, give
    Give our boy his pen, give up his pen."


The _bonga_ maiden sang in answer


    "Let the owner of the pen
    Come himself and fetch it."


Then the boy's eldest brother and his wife went and sang


    "Give, sister-in-law, give,
    Give our brother his pen: give up his pen."


The _bonga_ maiden sing in answer


    "Let the owner of the pen
    Come himself and fetch it"


Then the boy's maternal uncle and his wife went and sang the same
song and received the same answer. So they told the boy that he must
go himself.

When he reached the tank the _bonga_ girl came up and held out his
books to him; but when he went to take them she drew back and so she
enticed him into the tank; but when once he was under the water he
found he was in quite a dry and sandy place. There he stayed and was
married to the _bonga_ girl. After he had lived with her a long time
he became homesick and longed to see his father and mother. So he
told his _bonga_ wife that he must go and visit them. "Then do not
take your school books with you," said she; "perhaps you won't come
back." "No, I will surely return," he answered; so she agreed to his
going and said that she would sit on the door step and watch for his
return; and he must promise to be very quick. She tied up some cakes
and dried rice for him and also gave him back his school books.

She watched him go to his home and sat and watched for his return but
he never came back. Evening came and night came but he did not return:
then the _bonga_ girl rose and went after him. She went through the
garden and up to her husband's house in a flame of fire: and there
she changed herself into a Karinangin snake and entering the house
climbed on to the bed where the boy lay sleeping and climbed on to
his breast and bit him.


    "Rise mother, rise mother,
    The Karinangin snake
    Is biting me."


he called--

But no one heard him though he kept on calling: so he died and the
_bonga_ girl went away with his spirit.



CLIV. The Bonga's Cave.

There was once a young _bonga_ who dwelt in a cave in the side of a
hill in the jungle; and every day he placed on a flat stone outside,
a pot of oil and a comb and a looking glass and some lamp black or
vermilion; any woman who went to the jungle could see these things
lying there; but they were never visible to a man. After a time the
girls who went to the jungle began to use the comb and looking glass
and to dress and oil their hair there; it became a regular custom for
them to go first to the flat stone before collecting their firewood
or leaves.

One day five girls went together to the jungle and after they had
combed and dressed their hair it happened that one got left behind;
and seeing her alone the _bonga_ came out of the cave and creeping
up quietly from behind threw his arms round her; and although she
shouted to her friends for help he dragged her inside the cave. Her
companions were just in time to see her disappear; and they begged
and prayed the _bonga_ to let the girl go for once; but the _bonga_
answered from within that he would never let her go but was going to
keep her as his wife; and he drew a stone door over the mouth of the
cave. News of the misfortune was sent to the girl's parents and they
came hastening to the place; and her mother began to sing:


    "My daughter, you rubbed your hair with oil from a pot:
    My daughter, you combed your hair with a comb with one row of teeth;
    Come hither to me, my daughter."


And the girl sang from within the cave:


    "Mother, he has shut me in with a stone
    With a stone door he has shut me in, mother
    Mother, you must go back home."


Then her father sang the same song and got the same answer; so they
all went home. Then the girl's father's younger brother and his wife
came and sang the song and received the same answer and then her
mother's brother and father's sister came and then all her relations,
but all in vain. Last of all came her brother riding on a horse and
when he heard his sister's answer he turned his horse round and made
it prance and kick until it kicked open the stone door of the cave;
but this was of no avail for inside were inner doors which he could not
open; so he also had to go home and leave his sister with the _bonga_.

The girl was not unhappy as the wife of the _bonga_ and after a time
she proposed to him they should go and pay a visit to her parents. So
the next day they took some cakes and dried rice and set off; they were
welcomed right warmly and pressed to stay the night. In the course of
the afternoon the girl's mother chanced to look at the provisions which
they had brought with them; and was surprised to see that in place of
cakes was dried cowdung and instead of rice, leaves of the _meral_
tree. The mother called her daughter in to look but the girl could
give no explanation; all she knew was that she had put up cakes and
dried rice at starting. Her father told them all to keep quiet about
the matter lest there should be any unpleasantness and the _bonga_
decline to come and visit them again.

Now the girl's brother had become great friends with his _bonga_
brother-in-law and it was only natural that when the _bonga_ and his
wife set off home the next morning he should offer to accompany them
part of the way. Off they started, the girl in front, then the _bonga_
and then her brother; now the brother had hidden an axe under his cloth
and as they were passing through some jungle he suddenly attacked the
_bonga_ from behind and cut off his head. Then he called to his sister
that he had killed the _bonga_ and bade her come back with him; so the
two turned back and as they looked round this saw that the _bonga's_
head was coming rolling after them. At this they started to run and ran
as hard as they could until they got to the house and all the way the
head came rolling after until it rolled right into the house. There
was a fire burning on the hearth and they plucked up courage to take
the head and throw it into the fire where it was burnt to ashes. That
was the end of the _bonga_ but eight or nine days later the girl's
head began to ache and in spite of all medicines they applied it got
worse and worse until in a short time she died. Then they knew that
the _bonga_ had taken her away and had not given her up.



CLV. The Bonga's Victim.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers and they had one
sister. Every day they used to go out hunting leaving their wives
and sister at home. One very hot day they had been hunting since dawn
and began to feel very thirsty; so they searched for water but could
find none. Then one of them climbed a tree and from its summit saw a
beautiful pool of water close by: so he came down and they all went in
the direction in which he had seen the water; but they could not find
it anywhere; so another of the brothers climbed a tree and he called
out that he could see the pool close by, but when he came down and led
them in what he thought was the right direction he was equally unable
to find the water; and so it went on; whenever they climbed a tree
they could see the water close by, but when on the ground they could
not find it; and all the time they were suffering tortures from thirst.

Then they saw that some _bonga_ was deluding them and that they must
offer some sacrifice to appease him.

At first they proposed to devote one of their wives to the _bonga_;
but not one of the brothers was willing that his wife should be the
victim; and they had no children to offer so at last they decided to
dedicate their only sister as the sacrifice. Then they prayed "Ye who
are keeping the water from us, listen; we dedicate to you our only
sister; show us where the water is." No sooner had they said this
than they saw a pool of water close beside them and hastened to it
and quenched their thirst. Then they rested and began to discuss how
they should sacrifice their sister; and at last they decided that
as they had devoted her to the _bonga_ because they wanted water,
it would be best to cast her into the water; and they planned to go
and work one day near a pond of theirs and make their sister bring
their breakfast out to them and then drown her.

So they went home and two or three days later the eldest brother
said that the time had come for the sacrifice; but the two youngest
loved their sister very much and begged for a little delay. Out of
pity the others agreed; but almost at once one of the brothers fell
ill and was like to die. Medicines were tried but had no effect;
then they called in an _ojha_ and he told them that the _bonga_ to
whom they had made the vow while out hunting had caused the illness
and that if they did not fulfil the vow their brother would die. Then
they all went to the sick man's bedside and poured out water on the
ground and swore that they would fulfil their vow; no sooner had they
done so than the sick man was restored to health.

So the very next day they arranged to go and level the field near
their pond and they told their wives to send their sister to them with
their breakfast. When the time came the girl took out their breakfast
and put it down by them and they sent her to draw water for them from
the pond but when she put her water pot down to the surface it would
not sink so as to let the water run in. The girl called out to her
brothers that the pot would not fill; they told her to go a little
further into the water; so she went in till the water was up to her
thighs but still the pot would not fill: then they called to her
to go in further and she went in waist deep but still it would not
fill; then she went in up to her neck and still it would not fill;
then she went in a little further and the water closed over her and
she was drowned. At this sight the brothers threw away the food which
she had brought and hastened home.

Some days later the body rose and floated to the bank and at the place
where it lay a bamboo sprang up and grew and flourished. One day a
Dome went to cut it down to make a flute of; as he raised his axe
the voice of the girl spoke from within the bamboo "O Dome, do not
cut high up; cut low down." The Dome looked about but could not see
who it was who spoke; however he obeyed the voice and cut the bamboo
close to the ground and made a flute of it. The sound of the flute
was surpassingly sweet and the Dome used to play on it every day. One
day he was playing on it at a friend's house and a Santal heard it
and was so taken by its sweet tone that he came at night and stole it.

Having got possession of it he used to play on it constantly and
always keep it by him. Every night the flute became a woman and the
Santal found her in his house without knowing where she came from and
used to spend the night talking to her but towards morning she used
to go outside the house on some pretext and disappear. But one night
as she was about to depart the Santal seized her and forced her to
stay with him. Then she retained her human form but the flute was
never seen afterwards; so they called the girl the Flute girl and
she and the Santal were betrothed and soon afterwards married.



CLVI. Baijal and the Bonga.

Once upon a time there was a young man named Baijal and he was
very skilful at playing on the bamboo flute. He played so sweetly
that a _bonga_ girl who heard him fell deeply in love with him and
one day when Baijal was alone in the jungle she took the form of a
pretty girl and pretended that she had come to the jungle to gather
leaves. The two met and acquaintance soon became love and the two
used to meet each other every day in the jungle. One day the _bonga_
girl asked Baijal to come home with her; so they went to a pool of
water and waded into it but when the water had risen to the calf of
his leg Baijal suddenly found himself on a broad dry road which led to
his mistress's house. When they reached it the bonga girl introduced
Baijal to her father and brothers as her husband and told him not to be
afraid of anything he saw; but he could not help feeling frightened,
for the stools on which they sat were coiled-up snakes and the house
dogs were tigers and leopards.

After he had been there three of four day his brothers-in-law one
morning asked him to come out hunting pea fowl. He readily agreed and
they all set out together. The Bongas asked Baijal to lead the dog
but as the dog was a tiger he begged to be excused until they reached
the jungle. So they hunted through the hills and valleys until they
came to a clearing in which there was a man chopping up a tree. Then
the _bongas_ called to Baijal "There is a peacock feeding; take the
dog; throw a stick and knock the bird over and then loose the dog at
it." Baijal pretended not to understand and said that he could see no
peacock; then they told him plainly that the man chopping the log was
their game. Then he saw that he was meant to kill the man and not only
so, but that he would have to eat the flesh afterwards. However he was
afraid to refuse, so he took the tiger in the leash and went towards
the clearing but instead of first throwing his stick at the man he
merely let the tiger loose and cheered it on. The wood cutter heard
the shout and looking round saw the tiger; grasping his axe he ran to
meet it and as the animal sprang on him he smote it on the head and
killed it. Then Baijal went back and told his brothers-in-law that
the peacock had pecked their hound to death. They were very angry
with him for not throwing his stick first but he explained that he
thought that such a big dog as theirs would not need any help.

Two or three days later Baijal told his _bonga_ wife to come home with
him, so they set off with a bundle of provisions for the journey. When
they had passed out through the pool Baijal opened the bundle to have
something to eat but found that the bread had turned into cowdung
fuel cakes; and the parched rice into _meral_ leaves; so he threw
them all away. However he would not give up the _bonga_ girl and they
used to meet daily and in the course of time two children were born
to them. Whenever there was a dance in the village the _bonga_ girl
used to come to it. She would leave the two children on Baijal's bed
and spend the whole night dancing with the other women of the village.

The time came when Baijal's parents arranged for his marriage,
for they knew nothing of his _bonga_ wife; and before the marriage
the _bonga_ made him promise that if he had a daughter he would name
the child after her. Even when he was married he did not give up his
_bonga_ wife and used to meet her as before. One night she came with
her children to a dance and after dancing some time said that she was
tired and would go away; Baijal urged her not to go but to come with
her children and live in his house along with his other wife. She
would not agree and he tried to force her and shut the door of the
house; but she and her children rose to the roof in a flash of light
and disappeared over the top of the house wall and passed away from
the village in a flame of fire. At this Baijal was so frightened that
from that time he gave her up and never went near her again.

By and bye his wife bore him a daughter but they did not name the
child after the _bonga_ and the consequence was that it soon pined
away and died. Two or three more were born but they also all died
young because he had not named them after the _bonga_. At last he did
give a daughter the right name and from that time his children lived.



CLVII. Ramai and the Bonga.

Once a _bonga_ [3] haunted the house of a certain man and became such
a nuisance that the man had him exorcised and safely pegged down to
the ground; and they fenced in the place where the _bonga_ lay with
thorns and put a large stone on the top of him. Just at the place
was a clump of "Kite's claws" bushes and one day when the berries
on the bushes were ripe, a certain cowherd named Ramai went to pick
them and when he came round to the stone which covered the _bonga_
he stood on it to pick the fruit and the _bonga_ called out to him
to get off the stone; Ramai looked about and seeing no one said "Who
is that speaking?" and the voice said "I am buried under the stone;
if you will take it off me I will give you whatever boon you ask";
Ramai said that he was afraid that the _bonga_ would eat him but the
_bonga_ swore to do him no harm, so he lifted up the stone and the
_bonga_ came out and thanking Ramai told him to ask a boon.

Ramai asked for the power to see _bongas_ and to understand the
language of ants. "I will give you the power," said the _bonga_,
"but you must tell no one about it, not even your wife; if you do
you will lose the power and in that case you must not blame me,"
Then the _bonga_ blew into his ear and he heard the speech of ants;
and the _bonga_ scratched the film of his eye balls with a thorn
and he saw the _bongas_: and there were crowds of them living in
villages like men. In December when we thresh the rice the _bongos_
carry off half of it; but Ramai could see them and would drive them
away and so was able to save his rice.

Once a young fellow of his own age was very ill; and his friends blew
into his ears and partially brought him to his senses and he asked
them to send for Ramai; so they called Ramai and he had just been
milking his cows and came with the tethering rope in his hand; and
when he entered the room he saw a _bonga_ sitting on the sick man's
chest and twisting his neck; so he flogged it with the rope till it
ran away and he pursued it until it threw itself into a pool of water;
and then the sick man recovered.

But Ramai soon lost his useful power; one day as he was eating his
dinner he dropped some grains of rice and two ants fell to quarrelling
over one grain and Ramai heard them abusing each other and was so
amused that he laughed out loud.

His wife asked why he laughed and he said at nothing in particular,
but she insisted on knowing and he said that it was at some scandal he
had heard in the village; but she would not believe him and worried
him until he told her that it was at the quarrel of the ants. Then
she made him tell her how he gained the power to understand what
they said: but from that moment he lost the powers which the _bonga_
had conferred on him.



CLVIII. The Boundary Bonga.

There was once a man who owned a rich swampy rice field. Every year
he used to sacrifice a pig to the boundary _bonga_ before harvest;
but nevertheless the _bonga_ always reaped part of the crop. One year
when the rice was ripening the man used to go and look at it every
day. One evening after dusk as he was sitting quietly at the edge of
the field he overheard the _bonga_ and his wife talking. The _bonga_
said that he was going to pay a visit to some friends but his wife
begged him not to go because the rice was ripe and the farmer would
be cutting it almost at once. However the _bonga_ would not listen
to her advice and set off on his journey.

The farmer saw that there was no time to be lost and the very next
day he sacrificed the usual pig and reaped the whole of the crop. That
evening when work was over he stayed and listened to hear whether the
_bonga_ had come back, but all was quiet. The next day he threshed
the paddy and instead of twenty bushels as usual he found that he had
got sixty bushels of rice, That evening he again went to the field
and this time he found that the _bonga_ had returned and was having
a fine scolding from his wife, because he had let the farmer reap the
whole crop. "Take your silly pig and your silly plate of flour from the
sacrifice," screamed the _bonga's_ wife, throwing them at her spouse,
"that is all you have got; this is all because you would go away when
I told you not to do it; how could I reap the crop with the children
to look after? If you had stayed we might have got five _bandis_
of rice from that field."



CLIX. The Bonga Exorcised.

A very poor man was once ploughing his field and as he ploughed the
share caught fast in something. At first he thought that it was
a root and tried to divide it with his axe; but as he could not
cut it he looked closer and found that it was a copper chain. He
followed the chain along and at either end he found a brass pot full
of rupees. Delighted with his luck he wrapped the pots in his cloth
and hurried home. Then he and his wife counted the money and buried
it under the floor of their house.

From that time the man began to prosper; his crops were always good;
and his cattle increased and multiplied; he had many children and
they grew up strong and healthy and were married and had children of
their own.

But after many years luck changed. The family was constantly ill and
every year a child died. The _jan guru_ who was consulted declared
that a _Kisar bonga_ was responsible for their misfortunes. He told
the sons how their father had found the money in the ground and said
that the _bonga_ to whom the money belonged was responsible for their
misfortunes and was named Mainomati.

He told them how to get rid of the _bonga_. They were to dig up
the buried money and place it in bags; and load it on the back of a
young heifer; and take five brass nails and four copper nails, and
two rams. If the _bonga_ was willing to leave the house the heifer
would walk away to another village directly the bags were placed on
its back; but if the _bonga_ would not go the heifer would not move.

So they did as the _Janguru_ advised and when the bags were placed
on the heifer it walked away to a large peepul tree growing on the
banks of a stream in another village and there it stopped. Then they
sacrificed the rams and uttering vows over the nails drove them into
the peepul tree and went home, turning the heifer loose. From that
time their troubles ceased.

But that evening a man driving his cattle home saw a young woman
nailed to the peepul tree; and not knowing that she was a _bonga_
he released her and took her home and married her.



CHAPTER V

Part V.

The legends and customary beliefs contained in this part are definitely
connected with the Santals.



CLX. The Beginning of Things.

In the days of old, Thakur Baba had made everything very convenient for
mankind and it was by our own fault that we made Thakur Baba angry so
that he swore that we must spend labour in making things ready for use.

This is the story that I have heard.

When the Santals lived in Champa and the Kiskus were their kings, the
Santals were very simple and religious and only worshipped Thakur. In
those days the rice grew ready husked, and the cotton bushes bore
cloth all ready woven and men did not have to pick the lice out of
each others' hair; men's skulls grew loose and each man could lift
off his own skull and clean it and then replace it. But all this was
spoilt by the misdeeds of a serving girl of one of the Rajas. When
she went into the field for purposes of nature she would at the same
time pick and eat the rice that grew by her; and when she had made
her hands dirty cleaning out a cow house she would wipe them on the
cloth which she was wearing. Angered by these dirty habits Thakur Baba
deprived men of the benefits which he had conferred upon them and the
rice began to grow in a husk and the cotton plants only produced raw
cotton and men's skulls became fixed so that they could not be removed.

In those old days too the sky was quite close to the earth and Thakur
Baba used to come and visit men in their houses. So it was a saying
among our forefathers "Do, not throw your dirty leaf plates near the
front or back door and do not let your brass plates and dishes remain
unwashed at night; for if Thakur Baba come along and see them so, he
will not come into the house but will be angry and curse us." But one
day a woman after finishing her meal threw the used leaf plate out of
the door, and a gust of wind carried it up to the sky; this displeased
Thakur Baba and he resolved no longer to dwell in the neighbourhood of
men as they were so ill-mannered as to throw their dirty leaf plates
at him and so he lifted the sky to its present height above the earth.

To this day men who have heard of this scold those who throw their
refuse into the street and bid them heap it up in some out-of-the-way
place.

The misdeeds of men at length made Thakur Baba so angry that he
resolved to destroy them all. Now Thakur Baba is Sing Chando or
the Sun, and the Moon is his wife: and at first there were as many
stars by day as there are by night and they were all the children of
the Sun and Moon who had divided them between them. So Sing Chando
having resolved to destroy mankind blazed with a fierce heat till man
and beast writhed under the torture of it. But when the Moon looked
down and saw their sufferings she was filled with pity and thought
how desolate the earth would be without a living being on it. So she
hastened to Sing Chando and prayed him not to desolate the earth; but
for all her beseeching the utmost that she could obtain was a promise
from her Lord that he would spare one or two human beings to be the
seed of a future race. So Sing Chando chose out a young man and a young
woman and bade them go into a cave in a hill side and close the mouth
of the cave with a raw hide and when they were safely inside he rained
fire from heaven and killed every other living being on the earth.

Five days and five nights it rained fire and the man and woman in
the cave sang--(to the Baha tune)


    "Five days and five nights the fire will rain, ho!
    Five days and five nights, all night long, ho!
    Where will you two human beings stay?
    Where will you two take shelter?
    There is a hide, a hide:
    There is also a hill:
    There is also a cave in the rock!
    There will we two stay:
    There will we two take shelter."


When they came out of the cave the first thing they saw was a cow lying
burnt to death with a _karke_ tree fallen on the top of it and near
it was lying a buffalo cow burnt to death; at the sight they sang:--


    "The cow is glowing cinders, glowing cinders:
    The _karke_ tree is burnt:
    The buffalo cow has fallen and has been burnt
    to ashes, to ashes."


And as they went on, they sang a similar lament over the remains of
each living being as they saw it.

Although these two had been spared to raise up a new race, Ninda
Chando, the Moon, feared that the Sun would again get angry with the
new race and destroy it; and so she made a plan to trick him. She
covered up all her children with a large basket and smeared her mouth
and lips with red and going to Sing Chando told him that she had eaten
up every one of her children and proposed that he should now eat up
his. At first Sing Chando declined to believe her but she pointed to
her lips and said that they were red with the blood of the children;
so Sing Chando was convinced and agreed to eat up his children except
two whom he would keep to play with. So they devoured all but two
and the two that were saved are the morning and evening stars.

Thus Sing Chando was deprived of the power to again burn up the earth;
but when that night Ninda Chando let out her own children from under
the basket she warned them to beware of the wrath of their father when
he found out the trick that had been played him. When Sing Chando
saw Ninda Chando's children still alive he flew to her in a passion
and the children at the sight of him scattered in all directions and
that is why the stars are now spread all over the sky; at first they
were all in one place. Although the stars escaped, Sing Chando could
not restrain his wrath and cut Ninda Chando in two and that is why
the Moon waxes and wanes; at first she was always full like the sun.

Some men say that the man and woman whom Thakur hid in the cave were
Pilchu Haram and Pilchu Budhi and they had twelve sons and twelve
daughters and mankind is descended from them and has increased
and filled the earth; and that it was in that country that we were
divided into twelve different races according to the food which our
progenitors chose at a feast.



CLXI. Chando and His Wife.

Once upon a time Chando went to the hills to fashion a plough out of
a log of wood; and his wife was left at home alone, Chando was so
long in coming back that his wife grew impatient; so she made some
mosquitos and sent them to worry him and drive him home. But Chando
made some dragon-flies and they ate up the mosquitos and he went on
with his work. His wife made various other animals and sent them out,
but Chando destroyed them all. At last she made a tiger and sent it
to frighten him home; but Chando took up a handful of chips from the
log he was cutting and threw them at the tiger and they turned into
wild dogs and chased the tiger away. Ever since that no tiger will
face wild dogs.

Then Chando's wife shut up a locust in an iron pot and when Chando at
last came home she asked him "Why have you been so long? Who is to
give food and drink to all the living creatures if you don't attend
to business." Chando answered that he had fed them all.

"No you have not, you have not fed the locust!"

"But I have" said Chando.

Then she took the lid off the iron pot and showed him the locust
eating grass inside; and Chando had nothing to say.



CLXII. The Sikhar Raja.

Santals say that the Sikhar Raja was a _bonga_ and this is the story
they tell about him. A certain woman was with child but could not
say by whom she was pregnant so she fled into the jungle and at the
foot of a clump of bamboos gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl;
and then went home leaving the children lying in the jungle. The
children lay there crying very pitifully. Now a herd of wild bison
was grazing in the jungle and they heard the crying and one of the
cows went to see what was the matter and took pity on the children and
suckled them. Every day she came three times and fed them; and under
her care the children grew up strong and healthy. If any man came
to hunt in the jungle the bison-cow used to attack him and drive him
away; she used to bring the bows and arrows which the hunters threw
away in their flight to the boy that he might learn how to shoot. And
when any basket makers passed by the jungle on their way to market to
sell their wares she used to charge out at them and then bring to the
girl the winnowing fans and baskets they threw down in their fright,
so that she might learn to sift rice.

Thus the children prospered; and the boy was named Harichand and he
and his sister looked like gods. When they grew up they married each
other and then the bison-cow left them. Then Thakur sent from heaven
sixteen hundred _gopinis_ and the _gopinis_ said that Harichand and
his wife should be king and queen in that land of Sikhar. Then they
took counsel together as to where the royal fort should be. Three
scribes sat down to study the books with Harichand and his wife in
their midst; on the right sat the scribe Hikim, and on the left the
scribe Bhuja and the scribe Jaganath opened the book to see where
the fort should be; and all the gopinis sat round in a circle and
sang while the book was read.


    "Raja Harichand of the Sikhar stock, of Jhalamala,
        Where is his abode!
    Raja Harichand of the Sikhar stock, of Jhalamala,
        In the bamboo clump is his abode!"

    "Raja Harichand of the Sikhar stock of Jhalamala
        In the banyan-tree field in his abode!
    Raja Harichand, of the Sikhar stock, of Jhalamala,
        In the brinjal corner is his abode."


And they found in the book that the fort should be in Pachet hill;
then they sang in triumph:--


    "It will not do, O Raja, to build a fort here:
    We will leave Paras and build a fort on Pachet hill:
    There in the happy Brinda forest."


Then they brought the Raja and Rani from the jungle to Pachet and
on the top of the Pachet hill a stone fort sprang up for them; and
all the country of Sikhar acknowledged their sway. After that the
Santals made their way from Champa and dwelt in Sikhar and cleared all
the jungle in it and abode there many years. They called the Sikhar
Raja a _bonga_ because no one knew his father or mother. Under Raja
Harichand the Santals were very contented and happy, and when he
celebrated the Chatar festival they used to sing this song, because
they were so contented:--


    "Harichand Raja was born of a bison-cow,
    Sirguja Rana was born of a snake."



CLXIII. The Origin of Tobacco.

This is the way that the chewing tobacco began. There was once a
Brahmin girl whose relations did not give her in marriage and she
died unmarried. After the body had been burned and the people had
gone home, Chandu thought "Alas, I sent this woman into the world
and she found favour with no one; well, I will confer a gift on her
which will make men ask for her every day," So he sowed tobacco at
the burning place and it grew up and flourished. And there was a boy
of the cowherd caste who used to graze his cattle about that place;
he saw his goats greedily eating the tobacco leaf and he wondered
what the leaf was and tasted a bit but finding it bitter he spat it
out. Some time after however he had tooth-ache and having tried many
remedies in vain he bethought himself of the bitter tobacco and he
chewed some of that and kept it in his mouth and found that it cured
the tooth-ache; from that time he formed the habit of chewing it. One
day he saw some burnt bones or lime and he picked up the powder and
rubbed it between his fingers to see what it was and after doing so he
ate some tobacco and found that the taste was improved, so from that
time he always chewed lime with the tobacco. He recommended the leaf
to other men who had tooth-ache and they formed the habit of chewing
it too and called it tobacco; and then men who had no tooth-ache took
to it; and acquired a craving for it. This is the way tobacco chewing
began, as our forefathers say.



CLXIV. The Transmigration of Souls.

All the cats of Hindus have believed and believe, and the Santals also
have said and say, that Thakur made the land and sky and sea and man
and animals and insects and fish and the creation was complete and
final: he made their kinds and castes once for all and did not alter
them afterwards; and he fixed the time of growth and of dwelling in
the body; and for the flowers to seed and he made at that time as
many souls as was necessary and the same souls go on being incarnated
sometimes in a human body and sometimes in the body of an animal;
and so it is that many human beings really have the souls of animals;
if a man has a man's soul he is of a gentle disposition; but if he gets
the soul of a dog or cat then he is bad tempered and ready to quarrel
with everyone; and the man with a frog's soul is silent and sulky and
those who get tiger's souls when they start a quarrel never give up
till they gain their point. There is a story which proves all this.

There was once a Brahman who had two wives and as he knew something
of herbs and simples he used to leave his wives at home and go about
the country as a quack doctor; but whenever he came home his two wives
used to scold him and find fault with him for no reason at all till
they made his life a burden. So he resolved to leave two such shrews
and one day when they had been scolding as usual he put on the garb
of a _jogi_ and in spite of their protests went out into the world.

After journeying two or three days he came to a town in which a
pestilence was raging and he sat down to rest under a tree on the
outskirts. There he noticed that many corpses had been thrown out and
he saw two vultures fly down to feed on the bodies; and the he-vulture
said to his mate "Which corpse shall we eat first?" Now the Brahman
somehow understood the language of the birds--but the mate returned
no answer though the he-vulture kept on repeating the question; at
last she said "Don't you see there is a man sitting at the foot of
the tree?" Then they both approached the Brahman and asked why he was
sitting in such a place and whether he was in distress; he told them
that trouble had driven him from his home and that he was wandering
about the world as chance led him, because the continual quarrelling of
his two wives was more than he could bear. The vultures said "We will
give you a means by which you may see your wives as they really are"
and one of them pulled out a wing feather and told him when he went
to any house begging to stick it behind his ear and then he would
see what the people were really like; and they advised him to marry a
woman who gave him alms with her hands. Then he got up and went away
with the feather, leaving the birds to prey on the corpses.

When the Brahman came to a village to beg he saw by the aid of the
feather, that some of the people were really cats and some were dogs
and other animals and when they gave him alms they brought it in their
teeth; then he made up his mind to go home and see what his wives
really were; and he found that one was a bitch and one was a sow;
and when they brought him water they carried the cup in their months;
at this sight he left the house again in disgust, determined to marry
any woman who offered him alms with her hands.

He wandered for days till at last the daughter of a Chamar, when he
begged, brought him alms in her hands; and he at once determined to
stay there and marry her at all costs; so he sat down and when the
Chamar asked why he did not go away he said that he meant to marry the
girl who had given him alms and live in his house as his son-in-law;
the Chamar did all he could to remonstrate at such an extraordinary
proposal as that a Brahman should destroy his caste by marrying a
Chamar; the Brahman said that they might do what they liked to him
but that he would not leave till he obtained his bride. So at last
the Chamar called in his castefellows and relations to advise him
whether he would be guilty of any sin in yielding to the proposal of
the Brahman; and they called into council the principal villagers of
all the other castes and after fully questioning the Chamar and the
Brahman the judgment of the villagers was that the marriage should
take place and they would take the responsibility. Then the Brahman
was made to give a full account of himself and where he had come from,
and when this was found to be true, the bride price was fixed and
paid and the marriage took place and the Brahman became a Chamar.



CLXV. The Next World.

This is what the Santals say about the next world. After death men
have a very hard time of it in the next world. _Chando bonga_ makes
them work terribly hard; the woman have to pound the fruit of the
castor oil plant with a pestle; and from the seeds Chando bonga makes
human beings. All day long they have to work; those women who have
babies get a little respite on the excuse of suckling their babies;
but those who have no children get no rest at all; and the men are
allowed to break off to chew tobacco but those who have not learnt to
chew have to work without stopping from morning to night. And this is
the reason why Santals learn to chew tobacco when they are alive; for
it is of no use to merely smoke a _huka_: in the next world we shall
not be allowed to knock off work in order to smoke. In the next world
also it is very difficult to get water to drink. There are frogs who
stand on guard and drive away any who comes to the water to drink;
and so when Satals die we send drinking vessels with them so that
they may be able to run quickly to the water and fill the vessels
and get away before they are stopped. And it is said that if a man
during his lifetime has planted a peepul tree he gets abused for it
in the next world and is told to go and pick the leaves out of the
water which have fallen into it and are spoiling it and such a man is
able to get water to drink while he is picking the leaves out of it;
but whether this is all true I cannot say.



CLXVI. After Death.

When grown-up people die they become ancestral _bongas_ and sacrifices
are offered to them at the Flower and Sohrai festivals; and when
children die they become _bhuts_. When a pregnant woman dies, they
drive long thorns into the soles of the feet before the body is
burned for such women become _churins_. The reason of this is that
when the _churin_ pursues any one the thorns may hurt her and prevent
her from running fast: and so the man who is pursued may escape; for
if the _churin_ catches him she will lick all the flesh off his bones;
they especially attack the belly and their tongues are very rough.

There was once a man who had been to get his ploughshare sharpened by
the blacksmith and as he was on his way home it came on to rain, so he
took shelter in a hollow tree. While he was waiting for the weather
to clear he saw a _churin_ coming along singing and she also came to
take shelter in the same tree. Fortunately she pushed in backwards
and the man took the ploughshare which was still nearly red hot and
pressed it against her back; so she ran away screaming and he made
good his escape in the other direction; otherwise he would assuredly
have been licked to death.



CLXVII. Hares and Men.

In former days hares used to eat men and a man presented himself before
Thakur and said "O Father, these hares do us much damage; they are
little animals and hide under leaves and then spring out and eat us;
big animals we can see coming and can save ourselves. Have pity on
us and deliver us from these little animals," So Thakur summoned the
chief of the hares and fixed a day for hearing the case; and when the
man and the hare appeared he asked the hare whether they ate men and
the hare denied it and asserted on the contrary that men ate hares; but
the man when questioned denied that men killed hares. Then Thakur said
"O hare and man, I have questioned you both and you give contradictory
answers; and neither admits the charge; the matter shall be decided in
this way; you, hare, shall watch a _Kita_ tree and if within a year you
see a leaf fall from the tree you shall be allowed to eat men; and you,
man, shall watch a _Korkot_ tree and if you see a leaf fall, then men
shall be allowed to eat hares. Begin your watch to-day and this day
next year bring me your leaves." So the man and the hare departed and
each sat under a tree to see a leaf fall but they watched and watched
in vain until on the last day of the year a _korkot_ leaf fell and
the man joyfully picked it up and took it to Thakur; and the hare
failing to see a leaf fall bit off a leaf with its teeth and took it
to Thakur. Then Thakur examined the two leaves and said to the hare,
"This leaf did not fall of itself; see, the tip of the stalk is quite
different from the stalk of the leaf this man has brought; you bit
it off." And the hare was silent Then Thakur rubbed the legs of the
hare with a ball of cleaned cotton and passed this sentence on him,
that thenceforward he should skip about like a leaf blown by the wind
and that men should hunt hares wherever they found them and kill and
eat them, entrails and all.

And this is the reason why Santals do not clean the hares they kill,
but eat them entrails and all.



CLXVIII. A Legend.

Once upon a time a woman was found to be with child by her own brother,
so the two had to fly the country. In their flight they came to the
Mustard Tank and Flower Lake, on the banks of which they prepared
to cook their food. They boiled water and cooked rice in it; and
then they boiled water to cook pulse to eat with the rice. But when
the water was ready they found that they had forgotten to bring any
pulse. While they were wondering what they could get to eat with their
rice they saw a man of the fisher caste (Keot) coming along with his
net on his shoulder. Then the woman sang--


    "The son of a Keot is standing on the bank of the tank:
    The fish are jumping: the son of a Keot is catching the fish."


So the Keot caught them some fish, which they ate with their rice.

Then they went on and by the side of the road they saw a date palm
the juice of which had been tapped; and they wished to drink the juice
but they found that they had brought no drinking vessel with them. The
woman looked about and saw near by a fan palm tree and she sang--


    "The peepul's leaves go flicker, flicker:
    The banyan's leaves are thick and fleshy:
    Of the fan palm's leaf, brother, make a cup.
    And we will drink the juice of the date palm."


So her brother made a drinking vessel of a palm leaf and they drank
the date juice and went on their way. At nightfall they rested at
the foot of a Bael tree and fell into a drunken sleep from the date
juice they had drunk.

As the woman lay senseless her child was born to her and no sooner
was the child born than a bael fruit fell on to its head and split it
into four pieces which flew apart and became four hills. From falling
on the new-born child the bael fruit has ever since had a sticky
juice and the tree is covered with thorns which are the hair of the
child. In the morning the man and woman went on and came to a forest
of _Tarop_ trees and the woman wiped her bloody hands on the _Tarop_
trees and so the _Tarop_ tree ever since exudes a red juice like blood.

Next morning they went on and came to a spring and drank of its water
and afterwards the woman bathed in it and the blood stained water
flowed over all the country and so we see stagnant water covered
with a red scum. Going on from there they reached a low lying flat
and halted; almost at once they saw a thunder storm coming up from
the South and West; and the woman sang--


    "A storm as black as the _so_ fruit, brother,
    Is coming, full of danger for us:
    Come let us flee to the homestead of the liquor seller."


But the brother answered--


    "The liquor seller's house is an evil house:
    You only wish to go there for mischief."


So they stayed where they were and the lightning came and slew
them both.



CLXIX. Pregnant Women.

Pregnant women are not allowed to go about alone outside the village;
for there are _bongas_ everywhere and some of them dislike the sight of
pregnant women and kill them or cause the child to be born wry-necked.

A pregnant woman may not make a mud fireplace for if she does her child
will be born with a hare-lip; nor may she chop vegetables during an
eclipse or the same result will follow. She may not ride in a cart,
for if she does the child will be always crying and will snore in its
sleep; if she eats the flesh of field rats the child's body will be
covered with hair and if she eats duck or goose flesh the child will
be born with its fingers and toes webbed. Nor may a pregnant woman
look on a funeral, for if she does her child will always sleep with
its eyes half open.



CLXX. The Influence of the Moon.

If a child is born on the day before the new moon the following
ceremony is observed. After bathing the child they place an old broom
in the mother's arms instead of the child; then the mother takes
the child and throws it out on the dung heap behind the house. The
midwife then takes an old broom and an old winnowing fan and sweeps
up a little rubbish on to the fan and takes it and throws it on the
dung hill; there she sees the child and calls out. "Here is a child
on the dung heap" then she pretends to sweep the child with the broom
into the winnowing fan and lifts it up and carries it into the house;
and asks the people of the house whether they will rear it. They ask
what wages she will give them and she promises to give them a heifer
when the child is grown up.

If this is not done the child will be unlucky when it grows up; if
it is a boy, however often he may marry, his wife will die and so,
if it is a girl, her husbands will die.

Another fact is that they always shave a child's head for the first
two times during the same moon; if it is shaved first during one moon
and then during the following moon; it will always have a headache
once a month.

Similarly when they tie the knots in a string to fix the date of a
wedding the wedding must take place in the lunar month in which the
knots are tied or else the children born of the marriage will die.



CLXXI. Illegitimate Children.

If a woman has an illegitimate child and from fear or shame will not
name its father the bastard is called a child of Chando. At its birth
there is no assembly of the neighbours; its head is not ceremonially
shaved and there is no _narta_ ceremony. The midwife does what is
necessary; and the child is admitted into no division of the tribe. If
it is a boy it is called Chandu or Chandrai or sometimes Birbanta and
if a girl Chandro or Chandmuni or perhaps Bonela. Sometimes after the
child is born the mother will under seal of secrecy tell its father's
name to her mother or the midwife; and then between themselves they
will call the child by a name taken from the father's family but
they will never tell it to anyone else. When the child grows up he
is given some nickname and if he turns out well and is popular his
name is often changed again and he is recognised as a Santal.

Often if a father will not acknowledge a child the mother will strangle
it at birth and bury the body. Men who practise sorcery dig up the
bones of such murdered infants and use them as rattles when doing
their sorceries and are helped by them to deceive people.



CLXXII. The Dead.

Santals are very much afraid of burial grounds; for dead men become
_bongas_ and _bongas_ eat men. If a man meet such a _bonga_ in a
burial ground it is of little use to fight for the _bonga_ keeps on
changing his shape. He may first appear as a man and then change into
a leopard or a bear or a pig or a cat: very few escape when attacked
by such a being.

It is said that the spirits of young children become _bhuts_ and those
of grown-up people _bongas_ and those of pregnant women _churins_.



CLXXIII. Hunting Custom.

Formerly when the men went to a hunt the mistress of the house would
not bathe all the time they were away and when the hunters returned
she met them at the front door and washed their feet and welcomed
them home. The wife of the _dehri_ used to put a dish of water under
her bed at night and if the water turned red like blood they believed
that it was a sign that game had been killed.



CHAPTER VI

Part VI.

The belief in witchcraft is very real to the present day among the
Santals. All untimely deaths and illness which does not yield to
treatment are attributed to the machinations of witches, and women
are not unfrequently murdered in revenge for deaths which they are
supposed to have caused, or to prevent the continuance of illness
for which they are believed to be responsible.

The Santal writer in spite of his education is a firm believer in
witchcraft, and details his own experiences. He has justification for
his belief, for as was the case in Mediaeval Europe, women sometimes
plead guilty to having caused death by witchcraft when there appears
to be no adequate motive for a confession, which must involve them
in the severest penalties.

Mr. Bodding is aware that Santal women do actually hold meetings at
night at which mantras and songs are repeated, and at which they may
believe they acquire uncanny powers; the exercise of such powers may
also on occasion be assisted by the knowledge of vegetable poisons.

The witch may either herself cause death by 'eating,' or eating the
liver of, her victim, or may cause her familiar "bonga" to attack
the unfortunate. That witches eat the liver is an old idea in India
mentioned by the Mughal historians.

The Jan guru is employed to detect who is the woman responsible for
any particular misfortune. His usual method is to gaze on a leaf
smeared with oil, in which as in a crystal he can doubtless imagine
that shapes present themselves. The witch having been detected, she is
liable to be beaten and maltreated until she withdraws her spells, and
if this does not lead to the desired result she may be put to death.



CLXXIV. Witchcraft.

The higher castes do not believe in witchcraft. If a man is ill they
give him medicines and if he dies in spite of the medicine they do
nothing further. But all the lower castes believe in witchcraft and
know that it is a reality. The Santal women learnt the craft first
from Marang Burn by playing a trick on him when he meant to teach
their husbands. And now they take quite little girls out by night
and teach them so that the craft may not die out.

We know of many cases to prove that witchcraft is a reality. Pirthi
who lives in Pankha's house was once ill: and it was an aunt of his who
was "eating" him. One night as he lay ill the witch came and bent over
him to take out his liver: but he woke up just in time and saw her and
catching her by the hair he shouted for the people in the house. They
and the villagers came and took the woman into custody. When the
Pargana questioned her she confessed everything and was punished.

Another time a boy lay ill and senseless. A cowherd who was driving
cattle home at evening ran to the back of the house where the sick boy
lay, after a cow which strayed there. There he found a woman in a state
of possession (rum) he told the villagers what he had seen and they
caught the woman and gave her a severe beating: whereupon the sick
boy recovered. But about two months afterwards the cowherd suddenly
fell down dead: and when they consulted a _jan_ as to the reason he
said that it was the witch who had been beaten who had done it.



CLXXV. Of Dains and Ojhas.

Once upon a time Marang Buru decided that he would teach men
witchcraft. In those days there was a place at which men used to
assemble to meet Marang Buru and hold council with him: but they only
heard his voice and never saw his face. One day at the assembly when
they had begun to tell Marang Buru of their troubles he fixed a day
and told them to come to him on it, dressed all in their cleanest
clothes and he would teach them witchcraft.

So the men all went home and told their wives to wash their clothes
well against the fixed day, as they were going to Thakur to learn
witchcraft. The women of course all began to discuss this new plan
among themselves and the more they talked of it the less they liked it;
it seemed to them that if the men were to get this new strange power
it would make them more inclined to despise and bully women than ever;
so they made a plot to get the better of their husbands. They arranged
that each woman should brew some rice beer and offer it to her husband
as he was starting to meet Marang Buru and beg him to drink some lest
his return should be delayed. They foresaw that the men would not be
able to resist the drink; and that having started they would go on till
they were dead drunk: it would then be easy for the women to dress
themselves like men and go off to Marang Buru and learn witchcraft
in place of their husbands. So said, so done;--the women duly made
their husbands drunk and then put on _pagris_ and _dhoties_ and stuck
goats' beards on their faces and went off to Marang Buru to learn
witchcraft. Marang Buru did not detect the imposition and according
to his promise taught them all the incantations of witchcraft.

After the women had come home with their new knowledge their
husbands gradually recovered their senses and bethought them of their
appointment with Marang Buru. So they hurried off to the meeting place
and asked him to teach them what he had promised. "Why, I taught it
all to you this morning," answered Marang Buru, "what do you mean by
coming to me again?" The men could not understand what he meant and
protested that they had not been to him at all in the morning. "Then
you must have told your wives what I was going to do!" This they could
not deny: "I see," said Marang Buru "then they must have played a trick
on you and learnt the _mantras_ in your place," At this the men began
to lament and begged that they might be taught also: but Marang Buru
said that this was impossible; he could only teach them a very little;
their wives had reaped the crop and they could only have the gleanings;
so saying, he taught them the art of the _ojha_ and in order that
they might have the advantage of their wives in one respect and be
able to overawe them he also taught them the craft of the _jan_ and
with that they had to be content. This is why only women are witches.



CLXXVI. Initiation into Witchcraft.

When girls are initiated into witchcraft they are taken away by
force and made to lead tigers about. This makes them fearless. They
are then taken to all the most powerful _bongas_ in succession; and
are taught to invoke them, as school boys are taught lessons, and to
become possessed _(rum)_. They are also taught _mantras_ and songs and
by degrees they cease to be afraid. The novice is made to come out of
the house with a lamp in her hand and a broom tied round her waist;
she is then conducted to the great _bongas_ one of whom approves of her
and when all have agreed she is married to that _bonga_. The _bonga_
pays the usual brideprice and applies _sindur_ to her forehead. After
this she can also marry a man in the usual way and he also pays the
bride price. When a girl has learnt everything she is made to take
her degree (_sid atang_) by taking out a man's liver and cooking it
with rice in a new pot; then she and the young woman who is initiating
her, eat the feast together; a woman who has once eaten such a stew
is completely proficient and can never forget what she has learnt.

This is the way in which girls learn witchcraft; and if any girl
refuses to take the final step and will not eat men she is caused to
go mad or die. Those however who have once eaten men have a craving
for it.

Generally it is only women who are witches; but there are men who have
learnt witchcraft and there are others who without being initiated
have kept company with witches. For instance in Simra village there
is Chortha who was once a servant of the Parganna. He says that the
Parganna's wife used to take him out with her at night. The women used
to sacrifice fowls and goats and make him skin them and cut them up:
he had then to roast cakes of the flesh and give them to the Parganna's
wife who distributed them among the other women.

Sometimes also witches take a man with them to their meetings to beat
the drum: and sometimes if a man is very much in love with a girl he
is allowed to go with them and is taught witchcraft. For instance
there was a man who had a family of daughters and no son and so he
engaged a man servant by the year to work for him.

After being some years in service this man servant one night was for
some reason unusually late in letting the buffaloes out to graze,
and while doing so he saw all the women of the household assembled
out of doors; they came up to him and told him not to be afraid
and promised to do him no harm provided he told no one what he had
seen. Two or three days later the young women of the house invited
him to go to a witches' meeting. He went but felt rather frightened
the whole time; however nothing happened to him, so he got over his
fear and after that he used to go with them quite willingly and learnt
all about witchcraft. At last they told him that he must _sid atang_
by "eating" a human being. He objected that he was an orphan and so
there was no relation whom he could eat. This was a difficulty that
seemed insurmountable; and he suggested that he should be excused the
full course and taught only a little such as how to "eat" fowls. The
women agreed but it was arranged that to deceive people he should go
for two or three days and study with a _jan guru_ and be initiated by
him. Thus it would be thought that he learnt his magic from the _guru_
but really he learnt it from the witches who taught him everything
except how to "eat" human beings. He learnt how to make trees wither
away and come to life again; and to make rain fall where he wished
while any place he chose remained quite dry; he learnt to walk upon
the surface of water without getting wet; he could exorcise hail so
that none would touch his house though it fell all around. For a joke
he could make stools stick fast to his friends when they sat on them;
and anyone he scolded found himself unable to speak properly. All
this we have seen him do; but it was no one's business to question
him to find out how much he really knew.

Once at the shield and sword dance they cast a spell on a youth till
his clothes fell off him in shreds and he was ashamed to dance. Then
this servant had the pieces of cloth brought to him; and he covered
them with his own cloth and mumbled some _mantras_ and blew on it and
the pieces joined together and the cloth was as good as ever. This
we have seen ourselves.

He lived a long time with his master who found him a wife; but because
his first child died he left the place and went to live near Amrahat
where he is now.

Another case is Tipu of Mohulpahari. They say that an old witch Dukkia
taught him to be an _ojha_. No one has dared to ask him whether he
also learnt witchcraft from her but he himself admits that she taught
him to be an _ojha_.

Although it is true that there are witches and that they "eat" men
you will never see them except when you are alone.

The son-in-law of Surai of Karmatane village, named Khade, died from
meeting witches; he told us all about it as he lay dying. He was
coming home with some other men: they had all had a little too much
to drink and so they got separated. Khade was coming along alone and
had nearly reached his house when he saw a crowd of witches under a
tree. He went up and asked who they were. Thereupon they turned on
him and seized him and dragged him away towards Maluncha. There they
did something to him and let him go. Next morning he was seized with
purging and by mistake some of the witches' vengeance fell also on
the other men and they were taken ill too. They however recovered,
but Khade died. If you meet witches you die, but not of course if
they take you with them of their own will and teach you their craft.



CLXXVII. Witchcraft.

Girls are taught witchcraft when they are young and are married to a
_bonga_ husband. Afterwards when they marry a man they still go away
and visit the _bonga_ and when they do so they send in their place a
_bonga_ woman exactly like them in appearance and voice; so that the
husband cannot tell that it is not his real wife. There is however a
way of discovering the substitution; for if the man takes a brand from
the fire and burns the woman with it, then if it is really a _bonga_
and not his wife she will fly away in a flame of fire.



CLXXVIII. Witch Stories.

I will now tell you something I have seen with my own eyes. In the
village of Dhubia next to mine the only son of the Paranik lay ill
for a whole year. One day I went out to look at my _rahar_ crop
which was nearly ripe and as I stood under a mowah tree I heard a
voice whispering. I stooped down to try and see through the _rahar_
who was there but the crop was so thick that I could see nothing;
so I climbed up the mowah tree to look. Glancing towards Dhubia
village I saw the third daughter of the Paranik come out of her house
and walk towards me. When about fifty yards from me she climbed a
big rock and waited. Presently an old aunt of hers came out of the
village and joined her. Then the old woman went back to her house and
returned with a lota of water. Meanwhile the girl had come down from
the rock and sat at its foot near a thicket of _dhela_ trees. The old
woman caused the girl to become possessed (_rum_) and they had some
conversation which I could not hear, Then they poured out the water
from the lota and went home.

On my way home I met a young fellow of the village and found that
he had also seen what the two women did. We went together to the
place and found the mark of the water spilled on the ground and two
leaves which had been used as wrappers and one of which was smeared
with vermilion and _adwa_ rice had been scattered about. We decided
to tell no one till we saw whether what had been done was meant to
benefit or injure the sick boy. Fifteen days later the boy died:
and when his parents consulted a _jan_ he named a young woman of the
village as the cause of the boy's death and she was taken and punished
severely by the villagers.

It is plain that the boy's sister and aunt in order to save themselves
caused the _jan_ to see an innocent woman. I could not bring the boy
back to life so it was useless for me to say anything, especially as
the guilty women were of the Paranik's own family. This I saw myself
in broad daylight.

Another thing that happened to me was this. I had been with the
Headman to pay in the village rent. It was night when we returned
and after leaving him I was going home alone. As I passed in front
of a house a bright light suddenly shone from the cowshed; I looked
round and saw a great crowd of women-witches standing there. I ran
away by the garden at the back of the house until I reached a high
road; then I stopped and looked round and saw that the witches were
coming after me; and looking towards the hamlet where my house was I
saw that witches were coming with a bright light from that direction
also. When I found myself thus hemmed in I felt that my last hour
had come but I ran on till I came to some jungle.

Looking back from there I saw that the two bands had joined together
and were coming after me. I did not feel safe there for I knew that
there were _bongas_ in the jungle who might tell the witches where
I was. So I ran on to the _tola_ where an uncle and aunt of mine
lived. As I ran down the street I saw two witches at the back of
one of the houses. They were sitting down; one was in a state of
possession _(rum)_ and the other was opposite her holding a lamp. So
I left the street and made my way through the fields till I Came to
my uncle's house. I knocked and was admitted panting and breathless;
my uncle and aunt went outside to see what it was that had scared me
and they saw the witches with the two lights flashing and made haste
to bolt the door. None of us slept for the rest of the night and in
the morning I told them all that had happened.

Since that night I have been very frightened of witches and do not like
to go out at night. It was lucky that the witches did not recognise
me; otherwise I should not have lived. Ever since I have never stayed
at home for long together; I go there for two or three months at a
time and then go away and work elsewhere. I am too frightened to stay
in my own village. Now all the old women who taught witchcraft are
dead except one: when she goes I shall not be frightened any more. I
shall be able to go home when I like. I have never told any one but
my uncle and aunt what I saw until now that I have written it down.

So from my own experience I have no doubt about the existence of
witches; I cannot say how they "eat" men, whether by magic or whether
they order _"bongas"_ to cause a certain man to die on a certain
day. Some people say that when a witch is first initiated she is
married to a _bonga_ and if she wants to "eat" a man she orders her
_bonga_ husband to kill him and if he refuses she heaps abuse on him
until he does.



CLXXIX. Witch Stories.

Young girls are taught witchcraft against their wills and if they
refuse to "eat" their father or brother they die or go mad. There
was a girl in my own village and she went out gathering herbs with
another girl who was a witch. As usual they sang at their work and the
witch girl sang songs the tune of which the other thought so pretty
that she learnt them by heart. When she had learnt them the witch
girl told her that they were witch songs and explained to her their
meaning. The girl was very angry at having been taught them unawares
but the witch girl assured her that she would never be able to forget
the songs or their interpretation; then she assigned her to a _bonga_
bridegroom and then told her to _sid atang_ and all would be well
with her otherwise she would have trouble.

When the girl learnt that she must _sid atang_ by "eating" her father
or brother or mother she began to make excuses; she could not kill
her father for he was the support of the family; nor her only brother
for he was wanted too at the _Baha_ and _Sohrai_ nor her mother who
had reared her in childhood. The witch girl said that if she refused
she would die; and she said that she would rather die than do what
was required of her. Then the witch did something and the girl began
to rave and talk gibberish and from that time was quite out of her
senses. _Ojhas_ tried to cure her in vain until at last one suggested
that she should be taken to another village as the madness must be
the work of witches living in her own village. So they took her away
and the remedies then cured her. She stayed in her new home and was
married there. A long time afterwards she went back to pay a visit to
her father's house: but the day after she arrived her head began to
ache and she fell ill and though her husband came and took her away
she died the day after she reached her home.

There was another girl; her friends noticed that when she came home
with them in the evening after planting rice she was very careful
not to fall behind or be left alone and they used to laugh at her for
being a coward. But one day she was gathering Indian corn with a friend
and as they talked she said "You will all have lovely dancing at the
Sohrai." "You!" said her friend: "won't you be there? Are you going
away?" Then the girl began to cry and sobbed out that her mother had
taught her witchcraft and married her to a _bonga_; and it was for
fear of the _bonga_ that she did not like to be alone in the dark;
and because she had refused to "eat" anyone her mother intended to
"eat" her and so she had no hope of living to see the Sohrai. Three
days later the girl fell ill and died, and after her death her friend
told how she had foreseen it.



CLXXX. Witch Stories.

In the village of Mohulpahari there was a youth named Jerba. He was
servant to Bepin Teli of Tempa and often had to come home in the dark
after his day's work. One night he was coming back very late and,
before he saw where he was, suddenly came upon a crowd of witches
standing under a hollow mowah tree at the foot of the field that
the dhobie has taken. Just as he caught sight of them they seized
hold of him and flung him down and did something which he could not
remember--for he lost his senses when they threw him down. When he
came to himself he managed to struggle free and run off. The witches
pursued but failed to overtake him and he reached his home in a state
of terror. The witches however had not finished with him for two or
three days after they caused him to fall from a tree and break his
arm. Ojhas were called in but their medicines did him no good. The
arm mortified and maggots formed and in a few days Jerba himself told
them that he would not recover; he told them how the witches chased
him and that he had recognised them as women of his own village and
shortly afterwards he became speechless and died.

My own brother-in-law lived at Mubundi. One night he and several other
men were sitting up on the threshing-floor watching their rice. In
the middle of the night they saw lights shining and flickering in
the courtyard of my brother-in-law's house and he went to see what
was the matter. When he got near, the lights went into the house:
he went up quietly and as he looked in found the house full of women
who extinguished the light directly they saw him and rushed out of
the house. Then he asked my sister what the light was; but she could
only stammer out "What light? I saw no light," so he struck her a blow
and went back to the threshing-floor and told the others what he had
seen. That night he would not tell them the names of the women he had
seen; and before morning his right arm swelled and became very painful;
the swelling quickly increased and by noon he lost consciousness and
a few hours later he died.



CLXXXI. The Two Witches.

There were once a woman and her daughter-in-law who were both
witches. One night during the annual Sohrai festival the men of the
village were going from house to house singing and getting rice beer
to drink; and one young man named Chandrai got so drunk that when they
came to the house where the two witch-women lived he rolled himself
under the shelf on which rice was stored and fell asleep. Next morning
he came to his senses but he did not like to come out and show himself
for fear of ridicule so he made up his mind to wait till a party came
round singing again and then to slip out with them unperceived.

He lay waiting and presently all the men of the house went away to
join in the _danka_ dance; leaving the mistress of the house and
her daughter-in-law alone. Presently, the two began to talk and the
elder woman said "Well what with the pigs and the goats that have been
sacrificed during this Sohrai we have had plenty of meat to eat lately
and yet I don't feel as if I had had any." "That is so," answered her
daughter-in-law; "fowls' and pig's flesh is very unsatisfying." "Then
what are we to do?" rejoined the old woman, "I don't know unless you
do for the father of your grandchild." When he heard this Chandrai
shivered with fright and hid himself further under the rice shelf,
for he saw that the two women must be witches.

That day was the day on which a bullock is tied to a post outside each
house and at noon the husband of the younger witch began to dig a hole
outside the house to receive the post. While he was working Chandrai
heard the two women begin to talk again. "Now is your opportunity,"
said the younger woman, "while he is digging the hole." "But perhaps
the _ojha_ will be able to discover us," objected the other. "Oh
we can prevent that by making the _ojha_ see in the oiled leaf the
faces of Rupi and Bindi--naming two girls of the village--and we can
say that my husband had seduced them and then declined to marry them
and that that was why they killed him." The old woman seemed to be
satisfied, for she took up a hatchet and went out to where her son
was digging the hole. She waited till he bent down to throw out the
earth with his hands and then cut open his back and pulled out his
liver and heart and brought them into the house. Her unfortunate son
felt a spasm of pain when his mother struck him but he did not know
what had hurt him and there was no visible wound. The two women then
chopped up the liver and heart and cooked and ate them.

That night when the village youths came round to the house, singing,
Chandrai slipped out with them unperceived and hastened home. Two or
three days later the bewitched man became seriously ill; medicines
and sacrifices did him no good; the _ojhas_ were called in but could
make nothing of the illness. The villagers were very angry with them
for the failure and the headman told them that they must ascertain
by means of the oiled leaf who had caused the illness, or it would
be the worse for them. So the _ojhas_ went through their ceremonies
and after a time declared that the oiled leaf showed the faces of
the two girls Rupi and Bindi; and that it was they who were eating
up the sick man. So the two girls were sent for and questioned but
they solemnly swore that they knew nothing about the matter. No one
believed their protestations and the headman ordered that filth should
be put into their mouths and that they should be well beaten to make
them confess. However before any harm was done them Chandrai sprang
up and called out to the headman: "You have proof that these girls
are witches, but I will not let you beat them here. Let us take them
to yonder open field; the token of their oath is there and we will
make them first remove it. If we beat them first they will probably
refuse to remove the oath." "How do you know about their oath?" asked
the headman. "Never mind, I do know." The villagers were convinced by
his confident manner and all went with the two girls to the open field.

Chandrai's object was to get away from the witches' house for he was
afraid to speak there; but when they were out in the open he stood up
and told the villagers all that he had seen and heard the two witches
do; they remembered that he had been missing for a whole day during
the Sohrai festival and believed him. So the sick man's wife and
mother were fetched and well beaten to make them restore the sick
man to health; but his liver and heart had been eaten so that the
case was hopeless and in a few days he was dead. His relations in
revenge soon killed the two witches.

Rupi and Bindi whose lives had been saved by Chandrai went and
established themselves in his house, for they declared that as they
owed their lives to him it was plain that he must marry them.



CLXXXII. The Sister-in-Law Who Was a Witch.

There were once two brothers who lived together; the elder was married
but the younger had no wife. The elder brother used to cultivate
their lands and his wife used to draw water and fetch fuel and the
younger brother used to take the cattle out to graze. One year when
the elder brother was busy in the fields the younger one used to take
his cattle to graze near where his brother was working and the wife
used to bring out the breakfast for both of them. One day the younger
brother thought he would play a trick on his sister-in-law by not
answering when she called him to his breakfast; so when her husband
had finished his meal and she called out for the younger brother to
come he gave no answer; she concluded that the cattle were straying
and would not let him come so she took up her basket and went to
look for him; but when he saw her coming he climbed up a tree and
hid himself and for all her calling gave no answer, but only sat and
laughed at her although she came quite close to where he was.

At last the woman got into a passion and putting down the breakfast
by the side of a pool which was close to the tree up which her
brother-in-law had climbed she stripped off her clothes and began
bowing down and calling. "Ho, Dharmal Chandi! come forth !" When he
saw this the man was amazed and waited to see whom she was calling,
meaning to let her know he was there directly she turned to go away
home with the breakfast. But the woman kept on calling to Dharmal
Chandi and at last out of the pool appeared an immense bearded _bonga_
with long and matted hair. When the woman saw him her tongue flickered
in and out like a snake's and she made a hissing noise, such as a crab
makes. Then the woman began "Dharmal Chandi I have a request which
you must promise to grant." And when the _bonga_ had promised she
proceeded. "You must have my brother-in-law killed by a tiger the day
after to-morrow; he has put me to endless trouble making me go shouting
after him all through the jungle; I wanted to go back quickly because
I have a lot of work at home; he has wasted my time by not answering;
so the day after to-morrow you must have him killed." The _bonga_
promised to do what she asked and disappeared into the pool and the
woman went home.

While the younger brother was up in the tree his cattle had got into a
_gundli_ field and eaten up the crop: and the owner found it out and
got the brothers fined. So that evening the elder brother asked him
where he had been that he had not looked after the cattle properly
nor eaten any breakfast. In answer the younger brother only began to
cry; at that his sister-in-law said. "Let him alone; he is crying for
want of a wife; he is going silly because we have not married him;"
and so nothing more was said. But the elder brother was not satisfied
and the next day when they went together to work he asked the younger
what was the real reason for his crying.

Then the younger answered. "Brother, I am in great trouble; it makes
me cry all day; if you wish ever to look on my face again, you must
not work in the fields to-morrow but keep me company while I tend
the cattle; if we are separated for a moment a tiger will kill me;
it will be quickly over for me but you I know will miss me much and
so I am grieving for you; if you have any tenderness for me do not
leave me to-morrow but save me from the tiger." His brother asked the
reason for this foreboding but the younger man said that he would
explain nothing and accuse no one until the events of the next day
had shown whether he was speaking the truth; if a tiger really came
to stalk him then that would be proof that he had had good reason
for his apprehension; and he begged his brother not to speak a word
about it to anyone and especially not to his wife.

The elder brother promised to keep the matter a secret and cheered his
brother up and told him to be of good heart; they would take their bows
and axes and he would like to see the tiger that would touch them. So
the next morning the two brothers went off together well armed and
tended the cattle in company; nothing happened and at midday they
brought the cattle home; when the woman saw them with bows in their
hands she asked where they had been. Her husband told her that he had
been to look for a hare which he had seen on the previous day but he
had not been able to find it. Then his brother said that he had seen
a hare in its form that very morning but had not had time to shoot
it. So they pretended to arrange to go and hunt this hare and after
having eaten their rice they drove out the cattle again.

As they went along they kept close together with their arrows on the
string, so that the tiger which came to stalk the younger brother got
no opportunity to attack; at last it showed itself at the edge of the
jungle; the cattle were thrown into a turmoil and the brothers saw
that it was really following them; and the elder brother was convinced
that there was some reason for his brother's fears. So they turned
the cattle back and cautiously drove them home, keeping a good look
out all the way; the tiger prowled round them hiding in the bushes,
sometimes in front and sometimes behind, but found no opening to
attack while they for their part did not dare to shoot at it. The
tiger followed them right up to the house; but the elder brother did
not leave the other for a moment nor let him go outside the door and
at night he slept on the same bed with him.

The next morning he begged his brother to tell him all that had
happened and explain how he knew that a tiger would seek his
life on the previous day. "Come then" said the other, "to yonder
open ground. I cannot tell you in the house;" so they went out
together and then the younger told all that had happened and how his
sister-in-law had ordered the _Bonga_ to have him killed by a tiger;
"I did not tell you before till my story had been put to the proof
for fear that you would not believe me and would tell your wife; but
now you know all. I cannot live with you any longer; from this very
day I must go and find a home elsewhere." "Not so" said the other,
"I will not keep such a woman with me any longer; she is dangerous;
I will go home now and put her to death," and so saying he went home
and killed his wife with an axe.



CLXXXIII. Ramjit Bonga.

Once upon a time a man went out to snare quail: he set his snares
by the side of a mountain stream and then sat down under a bush to
watch them. As he waited he saw a young woman come along with her
water pot under her arm to draw water from the stream. When she got
to the _ghat_ she put down her pot and made her way up the stream
towards where the snares had been set; she did not notice the hunter
but went to the stump of an ebony tree near him and looking round
and seeing no one she suddenly became possessed and started dancing
round the ebony tree and singing some song which he could not clearly
catch; and as she danced she called out "The Pig's fat is overflowing:
brother-in-law Ramjit come here to me." When she called out like this
the quail catcher quietly crept nearer still to her. Although the
woman repeatedly summoned him in this way the Bonga would not come
out because he was aware of the presence of the onlooker; the woman
however got into a passion at his non-appearance and stripping off her
clothes she danced naked round the tree calling out "The Pig's fat
is overflowing: brother-in-law Ramjit come hither at once." At last
out of the _nala_ appeared the bonga, dark, enormous and shaggy; and
approached the woman: Then the woman said "Brother-in-law Ramjit there
is something that you must do for me; my nephew is ill; he must die
on such and such a day; that day I must see the smoke of his funeral
pyre; but you must save me from the witch-finder; let the blame fall
not on me but on so and so; this is what I came to urge on you; that
you protect me from discovery and then we shall always be friends."

The Bonga at first knowing that they were being watched would not make
the promise but when the woman insisted he promised in a low voice
and then disappeared into the _nala_; and the witch went back to the
ghat, filled her water pot and went home. The quail catcher also went
trembling home and he remembered the day fixed for the death of the
nephew of the witch and he decided to wait and see what happened before
saying anything to the villagers. Sure enough on the day before that
fixed by the witch the invalid became unconscious and was obviously
at the point of death. When he heard this the quail catcher went to
the sick man's bedside and seeing his condition told his relatives to
collect all the villagers to beat the woman whom he had seen with the
Bonga and he told them all that had passed; the villagers believed
him and summoning all the women of the village they scolded them;
and then being excited by this they rose up and began to beat the
women; to each they gave one blow with a stick, but the woman whom
the quail catcher pointed out they beat till she fainted.

Then they ordered her to cure the sick man and threatened to burn her
along with him if he died, but she insisted that she was innocent. Then
they told her that they knew all that had passed between her and
the Bonga Ramjit, she persisted that it was all a mistake. So they
started to beat her again; they beat her from her heels to her neck
and then from her neck down to her heels till the blood flowed and
they swore that they would not let her go unless she cured the sick
man and that if he died they would cut her to pieces. At last the
torture made her confess that it was she who was eating the sick man;
and she promised to cure him; so they first made her tell the names
of all the other witches in the village and then tied her to a post
and kept her there, and did not untie her till in four or five days
the sick man recovered. When she was let loose the quail catcher ran
away from the village and would not live there any more.

But the villagers threatened the witch woman that if her nephew or any
of his family got ill again they would kill her; and they told her that
as her secret had been found out she was henceforth to be their _ojha_
and cure their diseases; and they would supply her with whatever she
wanted for the purpose; they asked what sacrifice her nephew must make
on his recovery; and she told them to get a red cock, a grasshopper:
a lizard; a cat and a black and white goat; so they brought her these
and she sacrificed them and the villagers had a feast of rice and
rice beer and went to their homes and the matter ended.



CLXXXIV. The Herd Boy and the Witches.

Once upon a time a cowherd lost a calf and while looking for it he
was benighted in the jungle; for he was afraid to go home lest he
should be scolded for losing the calf. He had with him his bow and
arrows and flute and a stick but still he was afraid to stay the
night in the jungle; so he made up his mind to go to the _jahirthan_
as _More Turuiko_ would protect him there; so he went to the _jahir
than_ and climbed a tree in which a spirit abode; he took his bow
and arrows up with him but he was too frightened to go to sleep.

About supper time he saw a number of women who were witches collect
from all sides at the _jahir than_: at this sight he was more
frightened than ever; the witches then called up the _bongas_ and
they also summoned two tigers; then they danced the _lagre_ dance and
they combed the hair of the two tigers. Then they also called _More
Turniko_ and when they came, one bonga said "I smell a man" and _More
Turniko_ scolded him saying "Faith, you smelt nothing until we came;
and directly we come you say you smell a man; it must be us you smell";
and the chief of the _bongas_ agreed that it must be all right. Then
while the women were dancing the boy took his bow and shot the two
tigers, and the tigers enraged by their wounds fell on the witches
and killed them all; and then they died themselves; and as they were
dying they roared terribly so that the people in the villages near
heard them. When it grew light the boy climbed down and drawing the
arrows from the bodies of the tigers went home.

Then the people asked him where he had spent the night and he said
that he was benighted while looking for his calf and as he heard tigers
roaring near the _jahir than_ he was frightened and had stayed in the
jungle. They told him that when the tigers began to roar the calf
had come running home by itself and this was good news to the herd
boy. Then he found that all the children in the village were crying for
their mothers and the men were asking what had become of their wives;
then the herdboy said that in the night he had seen some women going in
the direction of the _jahir than_ but he had not seen them come back
and they had better go and look there. So the villagers went off and
found their wives lying dead by the _jahir than_ and the two tigers
also dead; and they knew that the women must have been witches to go
there at night; so they wept over them and burned the bodies. And a
long time afterwards the boy told them all that he had seen and done;
and they admitted that he had done right in destroying the witches
and that it would be well if all witches met the same fate.

This story whether true or not is told to this day.



CLXXXV. The Man-Tiger.

There was once a young man who when a boy had learnt witchcraft from
some girl friends; he was married but his wife knew nothing about
this. They lived happily together and were in the habit of paying
frequent visits to the wife's parents. One day they were on their
way together to pay such a visit and in passing through some jungle
they saw, grazing with a herd of cattle, a very fine and fat bull
calf. The man stopped and stripped himself to his waist cloth and
told his wife to hold his clothes for him while he went and ate the
calf that had stirred his appetite. His wife in astonishment asked
him how he was going to eat a living animal; he answered that he
was going to turn into a tiger and kill the animal and he impressed
on her that she must on no account be frightened or run away and he
handed her a piece of root and told her that she must give it him to
smell when he came back and he would at once regain his human shape.

So saying he retired into a thicket and took off his waist cloth and
at once became a tiger; then he swallowed the waist cloth and thereby
grew a fine long tail. Then he sprang upon the calf and knocked it over
and began to suck its blood. At this sight his wife was overwhelmed
with terror and forgetting everything in her fear ran right off to
her father's house taking with her her husband's clothes and the
magic root. She arrived breathless and told her parents all that had
happened. Meanwhile her husband had been deprived of the means of
regaining his own form and was forced to spend the day hiding in the
jungle as a tiger; when night fell he made his way to the village
where his father-in-law lived. But when he got there all the dogs
began to bark and when the villagers saw that there was a tiger they
barricaded themselves in their houses.

The man-tiger went prowling round his father-in-law's house and at
last his father-in-law plucked up courage and went out and threw
the root which the wife had brought under the tiger's nose and he
at once became a man again. Then they brought him into the house
and washed his feet; and gave him hot rice-water to drink; and on
drinking this he vomited up lumps of clotted blood. The next morning
the father-in-law called the villagers and showed them this blood and
told them all that had happened; then he turned to his son-in-law and
told him to take himself off and vowed that his daughter should never
go near him again. The man-tiger had no answer to make but went back
silently and alone to his own home.

_Note_:--The following is a prescription for making an _Ulat bag_
or were-tiger.

"The fibre of a plant (Bauhinia vahli) beaten out and cooked in
mustard oil in a human skull."



Glossary.

_Adwa_. Rice husked without having been boiled.

_Arta_. Red pigment applied to the feet for ornament.

_Baha Porob_. The flower festival; the spring festival held about
February.

_Bandi_. A receptacle for storing grain, made of straw rope.

_Bharia_. A bamboo carried on the shoulder with a load slung at
each end.

_Bhut_. A ghost, a harmful spirit, not originally a Santal word.

_Bonga_. The name for all gods, godlings and supernatural beings. Sing
bonga is the sun god; the spirits of ancestors are bongas, there are
bongas of the hills, streams and the forest; others are like fairies
and take human form. Sacrifices are offered to bongas on all occasions.

_Brinjal_. The egg plant.

_But_. Grain, a kind of pulse.

_Chamar_. A low caste, workers in leather.

_Chando_. The sun, the supreme god of the Santals.

_Champa_. A country in which according to their traditions, the
Santals once lived.

_Charak Puja_. The festival at which men are swung by hooks from
a pole.

_Chatar_. A festival at which dancing takes place round an umbrella.

_Chowkidar_. A watchman.

_Churin_. The spirit of a woman who has died while pregnant, her feet
are turned backwards. Not originally Santal.

_Chumaura_. A ceremony observed at marriage, and Sohrae festival.

_Dain_. A witch. Witches are supposed to use their powers to cause
sickness and death; women accused of witchcraft are often murdered.

_Dehri_. The president of the annual hunt; he presides over the
Court which during the hunt hears appeals against unjust decisions
of paganas.

_Dewan_. The chief minister of a Raja.

_Dhobi_. A washerman.

_Dhoti_. The waistcloth worn by men.

_Dom_. A low caste, scavengers, basketmakers and drummers.

_Gamcha_. A small piece of cloth worn round the neck, or when bathing.

_Ghât_. The approach to a pool or river at which people bathe; the
crossing place of a river.

_Ghormuha_. A horse-headed monster; not a Santal name.

_Goâla_. A man of the cow keeping caste.

_Godet_. The village constable, the official messenger of the headman.

_Goondli_. A small millet.

_Gosain_. A religious ascetic, usually of the Vishnuite persuasion.

_Gupinî_. A celestial milkmaid, such as those who danced with Krishna;
not a Santal creation.

_Gûr_. Juice of sugar cane, molasses.

_Hadi_. A low caste of scavengers.

_Jan_ or _Jan guru_. A witch finder. When a man is ill the Jan is
consulted as to what witch is responsible. The Jan usually divines
by gazing at an oiled leaf.

_Jahirtkan_. The group of sacred trees left in each village for the
accomodation of the spirits of the forest when the jungle is cleared.

_Jai tuk_. A bullock given to a woman at her marriage.

_Jhalka_. A boastful man.

_Jogi_ or _Jugi_. A religious ascetic, a mendicant.

_Lota_. A small brass water pot.

_Lakh_. One hundred thousand.

_Mahadeo_. The great god, i.e. Siva.

_Mahajan_. A moneylender.

_Mahuli_. A tribe akin to the Santals, basket makers by profession.

_Malhan_. A cultivated leguminous plant.

_Manjhithan_. The little pavilion in the centre of every Santal village
at which the spirits of dead headmen are worshipped and where village
councils are held.

_Mantra_. An incantation, sacred or magic formula.

_Marang Burn_. The great spirit, the original chief god of the Santals.

_Marwari_. A trader from Rajputana and the adjoining parts.

_Maund_. A weight, 40 seers or 82 pounds.

_Meral_. A small tree. Phyllanthus emblica.

_More Turuiko_. Lit.: The five or six--certain Santal godlings.

_Mowah_. A tree, Bassia latifolia, the fleshy flower is eaten and
spirit is distilled from it.

_Musahar_. A semi-aboriginal caste which catches and eats rats.

_Nala_. A water course with steep banks.

_Narta_. The namegiving ceremony observed three or five days after
birth, by which the child is formally admitted into the tribe.

_Ninda Chando_. The moon godess, wife of Singchando the Sun god.

_Kat_. A dry measure used for grain.

_Kisar Bonga_. A spirit which takes up its abode in the house,
frolicsome and mischievous.

_Kisku_. One of the twelve exogamous septs of Santals, by tradition
it was formerly the royal sept.

_Koeri_. A cultivating caste of Hindus.

_Kora_. A youth or young man, the hero of a story is often called so
throughout, and I have for convenience adopted it as a proper name.

_Kos_. A measure of distance, two miles.

_Ojha_. An exorcist, a charm doctor, one who counteracts the effects
of witchcraft.

_Pachet_. A place in the Manbhum district which the Santals occupied
in the course of their immigrations.

_Panchayat_. A council primarily of five which meets to decide
a dispute.

_Pagri_. A cloth worn round the head, a turban.

_Paharia_. A hill man; the Saurias or Malé of the Rajmahal hills.

_Pai_. A wooden or metal measure containing half a seer.

_Pan_. Betel used for chewing.

_Parganna_. A Santal chief having jurisdiction over a number of
villages.

_Paranic_. The assistant headman of a village.

_Parrab_. A festival.

_Peepul_ or _pipal_. A tree, ficus religiosa.

_Pilchu Haram_ and _Pilchu Budhi_. The first man and woman.

_Rahar_. A cultivated crop, a kind of pulse.

_Raibar_. A marriage go-between, a man employed to arrange a marriage.

_Rakas_. An ogre. Sanskrit Rakhshya.

_Rum_. To be possessed, to fall into a cataleptic state.

_Sabai_. A kind of grass used for making rope.

_Sal_. A forest tree. Shorea robusta.

_Seer_. A weight, about two pounds.

_Sid atang_. To take the final step, to be completely initiated.

_Sing bonga_. The Sun god.

_Sipahi_. An armed guard, a soldier, armed messenger.

_Sohrai_. The great winter festival of the Santals.

_Taluq_. A revenue division of the country.

_Tarop tree_. A small tree, Buchanania latifolia.

_Thakur_. The supreme Being.

_Tika_. A mark on the forehead, the giving of which corresponds
to coronation.

_Tola_. A hamlet, a detached quarter of a village.



Appendix


Introduction.

The Kolhan forms the western half of the district of Singhbhum in
Chota Nagpur. The Hos or Larka Hos who form the bulk of the inhabitants
are a branch of the Mundas of the Chota Nagpur Plateau. They are one
of those Kolarian tribes of which the Santals are perhaps the best
known. I have collected some of the Folklore stories current among
them, the recollection of which would, however, appear to be dying out.

The Rev. A. Campbell of the Free Church of Scotland, Santal Mission,
has printed a volume of Santal Folk Tales collected by him in Manbhum,
a neighbouring district to Singhbhum. As might be expected there is
considerable resemblance between those Santal Tales and the ones now
reproduced. I have heard some of Mr. Campbell's Santal stories told by
Hos precisely as he relates them, and there are many incidents common
to both collections. On the other hand there is no resemblance between
these Kolarian tales, and the Bengal stories published by Rev. Lal
Behari De. In the latter I only notice one incident which appears in
the Kolhan stories, the bringing together of two lovers through a long
hair floating down a stream, but in Bengal it is the lady's hair that
floats to her lover, while in the Kolhan it is always the long hair
of the hero which inspires love in the heart of the Raja's daughter.

The stories may be divided into two groups, the animal stories
in which the principal characters are animals, for the most part
denizens of the jungles, and the stories which deal with a settled
state of Society with Rajas, priests and members of the different
Hindu castes following their usual occupations. It is interesting,
but perhaps scarcely profitable, to try and deduce from the latter some
hints of the previous history of the Hos, who, as we know them, are a
strongly democratic race, with a well developed tribal system. They
look on themselves as the owners, of the soil and are unwilling to
admit the claims of any overlord.

I have made no attempt to put the following stories into a literary
dress; I merely bring them as a few stones to the hands of the builders
who build the structure of comparative mythology.



(1)--The River Snake.

Once upon a time a certain woman had been on a visit to a distant
village. As she was going home she reached the bank of a flooded
river. She tried to wade across but soon found that the water was too
deep and the current too strong. She looked about but could see no
signs of a boat or any means of crossing. It began to grow dark and
the woman was in great distress at the thought that she would not be
able to reach her home.

While she thus stood in doubt, suddenly out of the river came a
great snake an said to her: "Woman, what will you give me if I ferry
you across the river?" She answered: "Snake, I have nothing to give
you." The snake said I cannot take you across the river unless you
promise to give me something. Now the woman at the time was pregnant
and not knowing what else to do, she promised that when her child was
born, if it were a daughter she would marry her to the river snake
and if it were a son that, when the boy grew up he should become the
"_juri_" or "name friend" of the snake. The woman swore to do this with
an oath and then the snake took her on his back and bore her safely
across the flooded stream. The woman safely reached her home and in a
little time a daughter was born to her. Years passed away and the woman
forgot all about the snake and her oath. One day she went to the river
to fetch water and the snake came out of the stream and said to her:
"Woman, where is the wife whom you promised to me?" The woman then
remembered her oath and going back to her house she returned to the
river with her daughter. When the girl came to the bank of the river
the snake seized her and drew her underneath the water and her mother
saw her no more. The girl lived with the snake at the bottom of the
river and in the course of years bore him four snake sons.

Afterwards the girl remembered her home and one day she went to
visit her mother. Her brothers when they came home were astonished
to see her and said: "Sister, we thought that you were drowned in
the river." She answered: "No, I was not drowned, but I am married
and have children." The brothers said: "Where is this brother-in-law
of ours?" Their sister said: "Go to the river and call him." So they
went to the river and called and the snake came up out of the water
and went to their house with them. Then they welcomed the snake and
gave him great quantities of rice beer to drink. After drinking this
the snake became sleepy and coiling himself in great coils went to
sleep. Then the brothers who did not like a snake brother-in-law
took their axes and cut off the head of the snake while he slept,
and afterwards their sister lived in their house.



(2)--The Sons of the Tigress.

Once upon a time a cow and a tigress lived in a jungle and were great
friends, they were never separated. Now in those days tigers did not
eat flesh, but grazed like cattle, so the tigress never thought of
doing any harm to her friend the cow. The tigress had given birth
to two men children who were growing up fine and sturdy lads. One
afternoon the cow and the tigress went down to a stream to drink,
the cow went into the stream and drank and the tigress drank lower
down. The cow fouled the water of the stream and the tigress tasting
the water found it sweet and thought if the cow can make the water so
sweet how sweet the flesh of the cow must be. So on the way back from
the stream the tigress suddenly sprang on the cow and killed her and
ate her up, leaving nothing but the bones. When she got home her sons
asked her where the cow was, but the tigress said that she did not know
and that the cow must have deserted them, but afterwards the boys found
the bones of the cow and they guessed what had happened. Then they
thought, if our mother has killed her friend the cow, she will surely
kill and eat us next. So when the tigress was asleep they killed her
with axes. Then they ran away and after going for many days through
the jungle they reached a city and they found all the people in great
distress because a tiger was devastating the kingdom and killing all
the inhabitants and no one could kill the tiger. The Raja of the city
made a a proclamation that any one who could kill the tiger should
have half the kingdom and his daughter in marriage. The two boys being
the sons of a tigress were able by their knowledge of tiger ways to
kill the tiger. So they were given half the kingdom and the elder of
them married the king's daughter and they lived happily ever after.



(3)--The Tiger's Marriage.

Once upon a time there lived a Raja who had one son and many
daughters. One day the Raja went into the jungle to cut grass. He
cut a great deal of grass and tied it up in a big bundle and then
he found that he had cut so much that it was more than he could
carry. As he was wondering what he should do a tiger came by that
way and seeing the Raja in difficulties asked what he could do
to help him. The Raja explained that he had cut a bundle of grass
which was too heavy to carry. The tiger said that he would carry the
grass if he were rewarded for it: the Raja asked him what reward he
wanted. The tiger said that he wished for one of the Raja's daughters
in marriage. The Raja reflected that he had many daughters and agreed
to the proposition. Thereupon the grass was placed on the tiger's back
and he carried it to the Raja's palace. Now the Raja was ashamed to
give his daughter openly to the tiger so he told the tiger to wait
by the water hole, and sending for one of his daughters bade her go
and fetch water; the girl went to the water hole where the tiger was
waiting and was carried off by the tiger. But the Raja's son missed
his sister and went in search of her. After searching some time he
came to a cave in the jungle and looking in he was the tiger finishing
the remains of the girl whom he had killed. Then the Raja's son ran
home as quickly as he could, and told the Raja what he had seen.

The next day the tiger came openly to the Raja's palace and asked to
see the Raja. He was taken to the Raja and treated politely. Then the
tiger said to the Raja: "I am sorry to say that the wife whom you gave
me has died, so you must give me another." [4] The Raja said he would
think about the matter and invited the tiger to stay at the palace. So
the tiger was given a good bed, and quickly went to sleep. In the
night the Raja's son boiled some large vessels of water and poured
the scalding water over the sleeping tiger and killed him. And in
this way the tiger died.



(4)--The Jackal and His Neighbours.

Once upon a time a jackal killed a kid in a village and taking it to a
little distance began to enjoy a good meal. But the crows who always
make a noise about other people's business, gathered in a tree over
his head and made a great cawing, so the villagers went to see what
was the matter and beat the jackal severely and deprived him of his
feast. On this account the jackal was very angry with the crows and
determined to be revenged.

Shortly afterwards a great storm came on with wind and heavy rain
and all the birds and animals were in danger of being drowned. Then
the jackal pretended to be sorry for the crows and invited them all
to come and take shelter in his house. But when the jackal had got
them safely into his house he killed and ate them all; all except
one _nilkanth_ bird which he decided to keep for his breakfast the
next day, so he tied the _nilkanth_ bird, on to his tail and went
away from that part of the country. But the _nilkanth_ bird pecked
and pecked at the jackal's tail until it not only pecked itself loose
but hurt the tail so much that it became festered and swollen.

As the jackal went along with his swollen tail he met a potter going to
market with earthern pots for sale. Then the jackal put on a bullying
air and said that he was a sipahi of the Raja, and one pot of those
being taken to market must be given to him; at first the potter
refused, but being frightened he in the end gave one to the jackal.

Into this the jackal pressed the matter which had accumulated in his
swollen tail and covered it over with leaves. Going on, the jackal met
a boy tending goats, he told the boy that he had arranged with the
boy's father to buy one of the goats in exchange for a pot of ghee,
the boy believed this and took the chatty with its contents from the
jackal and gave him a fine goat.

The jackal went off to his home in triumph with the goat.

His friends and neighbours were very jealous when they saw that he
had so fine a goat and waiting till his back was turned, they killed
and ate the goat, and then they filled the skin with stones and gravel
so that it might seem that the whole goat was still there. The jackal
found out what his neighbours had done, and he took the goat skin to
a _muchi_ and got the _muchi_ to make it into a drum. Then he went to
the banks of a deep river and began to play the drum. All the other
jackals collected round and were lost in admiration of the tone of
the drum. They wanted to know where so beautiful a drum was got, the
first jackal said that there were many drums as good at the bottom of
the river, and if they tied stones round their necks and jumped in
they would find them. So the other jackals in their anxiety to get
such drums jumped into the river and were drowned, and the jackal
was revenged on all his enemies.



(5)--The Jackal and the Tigers.

Once upon a time a pair of tigers lived in a jungle with their two
cubs, and every day the two tigers used to go out hunting deer and
other animals that they might bring home food for the cubs. Near the
jungle lived a jackal, and he found it very hard to get enough to live
upon; however, one day he came upon the tiger's den when the father
and mother tiger were out hunting, and there he saw the two tiger
cubs with a large piece of venison which their parents had brought
them. Then the jackal put on a swaggering air and began to abuse
the tiger cubs for having so much venison, saying: "I am the sipahi
of the Raja and the Raja has demanded venison and none can be found,
while low people like you have a fine piece like this: give it at once
or I will take it and report against you to the Raja." Then the tiger
cubs were frightened and gave up the venison and the jackal went off
gleefully and ate it. The next day the jackal came again and in the
same way took off more meat. The jackal continued taking their meal
from the tiger cubs every day till the cubs became very thin: the
father tiger determined to find out why this was, so he hid himself
in the bushes and watched: he saw the jackal come and take away the
meat from the cubs. Then he was very angry and ran after the jackal
to kill him and the jackal ran away very fast and the tiger ran after
as fast as he could: at last the jackal ran into a cleft between two
rocks and the tiger running after him stuck fast between the two
rocks and could not come out and so was starved to death. But the
jackal being smaller ran out on the other side.

Then the jackal went back to the tiger's den and told the tigress that
her husband had been caught by the Raja and thrown into prison for
interfering with his sipahi. The tigress and her cubs were very unhappy
at this news for they thought that they would starve. Then the jackal
comforted them and told them not to be afraid as he would stay with
them and protect them, and help them with their hunting. So the next
day they all four went hunting. They arranged that the jackal should
wait at a certain place, while the tigers beat the jungle and drove
the game towards him. The jackal had boasted about the amount of game
that he could catch and when a herd of deer broke by him he tried to
seize one but they easily escaped: then the jackal was ashamed but
in order not to be detected he lay down and pretended that he had
been suddenly taken very ill. And when the tigers came up they were
sorry for him and forgave him for catching no game. The next day it
was arranged that the tigress should be in wait and the jackal and
the two young tigers should beat: the tigress soon killed a fine
deer. When the others came up the tigers wanted to eat it at once,
but the jackal would not let them and said that they must go to a
little distance while he did puja to make the food wholesome. The
tigers obeyed and under pretence of doing puja the jackal ate up
all the tit bits and then allowed the tigers to come and eat the
rest. This happened daily and the jackal lived in comfort all his days.



(6)--The Wild Buffaloes.

There was once a man so poor that he had no land, no plough and no
plough cattle: all that he had was a pair of fine goats. This man
determined to plough with the goats, so he made a little plough and
yoked the goats to it, and with it he ploughed a piece of barren
upland. Having ploughed he had no seed paddy to sow; he went to try
and borrow some paddy from the neighbours, but they would lend him
nothing. Then he went and begged some paddy chaff, and a neighbour
readily gave him some. The man took the chaff and sowed it as if it
had been seed. Wonderful to relate from this chaff grew up the finest
crop of paddy that ever was seen. Day by day the man went and watched
with joy his paddy grow and ripen. One morning when he went to see
it he was horrified to find that in the night wild buffaloes had come
and eaten and destroyed the whole crop. Having now no other resource
the man determined to follow the wild buffaloes into the jungle:
he readily tracked them and came to a large open space where every
night the wild buffaloes used to sleep. As it was very dirty he made
a broom of twigs and brushed the place clean. At nightfall he heard
the buffaloes coming back and he went and hid in a hollow tree. When
the buffaloes saw how clean their sleeping place had been made they
were very pleased and wondered who had done it. The next morning the
buffaloes all went away into the jungle to graze, and the man came
out of his hollow tree and again swept up the place: the buffaloes on
their return saw that the place had again been swept and decided to
leave one of their number to watch and see who did this. They left a
buffalo who was lame to watch: when the day got hot however the lame
buffalo went to sleep, and the man then came out of his tree and swept
up the place and hid himself again without being discovered. So the
next day the buffaloes left a blind one behind.

The blind buffalo was of very acute hearing and he heard the man come
out and sweep the place and return to the tree: so when the other
buffaloes came back he told them of the man's hiding place. The
buffaloes made him come out and arranged that they would provide
for him if he would stay with them and sweep their sleeping place
daily. The next day the buffaloes lay in wait for a band of merchants
who were travelling through the forest and suddenly charging down
upon them put the merchants to flight: they fled leaving behind
them all their goods and provisions: these the buffaloes took on
their horns and carried to the man, and in this way they from time
to time supplied him with all he needed. As he was alone all day
they gave him a pair of horns, and said that wherever he was if he
blew on the horns all the buffaloes in the forest would come to his
assistance. But one day when he was bathing he put the horns down on
the bank of the stream and crows flew away with them and he did not
care to tell the buffaloes that he had lost them.

One day he went to bathe in the river and after bathing he sat and
combed his hair on the bank. Now his hair was so long that it reached
to his knees. One of his long hairs came out and so he took it and
splitting open a _loa_ fruit he coiled the hair inside and closed the
fruit up and then set it to float down the river. A long way down
the stream a Raja's daughter happened to be bathing and the _loa_
fruit floated past her: she caught hold of it and when she opened it
she found the long hair inside. At once she went to her father and
vowed that she would marry no one except the man to whom the long
hair belonged. As nothing would alter her determination the Raja sent
men up the river to search for the owner of the long hair. One of
them found the man at the home of the buffaloes and brought him to
the Raja. He was at once married with great grandeur to the princess
and promised the succession to the kingdom. So our hero began to live
in great luxury. One day as he was standing in the courtyard of the
palace some crows flew overhead and dropped the pair of horns that he
had lost. He picked them up and boasted that if he blew on them the
whole town would be at once destroyed. The bystanders laughed at him,
whereupon he got angry and blew on the horns. Then there was a great
noise and an enormous herd of wild buff aloes was seen rushing down
to destroy the town. However before they could do any damage he ran
out and assured them that he was unhurt; at this the buffaloes were
pacified; then all the straw and grain in the palace was brought out
and given to the buffaloes to eat: after eating all they wanted they
went back into the jungle, all except one pair which stayed behind in
the palace; and from this pair are descended all the tame buffaloes
which we see to-day.



(7)--The Grateful Cow.

Once upon a time there were two brothers who were very poor and lived
only by begging and gleaning. One day at harvest time they went out
to glean. On their way they came to a stream with muddy banks and
in the mud a cow had stuck fast and was unable to get out. The young
brother proposed that they should help it out, but the elder brother
objected saying that they might be accused of theft: the younger
brother persisted and so they pulled the cow out of the mud. The cow
followed them home and shortly afterwards produced a calf. In a few
years the cow and her descendants multiplied in a marvellous manner
so that the brothers became rich by selling the milk and _ghi_. They
became so rich that the elder brother was able to marry; he lived
at home with his wife and the younger brother lived in the jungle
grazing the cattle. The elder brother's son used every day to take out
his uncle's dinner to the jungle. This was not really necessary for
the cow used to supply her master with all sorts of dainties to eat,
so the younger brother, when his nephew brought out the rice used to
give the boy some of the sweetmeats with which the cow supplied him,
but he charged him not to tell his parents about this nor to take any
home. But one day the boy hid some of the sweetmeats in his cloth and
took them home and showed them to his mother. His mother had never
seen such sweetmeats before and was convinced that her brother-in-law
wished to poison her son. So she took the sweetmeats away and the
next day she herself took out the dinner to her brother-in-law and
after he had eaten it she said that she would comb his hair and pick
out the lice from it; so he put his head on her lap and as she combed
his hair in a soothing way he went off to sleep. When he was asleep
the woman took out a knife and cut off his head. Then she got up and
leaving the head and body lying at the place went home. But the cow
had seen what occurred and with her horns she pushed the head along
until it joined the neck: whereupon the man immediately came to life
again and learned what had happened to him. So he drove off all the
cattle to a distant part of the jungle and began to live there.

Every day he milked his large herd of cows and got a great quantity
of milk; he asked his friend the cow what he was to do with it and
she told him to pour it into a hole in the ground at the foot of a
pipal tree Every day he poured the milk into the hole and one day as
he was doing so out of the hole came a large snake and thanked him
for his kindness in supplying the milk and asked him what reward he
would wish to receive in return. Acting on a hint from the cow the
man said that he would like to have all the milk back again. Whereupon
the snake vomited up all the milk which it had drunk and died on the
spot. But the milk mingled with poison fell over the man and imported
to his body a glorious and shining appearance, so that he seemed to
be made of fire.

After this the man used every day to go and bathe in a river, and each
day when he bathed he threw one of his hairs into the water: and his
hairs were very long. Lower down the river a princess used to bathe
and one day she saw one of the hairs come floating down and vowed that
she would marry no one but the owner of the hair. So the father of the
princess sent a Brahman up the river to look for the man with the long
hair. The Brahman was a very thin man with his ribs showing through
his skin. After some days he found our hero and was amazed at his
shining appearance. He told him that a princess wished to marry him:
he was invited to stay some days; he did so, living on the milk from
the herd of cows and in a short time became very fat. The cow told the
man to take a basket and creep into the hole from which the snake had
come he did so and at the bottom he found a heap of gold and silver:
he filled his basket with this and came back and gave it all to the
Brahman, and told him to go home and inform his master that he would
come in a few days and marry his daughter. When the Raja saw the gold
and silver and how fat the Brahman had got he was very pleased to
think what a son-in-law he was getting. In a few days the cow said
that it was time to start and as he had no other conveyance he set
out riding on the cow. When they reached the boundary of the Raja's
kingdom the man woke up one morning and found that a great retinue of
elephants and horses and _palkis_ and _sipahis_ had appeared during the
night. This was owing to the magic of the cow. So the man mounted an
elephant and went in state to the Raja and married his daughter with
great ceremony. After staying some days he decided to return home
and started off with his wife and grand retinue. When they reached
the boundary of the kingdom all the elephants and horses and _palkis_
and _sipahis_ vanished into air, and the princess found that she and
her husband had nothing but an old cow to ride upon. At this she was
very unhappy but she was ashamed to go back to her father, so she
went on with her husband and helped to tend the cows in the jungle.

One morning they woke up and found that in the night a grand palace
had sprung up fitted with wealth of every kind, this was the last gift
of the cow which soon afterwards died. Thus the man became a Raja and
founded a kingdom and he gave a rupee to every one who would come and
settle in his kingdom. Many people came and among others his brother
and sister-in-law who had fallen into great proverty. When they saw
their brother they were afraid and thought that they would be killed,
but he forgave them and gave them clothes and land and they all lived
happily ever after.



(8)--The Belbati Princess.

Once upon a time there were seven brothers the youngest of whom bore
the name of Lita. The six elder brothers were all married but Lita
refused to marry and when questioned he said that he would not marry
any one but the Belbati Princess. His sisters-in-law laughed very much
at the idea that he would marry a princess and worried him so much that
at length he decided to set out in search of the Belbati princess. So
one day he started off and after some time came to a jungle in which
was sitting a holy _muni_. Lita went to him and asked if he knew
where he would find the Belbati-princess. The _muni_ said that he did
not know but that a day's journey farther on was another _muni_ who
might be able to tell him. So Lita travelled on for a day and found
another _muni_ who was in the midst of performing a three month's
spell of fasting and meditation. Lita had to wait till the _muni_
returned to thoughts of this world and then made his enquiry. The
_muni_ said that he did not know but that three days' journey farther
on was another _muni_ who might be able to help him. So Lita went
on and found the third _muni_ who was in the midst of a six months'
fast. When this _muni_ came to himself and heard what Lita wanted he
said that he would be very glad to help him. The Belbati princess
was at the time imprisoned in the biggest _bel_ fruit growing on a
_bel_ tree which was guarded by Rakshasas. If he went and plucked
this fruit he would secure the princess, but if he took any but the
biggest fruit he would be ruined.

Lita promised to bear this in mind and then the _muni_ changed him
into a _biti_ bird and told him the direction in which to fly. Lita
flew off and soon came to the tree, which was covered with fruit;
he was very frightened when he saw the Rakshasas there, so in a great
hurry he went and bit off the first fruit that he came to; but this
was not the biggest on the tree and the Rakshasas immediately fell
upon him and ate him up. The _muni_, when Lita did not come back,
knew that something must have happened to him so he sent a crow to
see what was the matter. The crow came back and said that one _bel_
fruit had been picked but that he could not see Lita. Then the _muni_
sent the crow to bring him the droppings of the Rakshasas. The crow
did so and from the droppings the _muni_ restored Lita to life. The
_muni_ reproved Lita for his failure and told him that if he wished
to make a second attempt he must remember his behest to pick only the
biggest _bel_ fruit. Lita promised and the _muni_ turned him into a
parroquet. In this form Lita again flew to the _bel_ tree and picked
the biggest fruit on the tree. When the Rakshasas saw the parrot
making off with the fruit they pursued him in fury; but the _muni_
turned the parrot into a fly so small that the Rakshasas could not
see it, so they had to give up the chase.

When they had departed Lita recovered his own form and went to the
_muni_ with the _bel_ fruit and asked what more was to be done in order
to find the princess. The _muni_ said that the princess was inside the
fruit; that Lita was to take it to a certain well and very gently break
it open against the edge of the well. Lita hurried off to the well and
in his anxiety to see the princess he knocked the fruit with all his
force and split it suddenly in two. The result of this was that the
princess burst out of the fruit in such a blaze of light that Lita
fell down dead. When the princess saw that her brightness had killed
her lover she was very distressed and taking his body on her lap she
wept over him. While she was doing so a girl of the Kamar caste came by
and asked what was the matter. The princess said: "My lover is dead,
if you will draw water from the well I will revive him by giving
him to drink," but the Kamar girl at once formed a wicked plan. She
said that she could not reach the water in the well. Then said the
princess: "Do you hold this dead body while I draw the water." "No,"
said the Kamar girl, "I see you mean to run away leaving me with
the dead body and I shall get into trouble." Then said the princess:
"If you do not believe me take off my fine clothes and keep them as
a pledge." Then the princess let the Kamar girl take off all her
jewellery and her beautiful dress and went to draw water from the
well. But the Kamar girl followed her and as the princess leant over
the edge she pushed her in, so that she was drowned. Then the Kamar
girl drew water from the well and went back to Lita and poured some
into his mouth, and directly the water touched his lips he came back
to life, and as the Kamar girl had put on the dress and jewellery of
the Belbati princess he thought that she was the bride for whom he
had sought. So he took her home to his brothers' house and married her.

After a time Lita and his brothers went to hunt in the jungle;
it was very hot and Lita grew very thirsty; he found himself near
the well at which he had broken the _bel_ fruit and went to it for
water. Looking down he saw floating on the water a beautiful flower;
he was so pleased with it that he picked it and took it home to his
Kamar wife; but when she saw it she was very displeased and cut it up
into pieces and threw the pieces out of the house. Lita was sorry and
noticed shortly afterwards that at the place where the pieces of the
flower had been thrown a small _bel_ tree was sprouting. He had this
planted in his garden and carefully watered. It grew well and after
a time it produced ripe fruit. One day Lita ordered his horse, and
as it was being brought it broke loose and run away into the garden:
as it ran under the _bel_ tree one of the _bel_ fruits fell on to the
saddle and stayed there. When the syce caught the horse he saw this
and took the fruit home with him. When he went to cut open the fruit he
found inside it a beautiful woman; he kept the woman in his house. At
this time the Kamar woman fell ill and was like to die. Lita was very
distressed at the thought of losing his Belbati princess. At last the
Kamarin said that she was being bewitched by the girl who was living
in the syce's house and that one or other of them must die. Lita at
once ordered the girl to be taken into the jungle and killed. Four
Ghasis took her away and put her to death. Her last request to them
was that they should cut off her hands and feet and put them at the
four sides of her grave. This they did. After the death of the girl
the Kamar wife recovered her health.

After a time Lita again went hunting and at nightfall came to the
place where the girl had been put to death. There he found standing
a fine palace. He went in but the only living creatures he saw were
two birds who seemed to live there; he lay down on a bed and went to
sleep. While he slept the birds sat by him and began talking. One told
the other the story of the search for the Belbati princess and how
the Kamar girl had thrown her into the well and taken her place. When
Lita heard this he awoke and was very unhappy. The birds told him
that once a year the Belbati princess visited the palace in which
he was; her next visit would be in six months. So Lita stayed there
and at the end of the six months he hid behind the door to await the
princess. She came and as she passed through the door he caught her
by the hand, but she wrenched herself away and fled. Lita was very
depressed but the birds told him to be more careful the next time. So
he waited a year and when the princess was expected he hid himself:
the princess came and seeing no one entered the palace and went to
sleep. While she slept Lita secured her. They were married and lived
happily ever after, and the wicked Kamar girl was put to death.



(9)--The Bread Tree.

There once was a boy who lived with his mother and was engaged all day
in tending cattle. Every morning when he started his mother gave him
two pieces of bread called "hunger bread" and "stuffing bread,"--one to
satisfy hunger with and the other to over-eat oneself on. One day the
boy could not eat all his bread and he left the piece that remained
over on a rock. When he went back the next day he was surprised to
see that from the piece of bread a tree had grown which bore loaves
of bread instead of fruit. After that the boy no longer took bread
from his mother, but lived on the fruit of his tree.

One day he had climbed his tree to pick a loaf when an old woman came
by with a bag over her shoulder and saying that she was very poor
begged for a piece of bread. The old woman was really a Rakshasi. The
boy was kindhearted and told her that he would throw her down a loaf,
but the old woman objected that it would get dirty if it fell on the
ground. Then he told her to hold out her cloth and he would throw it
into that: but she said that she could not see well enough to catch
the loaf: he must come down and give it to her: so the boy came down
to give her the loaf and when the Rakshasi had him on the ground,
she seized him and put him in her bag and went off with him.

After going some way she came to a pool of water and as she was rather
thirsty from carrying such a burden, she put down her bag and went to
drink. Opportunely some travellers came by and hearing the boy's shouts
let him out of the bag. The boy filled the bag with stones and tied
it up as before and made the best of his way home. The old Rakshasi
went off with the heavy bag and when she got to her abode told her
daughter with whom she lived that she had captured a fine dinner but
when the daughter opened the bag she found in it nothing but stones:
at this she was very angry and abused her mother: then the old woman
said that the boy had escaped on the road: so the next day she went
back to the place where the boy was tending cattle and by the same
trick she caught him and put him in her bag and this time went straight
home. She made him over to her daughter and went out to collect fire
wood with which to cook him. The boy being left alone with the daughter
began to ask how he was to be killed; she said that his head was to
be pounded in a _Dhenki_. He pretended not to understand and asked
how that was to be done. The girl not understanding such stupidity
put her head under the striker of the _Dhenki_ to show him what would
happen. Then the boy at once pounded her head in the _Dhenki_ and
killed her: he then put on her clothes and cut her body up in pieces
ready for cooking. When the old woman came back with the fire wood she
was pleased to find that her daughter, as she thought, had got every
thing ready; and the meal was soon cooked and eaten. After the old
woman had thus made a hearty meal off the remains of her own daughter
she felt sleepy and took a nap. While she slept the boy struck her on
the head with a large stone and killed her; thus he saved his life and
took all the property of the old Rakshasi and lived happily ever after.



(10)--The Origin of _Sabai_ Grass (Ischaemum Angustifolium).

Once upon a time there were six brothers who lived with their
sister. The brothers used to spend their days in the jungle hunting
while the sister minded the house and cooked the dinner against
their return.

One day while the brothers were hunting the girl went to cut herbs
to cook with the dinner: as she was doing so she chanced to cut her
finger and some drops of blood fell on the herbs, which were put in
the pot. When the brothers came home to dinner they noticed how very
sweet the food was and asked the reason. The girl said that she was
afraid that it must be because some drops of her blood had fallen
on it. Then the brothers took counsel together and agreed that if
a few drops of her blood were so sweet, she must be very nice to
eat. So they agreed to murder her and eat her. But the youngest
brother named Lita, though he did not dare to oppose his elders,
was sorry for the decision. The next day when the brothers came
from the jungle they brought with them a beautiful flower of seven
colours and gave it to their sister. She was delighted with it:
she had never seen so beautiful a flower before and wanted to know
where it grew and whether were others like it. They said that if she
liked to come with them they would take her to the tree on which the
flowers grew and she could pick as many as she liked. So the next
morning she gladly went with them and they took her to the tree with
the seven-coloured flowers. She climbed the tree to pick the flowers
and when she was up in the tree they shot arrows at her to kill her;
but though they shot many arrows they could not kill her. Then they
compelled Lita to shoot and he with his first arrow killed his sister.

Then they cut up the body of the girl ready for cooking and sent
Lita to a well to fetch water in which to cook the flesh. Lita went
to the well and overcome with sorrow sat down and wept. As he wept a
large frog came to the surface of the water and asked him what was
the matter; he said that he had been made to kill his sister and
that now they were going to cook her flesh. The frog told him to be
comforted and gave him a large _rohu_ fish. Lita took this back and
when his brothers told him to cook the food, he hid the pieces of
his sister's body and cooked the _rohu_ fish. The brothers ate this
thinking that it was their sister. Then they went on into the jungle
hunting. After going a short way Lita said that he had forgotten to
recover his arrow and that he must go back and fetch it. He went back
to the place, and taking his sister's body buried it and building
a hut near, spent the days in weeping over the grave. After he had
spent some time thus the girl appeared alive out of the ground. Lita
was overjoyed and he and his sister remained happily in the jungle.

One day a Raja hunting in the jungle passed that way and seeing the
girl at once fell in love with her and took her away and married
her. Lita he also took with him and made him ruler of half the kingdom.

In honour of his marriage the Raja resolved to construct an enormous
tank: and people came from far and near to work at it. Among others
came Lita's five elder brothers, who had fallen into great poverty,
owing to their wickedness. When their sister saw them she forgave
them and sending for them bestowed on them food and clothing. But
they were so ashamed and repentent that they could only kneel on the
ground and beat the earth with their hands. As they continued to do
so the earth opened and swallowed them up: only their hair stuck out
of the ground and that became _sabai_ grass, and this was the origin
of all the _sabai_ grass which exists.



(11)--The Faithless Sister.

Once upon a time there was a man who had a son and daughter: he used
to cultivate his land and his son and daughter used to take his dinner
to him. One day the man went to plough and while ploughing he stuck
the spear which he had brought with him into the ground. As the man
ploughed a tiger came and waited an opportunity to spring upon the
man: but from whichever side the tiger approached, the spear which was
stuck in the ground bent its point towards the tiger and so protected
its master. Just then the boy and girl came along with their father's
dinner. The baffled tiger was hiding in some bushes by the field. As
the children went along they saw a paddy bird on the ground. The
boy of course had his bow and bird arrows with him and he shot an
arrow at the paddy bird: he missed the bird, but it happened that
the tiger was just in the line of fire; the arrow pierced the eye
of the tiger and killed it instantaneously. When the girl saw the
tiger lying dead she said that it was clear that their father had
enticed them there in order that the tiger might kill them when they
brought him his dinner: clearly the only way for them to save their
lives was to leave their home at once. The boy agreed; drawing his
arrow from the tiger's head and taking the tiger's eyes with him, he
went away with his sister as fast as they could run. After going some
little distance they met in the way two tigers. The boy threw at the
tiger the eyes of the first tiger which he had brought with him. The
tigers at once fell down dead, but from the body of one proceeded,
a hare, and from the body of the other, two dogs which peaceably
followed the boy and his sister. Having escaped to a distance they
lived in the jungle happily for some time with their three animal
friends. One day the hare said that he would like to have a spear,
so the boy went with him to a blacksmith and got a spear made. As
they were returning they met in the way a giant _Rakshasa_ who
wished to devour them, but the hare holding the spear kept jumping
in and out of the giant's mouth with such speed that the _Rakshasa_
was dumbfounded and surrendered at discretion, promising to be a
faithful servant to them henceforth. With the help of the _Rakshasa_
they had great success in hunting. The boy with the hare and the two
dogs used to beat the jungle and drive the game towards the _Rakshasa_
who caught it in his mouth. One day they thus caught a monkey, whose
life they spared and who joined their band. The monkey took a large
drum and caught in it a nest of wild bees, which he preserved.

One day while the others were away a Raja who was hunting in the
jungle found the girl sitting alone and at once fell in love with her
and wanted to marry her. The girl said that she was willing but that
she was sure that her brother would never consent. The only thing was
to kill her brother and the Raja could never do that as the faithful
animals would protect him. At last the girl consented to try and
compass her brother's death. To this end she became very melancholy and
seemed to pine away: her brother asked what was the matter and she said
that she would never recover unless he could fetch her a certain flower
which grew in the midst of a certain lake. Now this lake swarmed with
gigantic fish and poisonous snakes. But the brother, never daunted,
went to the lake and began to swim out to the centre where the flower
grew. Before he got half way there one of the gigantic fish swallowed
him up. The Rakshasa however saw this and set to work to drink the lake
up: he soon drank the lake dry and not only caught the big fish but
also was able to gather the flower that had grown in the lake. They
then cut open the fish and took the boy unharmed from its belly. The
Rakshasa then vomited up the water he had swallowed and filled up
the lake again. Meanwhile the Raja thinking that the boy had died,
carried off his sister. But the boy setting out with the hare and the
dogs and the Rakshasa and the monkey proceeded to attack the Raja's
capital and recover his sister. The monkey opened his drum and the
bees issued forth and attacked the Raja's army so that it fled. The
Raja had to capitulate and give the boy half his kingdom and his own
daughter in marriage, then peace was declared and the animals all
disappeared into the jungle and our hero lived happily ever after.



(12)--The Cruel Sisters-in-Law.

Once upon a time there lived six brothers who had one sister. The
brothers were all married and their wives hated their sister-in-law. It
happened that the brothers all went away to trade in a far country and
her sisters-in-law took the opportunity to illtreat the girl. They
said "If you do not obey us and do what we tell you we will kill
you." The girl said that she would obey their behests to the best of
her ability. They said "Then go to the well and bring this earthen pot
back full of water." The khalsi had a large hole in the bottom so that
as fast as it was filled the water ran out. The girl took the pot to
the well and sitting down began to weep over her fate. As she wept a
large frog rose out of the water and asked her what was the matter. She
said "My last hour has come. If I cannot fill this pot with water
I shall be killed and it has a hole in the bottom." The frog said,
"Be comforted, I will cure that: I will sit on the hole and stop it
up with my body and you will be able to fill it." This it did and
the girl took the water back to the house. The sisters-in-law were
very angry but could say nothing so they set her another task. They
told her to go the jungle and bring home a full bundle of sticks:
but she was not to take any rope with which to tie them. The girl
collected a large quantity of sticks and then sat down and cried
because she was unable to carry them home: as she cried a large snake
came up and asked what was the matter. The girl told him, whereupon
the snake said that he would curl himself round the sticks and serve
as a rope. This he did and the girl was able to carry the sticks home
on her head. Defeated in this attempt the sisters-in-law the next day
told the girl to go to a field of pulse which had been sown the day
before and bring back all the grain by the evening. The girl went to
the field and picked up a few grains but it had been sown broadcast
and the girl soon saw that the task was hopeless: she sat down and
cried and as she cried a flock of pigeons flew to her and asked her
what was the matter: she said that she could not pick up all the
grain in the field. They said that that was easily managed, and the
pigeons spreading over the field soon picked up all the grain and
put it into the girl's basket, so that by evening she returned with
the basket full. The sisters-in-law were more than ever enraged. They
gave her a pot and told her that she must go to the jungle and bring
it back full of bear's milk. The girl went to the jungle and being
very frightened sat down and began to cry: a large she bear came by
and asked what was the matter. The girl explained and the she bear,
sorry for her distress willingly allowed herself to be milked without
doing the girl any harm. The sisters-in-law then resolved to make a
more direct attempt on the girl's life. They took her into the jungle
and told her to climb a certain tree and pick them the fruit. The
tree had a tall smooth trunk and the girl had to climb the tree
by driving pegs into the trunk. When she reached the branches the
sisters-in-law pulled the pegs out of the tree and went home leaving
the girl to starve. Night came on and the girl stayed in the tree:
it so happened that that day the six brothers were returning home
and being benighted stopped to sleep under that very tree. The girl
thought that they were dacoits and stayed still. She could not help
crying in her despair and a warm tear fell on the face of one the
brothers sleeping below and woke him up. He looked, up and recognized
his sister. The brothers soon rescued her and when they heard of the
cruelty of their wives they went home and put them all to death.



(13)--The False Rani.

Once upon a time a Raja who had just married was returning with his
bride to his kingdom. It was hot weather and a long journey and as they
passed through a jungle the Raja and all his men went down to a stream
to drink leaving the bride sitting in her _palki_. As the bride thus
sat all alone she was frightened at seeing a she-bear come up. The
bear asked the bride who she was and where she was going. When she
heard, she thought that she would like to share so agreeable a fate,
so by threats she made the Rani get out of her _palki_ and give her
all her fine clothes and jewellery and go away into the jungle. The
bear dressing herself in the Rani's clothes, got into the _palki_,
and when the men came back they took up the _palki_ and went on their
way without noticing any change, nor did the Raja detect the fraud:
he took the bear to his palace and installed her as his wife. Meanwhile
the real bride had picked up the walking stick of the Raja and a cloth
which he had left on the road when he went to the stream, and ran into
the jungle. She made her way to the house of a Ghasi woman who lived
by the Raja's palace with her daughters. The daughters earned a living
by selling flowers and one day one daughter, as she sold the Raja a
garland, told him that his real bride was living in their house. The
Raja was very distressed and at once went to see his bride and was
satisfied of her identity when she produced his stick and cloth. The
real Rani refused to go to his palace until the she bear had been put
to death. Thereupon the Raja gave instructions to his followers and
sent word to the palace that he was dead. The officers and servants
at the palace then prepared a big pit and lit a large fire in it:
they then sent for the she bear and told her that she must perform
the funeral ceremonies of her husband. They made her take off her
fine clothes and told her to kneel down by the burning pit and make
salaam to it. As she was doing so they pushed her into the pit and
she was burned to death. Then the Raja brought home his real bride in
triumph. But from that time bears attack men when they get the chance.



(14)--The Jackal and the Kite.

Once upon a time a jackal and a kite agreed to join forces and get
their food together. In pursuance of their plan they sent word to a
prosperous village that a Raja with his army was marching that way and
intended the next day to loot the village. The next morning the jackal
took an empty _kalsi_ and marched towards the village drumming on the
_kalsi_ with all his might, and the kite flew along overhead screaming
as loud as he could. The villagers thought that the Raja's army was
approaching and fled into the jungle. The jackal and the kite began to
feast on all the good things that had been left in the houses. There
was however one old woman who was too infirm to run away with the
other inhabitants: and had hid herself inside her house. When she saw
that no army came but only a jackal and a kite she crawled away into
the jungle and told her friends. They came back, and surrounding the
village, caught the jackal: they began to beat the jackal with sticks
to kill it: the jackal uttered no sound and pretended that it did not
mind being beaten: after a time it began to jeer at its captors and
told them that they could never kill it by beating. The asked how it
could be killed and it said by burning. So they tied a bunch of old
cloths on to its tail and poured oil over them and set them on fire:
the jackal ran off with the burning bundle at the end of its tail
and jumping on to the nearest house set fire to the thatch: the fire
spread and the whole village was burnt down. The jackal then ran to
a tank and jumping into the water extinguished its blazing tail. But
if you look you will see that all jackals have a burnt tip to their
tail to this day.



(15)--The Sons of the Raban Raja.

There was a Raja who used to bathe daily at a certain tank. In the
tank was a great fish: as the Raja washed his mouth this fish used
daily to swallow the rinsings of his mouth. In consequence of this
the fish after a time gave birth to two human children. As the two
boys grew up they used to go into the village near the tank and play
with the other children. One day however, a man beat them and drove
them away from the other children jeering at them because they had
no father. Much disturbed at this they went to the fish and asked
whether it was true that they had no father. The fish told them
that their father was the Raban Raja. The two boys resolved to go in
search of the Raban Raja: they set out and after a time met a man and
asked him if he knew the Raban Raja. The man asked why they wished to
know. They said that they were his sons. Then the man at once killed
them because the Raban Raja was an enemy of his country. From the
place where the bodies of the dead boys lay, two large bamboos grew
up. When the bamboos had grown very big, a Jogi came by that way and
cut them down, making from them two flutes. These flutes produced such
beautiful music that every one was charmed and the fame of the Jogi
spread far and wide: so when in his wanderings the Jogi reached the
kingdom of the Raban Raja the Raja sent for him and the Jogi came to
the palace with his two bamboo flutes. When the flutes were brought
into the presence of the Raja they burst open and from them appeared
the two boys. When the Raja heard their history he recognized them
as his sons, and sent the Jogi away with large rewards.



(16)--The Potter's Son.

Once upon a time there was a Kumhar whose wife was about to have a
child. As they were very poor the pair resolved that if the child
should prove to be a boy they would abandon it, but if it were a girl
they would bring it up. When the child was born it was found to be a
son, so the Kumhar took it into the jungle and left it there. There
it was found by a tiger and tigress whose cubs had just died and who
determined to bring up the man-child as their own. They accordingly
fed it and looked after it; the boy grew up strong and healthy. When
he got big, the tiger went to a blacksmith and had made for him a bow
and arrows of iron with which he used to hunt. When the boy became a
young man the tiger decided that his marriage must be arranged for. So
he went to the capital of a neighbouring Raja, and when the Raja's
daughter came to a tank to bathe, the tiger seized her and carried her
off into the jungle, where she was married to the Kumhar's son. The
princess was very pleased with her new husband, but found the life
with the tigers in the jungle very irksome. She constantly begged her
husband to run away, until at last he agreed. One day when the tigers
were at a distance they started off and soon arrived at the palace
of the princess' father. Leaving her husband by the palace tank, the
princess went ahead to see how matters stood and to prepare a welcome
for her husband. He being left alone decided to bathe in the tank. Now
a dhoba was there washing the palace clothes, and seeing a stranger he
concluded that it was a thief come to steal the clothes. He accordingly
killed him and then in fear threw the body into the water. When the
princess returned she was distressed to find no sign of her husband
but his iron bow and arrows. Search was made everywhere and the tank
was netted but no trace could be discovered of her missing spouse.

Shortly afterwards a Ghasi girl came to catch _chingris_ in the tank,
and while doing so suddenly laid hold of a large fish. In great delight
she took it home. When she came to cut it up she found inside the belly
of the fish a living child. Pleased with its appearance she decided
to adopt it. She put it in a basket, and tying the basket under her
cloth pretended to be pregnant, and shortly afterwards announced that
she had given birth to a child. The boy grew with marvellous rapidity.

Meanwhile the father of the widowed princess insisted that she should
marry again. But she was faithful to the memory of her husband and
declared that she would only marry the man who could draw the iron
bow. Many suitors came but they all failed to draw the bow. At length
the reputed son of the Ghasi woman came and pulling the bow with ease
announced himself as the true husband of the princess with whom he
lived happily ever after.



(17)--The Wonderful Cowherd.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had seven daughters. The seven
princesses used to bathe daily in a tank and when they bathed they used
to put the scrapings from their bodies in a hole in the ground. From
this hole there grew a tree, and the eldest princess announced that
she would marry the man who could tell her what had caused the tree to
grow; many suitors came and made guesses but none divined the truth;
heir father was anxious that she should be married, and insisted
on every one in the kingdom being questioned. At last a miserable,
poverty stricken and sickly cowherd was asked; he had always grazed
his cattle on the banks of the tank and had often seen the princesses
bathing so he knew from what the tree had spring. The princess being
bound by her oath had to marry the miserable cowherd and go and live
with him in his hut.

All day long the cowherd used to be groaning in sickness and misery;
but at night he used to come out of his skin and appear as a beautiful
and shining man; in this form he used to go and play and dance in
the moonlight in the court yard of the Raja's palace. One night the
princess's maid-servant saw her master return and creep into his ugly
skin; she told her mistress who resolved to keep watch the next night;
when she saw her husband assume his shining form and go out of the
house leaving his ugly skin lying on the ground, she took the skin
and burnt it in the fire. Immediately her husband came rushing back
declaring that he was suffering the agonies of burning; but the skin
was burnt and the former cowherd retained his glorious and shining
appearance; and on the application of oil the pain of the burning
ceased. The princess then began to live with pleasure in the company
of so glorious a husband, who however only went out of the house at
night as his body was too bright for ordinary eyes to look upon.

It began however to be whispered about among the neighbours that a
shining being was to be seen at the princess's house and the rumour
eventually reached the ears of the Raja. The Raja sent a messenger
to see who the being was, but when the messenger saw the shining man
he was blinded and driven out of his senses and returned to the Raja
in a state of madness. Two or three other messengers successively
met the same fate. At length the Raja resolved to go himself; when
he saw the shining form of his son-in-law he fell down in a faint;
the princess's husband ran and lifted up the Raja in his arms and
revived him. After this the former cowherd became only bearably bright,
and being recognized as the heir to the kingdom went to live with
his wife in the Raja palace.



(18)--The Strong Prince.

There was once a king who, though he had two wives, had no son. He
was very anxious to have a son and heir and went away into the
midst of the hills and jungles and there began a course of worship
and sacrifices. His prayers were heard and while he was away it was
found that both his wives were pregnant. In due time the senior Rani
gave birth to a son and sent a Brahman to the king with the welcome
news. The Brahman was a very holy man and he had to pray and bathe so
often that he made very slow progress on his journey. A day or two
later the younger Rani also gave birth to a son and she sent a low
caste Ghasi to give the news to the Raja. The Ghasi travelled straight
ahead and reached the Raja some time before the holy Brahman. On
hearing the news that the younger Rani had given birth to a son the
Raja had at once declared that this boy should be his heir. He was
therefore much put out when the Brahman arrived with the news that
the senior Rani had given birth to a son first.

The Raja returned home and entering the palace saw the senior Rani
sleeping with her babe beside her. The boy had sore eyes and the Raja,
declaring that the child bore no resemblance to himself said that it
was not his son and that the Rani had been unfaithful to him.

The Rani indignantly denied the accusation and said that if the two
brothers fought her son would prove his parentage. Accordingly the
two boys were set to wrestle with each other. The struggle was an
even one. As they swayed to and fro it happened that the elder boy
caught hold of the Raja and pulled him to the ground. This incensed
the Raja more than ever and he ordered the senior Rani to leave the
kingdom with her child. On the road by which they had to pass the
Raja stationed a _mast_ elephant in order that they might be killed,
but when in due course the elephant attacked them the boy caught
hold of it and threw it to a distance of four _kos_. After this feat
the prince and his mother journeyed to another kingdom. There they
took up their quarters near the ground where the Raja's _palwans_
wrestled. The prince went to wrestle with them and easily overcame
the most renowned _palwans_. In many ways he showed his strength. One
day he went to a mahajan's shop and the Mahajan instead of serving
him promptly kept him waiting. In indignation the boy took up the
entire building and threw it to a distance; hearing of these feats
the Raja of the country sent for him and took him into his service;
but here also he caused trouble. He insisted on being treated with
deference. Going up to the highest officials he would tell them not
to twist their moustaches at him, and knock them down. On the throne
in the palace when the Raja was absent a pair of the Raja's shoes was
placed and every one who passed by had to salaam to these. This our
hero flatly refused to do. In fact he became such a nuisance that he
was promised that he would be given his pay regularly if he would only
stay away from the palace. After this he spent his days in idleness
and by night he used to go to the shore and disport himself in the sea.

One night the goddess Kali came to the Raja's palace and knocked at
the gate: but no one would come to open it. Just then the prince
came back from bathing in the sea. Seeing him, Kali Ma, said that
she was so hungry that she must eat him, though she had intended
to eat the people in the palace. She, however, promised him that
though eaten he should be born again. The boy agreed to form a meal
for the goddess on these terms and was accordingly eaten. Afterwards
gaining admission to the palace Kali Ma ate up everyone in it except
the Raja's daughter. Then our hero was born again and marrying the
Raja's daughter succeeded to the kingdom, and lived happily ever after.



(19)--The Prince Who Became King of the Jackals.

Once upon a time there lived a Raja whose son formed a great friendship
with a barber. For some reason the Raja quarrelled with his son and
ordered him to leave the kingdom. Accordingly the prince departed to a
far country in company with his friend, the barber. In order to earn
a living the barber opened a school and the prince took service with
a mahajan. They were in such straits that the prince had to submit
to very hard terms, it was arranged that his wages were to be one
leaf-plate full of rice a day: and that if he threw up the service he
was to lose a piece of his skin a span long. After a short time the
prince who had been brought up in luxury found the work so hard and
the food so scanty that he resolved to leave the mahajan: but before he
went he had to submit to a piece of skin being cut off, in terms of the
agreement. The prince then went to the barber and told him how ill he
had fared. The barber vowed that he should be avenged. So he went and
offered himself as a servant to the mahajan: he was engaged and it was
agreed that whichever party first proposed to terminate the contract
should lose a piece of skin a span long. The barber worked so badly
and ate so much that one day the mahajan in a fit of rage ordered him
to leave the place and in consequence forfeited a piece of his skin.

Having repaid the mahajan in his own coin the prince and the
barber left those parts and journeyed to the land of the king of
the jackals. They found the king of the jackals asleep in front of
his cave. While he still slept the barber shaved all the hair off
his tail. Then the two friends hid in the cave, drawing a cart in
front of the entrance. When the jackal awoke and found that he had
been shaved he concluded that there were _bongas_ (spirits) about;
and ran away in terror. After going a short distance he met a bear
who asked where he was going in such a hurry. The king of the jackals
said that some _bongas_ had taken possession of his cave and shaved
off his hair. The bear agreed to go back with the jackal and see if
he could exorcise the spirits. Going to the cave the bear climbed on
to the cart to offer a sacrifice. As he sat there the barber caught
hold of his tail and held on to it while the prince began to stab
the bear with a knife. The bear howled and groaned but could not
get away. The king of the jackals who was looking on was delighted,
for he concluded that the _bongas_ had taken possession of the bear
who would learn who they were and how they were to be exorcised. At
last the bear broke free and ran away: the jackal ran after him and
asked him what the _bongas_ had told him: but the bear only said 'ugh'
'ugh' and ran into the jungle. Then the jackal met a tiger and telling
his story persuaded the tiger also to try his hand at exorcising the
spirits. The tiger was treated in the same way as the bear had been
and ran off without giving the jackal any information.

Then the king of the jackals resolved to try himself and mounted
on to the cart. But the barber stabbed him through the bamboos and
killed him. Then the prince succeeded to the kingdom of the jackals,
and not only so, but replaced the piece of skin which he had forfeited
to the mahajan by a piece of the skin of the dead jackal.



(20)--The Mongoose Boy.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had seven wives but no
children. In hope of issue he retired to the jungle and began a course
of prayers and sacrifices. While he was so engaged a Brahman came to
him and told him to take a stick and with it knock down seven mangoes
from a neighbouring tree, and catch them before they reached the
ground: he promised that if the Ranis ate these mangoes they would
bear children. The Raja did as he was directed and took the mangoes
home and gave one to each of his wives.

The youngest Rani happened at the time to be sweeping out a room and so
she put her mango in a niche in the wall. Just then a neighbour sent
a mongoose, who was her servant, to ask for a light. While the Rani
was fetching a firebrand from the hearth the mongoose saw the mango
and climbing up nibbled part of it without being seen. After this the
Rani ate the mango. In due time the seven Ranis each gave birth to
a son: but the son of the youngest Rani was the most beautiful with
a face like a mongoose. The eldest Rani was jealous of the beauty
of the youngest Rani's son so one day she sent the youngest Rani to
fetch some water: and during her absence took up the mongoose boy
and putting a stone and a broom in its place took the child away and
buried it in the pit from which the potters dig their earth. When
the Raja heard that his youngest wife had given birth to nothing but
a stone and a broom he was very angry and turned her out of the palace.

Meanwhile a potter had found the mongoose boy still alive and had
taken him to his home. There the child grew up and became a strong
boy. One day he asked the potter to make him an earthenware horse. On
this horse he used to ride about, for directly he mounted it, it
was endowed with life. One day the mongoose boy took his earthenware
horse to water it at a tank near the palace and there his six brothers
saw it and insisted that they also should have earthenware horses to
ride. Horses were accordingly made for them but when they mounted,
the horses would not budge an inch. Enraged at this the princes
complained to their mothers. The Ranis at once suspected the identity
of the potter's boy and told their sons to kill him.

So one day when the young princes met him at the tank they killed
the mongoose boy and buried his body. At the place where the body
was buried there grew up a bamboo of extraordinary size and a bush
with sweet and beautiful flowers: many people tried to cut down the
big bamboo and to pluck the beautiful flowers but every arm that was
raised to do so was restrained by some unseen power. Eventually the
news of this portent reached the ears of the Raja who went to see
what was happening. When the Raja trid to pluck a flower he succeeded
at the first attempt. The Raja then cut down the bamboo and out of
it stepped the mongoose boy who told of the illtreatment which he
had received at the hands of the six Ranis and their sons. The Raja
wished him to come to the palace but he insisted that his mother
should first be sent for. This was at once done.

Then the Raja had a wide and deep well dug and announced that a
Puja was to be performed at the opening of the well. To the ceremony
came the six Ranis and their sons. As they all knelt at the edge of
the well doing puja the Raja had them pushed into it, so that they
were all drowned. Thus the wicked were punished and the mongoose boy
eventually succeeded to his father's kingdom.



(21)--The Prince and the Tigress.

Once upon a time there was a Raja who had seven sons. One day a tigress
came to the palace and asked the Raja to allow one of his sons to be
her servant and look after her cattle. The Raja consented and ordered
his eldest son to go with the tigress. The young man took his axe
and bow and arrows and went with the tigress to her cave. When he
got there he asked where were the cattle which he was to tend. The
tigress pointed out to him all the bears which were roaming in the
jungle and said that they were her cattle. By the cave stood a large
rock and the tigress told the prince to take his axe and cut it in
two. The prince tried, but the rock only turned the edge of his axe
and he quite failed to cut it. The tigress being thus satisfied that
the prince had no superhuman powers sprang upon him and killed him
and devoured his body. Then she went back to the Raja and said that
she had too much work to be done, that she wished him to give her
a second son. The Raja agreed, but this prince met the same fate as
the first; and in succession, all the sons of the Raja, except the
youngest, went with the tigress and were devoured by her. At last
the youngest son went with the tigress: when bidden to cut the rock
in two, he easily accomplished the task. Then the tigress knew that
she had met her master and ran into her cave. Looking into the cave,
the prince saw the bones of his dead brothers. Gathering the bones
together, he prayed for fire to burn them, and fire fell from above
and burned the bones.

Then he climbed a tree in order to be out of the reach of the tigress,
and the tigress came and sat at the foot of the tree so that he could
not descend. Then he prayed again and wind arose and wafted him away
and set him down by a house where lived an old man and his wife. The
tigress followed in pursuit, but the aged couple hid the prince and
assured the tigress that he had not been seen; so the tigress returned
disappointed. The prince stayed with the old people and worked on
their land. One day as he was ploughing, the tigress came and killed
one of the bullocks that were drawing the plough. The prince at once
ran to the house to fetch his bow and arrow that he might kill the
tigress. When he returned, he found that several tigers were sucking
the blood of the bullock and with them a wild boar. He shot an arrow
which wounded the boar. The boar maddened by the pain turned on the
tigers and killed them all; including the tigress which had killed
the Raja's sons.

The prince then being no longer in danger from the tigress returned
to his father's palace.



(22)--The Cunning Potter.

Once upon a time there lived at the gate of a Raja's palace a Potter
who had a pretty wife. The Raja fell in love with the Potter's wife
and schemed to get rid of the husband. He could not bring himself to
commit a cold blooded murder, but he tried to accomplish his object
indirectly by setting the Potter impossible tasks which he was to
accomplish on pain of death. The Raja accordingly sent for the Potter
and ordered him to bring him the heads of twenty-four jackals.

The Potter went away to the jungle and began to dig a large hole
in the side of a hill. A jackal presently came by and stopped to
ask why he was digging the hole. The Potter said that it was going
to rain fire from heaven, and that every one who had not such a
shelter would be burnt. At this the jackal became very frightened;
the Potter thereupon said that he was so sorry for them that he
would allow the jackal and his friends to share the hole which he was
digging. The jackal gratefully ran away and returned with a number
of other jackals. They all went into the hole and the Potter closed
the entrance. After a time the Potter looked out and said that the
fire was over; he then stationed himself at the mouth of the hole and
as the jackals came out he cut off their heads with a knife; in this
away he beheaded twenty-three jackals; but the last jackal saw what
was happening and dodged the knife and escaped. The Potter took the
twenty-three heads to the Raja; but the Raja pretended to be angry
and said that if the Potter did not at once procure a twenty-fourth
head, he would be beheaded himself. The Potter took a pot of _gur_
and went to a pool of water which lay in the direction in which the
twenty-fourth jackal had fled. Smearing his body all over with _gur_,
he lay down by the water and pretended to be dead. Presently the
jackal which had escaped passed that way with a friend. Seeing the
body the second jackal proposed at once to go and eat it; but the first
jackal warned the other that there was probably some plot and related
how twenty-three of his friends had lost their lives at the hands of
this very Potter. But the second jackal would not listen to advice
and going to the supposed corpse smelt it and then began to lick it;
finding the taste of the _gur_ very pleasant it set to work to lick
the body all over beginning at the feet; it licked the feet and then
the legs, when it reached his waist it was within reach of his hand
and the Potter stabbed it with his knife and took the head to the Raja.

Foiled in this design, the Raja next ordered the Potter to bring him
a jar of tiger's milk. Taking some loaves of bread, the Potter went
into the jungle and soon found a cave in which was a pair of tiger
cubs whose parents were away hunting. The Potter told the cubs that
he was their uncle and gave them the bread to eat; they liked the
taste of the bread very much. Then the Potter hid himself in a tree
near the cave. Presently the tigress came back but her cubs refused
to suck her milk as usual, the tigress asked the reason of this and
the cubs said that their uncle had come and fed them with something
nicer than milk and they were no longer hungry. They then pointed
out the Potter in the tree and the tigress wanted to know what he had
given her cubs to eat. He told her that it was bread: the tigress said
that she would like to try some herself, whereupon the potter replied
that he would give her some if she would first give him some of her
milk. The tigress agreed and also consented that her legs should be
tied while she was being milked in order that she might not be able
to harm the potter. The tigress having been milked, the Potter gave
her a loaf of bread and then ran away as fast as he could.

Finding that he would not be able to get rid of the Potter by any
such devices, the Raja then persuaded the faithless wife to put
the Potter to death. She accordingly set up an idol in her house
and prayed daily to this that her husband might become blind and
die. One day the Potter overheard her prayers: the next day he hid
behind the idol and when the woman came and prayed he answered from
behind the idol that her prayer was granted and that in two days her
husband would become blind. Accordingly, two days later the Potter
pretended to become blind. Then the woman sent word to the Raja that
her husband was blind and that they had nothing to fear from him. The
Raja accordingly came one night to visit the woman, and the Potter
killed them both with an axe. He buried the body of his wife, but he
was in great trouble as to how to dispose of the body of the Raja:
for he knew that there would be a hue and cry when the disappearance of
the Raja was discovered. At last he decided to put the body in a field
of _brinjals_ belonging to a neighbour. Towards morning, the owner of
the field came to see that his property was all right, and seeing some
one among the _brinjals_, thought that it was a thief. He accordingly
hit the supposed thief on the head; and when he came to examine the
body, he was shocked to find that he had, as he thought, killed the
Raja. In great distress he went to consult his friend, the Potter;
the Potter advised him to put the body among the buffaloes belonging
to a Goala. At dawn the Goala came to look at his buffaloes and seeing
the body of the Raja thought that it was a thief stealing the milk of
the buffaloes: catching up a club, he inflicted a blow which caused
the body to fall over. When the Goala, found that the body was that
of the Raja and that he had apparently killed him, he was in great
fear and went to his friend, the Potter, for advice. It was finally
decided to dispose of the body by putting it down a well. The next day
great search was made for the missing Raja and the body was found in
the well by a Brahman. Preparations were made for the obsequies and
a funeral pyre erected. The Potter saw his opportunity and digging
a hole in the ground under the pyre hid himself in it. When the body
had been cremated and the mourners were still collected at the spot,
the Potter began to speak from the hole in which he was concealed:
the bystanders thought that they heard the voice of the Raja declaring
that the Potter had always been his true friend and that he desired
that he should be given half the kingdom and the hand of his daughter
in marriage. The supposed wishes of the late Raja were obeyed and
the Potter lived in luxury for the rest of his life.



NOTES

[1] This is why Santals when going to eat, move the stool that is
offered to them before they sit down on it.

[2] Jaituk is a bullock given to a girl by her parents at the time
of her marriage.

[3] Kisar bonga = brownie.

[4] This is quite in accordance with Ho notions. If a man buys a
wife there is an implied warranty that she is to last a reasonable
time. If she dies shortly after marriage a sister or cousin has to
be given to replace her.





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