The Project Gutenberg eBook of Village Folk-Tales of Ceylon, Volume 2 (of 3)

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Title: Village Folk-Tales of Ceylon, Volume 2 (of 3)

Translator: H. Parker

Release date: June 25, 2018 [eBook #57399]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net/ for Project
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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK VILLAGE FOLK-TALES OF CEYLON, VOLUME 2 (OF 3) ***


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Newly Designed Front Cover.
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VILLAGE FOLK-TALES OF CEYLON

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Original Title Page.
VILLAGE FOLK-TALES OF CEYLON
Vol. II
LONDON
LUZAC & CO.
Publishers to the India Office
1914
[All Rights Reserved]

[v]

[Contents]

CONTENTS

STORIES OF THE CULTIVATING CASTE

NO. PAGE
76 A Legend of Kandy 3
77 The Gamarāla’s Daughter 4
78 The Gamarāla’s Girl 7
79 How Gourds were put in Small-Mouthed Pots 10
80 The Royal Prince and the Carpenter’s Son 13
81 Concerning a Royal Prince and a Princess 23
82 The Princes who Learnt the Sciences 33
The Nobleman and his Five Sons (Variant A) 36
The Seven Princes (Variant B) 39
The Attempt of Four Brāhmaṇa Princes to Marry (Variant C) 42
83 The Story of Kaḷundāwa 46
84 How the Poor Prince became King 50
85 How the Gardener became King 54
86 How the Foolish Man became King 57
87 The Foolish Man 60
88 The Story of Marirāla 64
89 The Invisible Silk Robe 66
90 The Foolish Youth 70
91 The Story of the Seven Thieves 76
92 The King who became a Thief 81
93 The Female Fowl Thief 88
94 Gampolayā and Raehigamayā 90
95 The Story of the Two Liars 96
96 The Three Heṭṭiyās 98
97 Concerning Two Friends 101
98 Concerning Four Friends 107
99 Concerning a Horse [vi] 109
100 The Story of the Pearl Necklace 111
101 The Widow Woman and Loku-Appuhāmi 116
102 The Decoction of Eight Nelli Fruits 121
103 The Prince and Princess and Two Dēvatāwās 124
104 Concerning the Prince and the Princess who was Sold 130
105 The Princess Heṭṭirāla 137
106 The Maehiyallē-gama Princess 142
107 The Wicked Princess 146
108 Holman Pissā 151
109 Concerning a Vaeddā and a Bride 157
110 A Story about a Vaeddā 160
111 The Story of the Four Giants 162
112 The Story about a Giant 172
113 Hiṭihāmi the Giant 175
114 The New Speech 181
115 The Master and Servant 191
116 How the Son-in-Law Cut the Chena 192
117 A Girl and a Stepmother 195
118 The Wicked Elder Brother 198
119 Nahakoṭā’s Wedding Feast 201
120 How a Man Charmed a Thread 204
121 How the Rice and Curry became Raw 206
122 How a Woman ate Cooked Rice by Stealth 207
123 How a Woman Offered Cakes 208
124 The Manner in which a Woman prepared a Flour Figure 210
125 How a Woman became a Lapwing 212
126 The Story of the Seven Wicked Women 215
127 The Story of the Old Man 219
128 The Magic Lute Player 221
129 The Lad who Sang Songs 223
130 The Hunchback Tale 226
131 The Poor Man and the Jewels 228
132 The Learned Poor Man 230
133 A Poor Man and a Woman 234
134 The Story of the Rākshasa and the Princess 237
135 The Way the Rākshasī Died 241
136 How a Rākshasa turned Men and Bulls into Stone 244
137 The Rākshasa-eating Prākshasa [vii] 247
The Rākshasa-eating Prākshasa (Variant A) 256
The Rākshasīs-eating Prākshasa (Variant B) 257
The Rice-dust Porridge (Variant C) 262
The Evidence that the Appuhāmi ate Paddy Dust (Variant D) 266
138 The Story of the Cake Tree 269
The Lad and the Rākshasī (Variant A) 275
The Cake Tree (Variant B) 276
139 The Girl, the Monk, and the Leopard 280
140 The Washerman and the Leopard 286
141 The Frightened Yakā 288
142 The Story of the Seven Yakās 292
143 The Yakā and the Tom-tom Beater 294
144 How a Tom-tom Beater got a Marriage from a Gamarāla 296
145 The Gem Yaksanī 299
146 The Nā, Mī, and Blue-Lotus Flowers’ Princesses 309
The Story of the She-Goat (Variant A) 320
The Story of a Nobleman’s Son (Variant B) 323
147 The Loss that occurred to the Nobleman’s Daughter 330
148 The Raṭēmahatmayā’s Presents 333
149 The Prince and the Minister 334
150 The Story of King Bamba 339
151 Concerning a Royal Princess and a Turtle 345
152 The Story of a King and a Prince 356
153 The Story of the Gourd 361
154 The Story of the Shell Snail 364
155 The Queen of the Rock House 367
155A The Story of the Elder Sister and Younger Brother 377
156 The Queen and the Beggar 380
157 The Frog in the Queen’s Nose 382
158 Concerning a Bear and the Queen 385
159 The Leopard and the Princess 388
160 The Story of the Foolish Leopard 393
161 The Story of the Ḍabukkā 396
162 The Leopard and the Calf 399
163 The Ash-Pumpkin Fruit Prince 401
164 The Kabaragoyā and the Widow [viii] 407
165 The Frog Jacket 409
166 The Four-faced King and the Turtle 411
167 The Story of the Cobra and the Prince 414
168 The Ant Story 417
169 The Gamarāla and the Cock 419
170 Concerning the Golden Peacock 421
171 The Story of the Brāhmaṇa’s Kitten 425
172 The Story of the Mango Bird 430
173 How the Parrot explained the Law-suit 435
174 The Parrot and the Crow 440
175 The Crow and the Darter 442
176 Concerning the Crows and the Owls 443
177 The Female Lark 445
Index 449

See Additional Notes and Corrections in the Appendix, Vol. III. [1]

STORIES OF THE CULTIVATING CASTE

[3]

[Contents]

No. 76

A Legend of Kandy1

At a certain place in Lan̥kāwa (Ceylon), there was an extensive forest. In that forest there were elephants, bears, leopards, wan̆durās,2 and many other jungle animals.

At any time whatever, at the time when any animal springs for seizing an animal that is its prey, it comes running near a rock that is in an open place in the forest. Having arrived near the rock, the animal that ran through fear goes bounding back after the animal that is chasing it. Regarding that rock, it was the custom that it was [known as] “The Rock of the Part where there is Tranquillity” (Sen̥-kaḍa-gala3).

One day a Basket-mender for the purpose of cutting bamboos went into this forest. While he was cutting bamboos a certain jackal went driving a hare on the path. At the time when the hare arrived near this rock the jackal began to run back, and the hare ran behind it.

The Basket-mender, having been looking at this, examined the place, and having gone near the King who was ruling at that time, told him of this circumstance. And the King, having thought that it is a good victorious ground, went there, and having built a city makes it his capital (rāja-dhāniya). For that city he made the name Sen̥kaḍagala [Nuwara—that is, Kandy].

Ūva Province. [4]


1 The Sinhalese title is, “The Jackal and the Basket-mender,”—at least this is what I take to be the meaning of Kulupottā, a word I do not know, deriving pottā from the Tamil pottu, to mend; compare Kuḷuyara, a basket-maker. 

2 A large monkey of two species (Semnopithecus). 

3 Deriving Seṇ from sema. Kandy appears to have been founded at the beginning of the fourteenth century (Ancient Ceylon, p. 354, note). 

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No. 77

The Gamarāla’s Daughter

In a certain country there were a Gamarāla and a daughter of the Gamarāla’s, it is said. Well then, for the Gamarāla they brought a Gama-mahagē.1 The Gama-mahagē’s daughter and that Gamarāla’s daughter stayed in one place. The Gamarāla and the Gama-mahagē cook and eat separately; the Gamarāla’s daughter and the Gama-mahagē’s daughter cook and eat separately.

A King comes every day to the house in which are the two girls. Afterwards, the Gama-mahagē’s daughter, having quarrelled with the Gamarāla’s daughter, went to the Gama-mahagē and told tales: “A King comes every day to the house we are in.”

Then the woman said, “Daughter, you go to that house to-day [and watch if he comes].” Having said “Hā” (Yes), that girl went.

Afterwards the girl came to the house in which was the Mahagē. After having come, she said, “Mother, to-day also the King came.”

Then that girl’s mother, having cut her finger-nails2 and given them into the hand of the girl, said, “Daughter, take these and place them upon the beam of the threshold.” The girl, having taken them and placed them on the beam of the threshold, came to the Mahagē’s house.

On the following day the girl did not go to the house of the Gamarāla’s daughter. That day, also, came the King. After he came he placed his foot on the beam of the [5]threshold; then the finger-nails pricked him. Immediately the King went to the city on the back of the tusk elephant.

On the following day, when that [Gamarāla’s] girl was weeping and weeping under a tree because he did not come, while some crows were swallowing and swallowing the fruits of the trees a crow said, “Andō! What is that Gamarāla’s daughter crying for?” The other crow said, “What is it to thee! Do thou in silence quickly swallow two or three fruits off that.”

Afterwards, it having become night, part of the crows went to the nests; two still remained over in the tree. One of them said, “Anē! What is that Gamarāla’s daughter crying for?” The other crow said, “What is it to thee! Do thou in silence swallow the fruits off that. All the crows went away; mustn’t we also go? It has become night.”

Then the Gamarāla’s daughter laments, “A light was falling and falling [into my life]; it is not there now.”

The crow said, “Being without a light, what art thou lamenting for?”

The girl said, “A King was coming and coming to our house. Our stepmother having placed some finger-nails on the threshold, they pricked the King’s foot, and having gone to the city he does not come now. On account of that I am lamenting.”

Then the crow said, “What are you lamenting for on that account! Having shot (with bow and arrow) a crow that is flying [in the air] above, and extracted its fat, should you take it to the city in which the King is, when you have rubbed it on the wound in the foot it will heal.”

Afterwards the girl, having shot a crow that was flying above, and extracted its fat, and tied up a packet of it, and dressed in men’s clothes, went to the city, taking the fat.

The girl, having gone to the city, and gone to the palace in which is the King, said, “What will He give me to cure His foot?”3 [6]

The King replied, “I will give a gold ring.”

Then the girl rubbed the oil [on the wound], and after she drew out the finger-nail the foot became well. After that the King gave the girl the gold ring. The girl, taking it, came home.

The King, taking a sword, on the following day came on the back of the tusk elephant to the house in which is the girl. The girl was asleep. Then the King descended from the tusk elephant, and taking the sword went to the place where the girl was. “Get up, thou,” he said. The girl arose. Then the King prepared to cut her neck.

The girl, having made obeisance, said, “Don’t cut me with the sword; it was I who cured His foot.”

“How didst thou cure it?” he said.

“I went to the city in which He was, and having rubbed fat [on the wound] and drawn out the finger-nail, came back,” the girl said.

Then the King said, “How didst thou go to my palace?”

The girl replied, “I went in men’s clothes, and having rubbed oil on the foot and drawn out the finger-nail, I came back.”

“If thou drewest it out, where is now the gold ring I gave thee?” he said.

Then the girl, saying, “Here is the gold ring He gave me,” showed it to the King.

After that, placing the girl on the back of the tusk elephant, he went to the palace in the city.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

Regarding the poisonous nature of the finger-nails, see vol. i, pp. 124 and 128.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 199, a Princess in the disguise of a Yōgī cured a Prince who had married her, and who had been poisoned by means of powdered glass laid on his bed. She applied earth from the foot of a tree, mixed with cold water, and rubbed this over him for three days and nights. When the Prince wished to reward her, she asked for a ring and handkerchief that she gave him on their wedding day. She afterwards informed him that it was she who had cured him, but he would not believe her until she produced these articles. [7]


1 The title of a Gamarāla’s wife. 

2 In Sinhalese this expression includes the toe-nails, the toes being termed “fingers of the foot.” 

3 This query is addressed to the King himself, it being more respectful to use the third person than the second. In the story numbered 106 a Princess addresses a Prince in the third person, and there are several other examples. Compare the first couplet of the conversation [6]of the King and goose in the Jātaka story No. 502 (vol. iv, p. 266). In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. iv, p. 121) a Wazīr employs the third person while speaking to his sovereign. 

[Contents]

No. 78

The Gamarāla’s Girl

In a certain city there was a King, it is said. The King sends letters into various countries to be explained. When they were sent, no one could explain the things that were in the letters. When he sent the letters, on the following day [the recipients] must come near the King. When they come the King asks the meaning in the letter; no one can tell it. Well then, he beheads the man.

Thus, in that manner he sent letters to seven cities. From the seven cities seven men came to hand over the letters. He beheaded the seven persons.

On the eighth day a letter came to the Gamarāla. There is a girl of the Gamarāla’s. When they brought the letter the girl was not at home; she went to the village to pound paddy. Pounding the paddy and taking the rice, when the girl is coming home the Gamarāla is weeping and weeping.

So the girl asked, “What is it, father, you are crying for?”

Then the Gamarāla says, “Daughter, why shouldn’t I cry? The King who beheaded seven men of seven cities has to-day sent a letter to me also. Now then, the letter which the people of seven cities were unable to explain, how can I explain? Well then, mustn’t I take the letter to-morrow? It is I who must take the letter. When I have gone he will behead me. Well then, owing to your being [left] without anyone, indeed, I am weeping.”

Then the girl said, “Where is it, for me to look at, that letter?” Asking for it, and having explained all the things that were in the letter, she said to the Gamarāla, “Father, having gone to-morrow, to what the King asks say thus and thus.” [8]

The Gamarāla on the following day went and handed over the letter. The King, in the very way in which he asked those seven persons, brought up the Gamarāla, and asked him. The Gamarāla replied in the very way the girl said. Then the King asked the Gamarāla, “Who expounded this?” The Gamarāla said, “There is a daughter of mine; that daughter herself explained it.”

After that, the King said, “To-morrow we are coming for the marriage [to your daughter]. You go now, and having built inner sheds and outer sheds, and milked milk from oxen, and caused it to curdle, and expressed oil from sand, place them [ready]; those [previously] unperformed matters,” he said.

When the Gamarāla is coming home the girl is not at home. Having gone to pound paddy, and having pounded the paddy, when she comes, taking the rice, that day, also, the Gamarāla, weeping and weeping, is digging some holes for posts.

So the girl asked, “What, father, are you crying for to-day also?”

Then the Gamarāla says, “Anē! Daughter, the King is coming to-morrow to summon you in marriage, and return. Owing to it, the King said to me, ‘Having built inner sheds and outer sheds, having milked milk from oxen and caused it to curdle, and having expressed oil from sand, place them [ready].’ Now, then, how shall I do those things? It is through being unable that I am weeping.”

Then the girl says, “Father, no matter for that. Simply stay [here]. Please build the [usual] sorts of inner sheds and outer sheds. How are you to milk milk from oxen and curdle it? How are you to express oil from sand?” Afterwards the Gamarāla indeed built the inner sheds and outer sheds.

On the very day on which the King said he is coming, the girl, with another girl, taking a bundle of cloth, went along the road to meet the King. On the road there is a sesame chena. By the chena they met the King.

When coming very far away, the Ministers said at the hand of the King, “That one coming in front is the Gamarāla’s [9]daughter herself.” The Gamarāla’s daughter, too, did go in front.

Then the King asked at the hand of the Gamarāla’s daughter, “Where, girl, art thou going?”

The Gamarāla’s daughter replied, “We are going [because] our father has become of age [in the same manner as women]. On account of it [we are going] to the washermen.”

The King said, “How, girl, are men [affected like women]?”

Then the girl said, “So, indeed! You, Sir, told our father that having built inner sheds and outer sheds, having milked milk from oxen, and caused it to curdle, and having expressed oil from sand, [he is] to place them [ready]. How can these be [possible]? In that way, indeed, is the becoming of age by males [in the same manner as women].”

Then the King, having become pleased with the girl, asked yet a word. He plucked a sesame flower, and taking it in his hand asked the girl, “Girl, in this sesame flower where is the oil?”

Then the girl asked, “When your mother conceived where were you. Sir?”1

Immediately (ē pārama) the King descended from the horse’s back; and placing the Gamarāla’s girl upon the horse, and the King also having got on the horse, they went to the palace. The other girl came alone to that girl’s house.

On the second day, the King having sent the Ministers and told the Gamarāla to come, marrying the girl to the King she remained [there]. The Gamarāla also stayed in that very palace.

North-western Province. [10]


1 In the next story, and in the Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 246, are given a Prince’s question regarding sesame, and a smart village girl’s reply. 

[Contents]

No. 79

How Gourds were put in Small-Mouthed Pots

At a certain time a man cut a sesame chena. In the sesame chena the sesame flowers blossomed. There was a female child of the man’s.

The child one day having gone to the sesame chena, while she was there the King came, in order to go near the sesame chena. Thereupon the King asked at the hand of the girl, “Girl, the flower that has blossomed, where did it come from in the plant?”

Then the girl asked at the hand of the King, “Before your mother was married where were you?”

At that time, the King having become angry at the word which the girl said, told the girl’s father to come. After he came he said, “Because your girl said such a wicked word, come [to me after] putting a hundred gourd fruits in a hundred [small-mouthed] copper pots.”

Thereupon, the man being afraid at this word went home, and remained a dead dolt (mandā). Then the girl asked, “Why, father, are you without sense?” Then the man told her the word said by the King.

Having heard it, the girl said, “Father, why are you frightened at that? I will tell you a stratagem for that,” and told him to bring a hundred [small-mouthed] copper pots. After he brought them, she told him to bring a hundred gourd-flower fruits (the small fruit at the base of the flower). After he brought them, she told him to put the hundred gourds into those hundred copper pots, and after he put them in, the girl and the man went to the King, and handed them over. [11]

Having given them, as they were coming away, the King said to the girl, “I will cause thee to be in widowhood.”

Then the girl said, “I will get a dirty cloth [set] on your head.”

The King, after that man and girl went away, came and married her. Having married her, and stayed a little time, in order to make her a widow he went on a journey which delayed him six months.

Having waited until the time when he was going, what does this girl do? Having made up her hair-knot on the top of her head, tying it there, tying on a bosom necklace (mālayak) like the Heṭṭiyās, she went to the sewing-shop. Learning sewing for the whole of the six months, she sewed a good hat, putting a dirty cloth at the bottom [inside it], and above it having fastened [precious] stones; it was at the sewing-shop.

At that time, as that King, the six months having been spent, was coming home through the middle of the street, he saw a costly hat in the shop; and having given a thousand masuran, taking the hat and placing it on his head, he went away.

Having gone, he said to the girl, “I caused thee to be in widowhood, didn’t I? I said so.”

Then the girl said, “On your head you got my dirty cloth, didn’t you? I said so.”

The King said, “You are not old enough1 to get your dirty cloth on my head.”

Thereupon the girl said, “Break up the hat and look.”

Then when the King broke up the hat and looked the dirty cloth was there. After that, having said, “The two persons are equal to each other,” they remained in much trust [in each other].

North-central Province.

[Contents]

In Indian Night’s Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 315, a girl, the daughter of a smith, whom a Prince wanted to marry, in order to show her cleverness made some large earthenware jars, and without [12]burning them painted and enamelled them, and introduced a small water-melon into each. When the melons had grown so as to fill the jars, she sent two of them to the palace, with a request that the melons should be taken out without breaking the jars or melons. No one being able to do it, she obtained permission to visit the palace, wrapped a wet cloth round each jar until it became soft, expanded the mouths, extracted the melons, and remade the jars as before.

The smart village girl is known in China also. There is an account of one in Chinese Nights’ Entertainment (A. M. Fielde), p. 57, the incidents being unlike those of the Sinhalese tale, however.

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. iii, p. 202) there is a story of a smart village girl and a King of Persia, Kisrā Anūshirwān, in which the King married the girl. [13]


1 Lit. “Your age is insufficient.” This is a not unusual form of village repartee. 

[Contents]

No. 80

The Royal Prince and the Carpenter’s Son

In a certain country there were a King and a Queen. In the same city there were a Carpenter and his wife. There was a Prince of the King’s. There was a son of the Carpenter’s.

They sent these two near a teacher to learn letters and sciences. After a number of years, one day, in order to look at this Prince’s learning, the King, having gone near the teacher who teaches the sciences, and made inquiry regarding the Prince’s lessons, [ascertained that] the King’s Prince was not able to [understand] any science; the Carpenter’s son was conversant (nipuna) with all sciences.

Thereupon the King, having become grieved, went to the palace, and said to the Queen, “Thy Prince is a decided miserable fool.1 Because of it, I must behead the Prince,” the King settled.

Then the Queen said to the Prince, “As you have not got any learning he has settled to behead you. Because of it, leave this city, and go somewhere or other.” Having said [this], and, unknown to the King, tied up and given the Prince a package of cooked rice, and given him a horse and a sword and a thousand masuran, she sent him on his journey.

This Prince and the Carpenter’s son were very great confidential friends. Because of it, the Prince, having said that he must go [after] having spoken to his friend, went near his friend, and said, “Our father, because I am unable [14]to [understand] letters and sciences, has settled to behead me. Because of it, I am going to another country.”

Thereupon the Carpenter’s son said, “If you, Sir, are leaving this city and going away, I also must go to the place where you are going.” Having said [this], the Carpenter’s son set out to go with the Prince.

Then the Prince said, “As for me, blame having fallen on me from the King, I am going; there is no reason at all for you to go.” That word the Carpenter’s son would not hear. Both of them having mounted on the horse, entered the jungle, and began to go away.

At the time when they had gone a number of gawuwas (each of four miles), it became night; and having gone upon a high rock, and eaten the packet of cooked rice that was brought, at the time when the two persons were talking the Prince saw that a great light had fallen somewhat far away. Having said, “Friend, get up and look what is that light,” when that one arose and looked, a great Nāgayā, having ejected a stone, is eating food.

The Prince said, “How is the way to take the stone?”

The Carpenter’s son said, “You go, and, taking the stone, come back running, without having looked back. The Cobra will come running; then I will cut it down.”

The Prince said, “I cannot; you go and bring it.”

Thereafter, the Carpenter’s son having gone, at the time when he was coming back [after] taking the stone, the Cobra came after him, crying and crying out. The Prince, taking [the stone] and having waited, cut it down. Instantly, both of them having mounted on the back of the horse, began to run off.

Having gone very far, after they halted they looked at the stone. On the stone was written, “There is a well in this jungle. When one has held the stone to the well, the water will dry up. Having descended into the well, when one has looked there will be a palace; there will also be a Princess in the palace. If there should be a person who has obtained this stone, it is he himself whom this Princess will marry.” [This] was written upon the stone.

Thereafter, after it became light, these two persons began [15]to seek the well. At the time when they were seeking and looking for it they met with the well. When they held the stone to the well the water dried up. Both of them having descended into the well, when they looked about, they met with the palace also; the Princess, too, was there.

Thereupon the royal Prince said to the Carpenter’s son, “Owing to your good luck we met with this gem-treasure2 and the Princess. Because of that, let the Princess be for you.”

The Carpenter’s son said to the Prince, “You, Sir, are a great fool. You are my royal Prince; it is not right to say this word to me.”

Thereafter, having married the Princess to the Prince, and united the two persons, and set that Nāga gem in a ring, and put it on the Prince’s finger, he said, “On the Princess’s asking for this ring on any day whatever,3 don’t give it. Women are never to be trusted.” Having taught the Prince [this], having said, “In any difficulty whatever, remember me,” the Carpenter’s son, plunging into the water, came to the surface of the ground, and went [back] to their city.

While this Prince and Princess were [there], one day she begged and got the ring that was on the Prince’s hand, in order to look at it. When she begged and looked at it, this Princess saw that these matters were written in Nāgara letters.

On the following day, begging the ring from the Prince, and having gone noiselessly, when she held it out to the well the water dried up. Thereupon, the Princess, having mounted upon the well mouth, and stayed looking about, came again to the palace. In that manner, several times begging for the ring she stayed on the well mouth, and came back.

One day, at the time when the Vaeddā who goes hunting for the King of that city was going walking [in the forest], the Vaeddā, having heard that this Princess sitting on the mouth of the well is singing, went and peeped, and remained [16]looking at her. Thereafter he went and told the King of that city, “In such and such a jungle there is a well. Sitting on the well mouth, a Princess was singing and singing songs. Having stayed there, she jumped into the well. When I went and looked there is only water. The beauty of her figure is indeed like the sun and moon. In this city there is not a woman of that kind.”

Thereupon the King having become much pleased, on the following day the Vaeddā, and the King, and the Minister, the whole three persons, went to look at the Princess. Having gone, at the time when they were hidden the Princess came that day also, and sitting on the well-mouth sang songs. Thereupon the King, taking the sword, went running to seize the Princess. As soon as the Princess saw them she jumped into the well. The King having gone near the well, when he looked there is only water. The Princess was not to be seen.

Thereafter, the King, having been astonished, came to the city. Having come, he gave public notice by beat of tom-toms that if there should be a person who brought and gave him the Princess who is in the well in such and such a jungle, he will give him goods [amounting] to a tusk-elephant’s load, and a half share from the kingdom. [This] he made public by the notification tom-toms.

At the time when they were going in the street beating the notification tom-toms, a widow woman stopped the notification tom-toms, and asked, “What is it?”

The notification tom-tom beater said, “The King said that to a person who brought and gave him the Princess who is in the well in such and such a jungle, he will give these goods, and a share from the kingdom.”

Thereupon the widow woman said [to the King], “I can.4 Having constructed a watch-hut near the well in that jungle, you must give it to me,” she said. The King very speedily sent men, and built a watch-hut, and gave it. [17]

This old woman went [there], and at the time when she was in the watch-hut, the Princess came, and sitting down upon the well mouth, sang songs.

Thereupon the widow woman, drawing together the folds of her rags, breaking [loose] her hair and letting it hang down, placing her hand to her head, weeping and weeping, crying and crying out, came to the place where the Princess is.

The Princess asked, “What, mother, are you weeping and weeping for?”

“Anē! Daughter, there is a male child of mine. The child does not give me to eat, and does not give me to wear. Having beaten me he drove me away, to go to any place I like.”

Then the Princess said, “I will give you to eat and to wear. There is not anyone with me.” Calling this old woman she went to her palace. The Prince also having become pleased, amply provided for the old woman.

Very many times calling this old woman, [the Princess] having gone to the well-mouth, and stayed [there] singing songs, returned.

One day this old woman, taking a piece of stone in her hand, unknown (himin) to the Princess, asked at the hand of the Princess, “Anē! Daughter, how does the water dry up in this well? How does it fill?”

The Princess said, “Mother, there is a stone in my hand. By its power the water dries up, and fills it.”

[Saying], “Anē! Daughter, where is it? Please let me, too, look at it,” she begged for and got the stone. Having been looking and looking at it a little time, she dropped that piece of stone which was in her hand, for the Princess to hear. This gem-treasure the woman hid.

[The Princess] having said, “Appoyi! Mother, you dropped the stone!” the two persons, striking and striking themselves, began to cry, saying and saying, “For us, in the midst of this forest, from whom will there be a protection from everything (saw-saranak)?”

At the time when they were weeping and weeping, having said, “It is becoming night,” the old woman said to the [18]Princess, “Now then, daughter, for us two to remain thus, a fine place (hari taenak) is this forest wilderness! There will be elephants, bears, leopards. Because of that, let us go. There is my house; having gone [there], early to-morrow morning let us come again here.” Having said [this], deceiving the Princess, they went away.

The old woman with dishonest secrecy having sent word to the King, the King came, and calling the Princess went [with her] to the palace.

Thereafter, the King published by beat of tom-toms that he has brought the Princess who stayed on the well mouth. He made public that on such and such a day he will marry this Princess.

Thereupon the Princess said, “In that manner I cannot contract marriage. My two parents have told me that the Prince [I am to marry] and I, both of us, having rowed a Wooden Peacock machine5 in the sky, and having come back, after that must contract marriage, they have ordered.” This word the Princess said as the Princess knows that the first friend of the Prince’s, that is, the Carpenter’s son, can construct the Wooden Peacock machine.

Thereafter, the King of this city employed the notification tom-tom, “Who can construct the Wooden Peacock machine? If there should be a person who can, speedily come summoning him near the King.”

At the time when they were beating the notification tom-tom, that Carpenter’s son, having caused the notification tom-tom to halt, said, “I can construct the Wooden Peacock machine.” Thereupon, summoning the Carpenter’s son, they went to the royal house.

The King ordered that he should receive from the palace many presents. The King commanded that having quickly constructed the Wooden Peacock machine, and also prepared a person to row it, he should bring it.

Thereafter, the Carpenter’s son, ascertaining about the Princess who stayed at the well, quickly having set off, went near the well in the jungle, and diving into the water, and having gone to the palace, when he looked, the Prince [19]having become stupefied through want of sleep,6 had fallen down unconscious.

Thereupon the Carpenter’s son, having spoken to the Prince, said, “Didn’t I tell you, Sir, ‘Don’t give the ring into the hand of the Princess,’ ascertaining that this danger will happen? But,” he said to the Prince, “don’t you at any time become unhappy.7 I will again bring the Princess near this palace, and give her to you.” Saying, “Please remain in happiness,” the Carpenter’s son returned to the city, and began to construct the Wooden Peacock machine.

While constructing it, he made inquiry how this widow woman was, [and learnt that] a male child of this widow woman’s was lost while very young (lit., from his small days).

One day, in the night the Carpenter’s son, tying up a bundle of clothes and a packet of cooked rice, went, just as it was becoming night,8 to the house at which is the widow woman. Having gone [there] he spoke: “Mother, mother!”

Thereupon the woman quickly having arisen and come, asked, “Where, son, where were you for so many days?”

Thereupon the Carpenter’s son said, “Anē! Mother, having tramped through many countries, I have not obtained any means of subsistence. I obtained a few pieces of cloth and a little rice.” Saying “Here,” he gave them into the hand of that woman.

“What are these for, son? Look; I have received from the King much goods, and a part of the kingdom,” she said to the Carpenter’s son.

The old woman thought he was her own son. Having allowed him to press her eyes while she is lying down, the old woman said, “Son, I have still got something.”

Having said, “Anē! Mother, where is it? Please let me look at it,” begging for it, when he looked [it was] that gem-treasure.

Thereafter, having given it [back] into the hand of the old woman, and waited until the time when the woman goes to sleep, stealing that stone the Carpenter’s son came away.

Then, constructing the Wooden Peacock machine, he [20]went near the King. Having gone, he said, “Except myself no one else can row this.”

At that time, the King and the Princess, both of them, having mounted on the Wooden Peacock machine [after] putting on the royal ornaments, these three persons rowed [aloft in] the Wooden Peacock machine.

Having rowed very high above the sea, and stopped the Wooden Peacock machine, the Carpenter’s son, taking the sword in his hand, asked the King whence the King obtained this Princess. Thereupon the King said that a widow woman of this city brought and gave him the Princess who stayed at a well in the midst of the forest.

Then the Carpenter’s son said, “Why do you desire others’ wives? How much [mental] fire will there be for this Princess’s husband! What His Highness (tumā) did is a great fault.”

Having said this, he cut down the King and dropped him into the sea, and, taking the Princess, rowed near that well in the jungle. Having gone [down the well] to the palace, and caused that Prince to put on these royal ornaments, the Prince, and the Princess, and the Carpenter’s son, the whole three persons, having gone on the Wooden Peacock machine to the city, and said that the King and the Princess had contracted the marriage, that day with great festivity ate the [wedding] feast; but any person of the city was unaware of this abduction9 [of the King] which he effected.

Thereafter, this Prince and Princess having been saluted10 by that widow woman, having tried her judicially they subjected her to the thirty-two tortures and beheaded her, and hung her at the four gate-ways, it is said.

The Carpenter’s son became the Prince’s Prime Minister. The Prince exercised the sovereignty with the ten [royal] virtues, it is said.

North-western Province.

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The ten royal virtues are: Almsgiving, keeping religious precepts, liberality, uprightness, compassion, addiction to religious austerities, even temper, tenderness, patience, and peacefulness (Clough). [21]

Regarding the flying wooden Peacock, see also the next story and No. 198 in vol. iii. In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 378, there is also an account of a similar flying-machine called a Peacock, on which a young man, accompanied by the maker, first went to marry a girl, and afterwards, against the advice of its maker, flew aloft to show the people his own skill. He did not know how to make it return, and at last the cords broke, it fell in the sea, and he was drowned.

In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (collected by Rev. Dr. Bodding), pp. 378, 380, etc., there are several accounts of houses under the water; these were the residences of Bongas or deities.

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. i, p. 115, Mr. G. H. Damant gave a Bengal story in which a King’s son descends into a well, and finds there a Princess in a house, imprisoned by Rākshasas.

In Folk-Tales of Bengal (L. Behari Day), p. 17 ff., a Prince and a Minister’s son who was his bosom friend, while on their travels obtained a Cobra’s jewel, and by means of it saw a palace under the water of a tank. They dived down to it, found a Princess who had been imprisoned there by the Cobra, which had died on losing its magic jewel, and the Prince married her by exchanging garlands of flowers. After the Minister’s son left them in order to prepare for their return, the Princess, while the Prince was asleep, by means of the magic jewel ascended to the surface of the water, and sat on the bathing steps. On the third occasion when she did this, a Rāja’s son saw and fell in love with her. As soon as she observed him she descended to her palace, and the young man went home apparently mad. The Rāja offered his daughter’s hand and half his kingdom to anyone who could cure his son. An old woman who had seen the Princess offered to do it, and a hut was built for her on the embankment of the tank. When the Princess came to the bank the woman offered to help her to bathe, secured the jewel, and the Princess was captured. When the Minister’s son returned on a day previously arranged, he heard that the Princess was to be married in two days. He personated the widow’s son, who was absent, and was well received by the widow, who handed him the magic jewel. He saw the Princess, managed to escape with her, and they joined the Prince.

In The Kathākoça (Tawney), p. 91, a serpent Prince saved a Queen who had been pushed into a well by her stepmother, and made a palace in the well, in which she lived until she was able to rejoin her husband.

In Folk-Tales of Hindustan (Shaik Chilli), p. 52, a Princess who had been carried off and was about to be married to a Rāja’s son, stated (by pre-arrangement with her husband’s party, who had come to rescue her) that it was “the custom of her family to float round the city in a golden aerial car with the bridegroom and match-maker.” [22]The Rāja sent men to find a car. Two of her husband’s friends, a goldsmith and a carpenter, now produced such a car. When the Rāja, his son, the Princess, and the witch who had abducted her, began to sail above the city in it, at the Princess’s request the car was stopped at a pre-arranged place, the Prince and his four friends sprang into it, took it high in the air, drowned the Rāja, his son, and the witch, and returned with the Princess to their own city.

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. iii, p. 137 ff.) there is an account of a flying ebony horse, which rose or descended when suitable pegs were turned. When it was brought to a Persian King, his son tried it, was carried away like the Prince in the next story, and at last descended on the roof of a palace, where he saw and fell in love with the royal Princess, and returning afterwards, carried her off.

In the Totā Kahānī (Small), p. 139, a young man made a flying wooden horse, by means of which a merchant’s daughter, who had been abducted by a fairy, was recovered.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 57, a young Brāhmaṇa who plunged into the Ganges to rescue a woman who appeared to be drowning found a temple of Śiva, and a palace in which the girl who was a Daitya (an Asura) lived.

In the same volume, p. 392, there is an account of a flying chariot, “with a pneumatic contrivance,” made by a carpenter. A man flew two hundred yōjanas (each some eight miles in length) before descending; he then started it afresh and flew another two hundred. On p. 390 wooden automata made by the same carpenter are mentioned; they “moved as if they were alive, but were recognised as lifeless by their want of speech.” A similar automaton is mentioned in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 170; it was able to sing and dance. (This work consists of translations from the Chinese Tripiṭaka; all appear to have been translated from Indian originals, usually in the early centuries after Christ.)

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. x, p. 232 (Tales of the Panjab, p. 42), in the story of Prince Lionheart, by Mrs. F. A. Steel, his carpenter friend went in search of a Princess who had been carried off by a King. He made a flying palankin, and returned in it with her. [23]


1 Tīndu kālakanni mōdayā. 

2 Mānikka-ratnē, the jewel of a Cakravarti sovereign or universal monarch. It casts a light for a distance of four miles (Clough). 

3 Kaemati dawasaka, on any day you like. 

4 So, also, in the Mahā Bhārata, it was an old woman who, when others were unable to do it, undertook to bring to Lomapada, King of Anga, the horned son of an ascetic whose presence was declared to be indispensable for causing rains to fall. She effected it by the aid of her pretty daughter, who decoyed him. 

5 Dan̆ḍu monara yantrayak. 

6 Ahōmat-welā. 

7 Kalāsan = kalya + a + san̥. 

8 Rāe-wenḍa, rāe-wenḍa. 

9 Upaharana. 

10 According to the text, nawalā, bathed, probably intended for namalā. 

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No. 81

Concerning a Royal Prince and a Princess1

In a certain city there were a King, a Carpenter, and a Washerman. There were three male children of these three persons. They sent these three children to learn letters near a teacher a yōjana distant, or four gawuwas2 distant. These three having at one time set off from the city when they went for [learning] letters, both that royal Prince and the Washer lad went and said the letters; when they are coming back the Carpenter’s son is even yet going on the road. Those two go with much quickness. Because of it, the Carpenter’s son said at his father’s hand, “We three having set off at one time from the city, when we have gone, those two having got in front and gone, and said their letters, come back. Having gone (started) at one time, on even a single day having said my letters I was unable to come [with them].”

Thereafter, he made for the Carpenter’s son a [flying] Wooden Peacock machine, and gave him it. He having gone rowing it [through the air], and said his letters, when he is coming back those two are still going [on the road], for [their] letters.

One day the royal Prince said to the Carpenter’s son, “Anē! Friend, will you let me row and look at the Wooden Peacock machine?” he asked. [24]

Thereupon the Carpenter’s son, having said, “It is good,” and having told him the manner of treading on the chain, gave him it. Just as the Prince was taking hold of the chain, he went [up] in the Wooden Peacock machine, and was fixed among the clouds in the sky. At that time the King of the city and the multitude were frightened.

Thereafter, having assembled the city soothsayers and astrologers, [the King] asked, “When will this Prince, taking the Wooden Peacock machine, come down?”

Thereupon the soothsayers said, “After he has gone for the space of3 three years and three months, having come back he will fall in the sea.”

Thereupon the King said to the Ministers, “Having been marking that number of years and number of days, surrounding the sea (i.e., keeping a watch all along the shore), and having been laying nets, as soon as the Prince falls you must take him ashore,” he commanded.

Thereafter, at the time when the Prince was holding the cords of the Wooden Peacock machine, it began to descend lower. At a burial ground at another city the Wooden Peacock machine came down upon a Banyan-tree.

Thereupon the Prince, having placed the Wooden Peacock machine on the tree, and descended from the tree, went to the city, and began to walk about. At the time when the Princess of the King of the city, with yet [other] Princesses, was bathing at a pool, the Princess saw him at the time when this Prince also was going walking.

As soon as she saw him, the Princess thought, “If I marry the Prince it is good.” The Prince also thought, “If I marry this Princess it is good.” Except that the two thought to themselves of each other, there was no means of talking together. Because of it, the Princess, plucking a blue-lotus flower in the pool, placed it on her head after having smelt (kissed) it; and again, having crushed it, threw it down, and trampled on it. The Princess did thus for the Prince to perceive that when he married her she would be submissive and obedient to him. The Prince understood it, and kept it in mind. [25]

Thereafter, at the time when the Prince was going walking in the city, he met with the palace in which is the Princess. At the time when the Prince had been there a little while, the Princess opened a window of the upper story, and when she was looking in the direction of the street, saw that this Prince was [there], and spoke to him. At that time she said to the Prince, “After it has become night I [shall] have opened this window. You come [then].”

Then the Prince having come after all in the palace got to sleep, when he looked the window was opened. Having spoken to the Princess, he entered the palace. The two having conversed, the Prince, before it became light, got out of the palace, and having gone away, and waited until the time when it became night, comes again.

Thereupon the Princess, in order to keep the Prince in the very palace, told a smith of the city to come secretly; and having given him also a thousand masuran, and made the man thoroughly swear [to secrecy], the Princess said, “Having made a large lamp-stand, and made it [large enough] for a man to be inside it, and turned round the screw-key belonging to it, as though bringing it to sell bring it to the palace. When you bring it I will tell the King, and I will take it.”

The smith having gone, and made the lamp-stand in the manner the Princess said, brought it near the King. Then the Princess having come and said, “I want this,” took it, and put it in the palace. To the smith the King gave five hundred masuran.

Thereafter, having put that Prince inside the lamp-stand, he remained [there]. When not many days had gone by, the Princess became pregnant. The King having perceived that the Princess was pregnant, placed a guard round the palace, and having published by beat of tom-toms [that they were] to seize this thief, the King and the guards made all possible effort to seize the thief, but they were unable.

A widow woman said, “I can seize him if you will allow me to go evening and morning to the palace in which is the Princess, to seize the thief.” Thereupon the King gave [26]permission to the woman to go and stay during the whole4 of both times.

When several days had gone by, this woman, having perceived that a man is inside that lamp-stand, one day having gone taking also a package of fine sand, during the visit, while she stayed talking and talking with the Princess put the sand of the package round the lamp-stand, and having spread it thinly, came away. The Princess was unable to find this out.

When that woman went on the morning of the following day, and looked, the Prince’s foot-prints were in that sand. As soon as she saw it, the woman went and said to the King, “I caught the thief. Let us go to look.” The old woman having gone, said, “There! It is inside that lamp-stand, indeed, that the thief is,” and showed them to the King. At that time, when the King broke the lamp-stand and looked, the thief was [there].

Thereafter the King gave orders that having tortured the thief, and taken him away, they were to behead him, he said to the executioners. Thereupon the executioners [after] pinioning the Prince, beating the execution tom-tom, took him to that burial-ground.

At that time the Prince said to the executioners, “If you kill any person, having given him the things he thinks of to eat and drink—is it not so?—you kill him. Because of it, until the time when I come [after] going into this Banyan-tree and eating two Banyan fruits, remain on guard round this tree. There is no opportunity (taenak) for me to bound off and go elsewhere.”

Thereupon, the executioners having said, “It is good,” the Prince ascended the tree, and having mounted on that Wooden Peacock machine, rowed into the sky. While the executioners were looking the Prince went flying away.

The executioners having said that blame will fall [on them] from the King, caught and cut a lizard (kaṭussā), and [27]having gone [after] rubbing the blood on the sword, showed it to the King, and said that they beheaded the thief.

From that day, the Princess from grief remained without eating and drinking. Several days afterwards, the Prince, having come rowing the Wooden Peacock machine, and caused it to stop on the palace in which is the Princess, and having removed the tiles, dropped the jewelled ring that was on the Prince’s hand at the place where the Princess is. He also dropped a robe of the Prince’s.

Thereupon the Princess, getting to know about the Prince’s [being on the roof], threw up the cloth [again]. Tying the hand-line to descend by, at that time the Prince, having descended, said to the Princess, “To kill me they took me to the burial-ground. I having caused the executioners to be deceived, and climbed up the tree—my Wooden Peacock machine was on the tree—I mounted it and went rowing away.” Thereafter, the Prince and Princess, both of them, went away.

At the time when they were going, ten months were completed for the Princess. While they were going, pains began to seize her. [The Prince] having lowered the Wooden Peacock machine in a great forest jungle, and in a minute having made a house of branches, the Princess bore [a child].

Thereupon the Prince said, “Remain here until I go and bring a little fire.” Saying [this] to the Princess, the Prince went rowing the Wooden Peacock machine. Having gone, at the time when, taking the fire in a coconut husk, he was coming rowing the Wooden Peacock machine over the midst of the sea, the coconut husk having burnt, the fire seized the Wooden Peacock machine, and it burnt away.

The Prince having come [there], fell in the sea. That foretold number of years also had been finished on that day. The person who stayed casting nets in the sea [there], as soon as the Prince fell got him ashore. The Prince, planting a vegetable garden at the city, remained there.

While the Princess who bore [the child] in that forest jungle was without any protection from all things (sawu-saranak), this trouble having become visible to an ascetic [28]person who practises austerity in that forest jungle, he came to the place where the Princess was, and spoke to her.

Thereupon the Princess, after she saw the ascetic, having a little abandoned the trouble that was in her mind, said to the ascetic, “While I walk into the midst of this forest seeking a little ripe fruit, will you look after this child until I come?” she asked.

The ascetic said, “Should I hold the child it is impure (kilutu) for me. Because of it, you having made a stick platform (maessak), and hung it by a creeper, and having tied a creeper to the platform, go after having sent the child to sleep on the platform. At the time when the child cries I will come, and hold the creeper by the end, and shake it; then the child will stop.” Having done in the manner the ascetic said, the Princess, seeking ripe fruits, ate.

One day, the Princess having suckled the child, and sent it to sleep on the platform, went to seek ripe fruits. Thereafter, that child having rolled off the stick platform and fallen on the ground, at the time when it was crying the ascetic heard it, and came; when he looked, the child having rolled over had fallen on the ground. Thereupon, because it was impure for the ascetic to hold the child, he plucked a flower, and having performed an Act of Truth for the flower, thought, “May a child be created just like this child.” Thereafter, a child was created just like it.

The Princess having come back, and having seen, when she looked, that two children are [there], the Princess asked the ascetic, “What is [the reason of] it? To-day two children!”

The ascetic said, “When I was coming, the child, having fallen, was crying and crying. Because it is impure for me to hold the child, I created a child just like it.”

The Princess said, “I cannot believe that word. If so, you must create a child again, for me to look at it.”

Thereupon the ascetic said, “According to the difficulty there is for you to rear one child, when there are three how much difficulty [will there be]!”

“No matter. [Please] create and give me it; I can rear it.” [29]

Thereupon, the ascetic plucked a flower, and having performed an Act of Truth, when he put it on the stick platform a child was created just like it.

Thereafter, the Princess having been pleased, reared the children. The children having grown up, walked in the midst of the forest, seeking ripe fruits, and having come back the children gave them to their mother, and [then] began to eat.

One day, at the time when these three are going walking, they met with a great river. When they looked, on the other bank of the river a great vegetable garden is visible. Thereupon these three having said [to each other], “Can you swim?” swam a considerable distance, and came back, saying, “Let us come to-morrow morning.” Having gone seeking a very few ripe fruits, they gave them to their mother.

On the following day, early in the morning, taking bows and arrows, the whole three went to the edge of the river. Having gone [there], and the whole three having gone swimming to the vegetable garden, when they looked many kinds of ripe fruits were [there].

Thereafter, these three having plucked [some], at the time when they are eating them the gardeners who watch the garden saw them, and having come running, prepared (lit., made) to seize them. Thereupon these three, taking their bows, prepared to shoot. The gardeners bounded off, and having gone running, told it at the hand of the King.

These three having eaten as much as possible, [after] plucking a great many crossed over [the river], and went away. At that time the King said to the gardeners, “Should these thieves come to-morrow also, let me know very speedily.”

The following day, also, those three persons came, and at the time when they are plucking [the fruit], the gardeners went and told him. Thereupon the King, taking bows and arrows, came and shot at them. When he shot, the arrow having gone, when near these Princes turned (lit., looked) back, and fell down.

Thereafter, that party shot at the King. Then also, in [30]the very [same] way, the arrow having gone, when near the King turned (looked) back, and fell down.

Thereupon, the whole two parties, after having come near [each other], spoke, “This was a great wonder. The circumstance that out of the two parties no one was struck, is a great wonder. Because of it, let us, the whole two parties, go near the paṇḍitayās [for them] to explain this.”

Thereupon, the whole of the two parties having gone, told the paṇḍitayās this circumstance that had occurred. Then the paṇḍitayās, having explained it, said to the King, “You, Sir, now above three or four years ago, summoned a Princess [in marriage]. The Princess’s, indeed, are these three, the children born to you, Sir. Because of it, the Gods have caused this to be seen. Go, and summoning the Princess from the place where she is, [be pleased] to come,” the paṇḍitayās said to the King.

Thereafter, the King having remembered her, at that moment decorating a ship, with the sound of the five musical instruments he went into the midst of the forest in which is that Princess; and having come back [after] calling the Princess, the Princess, and the three Princes, and the King remained at the garden, it is said.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 9, a Prince mounted on a magic wooden flying-horse that a friend of his, a carpenter’s son, had brought to the palace, and flew away on it. The carpenter promised that it would return in two months. The Prince alighted by moonlight on a palace roof five hundred leagues away, and fell in love with a Princess whom he saw there. After they had conversed, he flew off, fixed the horse in pieces amid the branches of a large tree, and stayed at a widow’s house, returning each night to the palace. In the end he was arrested and condemned to death. When the executioners were about to hang him he got permission to climb up the tree, put the horse together, sailed back to the palace, and carried off the Princess to his father’s home.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 158, a Prince who had stolen a magic bed which transported those who sat on it wherever desired, visited a Princess at night by means of it, and afterwards married her.

In the same work, p. 208, a Prince and Princess saw each other at a fair. While the Prince watched her from his tent, she took a [31]rose in her hand, put it to her teeth, stuck it behind her ear, and lastly laid it at her feet. The Prince could not understand her meaning, but a friend explained it, and said that she intended him to know that her father’s name was Raja Dānt (King Tooth), her country the Karnātak (karṇa = ear), and her own name Pānwpattī (Foot-leaf).

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 487, it is stated that while Sītā, the wife of Rāma, was dwelling at Vālmīki’s hermitage with her infant son Lava, she took the child with her when she went to bathe one day. The hermit, thinking a wild beast had carried it off, created another child resembling it, from kuśa grass, and placed it in the hut. On her return he explained the matter to her, and she adopted the infant, to which the name Kuśa was given.

In the same work, vol. ii, p. 235, a girl who came to bathe gave signals to a Prince by means of a lotus flower, which she put in her ear, and then twisted into the form of an ornament called dantapatra, or tooth-leaf. After this she placed another lotus flower on her head, and laid her hand on her heart.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 215, a Princess covered her face with lotus petals, and held up an ivory box to be seen by a Prince who was looking at her. By these signals he learnt her name and that of her city. He went to the city, visited her each day in a magic swing, and at length they eloped and were married.

In Sagas from the Far East, p. 110, a wood-carver’s son fashioned a hollow flying Garuḍa (possibly in the form of a Brahminy Kite), inside which a friend whose wife had been abducted flew to the Khan’s palace where she was detained, and brought her away.

In the same work, p. 316, a Princess made signals to a King’s young Minister as follows: She raised the first finger of her right hand, then passed the other hand round it, clasped and unclasped her hands, and finally laid one finger of each hand beside that of the other hand, and pointed with them towards the palace.

In the Mahā Bhārata and Rāmāyana javelins or arrows are sometimes represented as returning to the sender, who in such cases was a being possessing supernatural power. Thus, according to one story of Daksha’s sacrifice, when the energy of a dart thrown by Rudra at Vishṇu was neutralised, it returned to Rudra. In the fight between Karṇa and Arjuna some arrows which the former discharged returned to him (Karṇa Parva, lxxxix.).

In performing an Act of Truth such as is mentioned in this story, the person first states a fact and then utters a wish, which in reality is a conjuration, the efficacy of which depends on the truth of the foregoing statement.

Thus, in the Jātaka No. 35 (vol. i, p. 90) the Bōdhisatta in the [32]form of a helpless quail nestling5 extinguished a raging bush fire that was about to destroy it and other birds, by an Act of Truth, which took this form:—

“With wings that fly not, feet that walk not,

Forsaken by my parents here I lie!

Wherefore I conjure thee, dread Lord of Fire,

Primæval Jātaveda, turn! go back!”

The account then continues: “Even as he performed his Act of Truth, Jātaveda [the Fire Deity] went back a space of sixteen lengths; and in going back the flames did not pass away to the forest, devouring everything in their path. No; they went out there and then, like a torch plunged in water.”

There are several other examples in the Jātaka stories, and one in No. 83 in this volume. In the first volume, p. 140, the Prince cut in two the gem through the efficacy of an Act of Truth expressed in a slightly different form: “If so-and-so be true, may so-and-so happen.” This is the usual type of the conjuration; it occurs also in the story numbered 11. See also the Mahāvansa, Professor Geiger’s translation, p. 125, footnote.

Other examples are given in the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 330, vol. ii, p. 82; Sagas from the Far East, p. 47; Von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales (Ralston), p. 284; Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues, vol. ii, pp. 358, 396; and in the Mahā Bhārata.

In chapter xvii. of the Mahāvansa (Professor Geiger’s translation, p. 118), King Tissa proved the authenticity of the collar-bone relic of Buddha by an asseveration of this kind. In chapter xviii. (p. 125), the Emperor Aśōka severed the branch of the Bō-tree at Gayā, in order to send it to Ceylon, by an Act of Truth, previously drawing a magic line with a pencil of red arsenic round the branch to mark the place where it was to break off. In chapter xxv. (p. 171), King Duṭṭha-Gāmaṇi by similar means is said to have caused the armour of his troops to take the colour of fire, so that they might be discriminated from the Tamils whom he was fighting.

With regard to the messages given by signals, the reader may remember Rabelais’ account of the argument by signs between Panurge and Thaumaste (Pantagruel, cap. xix.).

Kandian girls make almost imperceptible signals to each other. If without moving the head the eyes be momentarily directed towards the door, the question is asked, “Shall we go out?” An affirmative reply is given by an expressionless gaze, a negative one by closing the eyes for an instant. [33]


1 The text of this story is given at the end of vol. iii. 

2 The gawuwa is usually four miles, but in this instance it is evidently the fourth part of a yōjana of about eight miles; the boys would still have a walk of sixteen miles each day. 

3 Giya taena. 

4 Tissē dē wēlē, lit., the thirty of both times—that is, the thirty paeyas into which each day or each night is divided, the paeya being twenty-four minutes. 

5 In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 350, the bird was a pheasant, and the fire avoided a space eight feet in radius around the bird. 

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No. 82

The Princes who Learnt the Sciences

At a certain city there is a King, it is said. There are four Princes (sons) of the King, it is said. At the time when he told the four persons to learn the sciences that are [known] in that country, they were unable to learn the sciences.

After that, the King, bringing a sword, told them to [go elsewhere and] learn the sciences [or he would kill them].

So all the four Princes, tying up a bundle of cooked rice, went away, and having gone to yet a city and sat down at a halting-place (rūppayak), the eldest Prince said, “At the time when we are coming back we must assemble together at this very halting-place.”

After that, the eldest Prince arrived (baehunāya) at a city. At the time when he asked, “What is the science that is [known] in this city?” they said, “In this city there is sooth.”

“You must go and send me to the house where they say sooth,” he said. Then they went and sent him. The Prince learnt sooth.

The next (etanama) Prince arrived (baessā) at a city. He asked, “What is the science that is [known] in this city?” “In this city there is theft,” they said.

“Please go and conduct me to the house where theft is [known],” he said. That one learnt theft.

The next Prince went and arrived at a city. “What is the science that is [known] in this city?” he asked. “Archery is [known] in this city,” they said.

“Please go and send me to the house where there is [34]archery,” he said. They went and sent him. That one learnt archery.

The next Prince went and arrived at a city. “What is the science that is [known] in this city?” he asked. “In this city there is carpenter’s work,” they said.

“Please go and send me to the house where there is carpenter’s work,” he said. That one learnt carpenter’s work.

After that, the soothsayer [Prince] looked into the sooth, [to ascertain] on what day the other three persons would come. When he looked, it appeared that on the very day when the eldest Prince comes back the other three persons also will come.

The eldest Prince having set off and come, returned to the halting-place (rūppē) at which they stayed that day. Having come, while he was there the other three also came and arrived at that halting-place.

“What is the science you learnt?” they asked from the eldest Prince. “I learnt sooth,” he said.

They asked the next Prince, “What is the science you learnt?” “I learnt theft,” he said.

They asked the next Prince, “What is the science you learnt?” “I learnt archery,” he said.

They asked the young Prince, “What is the science you learnt?” “I learnt carpenter’s work,” said the young Prince.

The three persons asked the eldest Prince, “What is there at our house?” Then he said, “On the Palmira-tree a female crow (kawaḍi), having laid three eggs, is sitting on them,” he said.

“What is missing from our house?” they asked. “The Rākshasa having taken the King’s Queen to that [far] shore of the sea, [after] putting her in the middle room (lit., house) in the midst of seven,1 has put the seven keys in his mouth,” he said.

After that, the whole seven came to the city. The King having come rubbing (whetting) a sword, asked the eldest [35]Prince, “What is the science you learnt?” “I learnt sooth,” he said.

He asked the next Prince, “What is the science you learnt?” “I learnt theft.” He asked the next Prince; “I learnt archery.” He asked the youngest Prince, “What is the science you learnt?” “I learnt carpenter’s work,” he said.

Having said, “It is good,” the King asked, “What is there at my house?” “On the Palmira-tree a female crow is sitting on three eggs,” [the eldest Prince] said.

“What is lost from my house?” he asked, to look [if he knew]. “The Rākshasa having gone away, and put the King’s Queen in the middle house (room) in the midst of seven, has placed the seven keys in his mouth,” he said.

“Doer of theft, without the female crow’s flying away, while it is [sitting there] in that manner, take an egg, and come back,” he said. Without the crow’s flying away, while it was [sitting] in that manner he took an egg, and came back.

Having caused the egg to be buried under the rice winnowing tray, he said, “Archer, without swerving to that side or this side, shoot [for the arrow] to go cutting it quite across.” He shot so as to go quite across.

“Doer of carpenter’s work, fasten this [egg] in the very manner in which it was [at first],” he said. He fastened it in the very way in which it was.

“Robber, without the crow’s flying (padinnē), go and place [the egg in the nest], and come back,” he said. He went and placed it [in the nest], and came back.

“Can you bring back this Queen?” he asked. “We can,” they said.

The whole four persons having gone, the thief went into the [Rākshasa’s] house, and brought out the Queen successfully. When he was bringing her the Rākshasa was asleep. Taking the Queen, they came away.

When they were coming, they told [the soothsaying Prince] to look by [means of] sooth [what the Rākshasa was doing]. Still he slept. Having come very far in that way, they told him to look [again]. “He is now coming on the path,” he said. [36]

When they were returning thus, [the Rākshasa], having come quite near, sprang at them. At that very time the archer shot [at him; the arrow] having gone cutting his neck, he fell.

The ship in which they had gone was damaged (tuwāla wunā). The carpenter made [the damage good]. Then, [after crossing the sea] they brought the Rākshasa’s head and the Queen, and gave them to the King. Thereupon the King gave them the sovereignty.

Then the soothsayer says, “[The sovereignty ought to belong to me]. Through my looking at the sooth, indeed, ye will get the country, [if ye receive it],” he said.

Then the thief says, “[The sovereignty ought to belong to me]. It was necessary that I should go and take [the Queen] successfully from the Rākshasa. [If ye get it], it is owing to me that ye will get the country,” he said.

Then the archer says, “[The sovereignty ought to belong to me]. When the Rākshasa came in order to go [after] eating you, through my having shot him and killed him ye will get the country [if ye receive it].”

Then the Carpenter says, “[The sovereignty ought to belong to me]. Your ship having broken, by my fastening it [together] at the time when it was becoming rotten, ye will get the country [if ye receive it].”

Afterwards they gave the sovereignty to the eldest Prince.

Bintaenna, Ūva Province.

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The Nobleman2 and his Five Sons. (Variant a.)

In a city there are five sons of a nobleman. In yet [another] city there is a Princess without both parents. The Princess is a person possessing many articles. Having [37]thought that when the eldest son of the nobleman went there she must make him stop [there], and having spoken with the Princess’s kinsfolk [regarding it], the eldest son having gone near the Princess she caused him to remain.

After he stayed there many days, this Princess asks this nobleman’s son, “What do you know of the sciences?” Then he says, “I don’t know a single one.” Having said, “If so, you cannot stay near me; go you away,” she drove him away.

This nobleman’s son came home. The nobleman asks his son, “What have you come for?”

“The Princess asked me, ‘What do you know of the sciences?’ I said, ‘I don’t know anything.’ ‘If so, you cannot stay near me,’ she said. Because of that I came,” he said.

Immediately, this nobleman says to all his five sons, “Unless you five learn five sciences, without [doing so] don’t come to my house.” Having said it he drove them away. Thereupon, these five persons went to five cities, and learning five sciences, after much time came home. [One was a soothsayer, the second was a marksman, the third a thief, the fourth made very rapid journeys, and the fifth could bring the dead to life.]

This nobleman, after that having summoned the eldest son, asked, “What is the science that thou knowest?”

“I know [how] to tell sooth,” he said.

To look at this one’s knowledge, the nobleman, having seen that a female crow had laid eggs in a tree, said, Should you tell me the sooth that I ask, you are [really] an astrologer.” Having given his son betel he asked it [mentally].

After he asked it, this one says, “Father, you have asked me if a female crow has laid eggs in a tree. Is it not so?” he asked.

Thereupon, the nobleman said to the one who was able to shoot, “Come here. Without the female crow’s knowing it, and without breaking the egg, shoot thou so that it may become marked [only],—an egg out of the eggs that are in [38]that nest,” he said. The nobleman’s son having said, “It is good,” shot in the manner he told him.

Then this nobleman, having summoned the thief, says, “Go thou, and without the crow’s knowing, bring thou only the egg which this one shot.” Having said, “It is good,” he brought that very egg.

Then the nobleman said, “Go again, and place thou it [back in the nest].” He said, “It is good,” and went and put it [back].

Thereupon, [having called the eldest son again], what sooth did the nobleman ask? Thinking it in his mind [only], he asked, “How are now the happiness and health of the Princess whom you at first summoned [in marriage]?”

After he asked, this one having looked at the sooth, says, “The Princess having now died, they have taken her to bury,” he said.

Thereupon, the nobleman said to the one who is able to go on rapid journeys, “Go, and do not allow them to bury her”; he went accordingly.

Then this nobleman said to the one who causes life to be restored,3 “Go and restore the life of the Princess, and come thou back to my city.” Having said, “It is good,” this one went, and, causing her life to be restored, the person who made rapid journeys, and the one who caused life to be restored, and the Princess, all three persons, came to the nobleman’s city.

Thereupon the Prince who caused her life to be restored, says, “I shall take the Princess whose life I caused to be restored.”

Then the person who went on rapid journeys says, “Unless I had gone quickly, and had not allowed them to bury her, and if they had buried her, how would you take her? Because it is so, I shall take her.”

Then the soothsayer says, “If I had not looked at the sooth, and told [you about her death], how would you two take her? Because it is so, I shall take her.”

Then the nobleman says, “Unless I caused the sooth to [39]be looked at,4 how would you three otherwise take her? Because it is so, I shall take her.” Owing to that, these four persons were quarrelling.

Now then, out of these four persons, to whom does she belong? According to our thinking, indeed, she belongs to the nobleman.

North-western Province.

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The Seven Princes. (Variant b.)

At a certain city there are a King and a Queen. There are seven Princes of the King. The King every day [goes] to fish (lit., to lower bait).

One day, the Princes having said, “Let us also go to look at the fishing,” the King and the seven Princes went to the river to fish. The King having fished three Ḷūllū,5 gave them into the hand of the seven Princes to bring.

The youngest Prince said, “Elder brother, let us put these into the water to look if they go down (sink).”

Afterwards they put the three fishes in the water. Two went down; one remained over. Taking that fish, the seven Princes came to the city. Having come, and given it into the hand of the Queen, they said, “Our father the King gave us three Ḷūlḷū.6 When we were bringing them younger brother said to us, ‘Let us place the three Ḷūllu in the water to look if they go down.’ Afterwards we placed them [in it]. Then two Ḷūllu went down; this Ḷūlā remained over. Having cooked this one for our father the King, cook for us and give us a packet of rice,” they said. The Queen having cooked and placed [ready] the Lūlā for the King, cooked a packet of rice for the seven Princes, and gave it.

After that, the seven Princes, taking the packet of cooked [40]rice, went away.7 Having thus gone, the whole seven ate the packet of cooked rice near a piece of garden. When the whole seven were going away again, they met with a soothsayer. Then the eldest Prince said, “I must stay near this soothsayer,” and having said it he stopped near the soothsayer.

When the other six persons were going away, they met with a man who knows the crows’ language. After that, the next Prince stayed near the man who knows the crows’ language. When the other five were going away they met with a shooter8; near the shooter stayed the next Prince. When the other four were going away they met with a plough carpenter; near the carpenter stayed the next Prince. When the other three were going away they met with a ball-playing man; near the ball-playing man stayed the next Prince. When the other two were going away they met with a gang of thieves; both of them stayed near the gang of thieves.

A long time the two persons in the gang of thieves remained breaking and breaking into houses. Having been thus and thus, the two persons spoke together: “Seeking articles [to take back with us] let us go to look at our elder brothers.” Having said [this, after] getting the articles they came near the Prince who stayed near the man who is striking balls. When they looked he was learning to play at balls better than the ball-playing man.

That Prince said, “Let us go to see the other [next] elder brother of ours.” Having said [this], the three Princes came near the Prince who remained near the plough-carpenter; when they looked the Prince also was learning to bore (widinḍa) ploughs better than the plough-carpenter.

That Prince said, “Let us go to the place where elder brother is.” They came to look at the Prince who remained near the shooter. Having come there, when they looked he, also, was learning to shoot better than the shooter. [41]

After that, the Prince said, “Let us go to look at that other elder brother of ours.” They came near the Prince who remained near the man who knows the crows’ language. Having come there, when they looked he, also, was learning the crows’ language better than the man who knows the crows’ language.

After that, the Prince said, “Let us go near that other elder brother of ours, near the Prince who remained near the soothsayer. The whole of the six Princes having come, when they looked he, also, was learning to say sooth better than the soothsayer.

After that, the whole of the seven Princes having [thus] met together, came to the Princes’ city. Thereupon, the King and the seven Princes went to the river to bathe. When they were bathing a crow cawed; then the King said, “Who can explain the language of that crow?”

Then the Prince who knows the crows’ language said, “I can. That cawed, having been at the place where it is roosting on the eggs.”

Then the King said, “Who can take the eggs by stealth [without disturbing the crow]?” The two who stayed in the gang of thieves having said, “We can,” the two Princes taking the crow-eggs gave them to the King.

After that the King and the seven Princes having come to the city, the King asked, “Who can say sooth?” The eldest Prince said, “I can,” he said.

The King said, “Look and find by sooth seven Princesses for you seven persons,” he said.

Afterwards the Prince having looked by sooth, said, “At such and such a city there is a Princess; at such and such a city there is a Princess.” Saying and saying [this], he mentioned separately seven Princesses who are at seven cities.

Then the King said, “Who can, [after] stealing them, come with those seven Princesses?” The two who remained in the gang of thieves having said, “We can,” that day night having gone and having stolen two and come back, he gave the two Princesses to the eldest elder brother and the next elder brother. [42]

On the following day night having gone and having come back [after] stealing a Princess, he gave the Princess to the next elder brother.

On the following day they went, and [after] stealing two Princesses for the [next] two persons, thereafter they went back to the very gang of thieves.

Tom-tom Beater. North-western Province.

[Contents]

This story is probably defective in parts, and some incidents in the last portion appear to have been omitted,—regarding the ball player, the shooter, and the plough maker.

[Contents]

The Attempt of Four Brāhmaṇa Princes to Marry. (Variant c.)

A certain Brāhmaṇa had a daughter named Candrāpatī. She was a person endowed with beauty. Four Brāhmaṇa Princes having heard of the excellence of her figure, came to try to marry her. The Brāhmaṇa her father having inquired what sciences they knew, each one said that he did not know [any]. He said that he could not marry and give the Princess-daughter to them.

Thereupon, they four having arrived at shame, came near a travellers’ rest-house, and conversing [said], “We four persons having gone separately to districts for learning sciences, [after] three months in succession again let us arrive at this very place.” Promising [this], and having looked in the four directions, they departed. In this manner the four of them having arrived each in a different district, and having [become] conversant with the sciences,—looking at omens, going in the sky, abating poison, giving life [anew,—after] three months in succession arrived at the aforesaid travellers’ rest-house.

Thereafter, they four again departed for taking in marriage the Princess. At that time a Hūnā (House Lizard) cried. Then the person who was clever at omens told the remaining three persons that a cobra having bitten the Princess, they are taking her to the grave at that time.

Thereupon the person who possessed the power of flight through the air, having gone by the power of flight through [43]the air, together with the other three, halted at the grave of the dead body. Then the poison discharger reduced the poison; the other gave her life.

Afterwards, while the four of them are one by one boasting of the gain due to themselves, they quarrelled over it. For that reason, not obtaining the Princess, they again went away.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 349, four Brāhmaṇa brothers decided to “search through the earth and acquire some magic power.” So they separated and went east, west, north, and south, after fixing upon a meeting-place. The rest of the story differs from the Sinhalese one; they met together, found a piece of bone, gave it flesh, hide, limbs, and life, so that it became a lion which killed them.

In the same work, vol. i, p. 499, four men wanted to marry a Princess; one was a clever weaver, one a Vaiśya who knew the language of beasts and birds, the third a Kshatriya who was an expert swordsman, the fourth a Brāhmaṇa who could raise the dead to life. She refused all four, and died after three months, and the Brāhmaṇa was unable to restore life to her corpse as she was only human owing to a curse which had come to an end. See also vol. ii, p. 276.

In the same work, vol. ii, pp. 242, 258, there are variants in the series of Trivikramasēna and the Vētāla, the second one being like the Sinhalese tales in several respects. The father promised a girl to a man who had magic power, the mother promised her to one who had knowledge, her brother promised her to a hero. When they all came on the appointed day, she had disappeared. The learned man ascertained that she had been abducted by a Rākshasa, the magician prepared a magic chariot in which all three went to rescue her, and the hero killed the Rākshasa. Each one claimed her in a similar form of words to that employed by the learned man, who said, “If I had not known where this maiden was, how would she have been discovered when concealed?” The King decided that the hero ought to marry her.

In the Totā Kahānī (Small), p. 51, a carpenter, goldsmith, tailor, and hermit, halting in a forest one night and each working in turn, carved the figure of a beautiful woman, robed it, adorned it, and caused it to be endowed with life. In the morning they quarrelled regarding the ownership of the woman, and all those to whom the matter was referred also claimed her. When the decision was left to a large old tree, “the tree of decision,” it burst open, and the woman entering it became wood once more. [44]

In the same work, p. 139, three young men saved a merchant’s daughter from a fairy who had abducted her. One discovered where she was, the second made a flying wooden horse, on which the third rode and brought her back after killing the fairy. They then quarrelled regarding their claims to marry her. The parrot which related the story considered that she belonged to the last one because he risked his life for her.

At p. 157 also, a girl’s husband who had vowed to offer his own head to a deity in case he married her, decapitated himself at the temple. A Brāhmaṇa who entered feared he would be charged with murdering him, and cut off his head also. The girl came, and was about to follow their example when a voice from the shrine informed her that if she joined the heads to the trunks the two persons would be restored to life. In doing this she misplaced the heads, and both persons then claimed her. The parrot was of opinion that she belonged to the man with her husband’s head. There is a variant in the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 261, the second man being the girl’s brother.

In Sagas from the Far East, p. 109, five companions went in search of the sixth, whose life-index tree had withered. One found him buried under a rock; the second, a smith’s son, broke it and took out the body; the third, a doctor’s son, made a potion which caused it to revive. The five then helped the man to recover his wife, who had been abducted by a Khan, and each one claimed her as his reward. In their struggle for her she was torn in pieces.

In the same work, p. 299, four youths, working in turn, made a girl out of wood and gave her a soul; each one claimed her. The decision was that she belonged to the fourth, who gave the figure life.

In this work, p. 277, it is stated that Prince Vikramāditya learnt from robber bands the art of robbery, and from fraudulent dealers to lie.

In A. von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales (Ralston), p. 93, Prince Abhaya, son of Bimbisara, King of Magadha, is stated to have learnt coach-making; another son, Jīvaka, became a celebrated doctor. A full account of him is given in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 331ff. Sir R. Burton stated that, according to ancient Mohammedan practice, all rulers should learn a handicraft. (Arabian Nights, Lady Burton’s ed., vol. i, p. 339, note).

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 110, a Prince who had been trained by an expert robber stole the egg from under a hawk while it sat on its nest, without disturbing the bird.

There are West African variants of the Sinhalese tale. One from the coast provinces on the north side of the Congo is given in Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort (Dennett), p. 33. A hunter who had [45]three wives was killed while hunting. The first wife dreamt of this, the second guided the others to the spot, the third collected simples and revived him. When they quarrelled regarding the one to whom his life was due, and it was settled that the one whose food he ate first should be considered his preserver, he ate the food of the third wife, and the majority of the people approved of his decision.

In the same work, p. 74, the beautiful daughter of Nzambi, the Earth Goddess, could only be won by an earthly being who could bring down the heavenly fire. The spider went to fetch it, assisted by the tortoise, rat, woodpecker, and sandfly. Each of the animals afterwards claimed the girl, and in the end, Nzambi, as she could not give her to all, paid each one her value, and the girl remained unwed.

A variant of the Sierra Leone district is given in Cunnie Rabbit, Mr. Spider, and the Other Beef (Cronise and Ward), p. 200. A man who had four young sons was killed while hunting. The sons heard the story from their mother when they were full grown, and went in search of him. The eldest found his gun and bones, the second collected and joined them, the third re-made the body with mud, the youngest blew up the nose through a charmed horn, and he became alive. The narrator stated that it has been impossible to decide to whom of the three his restoration to life was due. [46]


1 The room or “house” in the midst of seven, occurs in vol. i, p. 83. 

2 Siṭānō. Except in a few instances in which a Treasurer appears to be referred to (as in No. 100), I have followed Clough in translating this word as “nobleman.” In Mr. Gunasekara’s excellent Sinhalese Grammar it is translated “Chief”; in the northern Kandian districts I have never heard it so used, the usual expression for a Chief being Nilamē, a word, however, which occurs only once in these stories. The adjectival forms are Siṭi and Siṭu. Siṭānō is the honorific (pl.) form of Siṭānā

3 Pana upaddan-ekā. 

4 Baelewwaen misa. 

5 A large river and tank fish (Ophiocephalus striatus) which is usually caught with a line and live fish bait. At the present day, Kandian Sinhalese of the better castes consider it improper to fish with a hook, but this is done by some members of low castes. The story was related by a Tom-tom Beater. See Ancient Ceylon, p. 52. 

6 The spelling of this word is according to the text. 

7 They anticipated the usual death sentence or exile allotted to disobedient Princes in these tales. 

8 The word which is used indicates one who shot with a gun. 

[Contents]

No. 83

The Story of Kaḷundāwa

In a certain country there were a Gamarāla and Gama-mahagē (his wife). There were seven daughters of the Gamarāla’s; there was no male child. Taking another male child, they reared him for themselves. This child was very thoroughly doing the work at the Gamarāla’s house.

Thereafter, after he became big, they asked at the hand of the Gamarāla’s daughters, “Who is willing to marry this child?”

All [the elder ones] said, “We don’t want that scabby filthy one,” but there was willingness [on the part] of the last young one. The two persons having married, the other six began to treat this young one harshly, but she did not take to heart (lit., mind) the things they are saying.

While they are thus, the Gamarāla’s son-in-law went to a smithy to get a digging hoe made. He said to the smith, “Anē! Make and give me a digging hoe.” Although the smith took no notice of it, yet for many days he went again and again. He did not make and give the digging hoe.

One day, at the time when the smith was eating cooked rice, having put into the heat a piece of iron refuse which this person had thrown away, he began to blow the skins (bellows).

Then the figure of a great lion having come to the smith, he came running, leaving the cooked rice and food, and when he looked, having seen that very valuable iron is becoming hot, in an instant he made the digging hoe and gave it. Thereafter, the smith said to the Gamarāla, “This child is a very virtuous royal Prince. To this one, without delay a kingdom is about to descend.” [47]

This boy again one day went to another man to ask for (borrow) a yoke of oxen. When he went there the man said, “I cannot to-day; come to-morrow.”1 The man brought him there many days. He did not give the yoke of oxen: “There are no oxen with me to give,” [he said]. Well then, this one in sorrow came to his house.

Although two [semi]-wild male buffaloes of the Gamarāla’s are staying on two hills, no one is able to catch them. Thereafter, this one, taking a yoke and having gone to the rice field, performed an Act of Truth.2 Having set up the yoke in the grass, he said, “The sovereignty will fall to me indeed. The wild one on that hill and the wild one on this hill, to-morrow morning must have presented [themselves] neck by neck to this yoke.”

Thereafter, on the following day morning, he said to this one’s wife, “Taking a little food, come to the rice field; I am going to plough.”

Then the woman said, “Where have you cattle to plough?” Having said it, she laughed.

This one said, “There will be a yoke of cattle for me in the rice field.”

Having gone to the field, when he looked, both the wild buffaloes had come, presenting their necks to the yoke. Well then, this one having tied the yoke began to plough. His wife having come to the rice field taking the food, when she looked, saw that this one is ploughing. Afterwards, having gone near the yoke, she said, “There will be much weariness; be good enough to eat a little food.”

Thereafter, having stopped the yoke of cattle, and gone to a shade [after] washing off the mud, and having eaten the [48]food, through weariness he placed his head on the waist pocket of his wife a little time, and went to sleep.

While he was sleeping there a little time a dream appeared: on the yoke a hive of Bambarā bees has been fastened. Then having awoke, he said to the woman, “Anē! Bolan, in a dream a hive of Bambarās was fastened on the yoke; look.”

Then the woman laughed and said, “If so, a kingdom will fall to you now.”

When he had been [sleeping] there again a little time, [he said], “Anē! Bolan, maggots3 fell on the great toe of my foot; look.”

At that, also, this woman laughed, and said, “If so, you will receive the sovereignty now.”

When he was there [asleep] a little time again, the clods (hī kaeṭa) which this one ploughed up appear to be of silver colour. Again he said to the woman, “The plough clods are silver colour; look.”

At that, also, this woman laughed, and said, “If so, you will receive the sovereignty immediately.”

Again, when he had been sleeping, he said, “Anē! Bolan, I hear a great noise; look.”

At that, also, this woman having laughed, says, “Fetching you to go, they are coming to appoint you to the sovereignty.”

Again, when he had been sleeping, he said, “Anē! Bolan, I hear the noise very near this; look.”

This woman says, “Anē! There is nothing to be seen. On account of the three worlds4 that you ploughed your head is made crazy. Be good enough to sleep a little time without speaking.”

When a little time had gone again, she awoke him: “The sound of the five kinds of tom-toms,5 and the decorated tusk elephant are coming. Be pleased to arise quickly.” [49]

Just as this one was awaking, the tusk elephant having come, kneeled down.

Thereafter, having caused this one to bathe in scented sandal-wood water, having put on him the royal ornaments, and having put in that very manner the ornaments on his wife also, they placed both of them on the back of the tusk elephant.

As they were going, he caused the smith to be brought, and impaled him. Having caused the person who did not give the yoke of buffaloes to be brought, he heated cow-dung, and having held both his lips to both sides, he poured it down his throat.

As he was going near the house of the Gamarāla, the King said, for the Gamarāla’s daughters to hear:—

Kaḷundāwa pinma kalē.

Kaḷu undaē pin no-kalē.

Kaḷundāwa performed very meritorious acts.

The agreeable ones performed not meritorious acts.

North-western Province. [50]


1 Such a remark is a form of refusal, as in the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. i, p. 174), in which a man, asking a friend for assistance, was answered, “Bismillah! I will do all that thou requirest, but come to-morrow.” The other replied in this verse:

“When he who is asked a favour saith ‘To-morrow,’

The wise man wots ’tis vain to beg or borrow.”

In the Kaelē-bāsa or Jungle language, “no” is expressed by saying Passē puḷuwani, “Afterwards [I] can.” 

2 Sattak kiriyā-karalā, lit., performed a Truth. 

3 Panuwō. 

4 The immense extent. 

5 In the few instances in which their nature is mentioned, these stories agree with Clough’s Dictionary in describing the five instruments of music (pañca-tūrya) as tom-toms. I presume that these are (1) the drum (dawula), (2) the ordinary hand tom-tom (beraya), [49](3) the double kettle-drum (tammaeṭṭama), (4) the small, narrow-waisted hand tom-tom (uḍakkiya or uḍikkiya, the Tamil uḍikkei), (5) the low hand-drum (rabāna), unless a single-ended drum called ḍaekkē, the Tamil ḍakkei, be included. In Winslow’s Tamil Dictionary the five musical instruments are defined as (1) skin instruments, (2) wind instruments, (3) stringed instruments, (4) metal instruments, (5) the throats of animals. In The Indian Antiquary, vol. v, p. 354, they are termed (1) tantri or sitāra, (2) tāl, (3) jhānjh, (4) nakāra, (5) the trumpet or other wind instrument.

Since this was in print, Messrs. H. B. Andris and Co., of Kandy, have informed me that the Sinhalese Pañca-tūrya are considered to be, (1) singārama, the drum, (2) berē, the ordinary tom-tom, (3) horanaewa, the horn trumpet, (4) tammaṭṭama, the double kettle-drum, (5) kayitālama, the cymbal. 

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No. 84

How the Poor Prince became King

In a certain country there was a Prince, [the son] of a poor King, it is said. The Prince went to another country to learn letters. Having gone there, and in no time learning his letters, he said to the teacher, “I must go to my village.” Afterwards the teacher gave him permission.

After that, while the Prince was coming to the city, the Prince having become hungry, remained sleeping near a tree. A man having come there said, “What, Prince, art thou sleeping there for? It is not good to sleep there; [be pleased] to get up,” he said.

Then the Prince said, “I cannot even get up. I am hungry; because of it, indeed, I have fallen down here.”

Then the man says, “Well, then, what shall I do? In my hand also there is not a thing to give for food. There is an Aṭṭikkā tree1; on that Aṭṭikkā tree the fruit will be ripe. Let us go [for me] to show it to thee.”

Causing the Prince to arise, and having come near the Aṭṭikkā tree, that very man, having plucked Aṭṭikkā and given it to the Prince, after he ate said to the Prince, “Now then, go you along that path. Well, I’m going;” and the man went away.

After that, as the Prince also was coming along the path he met with a leopard [standing] across the path. The Prince cannot come [on account of it]. Well then, while the Prince is there a man is coming along in the direction in which the Prince is. Then, as the man would drive this leopard to the Prince, he shouted, and said “Hū,” and clapped his hands. Then the leopard bounded off and went away. [51]

Afterwards that man having come near the Prince, asked, “Prince, where art thou going?”

The Prince says, “Having gone in this manner to learn letters, I am going to my city.”

Then the man says, “Going to the city does not matter to you. Come, to go with me.”

The Prince says, “How shall I go in that way? My parents will seek me. Because of it, having gone to the city, and asked at the hand of my parents I will come,” he said.

Then the man said, “I will be of the assistance that parents are of. You come with me.”

Afterwards the Prince went with the man. Having gone, they went to a city. Staying at a resting-place at the city, and doing hired work in the city, the two persons are getting their living.

When they were there no long time, one day the man said to the Prince, “Child, I cannot work in this manner. You go and seeking [materials] for food, come back.”

Afterwards the Prince from the following day went [alone] for hired work, and [after] finding [and doing] it, returned. In that way for not many days he is getting a living.

One day, a King and soldiers came to that city from another country to fight the King of that country, and surrounded the city. After that, the King told the Ministers to go to the battle. The King did not go to the battle. Afterwards the Ministers prepared to go to the battle, taking weapons and implements.

Then this Prince said to that man, “Grandfather, I also must go to the fight.”

Then the man says, “Anē! Child, what battle [is there] for us! We poor men, can we go to fight with a King? You remain silent, doing nothing.”

Then the Prince said, “No, grandfather, I can fight very well.”

The man still said “Don’t.” Then the Prince says, “Grandfather, however much you should say ‘Don’t,’ I am indeed going.” Having said [this] the Prince went when the Ministers were going. [52]

Having gone there and waited for the fight, when on both sides they were making ready, this Prince said at the hand of the Ministers, “Give2 me a weapon from those which you brought, for me to remain for the fight.”

Then the Ministers say, “What fighting dost thou know? Do thou be silent, doing nothing.” Having said it, they scolded the Prince. After that, the Prince having bounded to one side, remained doing nothing.

Then, having begun the battle, they were fighting; on this side many Ministers were cut down. [After] cutting them down, this side is coming to lose. The Prince having seen it, taking a weapon of that dead Minister’s, fought and cut down the King and army of that side; and this side having conquered, the Ministers and the remaining people and this Prince came to the city.

The Ministers having come to the royal palace, said to the King, “Many of our army died.”

Then the King asked, “If so, owing to whom did you win in this battle?”

The Ministers said, “A youngster went with us. It is owing to the youngster, indeed, that we conquered.”

Afterwards the King asked, “Where is the boy?” As the Prince was here he went before the King. The King asked, “From what country camest thou?”

The Prince said, “I am a stranger.”

Then the King asked, “What dost thou want done?”

The Prince said, “I will take anything I receive.” After that the King gave him villages, gave goods.

After that, staying in these villages, that man and the Prince, both of them, were obtaining a livelihood from the goods. At the time when they were [there], the King had become very aged. While he was thus the King died.

For the King there was neither a Prince nor anyone. Because of it, at the time when the Ministers, decorating the tusk elephant, are going in the four streets with the sound of the five musical instruments, the tusk elephant, having gone to the house at which are that Prince and the man, kneeled near that Prince. [53]

Having been [there] at the time when it was kneeling, the Ministers, causing the Prince to bathe in scented water, and placing the Prince on the tusk elephant, came to the royal palace, [and he became King].

Until the end of the Prince’s life he remained exercising the sovereignty. The man who stayed with the Prince having become the Minister to the King, stayed in the palace itself.

North-western Province. [54]


1 A species of fig tree, Ficus glomerata

2 Dilalā, perhaps a mistake for dilallā, pl. hon. form. 

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No. 85

How the Gardener became King

In a certain city there is a King, it is said. The King told them to plant a garden. After that, he said, “Can anyone (kāṭa) plant a garden?”

One man said, “I can.” Every day the King gave the things the man wanted. The man, cutting channels and fixing the fence, began to plant the garden; he set various kinds [of plants] in the garden. After that, the King went to look at the garden; he saw that there were various kinds of sugar-cane, sweet oranges, mandarin oranges, in the garden. The King said to the gardener that he must look well after the garden.

In that way, after not many days, the King said to the gardener, “Take bows and arrows; should thieves come, shoot them.” Thereupon, by the authority of the King, he was thinking of shooting should they come in from outside.

Not many days after that, the King said to the Adikārama (Minister), “Let us go to the garden [secretly] to look into the examination [of it made] by the gardener.”

Then the Adikārama said, “The order made by Your Honour is [that he is] to shoot thieves. It is not good for us to go.”

The King said, “That man by this time is asleep.”

Afterwards the King and the Adikārama, after the foolish King had taken off the royal ornaments, that very night, taking the disguise of thieves, went to the garden. Having gone, they began to pluck oranges.

Then the gardener awoke. The man, taking his bow, and [55]having come, shot at the King; when he shot him (widapuhāma) the King died.

After that, the Adikārama and the gardener spoke together, “What shall we do about this?” Speaking [further] the Adikārama said, “The things that are to happen happened.”1 Having said [this], the Adikārama having told the gardener to cut a hole, when he cut it they buried the King.

After that, the Adikārama said to the gardener, “Come, and go to the palace.”

The two persons having gone to the palace, and [the Minister] having decorated the gardener with the royal insignia (ābaraṇa), while he was on the Lion throne all the Chiefs make obeisance.2 The Adikārama does not make obeisance.

Regarding this matter the King thought he must tell him a parable. Having thought so, and having called the Adikārama, he said, “In the midst of the forest there are many kinds of trees. Having cut a tree of good race out of them, and shaved [the bark off] it, and planed it, and done carving work, they take it as a log for a travellers’ shed (ambalama). Taking it [there], after they have built the travellers’ shed, do both persons possessing lineage and persons of no lineage stay in the travellers’ shed?”3 he asked.

When he asked, the Adikārama said, “All persons stay in the travellers’ shed.”

After that, the King said, “[There is] service for persons possessing the Adikārama lineage, service for persons of no lineage, service for [all in] the world.”4

After that, the Adikārama from that day made obeisance to the King. [56]

Well then, the King remained exercising the sovereignty quite virtuously (hondinma), without injustice.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Orientalist, vol. ii, p. 55, a similar story is given, as related to Mr. K. J. Pohath by a Buddhist monk. According to it, the King visited the garden alone, pretending to steal Kaekiri fruits, and was shot by the gardener. When he was dead the gardener reported the matter to the Adikār, who got the King buried secretly, and proclaimed the gardener King. Some poor people whose lands the Adikār had seized complained to the new King, who held an enquiry, and gave judgment in their favour, remarking, “Adikār, even though it should so happen that I might be obliged to go back to the Kaekiri garden, I cannot say that the lands in dispute belong to you.” [57]


1 Wenḍa tiyana dē wunā. There is a strong belief in the action of Fate. When a person is accidentally killed a common remark is, “His day had come.” 

2 Mulādāēni baehae dakinawā. 

3 Like the people in the travellers’ shed all alike were under the shelter of the King’s authority, he meant. 

4 That is, all, from the highest to the lowest, have duties which they should perform. 

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No. 86

How the Foolish Man became King

In a certain country there was a Gamarāla, it is said. There was a daughter of the Gamarāla’s. Bringing a son-in-law for the daughter, when he was there for many days the men of the village spoke of going to Puttalam.

Then this Gamarāla’s son-in-law said to the Gamarāla, “Father-in-law, I also must go to Puttalam.” The Gamarāla said, “It is good, son-in-law.”

After that, the whole of them obtaining occupation in loading sacks, the son-in-law went on the journey, and the Gamarāla remained [at home].

The son-in-law, setting off for the journey, at the time when he was going along driving thirty [pack] bulls, met with a company of men going [after] placing sacks on twelve horses.

After he met with them this man said, “Anē! Friends, taking my thirty bulls, give me (dilallā) those few horses.” Then the men said, “It is good.”

This man having given the thirty bulls, at the time when he was going along taking the twelve horses, he met with yet a company of men who were going taking two elephants.

After that, this man said, “Friends, taking my twelve horses, will you give me those two elephants?” The men said, “It is good.”

Then this man, having given the twelve horses, at the time when he was going along taking the two elephants, he met with yet some men who were going hunting, taking twelve dogs.

Then this man asked, “Friends, taking my two elephants, [58]will you give me those twelve dogs?” The men said, “It is good.”

After that, this man having given the two elephants, at the time when he was going on taking the twelve dogs he met with a company of potters, taking some pingo (carrying-stick) loads of pots.

Then the man asked, “From these twelve dogs taking six, will you give me for cooking in order to eat, a small cooking pot and a large cooking pot?” The men said, “It is good.”

After that, the man having given six dogs, taking a small cooking pot and a large cooking pot he went hunting with the other six dogs.

Having gone into the jungle, and prepared a hearth near an ant-hill, in order, after having cooked, to eat cooked rice, at the time when he was breaking fire-wood a cobra that was in that ant-hill came and bit the man. Then the man swooned owing to the poison’s having fallen there.

At the time when a Vaeddā of another distant place came walking [there] while hunting, he saw that there are six dogs; and having seen that there is a hearth, said, “Why are these six dogs here, and a hearth, without a man?” While he was seeking and looking about, he saw that the man had fallen down. Having seen him, and lifted him up, when he looked [at him] the man was [as though] dead.

After that, the Vaeddā having said, “What is this man dead for?” When he looked [after] going near the body, there was a wound, and the Vaeddā perceived that a snake had bitten him. Ascertaining it, after he had applied medicine the man got up.

Then the Vaeddā asked, “What happened to you?”

This man said, “The journey I came on is thus; the things that happened to me are thus. Having come hunting, and prepared the hearth, in order, after I had cooked here, to eat, when I was breaking firewood a cobra bit me.”

The Vaeddā said, “Come away, and go with me.” This man having said, “Hā,” the six dogs and the man went with the Vaeddā to the Vaeddā’s city. Having gone there, that day the Vaeddā gave him food. [59]

During the time while the man was there, that very day night the King of the city died. On the following day morning, there being no person for the sovereignty, [after] decorating the tusk elephant the Ministers went [with it] to seek a King.

At the time when they were going, this tusk elephant was going along looking at the Vaeddā’s house. As it was going, that man whom the cobra bit was lying down in the Vaeddā’s veranda. The tusk elephant went and knelt near the man.

After that, the Ministers, having told this man to get up, when he arose bathed him with perfumed water, and having decorated him with the royal crown, placing him on the back of the tusk elephant went to the palace.

After he went there, the King caused the Vaeddā to be brought, and said, “Owing to you, indeed, I attained to such exalted things.” Having said, “Because of it, receive the post of Adikārama (Minister),” he appointed the office of Adikārama to the Vaeddā.

Having given him it, he remained up to the end of his life exercising the sovereignty with the ten [royal] virtues.

North-western Province. [60]

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No. 87

The Foolish Man

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. There are two daughters of the two persons. They gave one daughter [in marriage]. The man at the place where they gave the daughter had suitable things.

A very rich man having come, asked the other daughter [in marriage]. Then the girl’s father said, “I will not give her to you; the lineage (wan̥sē) of your people is not good.”

After that another man came and asked. The man had nothing; his lineage alone was good. The girl’s mind was to go to the man who formerly came and asked, [but she was given to the second one].

Well then, when the girl [after her marriage] is without [sufficient] to eat and to wear, one day the girl’s father went to see the girl. Afterwards, having given the man sitting accommodation,1 and got the fire together, and put a potsherd on the hearth, she put tamarind seeds in the potsherd, and they began to fry, making a sound, “Kās, kās.”

Then the girl’s father says, “What, daughter, are you frying?”

The girl said, “Father, I am frying our lineage, [the only thing we possess].”

After that, anger having come to the man, he got up, and came to his village. Having come there, on the following day, he went to the place where the other daughter is.

When he went there, the daughter, having cooked the sweetmeats called Wellawaehun for the father, gave him to eat. He had not eaten them since he was born.

That day, having eaten, when he was coming to his village [61]saying and saying, “Wellawaehun, Wellawaehun,” in order not to forget the name of them, his foot struck a stone that was on the path.

Then the man was caused to exclaim “Hobbancōḍi”2; “Wellawaehun” was forgotten. From there until the time when he comes to his village, having come saying and saying “Hobbancōḍi, Hobbancōḍi,” he says to his wife, “Bolan, to-day in our girl’s quarter I ate Hobbancōḍi. The taste is very good; you cook them, too.”

Thereupon the woman says, “Anē! I have not even heard of them since I was born, so how shall I cook them?”

Then the man, saying and saying, “What, Bola! Strumpet! Do you say you don’t know? I ate them now, and came.”

While the two old people are quarrelling about this, men of the village having come, a man said, “She indeed is doing all this, bringing her mouth like a Wellawaehun roll.”

“There! I [meant to] say those indeed,” the man said.

After that, they two, having joined together, cooked five Wellawaehun rolls. Thereupon the man said, “There are three for me, two for you.” The woman, too, said, “There are three for me, two for you.” They two being unable to divide these, made an agreement, that is, “Let us two remain without speaking. For the person who speaks first there are two,” they agreed.

Being satisfied with it, having shut the door, they lay down. While they are lying down thus, perceiving that there was not any sound of them, the men of the village came, and having spoken to the door, finding that there was no sound they said, “These will have died.” Having split open the door and gone into the house, at the time when they looked they remained as though dead.

After that, in order to carry them to bury, men tied their [62]hands and feet. The man, while they are tying his feet, having got hurt, said, “Uwah.”

Thereupon the woman said, “There are two for you.”

Scolding and scolding these two persons for their act, the men went away.


The first part of this story belongs to the North-western Province; the middle part is found in the Western Province also, to which, also, the latter part belongs.

[Contents]

In The Orientalist, vol. i, p. 237, Mr. H. White mentioned that a story about the frying of the family honour is contained in a work called Atīta-vākya-dīpaniya. In that instance apparently the pan which was placed on the fire was empty.

In the same Journal, vol. i, p. 136, a variant of the latter part of the tale is given by Miss S. J. Goonetilleke. Twenty-five idiots were employed by a Gamarāla, and it was their duty to provide plantain leaf plates for the other servants and themselves. One day they decided that they gave themselves unnecessary trouble in doing work which a single person could perform, so it was settled that all should sleep, and that the man who first opened his eyes or uttered a sound should cut all the leaves. When the leaves were not forthcoming at the meal-time the Gamarāla and his men went in search of the idiots, and being unable to arouse them, thought they were dead and dug a grave for them. One after another they were thrown into it in silence, but as they were being covered with earth a digging tool struck one on the leg, causing him to utter an involuntary groan. The others instantly arose and told him that henceforth he must provide all the leaf plates.

In the stories appended to the Pantcha-Tantra of the Abbé Dubois, a man at night disputed with his wife as to whether men or women are the greater chatterboxes, and each wagered a betel leaf that the other would speak first. As they did not appear next day, the door of their apartment was broken open, and the two were found sitting up but deprived of speech. It was concluded that they were suffering from some inimical magic, for which a Brāhmaṇa recommended the application of heated gold to their bodies. The man was burnt on his sole, above the knees, at both elbows, on the stomach, and on the crown of the head, and bore it in silence; but when the woman was burnt on the sole she cried, “Appā! That is enough,” and handed her husband the betel leaf.

In Folklore in Southern India (Pandit Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 277, (Tales of the Sun, p. 280), a beggar and his wife who had been at a feast at which they ate muffins (tōśei), cooked five muffins, and agreed that whoever opened an eye or spoke first should have only [63]two of them. They then bolted the door and lay down. After three days the villagers entered by the roof and saw that the couple were apparently dead. They were carried to the cremation ground, placed on two pyres which were raised, and lights were applied. When the fire reached the man’s leg a voice came from his pyre, “I shall be satisfied with two muffins.” From the other pyre a voice replied, “I have gained the day; let me have the three.” When the villagers heard the story, it was decided that, having apparently died and been on the funeral pyre, they could not return to the village or it would perish, so a separate hut was built for them.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 14, a farmer and his wife who disputed regarding the shutting of the door, agreed that it should be closed by the one who spoke first. After a wild dog had eaten their food, the barber called, shaved the man’s head and half his beard and moustache, and blackened him with lamp-black. When the wife, who had gone out, returned and asked what he had been doing, she was told that it was she who must close the door.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 209, a man and his wife made three cakes; each ate one, and they agreed that the first who spoke should allow the other to eat the third cake. Robbers broke in, began to collect all the goods in the house, and at last seized the wife. The man still did not utter a word; when the woman cried out and scolded him, he said, “Wife, it is certainly I who have gained the cake.” [64]


1 Probably a mat laid on the veranda. 

2 As a possible derivation, I suggest that the first part of the word may be derived from sam + bhañj, meaning “shatter, smash,” referring to his toes that were struck by the stone. The rest may consist of aḍi, foot, the whole word thus being sambhañjāḍi. In a variant the exclamation is Hottaeripancan

[Contents]

No. 88

The Story of Marirāla

In a country a man near the [New] Year spoke to the people of the village: “To bring palm sugar let us go to the quarter where there is palm sugar.” “It is good,” a few people said. Having said “I am going to-morrow,” and having plucked fifty coconuts and removed the husks, he placed them in the corner in the house.

On the following day morning, bringing the pingo stick and two sacks outside, and having broken [open] the sacks, and placed them below the raised veranda, when he was going into the house to bring the coconuts [his] wife said, “Stop and eat cooked rice. Be good enough to tie the pingo load.”

Having said, “If so, give me the cooked rice at the raised veranda,” at the time when he was eating the cooked rice his relatives brought a coconut apiece; when they said, “Bring and give each of us also a packet of palm sugar,” he replied, “Put them into those sacks.”

Subsequently, having eaten cooked rice and arisen, at the time when, having lifted the two sacks, he looked at them, there were collected together [in them coconuts] to the extent that he can carry. Subsequently, taking from his house, for expenses [on the journey], rice and two coconuts, having put them in a sack he tied up the pingo load. Afterwards, having called up the people who are going [with him], taking the pingo load he set off and went.

Having gone many gawwu (each of four miles) in number, [after] exchanging [the coconuts for] palm sugar, he came back to the village. On the following day morning, having summoned the people of the village who gave the coconuts, [65]and looked at the account according to the manner in which they gave the coconuts, he apportioned and gave [the packets of palm sugar] to them.

Subsequently, at the time when he looked in the sack there was [left] one packet of palm sugar. When he inquired about it and looked, he perceived that it was exchanged for one out of the two coconuts that he carried for expenses.

Afterwards having gone into the house, when he looked [there] having seen that there was [still] in the corner the heap of coconuts which he had husked for carrying, [and that he had taken only his relatives’ coconuts, and left his own at home], he said, “Apoyi! What is the thing that has happened to me!” and struck blows on his breast.

Then his wife got to quarrelling with him. Unable [to bear] the worry, having gone running to the pansala that was near he told the Lord (monk) the whole of these matters that occurred.

“A barterer,1 a fool like you, there is nowhere whatever in this country,” the Lord said.

Beginning from that time (taen), until he dies everybody called him Mariyā (Barterer).

North-western Province. [66]


1 Mariyek, probably intended for māriyek, from the Tamil root māṛu, in compounds māṛi, to exchange or barter. 

[Contents]

No. 89

The Invisible Silk Robe1

A Brāhmaṇa having told some men to come from a certain city, and having praised the robes which the King of the city is wearing, this Brāhmaṇa made seven stanzas, and gave them to those seven men. Those very seven men having taken the seven stanzas and gone, employed yet [another] Brāhmaṇa and got them explained. Should you say, “How was the meaning?” it was praise of the copper [coloured] silk robe which the King of that city is wearing.

After they got this meaning explained, these seven men spoke together, “Let us make up a trick at this place.” Speaking [thus] together, they arrived at a city at which there is a foolish King.

Arriving [there], they spoke to the King of the city: “Maharaja, what a robe that is which Your Majesty is wearing! We have woven a copper [coloured] silk robe for the King of our city, and given it. It is like the thin silk robes obtained from the divine world. Having looked in the direction of that King, when we looked in your direction you appear like a servant who is near that King,” these seven men said.

While hearing this word, shame was produced in the King. Having been produced, he thought to himself, “While I also am a King, what is it to me!” Thinking, “Cannot I cause those silk robes to be woven?” he asked, “For [weaving] the silk robes what sort of other things are necessary?”

Then the seven men say regarding it, “Having obtained silk thread from good silk yarn (lit., thread), be good enough [67]to give us it. Having constructed a place in your auspicious2 Sal [trees] garden, you must give us it. You must bring to that place and give us food and drink,” they said to the King. Having said it, they said at the very time, “The silk cloth that we weave is not visible to a base-born person. Should he be a well-born (saha-jātaka) person it is visible to him,” they said to the King.

At that time the King having procured silk thread to his mind gave it. The men having taken it to the auspicious Sal garden, and the party putting the thread away, when people come to look at the copper [coloured] silk robes these seven men run there and here in the auspicious Sal3 garden. The silk robe is not visible; only according to the manner in which these seven persons are running the extent [of it] is visible. Thereupon the men think in their minds, “Because we are base-born this copper [coloured] silk robe is not visible to us.” What of their thinking so! Except that each separate person thinks it for himself, no one speaks it.

The King sent a messenger for the purpose of looking whether, having woven the robes, they are finished. Having seen that, except that after tying the hand-lines (at-wael) they are causing [their arms] to row (paddanawā),4 the robe is not visible, [he thought], “Should I say that I do not perceive the robe they will say I am the son of a courtesan.” Because of shame at it, the messenger having gone to the royal house, said, “The gang of them having assembled together are weaving a priceless robe. His5 work is not finished. Having completed the work they will dress Your Honour in the robe,” he said.

On account of the statement of the messenger, many persons went to look at the robe, but except that they were causing [their arms] to row, the robe was not visible to anyone. The whole of the retinue who came, through fear that they will say they are illegitimate persons, without seeing the robe having said and said, “We perceive it. It is indeed a very costly robe,” went away.

Having woven for seven days, after the seven days’ date [68]which they got to finish in had elapsed, the King went to look at the silk robe. Having gone, when he looked it was not visible to the King also. What of its not [being visible]! He does not tell anyone the word of its not being visible.

After that, those men having come, said to the King, “Having woven the copper [coloured] silk robe, it is finished. For you, Sir, with our [own] hands we must robe you in it,” they said. “Having got out all the clothes which there are, descended from seven ancestors in succession, you must dress. Having dressed, you must give us all those clothes,” they said to the King.

The King, having heard the word, taking out all the royal vestments6 that were of the time of his ancestors, and having adorned himself in a good manner, and driven away everybody, gave the party these clothes and all the other clothes that there were.

After he gave them, all the seven men having surrounded him and said that they are putting on the King the copper [coloured] silk dress, began to stroke his body everywhere. They began to stroke the head, having said that they were putting on the crown. They stroked the arms, having said that they were putting on the jacket. In that way having stroked all parts of the body, and having said that they had dressed him, they caused them to bring the King into the middle of the great retinue, and said thus to the citizens: “Neither His Majesty our King nor any person of the retinue dwelling in this city in the olden time before this, either put on a robe in this manner, or saw one. Because of that, the whole of you, [after our] dressing His Majesty the King in this robe, causing His Majesty the King to sit on the festival tusk elephant, and having caused him to perambulate towards the right through all places in the city, again conduct him to the royal house.” Having said this, they brought the tusk elephant, and caused the King to sit on the tusk elephant naked; and they began to go in procession to all places of the city.

These men, taking [the contents of] this house of the [69]royal insignia (rājabānḍāgārē), and having acted deceitfully, and said that they had woven the copper [coloured] silk robe,—because they got [the contents of] the house of the royal insignia when they were going, established for the city the name “[City] of Tāmbraparnni Island,”7 and went away.

This foolish King remained without clothes.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 60, a girl who had promised to prove that the King sometimes lied, invited the King to visit a palace she had built, and to see God there, but stated he was visible only to one person at a time, and only if he was of legitimate birth. The two Ministers first entered successively, saw nothing, and declared that they had seen God inside. The King then entered, and on coming out insisted that he also had seen God there. The girl then convicted him of telling a falsehood, and as usual in folk-tales was married by the King.

In Les Avadānas (Julien), No. xxxix, vol. i, p. 150, there is a story of a fool who handed some cotton to a spinner, and begged him to make it into extremely fine thread. The man did so, but the fool thought it too coarse. The spinner became angry, and pointing to the air with his finger, said, “There are extremely fine threads.” When the man asked how it was he could not see them, the spinner replied it was because of their extreme thinness, which was such that even the best workmen could not see them, much less a stranger. The fool gave him a fresh order, and paid him handsomely. [70]


1 Another title is, “Concerning a Foolish King.” 

2 Magul, auspicious or festival. 

3 Shorea robusta. 

4 As though using a shuttle. 

5 Honorific, instead of “your.” 

6 Rājābaraṇa, which usually refers to the ornaments and insignia; in No. 156, para. 5, and on p. 84, ābaraṇa includes the royal clothes. 

7 A name of Ceylon. 

[Contents]

No. 90

The Foolish Youth

In a certain country there are a woman and a man and a youth (their son), it is said.

While they were there, the woman having given eight panams1 to the youth said, “Son, take these eight panams to the shop and bring two plates.”

After that, the youth taking the eight panams to the shop said to the trader, “Mudalāli, give me two plates.” The trader, taking two plates, gave them to the youth.

The youth said, “How is the price for these plates?”

Then the trader said, “For one plate it is seven tuttu (quarter paṇams); for two plates give me fourteen tuttu (= three and a half paṇams).

After that, the youth says, “Mudalāli, are you trying to cheat me? You cannot cheat me. I will not give fourteen tuttu; also I did not bring fourteen tuttu. Mother gave me eight panams.2 For the eight panams she told me to get two plates. If you will give them for the eight panams, give me two plates.”

Having said this, and given the eight panams to the trader, while he was coming away, taking the two plates, he met with a gang of thieves. Having met with them, they asked at the hand of the youth, “Where did you go?”

Then the youth says, “Having told me to go to the shop to bring two plates, mother gave me eight panams. Taking them, and going to the shop, I asked the price for plates. Well then, the man tried to cheat me. For the two plates [71]he told me to give fourteen tuttu. Also in my hand there were not fourteen tuttu; it was eight panams that I took. Having given the eight panams I am taking home these two plates.”

Then the men said, “If so, don’t you go home. We are going to break [into] a house; come, and go for that.”

Afterwards the youth, having said “Hā,” went with the thieves to break [into] the house. Having gone there and bored a hole through the wall, the thieves said to the youth who went for plates, “Go inside the house and put out into the light both all the things which you can lift and [the things] which you cannot lift. We will take them.”

After that, the youth, having crept into the house, put out all the things which the youth could lift. Having put them out, the youth could not lift the stone on which coconut was ground.

The man who owned the house was sleeping, placing his head on the stone. The youth having shaken the man’s body, awoke him. “Get up quickly. To take this stone outside I cannot lift it alone. Take hold of this a little in order to get it out,” he said.

The man having awoke at once, and seized and tied the youth, caught part of those men; part of them ran off.

The thieves who were caught, and the youth, and the man who owned the house, all went for the trial. As they were going on the road, says the youth, “I am not a thief at all. Our mother gave me eight panams to bring two plates from the shop. Having gone to the shop I asked the price for plates. The man tried to cheat me; for two plates he asked fourteen tuttu. I did not give them; also in my hand there were not fourteen tuttu. I only gave eight panams, and taking the two plates, as I was going away I met with these men. Then the men said to me, ‘Where did you go?’ they asked. ‘I went to the shop to get two plates,’ I said. Then the men said, ‘If so, don’t go home. We are going to break [into] a house; you come too.’ So I came. Having come there, the men bored a hole through the wall, and said to me, ‘Creep you into this. Put outside the things you can lift and the things you can’t.’ I afterwards crept into [72]the house, and put outside those I could lift. I tried to lift the stone on which your head was placed while you were sleeping. I couldn’t lift it, so in order to get it out I awoke you. Well then, so much is my fault; I am not a thief. Now then, if you are going to put me in prison, put me in prison.”

After that the man said, “I will not put you in prison; doing the work that I tell you, you can stay with me.”

The boy said, “Hā. I will stay [with you].”

After that, having gone for the trial, and put the other thieves in prison, the man came home with that youth. In that very way, doing the work which the man told him, the youth remained a considerable time.

One day the man said, “Youth, let us go to cut a [branch for a] plough.”

The youth said, “Hā, let us go,” and taking an axe, the man and the youth went to the forest on the river bank.

Having gone there, the man said to the youth, “Cut thou this tree at the root.” The youth cut the tree at the root. After he had cut it, the plough of the tree was not good.

Afterwards having gone near another tree, when they looked at it there was a good plough in [a branch of] the tree. When they cut the plough it would fall in the river.

The man said, “Having gone up this tree, cut thou that plough which is to be seen.” [He then left him].

Then the youth having gone up the tree, when he was cutting the root (lower end) of the plough while sitting down [on the branch] at the top (or outer end) of the plough, a certain Lord (Buddhist monk) came.

When the Lord looked up at the tree, having seen that the youth sitting at the top of the plough was cutting at the root, he said, “Foolish youth! Why, while you are at the top, are you cutting at the root? When it is cut at the root it will fall together with thee also, will it not, into the river? Sitting at the root [end], chop towards the top.” Having said this the Lord went away.

The youth said, “What does the Lord know about it? I shall cut it this way.” Having said this, as he was [73]chopping and chopping, the plough being cut at the root, the plough and the youth and the axe fell into the water of the river.

Then the youth, having got up quickly, walked ashore, taking the axe and the plough. He put down the plough, and taking the axe, ran along the path on which the Lord went. Having run there he overtook the Lord. Having joined him, he said, “Lord, as you said that I should fall into the river you must tell me the day when I shall die. If not, I shall chop you with this axe.”

The Lord, when he looked, thought that there was no means of saying otherwise; on that account he said, “On the day when a drop of rain has fallen on the crown of thy head thou wilt die.” The Lord then went away.

After that, the youth, taking the plough, came with the man to the man’s house. Having come there, when he had been there a long time, on a certain day a drop of rain fell on the crown of the youth’s head, and on that day he died. (The narrator did not know how he died).

The details of his death are given in the following variant of the latter part of this story:

The monk said, “In such and such a year, in such and such a month, on such and such a day, thou wilt die.”

From that day until the time when this stated number of years and number of months and number of days had gone, having been looking [into the account], on the stated day, when it became light he said, “To-day, having cooked amply give thou me to eat.”

Having eaten and finished, he said, “I shall die to-day”; and having said, “Don’t anybody speak to me,” went into the house, and shutting the door lay down (budiyā-gattā).

The men who stayed outside from morning until the time when it became evening, remained looking out. There was not any sound from this man. Afterwards they said, “What are we keeping this dead man for? Let us take him and carry him away,” and having placed a bamboo [ready], they tied [the bier] to it. Having tied it, they go away, taking it.

Between the house and the burial ground there is a hill-rice [74]chena. Because there is no other path to go on, taking him into the chena they hurried on (lit., ran).

Then the men who watch the hill-rice chena having been there, said, “What is this, Bola, that you are taking the corpse through the hill-rice chena?” and they scolded them.

Then the dead man sat up and said, “Except that I am dead, you should see [what I would do to you],” he said.

Then the men who took the corpse said, “Aḍē! This one is speaking!” and dropped him. Having fallen upon a cut [pointed] stump [it pierced him, and] the man died.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

To carry a corpse through a chena is considered to be a very inauspicious act, which might have an injurious effect upon the crop. Even to carry through one the tools necessary for digging the grave would meet with strong remonstrances. In one instance, some of my labourers were refused a passage along the footpath in a village because they carried pickaxes and digging hoes, thus appearing, as the villagers objected, like persons who were going to dig a grave.

In The Orientalist, vol. i, p. 136, Miss S. J. Goonetilleke related a story about twenty-five idiots, in which the death prediction occurs. The monk stated that the idiot would die when the third drop of dew fell on his back while he was sheltering under a gourd. The drops fell when he was beneath a frame on which a gourd grew, waiting while some robbers whom he had joined entered a house in order to commit robbery. He bellowed out, “I am dead, I am dead,” and they all ran away.

In vol. i, p. 121, the editor, the late Mr. W. Goonetilleke, gave the Sinhalese story of the branch cutting, the monk’s prediction of the man’s death when a drop of water fell on his head from the roof, and his remarks when the bier carriers were scolded by the owner of a garden through which they were about to pass.

He also added variants. In one found in an Indian work called Bharaṭaka dvā-trin̥sikā (Thirty-two Tales of Mendicant Monks), a stupid monk called Daṇḍaka went to cut a post, and sat on the branch while chopping. Some passing travellers pointed out that when the branch broke he would fall and die; when he fell he therefore believed he must be dead, and lay still. The other monks came to carry him to the cremation ground; but on the way the road bifurcated, and they quarrelled as to which path should be followed. The supposed corpse then sat up and said that when alive he always went by the left road. Bystanders intervened and [75]pointed out that as he had spoken he could not be dead, but Daṇḍaka insisted that he was really dead, and it was only after a long argument that the monks were convinced that he was alive.

Mr. Goonetilleke also gave a translation of a similar Turkish story in Meister Nasr Eddin’s Schwänke und Räuber und Richter, in which the man was told he would die when his ass eructated the second time. He lay down, believing he was dead. When the bier carriers were doubtful how they should pass a mudhole, the corpse sat up and said that when alive he avoided the place.

The editor also added Lithuanian, German, and Saxon variants, as well as an English one related to him by the Rev. S. Langdon, in which, however, the man broke his neck in falling from the tree.

In the South Indian account of the Guru Paramārta and his foolish disciples, annexed to the Abbé Dubois’ Pantcha-Tantra, p. 305, one of the disciples was cutting a branch when a Purōhita Brāhmaṇa warned him that he would fall when it broke. After falling he ran after the Brāhmaṇa and inquired when the Guru would die. The answer was that cold at the hinder-parts is a sign of death,3 a remark to which the Guru’s death eventually was due.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 89, the warning was given to a weaver by a traveller, who afterwards stated that the man’s death would occur when his mouth bled. Some days afterwards the weaver saw in a glass a bit of scarlet thread stuck between his front teeth, concluded that it was blood, and lay down to die, until a customer showed him what it really was.

In the same work, p. 139, there is a story of a foolish weaver who went to steal with some thieves. When they told him to look for a suitable pole for raising the thatch of a house, he woke up the people who were sleeping outside, and asked them to lend him a pole for the purpose. An outcry was raised, and the thieves decamped.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 30, the person who warned a youth who was cutting a branch, said he would die when he found a scarlet thread on his jacket. When a thread stuck on it in the bazaar, he went off, dug a grave, and lay in it until he heard a passer-by offer four pice to anyone who would carry his jar of ghī for him; he then jumped up and offered to carry it.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 199, a stupid boy who was sent by his mother to sell a piece of cloth for four rupees, refused six rupees that were offered for it. [76]


1 Formerly this would be one shilling. The paṇama is one anna, sixteen being equal to a rupee. 

2 Eight paṇams were thirty-two tuttu. 

3 Āsaṇam sītam jīvana nāsam. 

[Contents]

No. 91

The Story of the Seven Thieves

In a certain country there were seven thieves, it is said. Among them one was a fool, or one who was learning robbery.

One day when these seven persons were going to break [into] a house, while on the road they spoke to that robber who was learning, and said thus: “Only we six persons will go for breaking [into] the house; you stay outside.” Teaching him [this], and having gone [there], and in that manner having made the man wait outside, those six persons got inside the house for house-breaking.

Thereupon, while those six persons were delaying a little, a thought having occurred to this foolish thief, “I also must steal something from this,” having thought [thus], when he was going passing his hand over the things that were there a large millet [grinding] stone was caught [by him]. Because he was unable to get it up quite alone, he spoke to a man who was sleeping on a raised veranda, and said, “Ōyi! Ōyi! Get up to lift this stone a little.”

Thereupon this man having said, “What is it?” when he cried out the robber sprang off and ran away. The seven persons having collected together at one spot, [the other six] having beaten and scolded that foolish thief, gave him advice.

Again, also, one day having gone calling him for breaking [into] a house, in the aforesaid very manner having made the man wait outside, the six persons got inside the house for robbery. While this fool was staying in the open, shaking and shaking a post under the stick frame of an ash-pumpkin creeper (on which it grew), an ash-pumpkin fruit that was [77]at the post having broken off, fell on his head. Thereupon the fool, having become [frightened], began to cry out, saying, “They killed me!” Thereafter, the house men having awakened, when there was a disturbance the whole of the thieves sprang off, and went running away.

When they collected together in one place, they thought thus, “With this fool we shall not succeed in committing robbery; it is necessary to send this one for a few robberies alone.” Having thought [this], one day they spoke to the man, “Beginning from to-day, [after] stealing something for food for us, come back,” they said.

And he having gone to a house in which was one old woman, and having found a little pulse (mun-aeṭa), thought, “I must fry this little and carry it away,” and put it into a broken pot. When frying it, when it was coming to be fried to a certain extent, taking a spoon he put [some] of it in the mouth of the old woman who was sleeping in the house, to look if it was fried. Thereupon the woman, unable to bear the burning in her mouth, began to cry out. While the men who were sleeping, having said, “What is this?” were coming to look, the thief sprang off and ran away.

Again, also, one day having spoken to the foolish robber, “Catching two fowls for us from this house, come back,” they sent him.

And the robber having gone there, while he was asking, “[Am I] to bring the black ones [or] to bring the red ones?” the owners, having said, “Who is this who is taking the fowls?” drove him away. Thereupon the robber sprang off and ran away.

Again also, one day having seen that there are two clumps of sugar-cane at a house, they said, “Cutting two from that for food for us, come away,” and sent him.

And this one having gone there and seen that there are equal shares of black and white sugar-canes, while he was asking, “Which sugar-cane of these shall I bring?” just as before, the owners having come and said, “What are you cutting sugar-cane for?” drove him away.

While he was continuing to commit robberies in that [78]manner for not many days, one day having met with a Gamarāla, when he was asking, “[Where] are you going?” “We are going for a means of livelihood,” they said.

Having said, “If so, come; there is a niyara chopping1 in my rice field,” calling them and having gone to the house and handed over the work to them, the Gamarāla set off, and having gone somewhere or other, in the evening came to the house. Having seen that they also, having finished with the work and come to the house, were [there], and having given them food and drink, etc., and given a place to sleep in, and in the morning also, after it became light, having given them food, he started them off and sent them away. Thereafter, the Gamarāla having gone to the rice field, and when looking having seen that all the earthen ridges had been cut and thrown down, arriving at vexation he came home.

While all the robbers were going away from there, they met with yet a man, and when he was asking, “Where are you going?” they said, “We are going for a means of livelihood.”

Thereupon the man having spoken to them and said, “If so, come; there is a thatching at my house,” and having gone to the house, calling them, said, “Here. Cover this large house with straw.” Having ordered it, he went away on a journey.

At that time, having got ready, and seen that a certain old woman was in that house, they covered her with the whole of the straw. Thereupon that woman becoming afraid, all at the house came while she was crying out.

When they asked, “What is this you are doing?” they say, “The man who was at this house having said, ‘Cover this mahagē2 with straw,’ went away. That work we are doing,” they said.

Thereupon the house men say, “It is not that old woman. Cover the roof with straw.” [79]

At the time when they said it they did the work in that manner; and having gone to the lodgings (wāḍiya) where they were at first, and made that foolish thief stay there, the six other persons went for a robbery. Stealing a certain tom-tom beater’s box of decorations they placed it at their lodgings, and went to sleep.

That foolish robber having seen it, after those six persons went to sleep, this fool putting on all those [things], stayed warming himself at the fire. At that time, while sleep was going to fall heavily on him, when the jingling bangles placed on his arms gave the [usual] sound, one of those who were sleeping awoke and looked.

Having seen that the Yakā of the box of decorations had come and was [there], he spoke to the other men and bounded off. Thereupon they also becoming afraid, the whole of them began to run away. Having heard the noise, this one also got up, and he having gone running behind them, the whole of them fell into a well and died.3

Finished.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 140, a silly weaver went with three friends who were thieves, to break into a house. They made a hole through the wall, and telling him to wait outside and keep watch, the thieves entered. After waiting some time he followed them, and began to cook some food that he found near the fire. The owner’s wife was sleeping close by on a low bed; on turning over in her sleep her arm, palm uppermost, was stretched out in front of the weaver. Thinking she was asking for some of the food, he placed a spoonful boiling hot in her hand. She shrieked out, the men were caught, and the King imprisoned the others, but released the weaver.

In Les Avadānas (Julien), No. xcvii, vol. ii, p. 76, a party of comedians who were benighted on a mountain haunted by men-eating demons, slept beside a fire. On account of the cold, one who played as a Rākshasa put on his own costume while the rest were asleep. Several others on looking up saw a Rākshasa there, and fled; the rest followed, the man who had alarmed them running close behind them. They left the mountain, crossed a river, threw themselves into pools, and at last fell down worn out with fatigue. In [80]the morning they recognised their comrade. This story is also given in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 203.

In The Orientalist, vol. i, p. 136 ff., in the tale of the twenty-five idiots referred to in the notes to the last story, Miss S. J. Goonetilleke gave an account of the attempt to remove the millet-grinding stone, the scalding of the old woman’s mouth, and the assuming of the dress of the Yakā (said to be the Garā Yakā), and the subsequent drowning of the party in the well.

In the same work, vol. i, p. 131, the editor gave the incident of the covering of the Mahagē with straw, in a tale termed “The Story of Hokkā.” The old woman, who was the Gamarāla’s mother, was suffocated. [81]


1 Trimming of the earthen ridges which surround the plots of the field. 

2 Maha gē is “large house”; mahagē is an old or well-connected woman, such as the wife of a Gamarāla. 

3 A variant of the last incident is given in No. 57, vol. i. 

[Contents]

No. 92

The King who became a Thief

In a certain country a Prince went to ask about a marriage, it is said. As he was going, while on the road he met with a Princess. Having met with her, the two persons spoke angrily. Having spoken thus, the Prince said to the Princess, “Some day or other, having called Her [in marriage], I will punish Her much.”1

Then the Princess said, “Having borne a Prince to you, Sir, and having employed the Prince [for it], I will tie you to your horse’s leg, and cause [them] to strike you fifty blows.”

Afterwards, the Prince, having come back, built brick walls like a prison, and placed a drain in it, and caused a house to be prepared for putting the Princess into when he brought her.

Having prepared it, and having come calling the Princess [in marriage], he put her in the house; and he puts cooked rice for the Princess at the corner of the drain. The Princess having eaten it, is [there] without even going outside.

There were two field rats (waeli mīyō) which the Princess had reared before. The two came to the place where this Princess is. Having come, they dug a tunnel below the brick wall; having dug it, the Queen got out by the corner of the tunnel, and came away.

Having come thus, she was in a party of dancing women. While there, the Princess said to the dancing women, “Take me, and go and dance at such and such a city.” She said this regarding the city to which the Princess came in dīga [marriage]. “While dancing there I shall faint. Then [82]while I am there [in that state] you come away, having said, ‘We shall come again to call our child.’ ” She taught the women thus.

The Princess having taught them it, these women danced near the King, the father of the Prince who had placed her as though in prison when she came in dīga [marriage]. The Prince also is there.

While dancing thus, the Princess fainted. Afterwards, these women having said, “Let her stay until the time when we come back to call our child to go. We cannot now, while she is unconscious,” the women went away. The Princess remained there. That she was that Prince’s Princess he does not know. Having said that the Princess will still be in that very [prison] house, he places cooked rice [there for her] by means of the drain.

The women after three or four months came to call this Princess to go. Then that Prince having married her, she was with child. The women, notwithstanding that, called her and went away [with her].

Afterwards, when she was there a little time [with them] the Princess bore a Prince.

The Prince became considerably big. Afterwards he asked at the hand of the Princess, “Mother, where is my father?”

Then the Princess said, “Son, your father is such and such a King of such and such a city. The King having wagered that he will take me in marriage, said that he will inflict on me unimposed punishments. I said, ‘Having borne a Prince to you, I will employ the Prince and [get him to] tie you to your horse’s leg, and cause you to be struck fifty blows.’ ”

“In the way the King said, calling me [in marriage], when I came he punished me like the punishment of the prison. Having come from there by the help of two rats which I reared before, I was in the dancing women’s party. Being in it, and having gone to that city to dance with these women, the women came away while I was there. Afterwards they went back to come with me.

“During the time when I was there, the King marrying me, you were born when these women were going about. [83]While I was there they came and called me. It is that King himself who is your father.”

After that, the Prince said, “Mother, if so, seek a few things for food for me, and give me them, for me to go to seek a livelihood for myself.”

Afterwards the Princess found the things, and after she gave them, the Prince, taking them, went to the house of a widow woman who worked for hire, and said, “Mother, I, also, came to stay with you.”

Then the widow woman said, “It is good; stay. I am alone.” Afterwards the Prince stayed there.

Staying there, this Prince began to steal the things of the city. Then the King made it public that they are to catch the thief. Afterwards they try to seize him; no one is able to seize him. That widow woman also does not know [that he is the thief].

The woman having come [home], tells at the hand of the Prince all the talk uttered at the royal palace: “A thief of this country is committing this robbery; they cannot catch the thief.” All these words she said to the Prince.

Afterwards the Prince said, “Mother, cook a few cakes and give me them.” So the woman cooked cakes and gave them.

Thereupon the Prince, taking the cakes, went to the chena jungle, and strung the cakes on the trees near a pool at the road (mankaḍa) where a washerman is washing clothes. Having strung them, keeping still two or three cakes in his hand, and continuing to eat them, he came to the place where that washerman is washing clothes.

Then the washerman asked at the hand of the Prince, “Whence come you eating and eating certain cakes?”

The Prince said, “Andō! The cake stems on these trees having fruited, there are as many as you want (ōnāe haeṭiyē). Go there to look.”

Afterwards, the washerman having said, “If so, Chief (nilamē), be good enough to remain near these few clothes,” the washerman went to pluck the cakes.

Then the Prince, taking those few clothes, came to the house of the widow woman. That washerman [after] [84]plucking the cakes having come back, when he looked both the Prince was not there and the clothes were not there. Afterwards the washerman went home empty-handed.2

That Prince asked at the hand of the widow woman, “Mother, to-day, in the direction of that city—isn’t it so?—there is a report about the thief?”

Then the widow woman said, “Andō! Why not, son? To-morrow the King is going, they say, to catch the thief.”

On the following day, taking also a bundle of clothes, he went to a pool at the road, and having tied a cord to an earthen cooking-pot, and sent the earthen pot into the water, continuing to tread on the cord with his foot, [so as to keep the pot below the surface], he washes the clothes.

Then the King came on horseback, together with the Ministers. This Prince who is washing clothes asked at the hand of those Ministers, “Where are you going?”

The Ministers said, “We are going to seize the thief.”

Then the Prince says, “Look here; he sprang into this water. Having seen him coming, the King must be ready to seize him when he comes to the surface.”

Afterwards, the King descended from the back of his horse, and having taken off the royal ornaments, putting on the bathing cloth3 got ready to seize the thief at the time when he rises to the surface.

Then this Prince deceitfully slackened a little the cord on which he was treading with his feet; then the earthen pot which was in the water rose to the surface a little. Having said, “Perhaps it is the head of the thief,” those Ministers and the King sprang into the water.

Then this Prince who was washing clothes, putting on those royal ornaments, mounted on the [King’s] horse, and said, “Look there! There is the thief, seize him!” Then all having come near that King seized him.

After that this Prince said, “Having tied him to the leg of this horse, [you are] to strike him fifty blows.” Then those Ministers, having taken the King and tied him to the horse’s leg, struck him fifty blows.

Having struck them, when they took him to the city the [85]King’s father says, “That thief is indeed like my son.” Having looked in the direction of that Prince who was wearing the royal ornaments, he said, “This indeed is not my son. What of that? There is a little like my son’s face.”

After that, the Prince who was wearing the royal ornaments, said, “Ask at your son’s hand who I am”; he said it at the hand of the Prince’s grandfather.4

When he (the grandfather) asked at the hand of the King who had become the thief, he said, “I do not know who he is.”

Then the Prince said, “If so, am I to tell you?” He said, “Hā.”

Then at the hand of that King who had become the thief, this Prince says, “You brought for yourself the Queen of such and such a city, did you not? Before bringing her there was an anger-wager, was there not?”

Then the King said, “It is true.”

Then the Prince said, “You will give punishment to the Queen, you said, did you not? Then the Queen said, did she not? ‘After I have borne a Prince to you, having tied you to the leg of the horse I will cause you to be struck fifty blows.’ ”

Then the King said, “It is true.”

“From there having brought the Queen, while you were giving her the punishment the Queen had previously reared two field rats. The two having come, dug [under] the brick wall, and the Queen went away from there.

“Having gone away, and been in a party of dancing women, while she was in it one day they came here, the Queen and those women, to dance. Having come and caused the Queen to stay, those women went away. After three or four months the women came back, and calling her, went away with her. While she was here,5 I was born to you.” [86]

Afterwards the grandfather said, “You yourself remain exercising the sovereignty. My son cannot; a fool.”

He having said this, the Prince himself received the sovereignty.

North-western Province.

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In The Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 246, a Prince told an oilmonger’s daughter that he would marry her and imprison her for life. She retorted that she would bear him a son who should chastise him after first tying him up in a sack. When they were married the Prince shut her up in a room, her food being supplied through a small window. She escaped by a tunnel made by her father for her, learnt rope-dancing, and in disguise made a display of it before the court. The Prince fell in love with her, visited her daily, and she obtained from him his pearl necklace, diamond necklace, and ring. When the rope-dancers left, the girl rejoined her father, and bore a son, who learnt robbery and committed such daring thefts that the Prince, his father, determined to seize him himself at night. By a trick he got the Prince to enter a sack, dressed himself in the Prince’s clothes, and handed it to the soldiers as containing the thief. In the morning he opened the sack and struck the Prince gently with the cord. The robber then explained everything to the King and Prince, his mother when fetched produced the articles given to her, and all ended happily.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 216, a merchant on leaving home on a long journey told his wife that on his return he expected to find that she had built a grand well, and had a son for him. By a trick she got money and built the well. Disguised as a milk-girl she met with her husband’s boat, and sold milk at the river bank until he fell in love with her, married her, and took her to live on his boat. When he left after three months, giving her his cap and portrait, she returned home. On his arrival there she presented to him his son, and produced his gifts.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 620, a Brāhmaṇa told his bride, who had played a trick on him, that he would desert her; she retorted that a son whom she would bear him should bring him back. He put his ring on her finger while she slept, and went away to his own city, Ujjayinī. She followed, and established herself as a courtesan, sending away each visitor without seeing her, until her husband came and, without recognising her, stayed some days with her. After returning home she bore a son, to whom she told the whole story. The boy went in search of his father, and by a wager made him his slave, took him back to his mother, and they were reconciled.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 104, a King of [87]Kashmīr and a girl whom he met while hunting made jokes at each other. The King married her and ignored her presence in his harem, so she returned to her parents. After three years she visited Kashmīr, and stayed at the palace, where the King, who did not recognise her, fell in love with her. They exchanged rings, and she got his handkerchief, went home, and bore a son who became an expert thief, stealing an egg out of a hawk’s nest without disturbing the bird.6 He committed many impudent robberies in Kashmīr, getting the high officials into ridiculous positions, and when the King offered his daughter in marriage and half the country if the thief would come forward, he confessed everything and restored the stolen money and goods. His mother came, explained everything and the impossibility of the marriage to his half-sister, produced the ring and handkerchief, and he became heir to the throne. [88]


1 See footnote, p. 5, on this use of the third person in place of the second. In this instance its employment is sarcastic. 

2 This episode is also given in No. 254, vol. iii. 

3 Ambuḍa gasāgana. 

4 That is, his own grandfather. It will have been noticed that the words his and her are avoided by these story-tellers. When they appear in the translation they are nearly always inserted by me; the same remark applies to the pronouns he, him, and she

5 That is, with them, after they left. The first statement was that he was born after his mother went away. 

6 This incident occurs in the Sinhalese story numbered 82 in this volume. 

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No. 93

The Female Fowl Thief

At a village a woman was married to a man. The woman has much fondness for food consisting of fowls’ flesh. The woman having stolen the fowls, without the man’s knowing it eats [them] in the night when the man has gone to sleep. When she was eating every day in this manner, the man perceived it one day.

After that, the man through the necessity for catching this theft, one day said to the woman at night, “Bolan, I cannot [bear] in the cold. Go to the place where the bundles of firewood are, and bring a little firewood.” Then the woman says, “Anē! Appā! In this darkness I cannot go through fear.” After that, the man, not saying it again, remained without doing anything.

On the following day, also, the man told her in the very same manner. On that day, also, this woman said, “Anē! Appā! I cannot go alone.” On both these days he was unable to catch the woman’s theft.

In the night of the following day the man lay down, and in the manner as though asleep the man began to snore. On that day, too, having said [to herself], “The man has gone to sleep,” the woman arose and went for fowl stealing. The man having allowed the woman to go, and having arisen also, began to go behind her.

On that day a man of the village having died had been cremated also. The woman went to a village near the heap of fire-charcoal (the remains of the funeral pyre), and stealing a fowl from a house, came near that charcoal fire at the place of cremation (sohon), and having put the fowl upon the charcoal, roasted it. When she was eating the meat [89]that man, having been hidden, threw a stone [at her]. When it struck her the woman says, “What are you throwing stones for?”1 Having said, “Here. The demon-offering for ye; take that,” she throws down a fowl bone.

The man gathers the bone which she throws. The man again throws a stone. Having spoken in that very manner she throws away a bone; that also the man gathers. The man again throws a stone. In this very manner, the man having thrown stones, collected seven or eight bones. [After] collecting them he came home before the woman, and lay down.

The woman having eaten the flesh and having finished, came back, and prepared to sleep. Then the man having gone to sleep [apparently], and as through arising having broken up his bodily reluctance [to get up], arose, and said, “Bolan, I cannot [bear] in the cold; bring a bundle of firewood from the place where the bundles of firewood are.”

That day, also, the woman said, “Anē! Appā! I cannot go alone.”

Then the man scolds her: “Bola, strumpet! During the whole night thou canst go to steal fowls; why canst thou not go to bring a bundle of firewood?”

Well then, the woman having said, “It is not so,” began to swear [to it]. Then the man having said, “What are these, Bola?” showed her the fowl bones. Then the woman’s breath was drawn upward2; in that very way the woman’s life departed.

North-western Province. [90]


1 It is a general belief of village Sinhalese and Vaeddās that evil spirits or Yakās throw sand or stones at people during either the day or night. 

2 It is said that death always occurs in this way; the breath is drawn upward to the head. 

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No. 94

Gampolayā and Raehigamayā

In a certain country there are a Gampolayā and a Raehigamayā,1 it is said.

The person called Gampolayā, having put Īriya2 fruits in two bags, and said they were areka-nuts, tied them as a pingo load (one bag hanging under each end of the stick). Having been in his own country, he is going away to another country.

The person called Raehigamayā tied up a pingo load of pepper (vine) leaves. The person called Raehigamayā, having said that the pingo load of pepper leaves was a pingo load of betel leaves,3 is also going away to another country.

At the time when he was going along there was a travellers’ shed; in that travellers’ shed he lodged. That person called Gampolayā, taking that pingo load of Īriya fruits, came there. Well then, those two persons came in contact [there].

The areka-nut trader (Gampolayā) asked, “What, friend, is your pingo load?”

The betel trader (Raehigamayā) says, “[Betel leaves]. In our country areka-nuts are scarce to an inordinate (no-saehena) extent.”

“Anē! Friend, [I have brought areka-nuts]. In that very way, for our country there is difficulty over betel leaves,” Gampolayā said. [91]

Having said, “If so, let us change our two pingo loads,” the person possessing areka-nuts took the pingo load of betel leaves; the person who has the pingo load of betel leaves took the pingo load of areka-nuts.

Gampolayā [afterwards] says, “I indeed met with a trading at a profit!” When he asked, “What was it?” “I obtained a pingo load of betel leaves” [he said]. Who asked it? A man going on the road.

He took the pingo load of betel leaves to his country. Having gone there and having untied it, when he looked it was a pingo load of [worthless] pepper leaves. [The other man], taking the pingo load of areka-nuts, went to his village. Having gone [there] and unfastened it, when he looked they were [worthless] Īriya fruits.

Well then, those two persons came together at the travellers’ shed on another day. They spoke: “That day our trading did not go on properly. Now then, friend, we two being thieves at this city, [after] cooking rice and having eaten [together], at night let us go for robbery.”

Well then, except that those two say, “Let us cook,” not even one of them brings the materials.4 What is [the reason why] they do not bring them? They were persons who on former occasions had gone to the shop and brought things, [and had been cheated by another person’s not bringing any], they said. In that manner it became night.

One person, having said he is going to bathe, [went away, and] having eaten cooked rice at the shop, came back. The other [thought], “While he has gone to bathe, that one, going to the shop, will eat rice;” so this one having gone to another place ate cooked rice [there].

A second time they came to the travellers’ shed. [Afterwards] they broke [into] the palace of the King of that city. Taking the box containing the gold things, and having gone [off with it], and during that very night having arrived at a rice field, they went to sleep at the bottom of a tree. Through dishonesty to one of them, the other, taking the box [92]of things, bounded off. Having sprung off and gone, he crept into a mound of straw, and remained there.

That [other] one having arisen, when he looked there was neither the man nor the box of things. Thereafter he seeks and looks about. When he was seeking and looking, [he noticed that] there was a threshing-floor near [the place] where they were sleeping. Having taken a [wooden] cattle-bell, on the following day, in the evening, he shook and shook the cattle-bell, and began to gore the corn stacks and mounds of straw that were at the threshing-floor.5 Then that man who had got hid there, having said [to himself], “Perhaps it is a bull,” spoke [to it, to drive it away]. Having spoken, when he looked it was the first thief.

[When] they two are talking [about it, he said], “I didn’t bring this box of things through dishonesty to you, but to look at your cleverness.” During all the time each one is thinking of quietly taking the box of goods, and bounding off [with it].

Well then, those two persons having come back, and having walked to the sands of the sea, it became night. Placing that box of things in the midst of the two, when they were lying down the person who stole it at first went to sleep.

Then the other man, taking the box, hid it at a recognisable place (ayiruwak) in the sea. Having hidden it and come back, and very quietly returned near the other one, he went to sleep. The person who hid the box of things and returned, went to sleep.

Then the other one, having arisen very quietly, when he looks for the box of things, the box of things is not there. When he sought and looked about for it, he did not meet with it. [But] when he tasted [with the tip of his tongue], and looked at the body (skin) of that person who is sleeping, until the time when he comes [upward] near the hip there is salt taste.

Now then, that one thought, “He will have hidden it in the water, waist deep in the sea.” Having gone on account [93]of the thought, when he looked in the water to the extent of a round [of the top] of the cloth (pili-waṭak, waist-deep) a tree was near. [The other man] having placed it near the tree he met with it [there].

As soon as he met with it, taking the box of things and having come to his village, he says to his wife and children, “Having sought me, should a man come here, say, ‘He died yesternight. There is delay in going to bury him, until the time when his relatives assemble.’ ” Well then, they are lamenting falsely.

Well, Gampolayā [having come there] says, “We, indeed, called Gampolayā and Raehigamayā, walked about and committed robbery at [each] city in turn. Now then, don’t you be grieved that he died; I am more troubled in my mind than you. The agreement of us two indeed is that should I die first, he having come,—that kind of creeper called Habalossā; it is an extremely bad sort of thorn,6—having put [some] of the creepers on the neck there is a promise to go dragging me until the time when he goes to the edge of the grave. Should he die first the promise is [that I should act] in that very manner.”

Well then, having brought a Habalossā creeper, and put it round the neck of the person who was dead, when he prepared (lit., made) to drag him the person who was dead laughed. Having laughed, he says, “Friend, I did not bring the box of things on account of stealing it, [but] to look if you are a clever person.”

Well then, these two correctly divided in two the articles in the box of things. The two persons [afterwards] dwelt in happiness.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Orientalist, vol. i, p. 234, Mr. C. J. R. Le Mesurier gave a story in which five beggars agreed that each should put a handful of rice into a pot of boiling water, to make their common meal. When the time came to eat the meal the pot was found to contain only water, each one having placed an empty hand inside it, as though depositing rice. [94]

In Folk-Tales of Bengal (L. Behari Day), p. 165, when two thieves were digging, the younger one came on a jar full of gold muhrs (each worth about thirty shillings), and at once said it was only a large stone. While the younger man slept the elder thief returned to the spot, found there two jars of the coins, buried them in the mud of an adjoining tank, returned, and fell asleep near the other. When the younger thief awoke and found that the coins had been removed, he noticed mud on his comrade’s legs, made a search at the tank, got the two jars, and went off with them, loaded on a cow. At dawn the other man missed his partner and the money, and went in pursuit, and by the slipper trick7 got the cow and its load, and went home. When the younger man came up they divided the money except an odd coin, which was to be changed in the morning. In the morning the elder man who had charge of it pretended to be dead. His friend affected to pity the wife, made a straw rope, and dragged the body to the burning ground, but having no fire he climbed up a tree. The two afterwards frightened some robbers there, and got their booty.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 45, some of the Sinhalese incidents occur in an account of the doings of two merchants. One of them buried in the mud a brass plate which he stole from the other’s house. The owner found and removed it, and the thief searched in vain for it. They cheated other people, and acquired forty thousand rupees with which one of them made off; the other recovered it by the slipper trick, buried it, pretended to be dead, and at the cemetery the two men frightened some robbers, got their booty, and made an equal division of all.

In Folk-Tales of the Telugus (G. R. Subramiah Pantulu), p. 63, a man set out with a packet containing a quart of sand; a man of a different village was journeying with a packet containing a lump of cow-dung. They met in the evening, and halted at the same rest-house. Each wanted to get the other’s packet, thinking it contained food. The second man said he had a packet of food (apparently cooked) but was not hungry, and asked the other what he had brought. The first one replied that he had uncooked rice with him, and felt very hungry. They exchanged packets, went off at once to avoid recriminations, and discovered that they were mutually cheated.

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xxv, p. 21, in a Tamil story by Naṭēśa Sāstrī, a man of Tanjore who was carrying a large ball of [95]clay entirely hidden under cooked rice grains which his wife had stuck on it met with a man of Trichinopoly who had a brass pot full of sand covered with raw rice a quarter of an inch deep. Each wanted the other’s rice. The first man stated that not being very well he was afraid to eat the cold rice he had brought, and would like to cook some raw rice. The second man made an exchange with him. After discovering that they were mutually cheated they became friendly, and had other experiences of each other’s roguery (see the variant given after No. 248).

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 109, a foolish man, in order to avoid sharing with a friend some tasty food which his wife was cooking, pretended to be dead. The friend lamented loudly, neighbours came, they made a pyre at the burning ground, put the body on it and burnt it, the man having determined to die rather than give a share of the food.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 299, when two thieves had stolen some treasure from a caravan, one of them by means of the slipper trick got the whole, hurried home, and the pretended death and adventure with the robbers followed.

In Folk-Tales from Tibet (O’Connor), p. 131, when two thieves by a fraud had secured a heavy bag of gold, one of them absconded with it. The other recovered the money by the boot-trick.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 316, a Brāhmaṇa who had some peas which were so old that it was impossible to cook them, took them to the market, and exchanged them for an ass which would never move when a load was put on its back, each of the barterers thinking he had got the best of the bargain.

In the Sierra Leone stories, Cunnie Rabbit, etc. (Cronise and Ward), p. 300, there is a variant of the latter part of the Sinhalese tale in an account of two greedy men who lived in the east and west. The eastern man came to the western man’s house carrying a box, and would not leave, intending to share in the rice that had been cooked. The owner of the house at last lay down, and told his wife to say he had died. The visitor remained all night, supplied clothes for the corpse, made a coffin, dug the grave, and had nearly covered the body when it requested to be taken out. In the end, the visitor got a share of their food. [96]


1 The names indicate that they were men of villages called Gampola and Raehigama. 

2 A forest tree (Myristica iriya). 

3 Betel leaves are packed in a special manner for carrying, enclosed above and below by circular plaited frames which everyone recognises. 

4 Viyadama, expenses, but also employed with the meaning, “articles of food for which expenditure would be incurred”—that is, the results of it. 

5 A favourite amusement of the little black humped bulls if they can get at them. 

6 See the Jātaka story, No. 486 (vol. iv, p. 184), for a parenthesis like this in the middle of a sentence. There are many instances in these Folk-tales. 

7 Two valuable slippers or shoes are laid on a road at some distance apart. An approaching traveller passes the first one, which would be useless alone, but on seeing the second leaves his load at it and returns for the first one. The thief, who is hidden near the second one, then goes off with the load. 

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No. 95

The Story of the Two Liars

There are two Liars called the Eastern Liar and the Western Liar, it is said. The Eastern Liar was minded to go to seek the Western Liar, it is said.1 Should you say, “What was that for?” it was for telling lies in competition (i.e., a lying match), it is said.

Tying up the packet of cooked rice from one and a half amuṇas2 of uncooked rice, and the flesh of twelve goats, and bringing it for the [mid] day food, he went to the house of the Western Liar. At the time when he was going there, the Liar was not at home; a daughter of his was there. He gave her the packet of cooked rice to put away. She took the packet of cooked rice with the point of the needle with which she was sewing and sewing, and put it away.

The Eastern Liar [asked] the female child, “Where is thy father? In the forest?”

Thereupon the child [said], “Our father [in order] to cover up the thundering went to skin a mosquito, and come back.”

Thereupon this very Liar, having become afraid, thinks, “At the time when this very child told lies to this degree, when her father has come to what extent will he tell lies?” Thinking it, and asking for the packet of cooked rice again, he went off back again. Because it was not yet day3 [enough] for eating in the daytime,3 having hung the bundle of cooked rice on a large Banyan tree he went to sleep.

After that, at the time when the Western Liar, cutting [97]sticks and creepers for a house and placing them under his armpits, was coming, the little female child who was at the house having gone in front [of him], says, “A man came to seek you,” she said.

Thereupon the man asked, “Where?”

“Look; he went there,” she said.

Thereupon this very person, taking those sticks and creepers, and turning to the same quarter, went in chase of him.4

At that time the Eastern Liar had gone to sleep. Having heard the sound of the coming of the Western Liar, he arose. That person having become frightened at the sound of his (the Western Liar’s) coming, to take the packet of cooked rice seized the branch on which is the packet of cooked rice. Thereupon the tree, being completely uprooted, came into his hand. Taking also the tree itself, the same person having got in front ran away. This very person (the Western Liar), for [the purpose of] looking who it is, began to drive this very person backwards.

Having heard this very sound, and having said, “Something is coming to happen in the country,” an elephant-keeper who looked after a hundred tusk elephants, having sent off the elephants to their food and having become afraid, was looking about. Through that very despondency [which he felt] that some danger was coming to arrive at this very village, he said, “I must go to some other quarter”; and folding up the cloth in which he was dragging (= carrying) them, and in which were the whole hundred tusk elephants, he bolted.

Then having gone to an outer open place, and having unfastened the cloth, when he looked [inside it], only the two white lice called Gourd and Ash-pumpkin were [there], having eaten the whole hundred tusk elephants.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

Nonsense stories such as this are rather unusual in the East. There is one in No. 29, vol. i, and an Indian one is quoted after it. No. 130 in this vol. is another Sinhalese variant, and No. 263 in vol. iii, is also a tale of this type. [98]


1 Compare the beginning of the last variant at the end of the previous story. 

2 Eight and a half bushels. 

3 Dawal. 

4 Pannāgana giyā. 

[Contents]

No. 96

The Three Heṭṭiyās

In a certain country there were three persons, Big Heṭṭiyā, Middle Heṭṭiyā, and Little Heṭṭiyā. During the time while they were there, the three persons having gone to dig [for] gems, dug [for] gems until the money of the parties was finished. They did not meet with even one gem.

Because they did not, having come again to the village, certain acquaintances of those people were there. Taking (that is, borrowing) a little money from those parties, the whole three persons dug [for] gems again in partnership until the money was finished. They met with only one gem.

It was in the mind of Big Heṭṭiyā to get it into a big box. It was in the mind of Middle Heṭṭiyā to get it into a middle [sized] box. It was in the mind of Little Heṭṭiyā to get it into a little box.

Well then, the three persons having quarrelled about it, Little Heṭṭiyā made a little box, Middle Heṭṭiyā made a box larger than that, Big Heṭṭiyā made a box still larger than that.

Having made them, they placed the gem in the little box of Little Heṭṭiyā, that box they placed inside Middle Heṭṭiyā’s box, and having put it in they placed that box inside Big Heṭṭiyā’s box. [Each one kept the key of his own box.]

Having put it away in that manner, those three still borrowing a little money from suitable persons of the neighbourhood, went again to dig [for] gems.

During the time while they were staying in that way, Little Heṭṭiyā, having made two false keys for Big [99]Heṭṭiyā’s box and Middle Heṭṭiyā’s box, and opened both the boxes, taking out his own box and opening that box with the key he had, took the gem and hid it. This one, having thrown away both the false keys, remained like a man who had not committed theft.

Not a long time after that, the men who lent the money came to ask for the money. Until the time when the money was finished they dug [for] gems; from it also they obtained nothing.

After that, these three persons spoke to the creditors, “Having sold the gem which we have, let us give the money to these people.”

Having said so, the whole three having come, Big Heṭṭiyā, with the key that he had, opened the big box; Middle Heṭṭiyā, with the key that he had, opened [his]; Little Heṭṭiyā, with the key that he had, opened [his]. When they looked there was no gem.

After that, the three keys being in the hands of the three persons, having said, “Who opened [the boxes]?” the three persons struck each other.

[After] striking, they went near the King for a law suit. Having gone, the whole three persons said, “O Lord, Your Majesty, we three had a gem. Having put the gem into a little box, and put that into a still larger box, and put that into a still larger box, we three persons kept in our hands the three keys. Thereafter, when we three persons came together and looked [for it], it was not [there]. Because of it, Sir, somehow or other you must clear up this for us.”

After that, the King made much effort to sift the law suit. He being unable to explain the case, began to postpone it.

The King’s Queen having seen that the three Heṭṭiyās are coming every day in this manner to the court of justice, one day asked the King, “O Lord, Your Majesty, three Heṭṭiyās come every day to the court of justice. Why?” she asked.

The King said, “The three Heṭṭiyās having dug [for] gems, there was one gem. Little Heṭṭiyā having made a box and put it in, locked it and kept the key near him. [100]Middle Heṭṭiyā having made a larger box than that, and placed that Little Heṭṭiyā’s little box inside it, locked it and kept that key. Big Heṭṭiyā having made a large box, taking both those boxes placed them inside that box, and having locked it, he kept that key. Leaving the keys in the hands of the three persons, the gem was missing. I have been unable to explain the case. Because of it I postpone it every day,” he said.

After that, the Queen said, “If you will give me the sovereignty I will clear up the case.”

Thereupon he said, “It is good. Until you have heard the action I will give [you] the sovereignty.”

Having said, “It is good,” the Queen went away and informed the Ministers, and told them to bring three bundles of cord and a whip. These people came bringing them.

After that, the Queen having placed Big Heṭṭiyā on a support, told them to tie him. Having tied him, taking the whip and having said, “Will you give the gem? Will you give the gem?” she told them to flog him well. They flogged the Heṭṭiyā until blood came. Even after that he said, “No, indeed (nǣma).”

Having also tied Middle Heṭṭiyā in that manner, they flogged him; that Heṭṭiyā said, “No, indeed.”

Having seized and tied up Little Heṭṭiyā also, they flogged him in that very way. When they had been striking four or five blows, he said, “I will give the gem.” After that, she told him to bring the gem.

That Little Heṭṭiyā having gone running, when he came [after] taking it from the dung-hill where he had buried and kept it, she told Big Heṭṭiyā and Middle Heṭṭiyā to divide [the value of] it. She gave nothing to Little Heṭṭiyā.

Big Heṭṭiyā and Middle Heṭṭiyā divided [the value of] it between them.

North-central Province. [101]

[Contents]

No. 97

Concerning Two Friends

At a certain time there were two men, friends. Of them, one person not having [food] to eat, was very poor. The other man had amply to eat and drink. At that time the man who had not [food] to eat, in order to get an assistance went near the friend who had [food] to eat. Then at the time when he went to the friend’s house, having amply given him food and drink, the friend asked, “What have you come for?

Thereupon the man said, “Anē! Dear friend, not having to eat and to wear I came near you in order to get an assistance.”

Then the man having gone calling him to the bread shop, taking bread for ten shillings gave it to him, and said, “Here, friend, selling these things get a living. I am unable to give an assistance for more than ten shillings.”

Thereupon the man having said, “It is good,” at the time when he was bounding about taking the bread box having walked until it was becoming black, did not sell [anything]. Through anger that he did not sell it, this man sat down near a tree, and said, “This day on which I got the evil-looking (mūsala) bread is not good; I will eat these things.”

At that time, the Dēvatāwā who was in the tree, having become afraid, said, “Anē! O Lord, don’t eat me; I will give you a good article,” and gave him a plate.

The man, taking the plate, asked, “With this plate what shall I do?”

The Dēvatāwā said, “Having taken away the plate, and well polished it, and spread a white cloth, place it upon the [102]table. Then you will receive tasty food [from it].” So the man, taking the plate, came to the Heṭṭiyā’s shop.

The Heṭṭiyā asked, “Appuhāmi, have you met with anything even to-day?”

The man said, “To-day, indeed, I met with a plate.” [He gave the Heṭṭiyā an account of its good properties.]

Thereupon, the Heṭṭiyā, having made the man drink arrack (spirit distilled from palm-juice), and made him drunk, and allowed him to sleep on the bed, took the plate. Taking it, he put another plate into the man’s bread box.

Then the man having become conscious, and gone home, told the man’s wife, “Don’t cook; we shall receive food.” Having well polished the plate, and spread a white cloth, placing it upon the table he waited.

Having ascertained that cooked rice did not descend, the man’s wife came, and taking the plate threw it away, and having cooked, ate.

On the following day, also, the man having walked without selling bread, came near that tree, and said in the former way, “I will eat. I will eat.”1

Thereupon, the Yakā2 on that day gave him a ring, and said, “Having sold the ring, when you are going ten fathoms away the ring will come and place itself again in your hand.”

On that day, also, the Heṭṭiyā asked [what he had met with]. The man, just as in the former manner, said, “I obtained a ring,” [and told him its property]. So the Heṭṭiyā on that day, also, made the man drunk, and taking the ring and having caused another ring to be made, put it on the man’s hand.

The man having become conscious, and gone away taking the ring, sold it. Having sold it, he went ten fathoms, and looked. That, also, did not come.

Then the man on the following day also came without having sold the bread, and having come near that tree, said on that day, also, just as in the former manner. [103]

At that time the Dēvatāwā gave him a cow which drops gold. “Having taken away this cow, take good care of it, and tie it up and keep it,” he said.

Thereupon the man, taking also the cow, just as before went away near that Heṭṭiyā’s house. The Heṭṭiyā that day also asked, “What is it, Appuhāmi, that you have obtained to-day?”

The man said, “To-day, indeed, I obtained, Heṭṭirāla, a cow which drops gold.”

So the Heṭṭiyā, that day also having given the man arrack to drink, and made him drunk, and allowed him to sleep on the bed, brought the Heṭṭiyā’s old cow, and having tied it there the Heṭṭiyā took the cow which drops gold.

Then that man having become conscious, and having gone away taking that cow also, washed the cow-dung which the cow dropped. Excepting cow-dung, there was no gold.

Thereupon the man on the following day, also, having gone for bread-selling did not sell [any]. That day, also, he went near that tree, and said, “Thou son of a courtesan, when I told thee to provide me with a living thou cheatedst me. On account of it, to-day I shall eat thee indeed,” and he began to chase the Yakā on the path.

Then the Yakā said, “O Lord, do not chase me on the path.” The Dēvatāwā well knows about the theft of the articles. Having said, “The things that I give to this man yet [another] man takes,” he gave him a cudgel.

The man asked, “With this cudgel what shall I do?”

The Yakā said, “Should anyone ask, ‘What is this?’ say ‘Allan Bostan̥.’3 Having said it, say, ‘Stop, Bostan̥,’ [in order to stop it].”

Then the man, taking the cudgel, went just as before to the Heṭṭiyā’s house. At that time the Heṭṭiyā, in the very same way as before, asked [what he had received].

The man said, “To-day I obtained a cudgel.”

Then the Heṭṭiyā asked, “What is the name of the cudgel?” [104]

The man said, “That, indeed, is Allan Bostan̥.” Then the cudgel went and began to beat the Heṭṭiyā.

Thereupon the Heṭṭiyā said, “Lord, don’t beat me. I will give you all the things I took.”

So the man said, “Stop, Bostan̥.” Then the cudgel stopped the beating. After that [the Heṭṭiyā] gave him that stolen plate and ring, and the cow that dropped gold, these very three things. After that, the man having become wealthy, remained so.

North-central Province.

[Contents]

In The Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 130, a Prince stole the articles left by a dying Sannyāsi,—a cup which supplied food, a bag which yielded everything desired, sandals that transported their wearer where he wished to go, and a cudgel which thrashed all enemies but is not mentioned again. By means of the bag he obtained a palace, but two dancing women cheated him and stole all his magical articles; he recovered them by the aid of some miraculous fruits.

In Folk-Tales of Bengal (L. Behari Day), p. 53, an indigent Brāhmaṇa received from the goddess Durgā an earthen pot out of which food fell when it was reversed. At an inn it was changed for a common one, and he was driven away. Durgā gave him another pot out of which when reversed a number of demons issued and beat him, returning to it when it was set mouth upwards. When he was bathing the innkeeper reversed the pot, was thrashed by the demons, and the Brāhmaṇa regained the pot formerly stolen.

In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (collected by Dr. Bodding), p. 83, an indigent Prince received a magic cow that granted everything desired, from a jackal whose protection he craved. It was afterwards changed by a man at whose house he lodged for the night, but by the help of the jackal he recovered it.

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 182, a Brāhmaṇa who had seven daughters married the eldest to a jackal who was in reality a Rāja in disguise and a magician. He gave the Brāhmaṇa a melon to plant; the fruits, which were ripe next day, contained precious stones, but, unaware of it, the man sold some and was cheated out of the others. The jackal gave him a pot which contained food when required, a Rāja took it, and the man then received from his son-in-law another pot containing a stick and rope which would tie and beat people when ordered. When the Rāja, hearing he had got a better pot than before, came to take it, the man caused him and his attendants to be beaten until he got back the former pot. In the same way he recovered all the precious stones.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 256, [105]a religious mendicant gave an inexhaustible jar of copper to a poor man who had presented food to him, and warned him against inviting the King to his house. The man neglected the advice, and the King took the jar. He then received from the donor a pot filled with sticks and stones. When he demanded the copper jar the King ordered him to be seized, but the men were beaten by the articles which issued from the second jar, and the King returned the first one. In the same volume, p. 267, there is an account of a rice measure, a jar of ambrosia, and a bag of jewels which were all inexhaustible. When a King sent men to take them a magical stick drove them away.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 32, a foolish youth broke cakes into five pieces in the jungle, and said, “Now I’ll eat this one, then the second, then the third, then the fourth, and then the fifth.” The fairies who haunted the place thought he was about to devour them, and gave him a cooking pot out of which any food could be procured; at a cook’s shop it was changed for a common one. When no food issued from this, he took five more cakes, repeated the words, received a box which produced any clothes required, and was drugged by the cook, who substituted a common box for it. He again took five cakes, and received a rope and stick which would tie and beat men when ordered. With these he recovered the other articles.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 13, a King called Putraka persuaded two Asuras to race for the possession of articles left by their father,—shoes on which one could fly, a staff that wrote only truth, and a food vessel. The King then put on the shoes, carried off the other things, and founded the city called Pāṭalīputra after Pāṭalī (his wife) and himself. The translator gave references to an Indian variant in which the rod is replaced by a purse, and to European examples.

In vol. ii., p. 3, of the same work four Yakshas presented a poor man with an inexhaustible food pitcher. When his kinsmen inquired about it he took it on his shoulder and began to dance, his foot slipped, the pitcher fell and was broken, and he reverted to his former poverty. This story is found in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 74. Inexhaustible bowls filled with jewels are mentioned in vol. ii, p. 220, also.

In Les Avadānas (Julien), vol. ii, p. 8, and Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues, vol. ii, p. 185, the story of the demons (Piśācas) is almost the same as that above quoted. In the latter work, vol. iii, p. 259, two persons were quarrelling over a hat which rendered the wearer invisible, shoes with which he could walk on water, and a cudgel that would beat a person to death. When they raced for an arrow that a man shot he made off with the things.

In Sagas from the Far East, p. 84, in a Kalmuk tale, a man who [106]frightened away some demons found that they had left an inexhaustible gold goblet which provided food and drink. He exchanged it for a magic cudgel, a hammer which when struck on the ground nine times caused a nine story tower to rise, and a goat-skin bag out of which rain fell when it was shaken, in each case sending back the cudgel to recover the articles.

In the Mahā Bhārata (Vaṇa Parva, iii) Yudhishthira recited a Hymn to the Sun, on which this deity bestowed on him an inexhaustible copper pot out of which fruit, roots, meat, and vegetables were produced.

There is a Bamana variant from the interior of Senegambia, given in Contes Soudanais (C. Monteil), p. 58. A hyæna found a small pot called The Generous Pot, out of which he obtained rice, kus-kus (large millet), and other food. His hostess informed the King, who after testing it, kept it, and attached it to his arm. The hyæna then found a cutlas which told him its name was Cutlas-who-strikes. The King heard from his hostess that it was better than the pot. When he took it the hyæna stood beside his arm on which the pot hung, told him the name of the cutlas, and while it was striking him snatched away the pot and absconded.

In Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria (Dayrell), p. 20, a King had a drum the beating of which caused food to appear, but if the owner stepped over a stick or tree the food went bad, and men with sticks beat the guests and owner. [107]


1 In Sinhalese this might mean, “I will eat [you].” 

2 In the Jātaka story No. 527 (vol. v, p. 112) a supposed tree-deity is termed a Yakkha (the Pāli word for Yakā). 

3 “Seize [him], Walking-stick” (bastama). 

[Contents]

No. 98

Concerning Four Friends

In a single country there were four friends. During the time while they were staying there all four reared a dog. At the time when it had grown up the dog became extremely large.

After that, the four persons having spoken together: “Let us divide the [ownership of the] dog [among us],” divided the dog, to one person the fore-leg, to one person the hind-leg; in this manner the four persons divided it into four [shares].

[After] dividing it, when no long time had gone, one fore-leg of the dog was broken. After it was broken, the other three persons having told the man who owned the fore-leg that the fore-leg was broken, found fault [with him for not attending to it].

Thereupon the man, taking a medicine and an oil for it, soaked a rag, and tied it round [the leg]. After he had tied it round, the dog went near the hearth, and while it was staying there the fire caught that oiled rag.

The four persons had planted a cotton garden, and having [picked and] dried the cotton, had heaped it up. This dog’s body coming against the heap of cotton, the fire caught it, and all the cotton burnt away.

After that, the four persons quarrelled [over it], and beat each other. [After] beating each other, they went near the King of the country. The whole three persons brought actions against the man [for the value of their shares of the burnt cotton].

How did they bring them? “Anē! O Lord, Your Majesty, we were rearing a dog and planting a cotton garden. [108]We four persons divided the [ownership of the] dog [into shares]. While we were there after dividing it, the fore-leg belonging to this owner was broken. He wrapped it in a cloth [soaked in] oil for wounds. The dog, having gone near the hearth, was sleeping. The fire caught the dog. When it caught it, the dog having gone, jumped upon the heap of cotton which had been dried and heaped up. The cotton was burnt up. Because of it, we ask for [the amount of] the loss from this man.” They brought the action thus.

The man says, “I am not a guilty person. I only wrapped the oiled rag on the fore-leg for the wound to heal. I did not do it in order to burn the cotton.”

Thereupon those other three persons [said], “We don’t know that. It is owing to you indeed that the cotton was burnt. Because of it, you must pay the [amount of the] loss to us three.”

After that the King asked, “Was the dog’s broken leg so thoroughly broken that it could not place the foot on the ground?”

The three persons said, “It could not place the foot on the ground even a little.”

Then the King having considered, said regarding it, “Because it went by means of the three legs which belonged to you three persons, by your fault the cotton has been burnt, and [the amount of] his loss must be given to that one by you three persons.”

After that, by those three persons the price of his share of the cotton was paid to the other man.

North-central Province.

[Contents]

This is one of the stories related of Mariyada Rāman (translation by Mr. P. Ramachandra Rao, p. 11), in which four dealers in cotton reared a cat, each one owning one leg. The judgment was that given by the King in the Sinhalese version. This form of the story is known in Ceylon, and was related by a Tom-tom Beater of the interior of the North-western Province. [109]

[Contents]

No. 99

Concerning a Horse

A man, taking a horse, went on its back. When so going the [skin on the] horse’s back was broken, [a sore being formed which rendered the horse unserviceable]. After it was broken, the man removing the few horse cloths, while the horse was [left] there went away.

An oil trader, when coming on that path taking oil, having seen that [the skin on] this horse’s back was broken, smeared a little of that oil on it, and went away.

Still [another] man having come, when he looked [saw that] a horse had fallen down. When the man looked at it he saw that the [skin on the] back was broken, and that man, taking a great many large rags, bandaged the back well, for it to become strong. Having bandaged it, and having further poured a little oil on it, he went away.

Near the path on which was the horse a man cut a chena, and set fire to the chena. When it was blazing some fire-sparks having come and fallen on the oil-rags on this horse’s back, the fire seized the horse. Having seized it, when [the rags were] burning it was unable to get up [at first]. The horse having got up, and gone running, jumped into a citronella (paengiri) garden, and while it was running there and here, the fire seized the citronella plants, and the citronella plants burnt completely.

The man who owned that citronella garden went near the King for the law-suit. Having gone, he said to the King, “O Lord, Your Majesty, a horse, which having broken [the skin of] its back was wrapped with oil-rags, having jumped into my citronella garden, the citronella garden [110]was totally burnt.” Having said this he instituted the action.

Regarding it the King said, “It is not the fault of the man who wrapped the oil-rags round it. It is not the fault of the horse. Because thou didst not tie the fence [properly] the fault is thine, indeed.”

The horse having been burnt in that very fire, died.

North-central Province. [111]

[Contents]

No. 100

The Story of the Pearl Necklace

At a certain city there are a King and a Queen, it is said. While they are there, one day the Queen with the female slave went to bathe at the pool in the King’s garden. Having gone there, the Queen, having taken off her garments and put them down, placed her necklace upon the garments; and having told the female slave to stay there the Queen went into the pool, and is bathing. Then the female slave went to bathe.

A thievish female Grey Monkey (Waendiriyak) that was in the garden, took the necklace, and having placed it in a hole in a tree remained silent.

The Queen having bathed and come ashore, when she looked for the necklace while putting on her garments, there was no necklace. Afterwards she asked at the hand of the female slave, “Where, Bola, is the necklace?”

Then the female slave said, “I did not see a person who came here and went away [with it].”

Then both of them having come to the palace, the Queen told the King that thieves took the necklace. Thereupon the King caused the Ministers to be brought, and said, “Go quickly and seek ye the necklace.” The Ministers speedily tying [up their cloths],1 began to run [in search of it].

At that time a poor man from a distant place came into the jungle to seek sticks and creepers. When he was coming, the Ministers watching there were saying, “Seize him; he bounded away here.” [112]

This poor man having heard it thought to himself, “Should I stay here they will seize me. Because of it, having bounded away from here I must go to my village.”

At the time when the man was running away, the Ministers having gone and seized the man, and beaten and beaten the man with their hands and feet, took him near the King.

Thereupon the King asked at the hand of the man, “Didst thou take a gold [and pearl] necklace in this manner?”

Then the man thought to himself, “Should I say that I did not take this necklace, the King will behead me. Because of it, I must say that I took it.” Having thought this, he said, “I took it.”

Then the King asked, “Where is it now?”

The man said, “I gave it to the Treasurer (siṭānō) of this city.”

Afterwards the King having caused the Treasurer to be brought, asked, “Did this man give thee a necklace?”

Thereupon the Treasurer thought to himself, “Should I say that he did not give it to me, he will now behead this poor man. Because of it, I must say that he gave it to me.” Having thought this, he said, “He gave it.”

The King asked, “Where is the necklace now?”

Then the Treasurer said, “I gave it to a courtesan woman.”

Afterwards the King caused the courtesan woman to be brought. “Did this Treasurer give thee a necklace?”

Thereupon the courtesan woman thought to herself, “What will this be about, that such a Treasurer said he gave me a necklace? Because of it, it is bad to say he did not give it; I must say he gave it.” Having thought this, she said, “He gave it.”

Then the King asked, “Where is it now?”

The courtesan woman says, “I gave it to the man who knows the science of astrology (ganita sǣstara), or to the Gāndargayā” (sic).

Afterwards the King having caused the Gāndargayā to be brought, asked, “Did this courtesan woman give thee a necklace?” [113]

At that time the Gāndargayā thought to himself, “What is this thing that this woman said? It will be about something regarding which the woman is unable to save herself. It is because of that [she will have said] that I took it that day. Because of it, it is not good to say she did not give me it; I must say she gave it.” Having thought this he said, “She gave it.”

Well then, on that day it became night; there was no time to hear the case. After that, the Ministers said, “Having put all these four persons in one room, outside we must listen secretly to the manner in which this party talk.” The King gave permission [to act accordingly]. Afterwards, the Ministers having put the four persons in one room, and shut the door, stayed outside secretly listening.

Then firstly that Treasurer asked at the hand of that poor man, “When didst thou give me a necklace? What is this thing thou saidst?”

Then the poor man says, “Anē! O Treasurer, I am a very poor man. Your Honour is a very wealthy person. Because of it, in order that I may save myself I said that I gave it to Your Honour. It was for that. Otherwise, when did I give Your Honour a necklace?”

Afterwards that courtesan woman asked at the hand of the Treasurer, “O Treasurer, when did you give me a necklace? What is this you said?”

Then the Treasurer says, “Thou, also, art a possessor of much wealth. I also am a person who has much wealth. On account of it, because we two can escape from this injury that has occurred [to us], I said it. Otherwise, when did I give thee a necklace?”

Then the Gāndargayā asked the woman, “What, woman, is this thing that thou saidst? When didst thou give me a necklace?”

The courtesan woman says, “Anē! O Gāndarvayā,2 thou, having said sooth, art a person who obtains much wealth. Because of it, as we, having even paid the debt (the value of the necklace), can escape, I said it. Otherwise, when did I give thee a necklace?” [114]

Well then, the talk of the four persons was heard by the Ministers who were secretly listening. That day, after it became light, taking the four persons out, they took them near the King. The Ministers who had listened in secret said to the King, “These four persons are not the thieves.”

Then the King asked the Ministers, “How did ye ascertain that they are not thieves?”

The Ministers said, “We stayed listening in secret; by that we ascertained.”

The King said, “If so, who are the thieves who took this necklace?”

Then the Ministers said, “According to the way in which it appears to us, maybe it is a thievish female Grey Monkey that is in the garden, who took the necklace.” The Ministers said, “You ought to set free these four persons.” After that, the King having released the four persons sent them away.

Afterwards, the Ministers having gone to the garden, caught a male Grey Monkey. [After] catching it they came to the palace, and having sewn the jacket and breeches, and put the jacket on the Monkey, and put the breeches [on it], and put flower garlands [on it], and dressed the Monkey, and again sent the Monkey to the garden, the Ministers remained looking on.

Then that thievish female Grey Monkey who took the necklace, having seen the Monkey that had been clothed, went to the fork of the tree in which she placed the necklace, and placing the necklace on her neck, came outside.

These Ministers having seen it, the Ministers clapped their hands [to frighten her]. At the time when they were saying “Hū,” as that female Grey Monkey was going jumping and jumping from tree to tree, the necklace that was on the female Monkey’s neck fell to the ground.

After that, the Ministers went, and picking it up, came to the royal palace and presented it to the King. On account of it, the King having become much pleased with the Ministers gave them many offices.

North-western Province. [115]

[Contents]

This is evidently the Jātaka story No. 92 (vol. i, p. 224), in which the man who was first caught declared that he gave the necklace to the Treasurer, who said that he passed it on to the Chaplain, who stated that it was given to the Chief Musician, who said he handed it to the Courtesan. To make the monkey produce and wear it, a number of bead necklaces were placed on the necks, wrists and ankles of other monkeys that were caught. In this story the last person charged totally denied having received the necklace.

In A. von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales (Ralston), p. 181, the Queen hung the necklace on a tree, whence a monkey stole it. A beggar who was arrested first charged a merchant with receiving it from him, and afterwards also, as accomplices, a courtesan, a lute player, and the son of the Minister. The Minister got the King to release the prisoners, and to take the Queen to the park wearing a necklace. When she danced the monkey imitated her, and the necklace fell off its neck.

With reference to the remarks of the prisoners in the Sinhalese version, that being wealthy persons they could escape by paying the value of the missing necklace, a statement not found in the Jātaka story, Sirr, who was a Deputy Queen’s Advocate in Ceylon, stated in Ceylon and the Cingalese (1850), vol. ii., p. 231, that “theft was punished by a fine equal to the value of the stolen property, by flogging, and by imprisonment; or, if the thief immediately restored the property, he was only flogged and paraded through the village where the crime had been committed.” According to Dr. Davy, flogging and imprisonment were not always inflicted, however.

In the middle of the seventeenth century, according to Ribeiro, “if the thief confessed his crime he was condemned to pay the highest value of the article which satisfied the other party, and as a penalty for his offence double its value to the Royal Treasury” (History of Ceilão, translation by Pieris, 2nd ed., p. 152). [116]


1 When a man is about to run quickly he pulls up his cloth to the upper part of the thighs, passes the loose portion between his legs, draws it tightly behind, and tucks the end through his belt. 

2 Gāndarvayini. 

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No. 101

The Widow Woman and Loku-Appuhāmi

At a village a Siṭi1 widow-mother had a son having the name Appuhāmi. That Loku-Appuhāmi, having seen that the men of that district are gambling, came to his mother, and said, “Mother, the men of this village are gambling. Having cooked rice during the day time give me it, and a little money, for me to go to gamble,” he said.

Then the woman says, “Anē! Son, whence is there money for us? You be quiet,”2 she said.

The boy having heard the mother’s word, through being unable to gamble went outside the house. When going, this boy saw that two men having been at the cattle herd near a tamarind tree, went away. Having seen them, this boy went there and looked; when he looked two sallis (half-farthings) had fallen down there.

After that, this boy having taken the two sallis, said to his mother, “Mother, now then, cook and give me rice, to go to gamble,” he said.

Hearing that, the old woman asked, “Whence is there money for you?”

Then the boy said, “There were two sallis for me at the root of the tamarind tree; they will do for me,” he said.

After that, the widow-mother having cooked rice dust, gave it. The boy having eaten the rice, went to the gambling place. Having gone, he laid down those two sallis, and told the men to play. The men did not play. [117]

Then a youth of that very sort having been there played for it. Then for the two sallis yet two sallis came. Next, he wagered (lit., held) the whole four sallis. On that occasion, for those four sallis yet four sallis came. In this manner he that day won a large amount.

Having won and gone from there, on the following day, also, he came. Having come, and when playing that day having lost the money, he played also on credit. Having played on credit, after he went away, on the following day those creditors, through ill-feeling for him, went in order to ask for the debts.

When they were going, this boy they call Loku-Appuhāmi was colouring a cudgel in a good manner. Before that, he had said to his mother,3 “At first when the men come, when I am asking for betel and areka-nut, you remain silent, looking on. Then I shall come and beat you [with this cudgel]; then fall down as though you died. When I am calling you a second time, do you, having gone into the house and dressed well, like a good-looking young girl, bring the betel box,” he said.

Well then, she did in that manner. When he did it (i.e., struck her) the woman in that very way fell down. Having fallen, when she was [there] that one (arayā) again called her. Then [getting up and] dressing well [inside the house] like a young girl, she takes a betel box. When [she was] coming, those men who came to take the debts asked, “What did you to your mother?” they asked.

Then he says, “I made her Tirihan,”4 he said. Having said it, the man went into the house.

After he went into the house these men who came to take the debt, thinking, “Aḍē! It is good for us also to make our women Tirihan; we don’t want this debt,” and taking that cudgel, bounded off.

When they were bounding off, that Loku-Appuhāmi having quickly (wijahaṭa) sprung out and called those persons (arunṭa) says, “Aḍē! You are taking it; that is [118]right. Beat seven persons, and put them into one house (room), and remain without opening the door until the time when seven days are going, [for them] to become Tirihan,” he said. Having heard him the party went.

Having gone, and having beaten seven persons, and put them into one house, when they were there seven days blue-flies began to go over the walls of the house. Then this party say, “It is indeed because they have become Tirihan that the blue-flies are going.” Having said [this] they looked; when they looked all had died.

After that, they came in order to seize Loku-Appuhāmi. Having come they seized him; seizing him, and having placed his arms behind his back and tying him, they went to throw him into the river. Having gone, there was a travellers’ shed near the river; having tied him at the post of the travellers’ shed, those men went outside, and went away [temporarily].

After they went, a Moorman, taking a drove of laden pack-bulls (tavalama), went near the travellers’ shed. When going, having seen that man who is tied to the post, this Moorman asks, “Why, Loku-Appuhāmi, are you caught and tied to that tree?”

“Anē! Tambi-elder-brother, because I have lumbago I am tied.”

Then he says, “Anē! Loku-Appu, I also have lumbago. Because of it, catch and tie me also to that tree,” he says.

Then Loku-Appu said, “If so, unfasten me.”

After that, the Tambi having come, unfastened him. After he unfastened him, Loku-Appuhāmi having caught him, and placed him at the tree, and tied him, went away, driving the drove of pack-bulls.

After he went, those men having come, when they looked he was the Tambi. Then those men say, “Aḍē! Loku-Appuhāmi took the appearance of a Moorman!” Having spoken together, and seized that Moorman, they put him into the river and went away.

Then Loku-Appuhāmi, taking that Moorman’s drove of pack-bulls, goes through the midst of those men’s houses. When [he was] going, a woman said to the men, “Look [119]there! Loku Appuhāmi who went to be thrown into the river,—Ōn̥! he is bringing a drove of pack-bulls!” she said.

Then a man, being in the house, said, “Strumpet, don’t thou tell lies.” Scolding her in this manner, the man also came out and looked; when he looked, in very truth (haebaewaṭama) he is coming! After that, he asked, “Loku-Appuhāmi, whence (kohendae) are you bringing that drove of pack-bulls and the goods?”

Then Loku-Appuhāmi said, “Having gone to the bottom of the water in the river, when I looked these were [there]. After that, having looked out a good one from them (i.e., a good drove of bulls), [after] selecting it I came away,” he said.

Having heard that word, the party, as many as stayed at home, said, “We also having gone there, put us into the river to bring an excellent5 bit of pack-bull drove.”

Having said, “It is good,” calling the party, Loku-Appuhāmi put a person into the water. Then, having gone into the water, when dying he made a sound, “Boka, Boka,”6 and dust came to the surface.

Then the party who stayed on the bank asked, “What, Loku-Appuhāmi, is that?”

Loku-Appuhāmi says, “That is [because] he is finding excellent droves of pack-bulls.”

Then the other persons, also, who were on the bank, said, “If so, put us in also, to select good droves of pack-bulls and come.”

After that, he put that party in also. In that very way the whole of the persons went and died in the river.

Loku-Appuhāmi having returned, taking all the goods that were in those persons’ houses, went to those persons’ houses. Having gone, he became rich to a good degree (hon̆da haeṭiyaṭa).

North-western Province.

[Contents]

This story is another version of the tales numbered 9 and 12 in vol. i, at the end of which the outlines of some variants are given. [120]

There is also a Khassonka story of West Africa extremely like the later incidents of No. 10, in Contes Soudanais (C. Monteil), p. 67. When his mother continually interrupted a young thief who was being questioned by a King, the son stabbed her with his dagger, in reality merely piercing a bottle of ox’s blood which was concealed under her cloth. She fell down, the blood poured out, and she seemed to be dead. The son then, uttering spells, three times sprinkled the deceased’s face with a cow’s tail dipped in water. She recovered, and the son sold the cow’s tail to the King for two thousand slaves. When the King cut the throat of his favourite wife and failed to restore her to life, he ordered the thief to be thrown into the river sewn up in an ox-hide. While the slaves who carried him left their bundle on the roadside, the thief, hearing the voices of a pious Muhammadan priest and his pupils and servants, began to cry out that he preferred a life on earth to one in Paradise. The priest opened the skin, and learning that the youth was being forcibly taken to Paradise, gladly exchanged places with him, and was drowned. The thief then took some gold that he found in the priest’s house, and reported to the King that the King’s father had sent him with it for the King, adding that there was much more to be got in Paradise. The King gave him half the gold, and got himself and his relatives sewn up in hides and thrown into the deepest part of the river. As they did not return the people made the thief King. [121]


1 Feminine adjective of Siṭānā, a nobleman, or in some cases a Treasurer. 

2 Nikan indin. 

3 Maeniyaendaeṭa. 

4 Tirisana is “one of the lower animals.” In a variant of the Western Province he terms the stick a Tirihan cudgel. 

5 Honda hon̆da. 

6 This resembles the cry, “Mok, Mok,” made when driving cattle especially cart-bulls and pack-bulls. 

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No. 102

The Decoction of Eight Nelli Fruits1

In a certain country there is a Vedarāla. The Vedarāla is a person possessing the knowledge of medical practice, a very clever person at telling prognostics (nimiti kīmen). There is also a child of the Vedarāla’s.

During the time while they are thus, the boy one day came running near the Vedarāla, and said, “Anē! Father, you have been learning so much; you are now dying. Now then, where is your learning that you have taught me?” and he began to cry.

After that, [the Vedarāla] was not [sufficiently] conscious to tell him anything. While he was about to die, just as he was saying, “Anē! Son, you will have the decoction of eight Nelli [fruits]——” the Vedarāla died.

He having died, after a little time went by, a man’s yoke of buffaloes were lost. After that, the man (minissa) speaks, “Anē! What shall I do? If the Vedarāla were [here], he would look at the prognostics [to ascertain] on which hand the yoke of buffaloes went, and he would tell me. It is indeed to our loss that the Vedarāla is lost.” In that manner he spoke a word.

Then one man who was present said, “Why are you saying thus? That Vedarāla’s son is [there]. Go and look for him, and ask it of him.”

After that, the man, having gone to the tree and plucked betel leaves, came in the manner in which they came before near the big Vedarāla also, and having given betel leaves and money, asked that boy, “How, Vedarāla, have my [122]yoke of buffaloes been lost? On account of it you must look at the prognostics.”

Then the boy said regarding it, “Taking eight Nelli fruits, beat them and pour water [over them]; and having made a decoction, and made rock salt into powder, and put it in, and poured castor-oil in, drink it, and go and seek the yoke of buffaloes. Then they will be found,” he said.

Afterwards the man came home, and taking eight Nelli fruits, and having beaten them, and poured water [on them], made a decoction; and having made rock salt into powder, and put it in, and poured castor-oil in, drank it in the morning, and went to seek the lost cattle.

When going a little far the man began to [experience the purgative effect of the medicine in a severe manner]. As he was going in the chena jungle he met with a pool. The man, washing his hands and feet at the pool, and sitting at noon near a tree at the pool because of the severity of the treatment, remained looking about.

While he was looking about for a little time, the yoke of buffaloes, having stayed in that chena jungle and being thirsty, came there and drank water from that pool. While they were drinking, the man went to them, and catching the yoke of buffaloes, took them to the village. Having gone [there] he ate rice, and the [action of the medicine] ceased. On the following day, the man, tying up a pingo (carrying-stick) load and going with it, gave many presents to the Vedarāla’s boy.

When a little time had passed, war having been made on the King of that country, and as still [another] King was coming to seize the country, because there were not people [left] to fight the King was in much fear.

While he was thus, that man whose cattle having been lost were found, went and said, “O Lord, Your Majesty, the Vedarāla’s son, a small Vedarāla indeed, somehow or other having made a stratagem on account of that, will do something so that they will not fight.”

After that, the King having sent men, asked for a device for it. On account of it, he said that everybody who was in the city should drink the decoction of eight Nellis. [123]

Thereupon, all in the city having made the decoction, and put in the rock salt and castor-oil, drank it that very night. Having drunk it, the whole of the people having entered the city, while they were sleeping all became [obliged] to go out. The men who stayed in the city would be about a hundred.

At the city there is a small window at the back, called “the dark window” (aendiri kawla). From that window each one began to go out ten or twelve times to the open ground.

The King who was coming to the city for the war, had sent spies to the city to look if [many] people are there. While the spies stayed looking at this, it was like a wonder. If there was not one, there was another went out until the time when it became light.

Having said, “Leaving [out of consideration] the multitude who went out, how many people are there not in the city still! This war does not matter to us; because of it let us go away,” all the men whom the King sent went away. After that, having said, “There are too many people at this city,” through fear he did not come for the war.

After that, the King of this city having given to the Vedarāla’s son many villages, fields, silver and gold, established him in the post of Minister. Thereafter, having been a soothsayer who bore a name just like that one’s father, he was a very wealthy person.

North-central Province.

[Contents]

The “rock salt” (sahida-lunu) would be salt in crystals, this being the state in which the salt is collected in Ceylon after the water has evaporated. [124]


1 Phyllanthus emblica. 

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No. 103.

The Prince and Princess and Two Dēvatāwās

At a certain time, in the [Sun] Rising world,1 a Prince was born. In the [Sun] Setting world2 a Princess was born. When in the Rising world a Dēvatāwā, and in the Setting world a Dēvatāwī were coming to hear Baṇa (the Buddhist sacred writings), the Dēvatāwā saw the Prince and the Dēvatāwī saw the Princess. On that day, the Dēvatāwā and the Dēvatāwī, both of them, came later than on other days.

The Dēvatāwā asked the Dēvatāwī, “Thou not having come3 at the time when thou camest on other days, why hast thou delayed so much to-day?”

Thereupon the Dēvatāwī said, “I saw a Princess. As there is not in this world a beautiful Princess who is equal to the Princess, having stayed looking at the Princess I was delayed.”

Then the Dēvatāwā [said], “Not like the Princess whom thou sawest, I saw a Prince possessing beauty to the degree which is not in this world. Because of it, having stayed looking at the Prince, I delayed so much.” Well then, the Dēvatāwā says, “The Prince whom I saw is more beautiful than the Princess whom thou sawest.” The Dēvatāwī says, “The Princess whom I saw is more beautiful than the Prince whom thou sawest.” Having said [this], the two had a quarrel there.

The Dēvatāwā said, “When it is the time the Princess whom thou sawest is sleeping, for the purpose of looking if the Princess’s beauty is more or the Prince’s beauty is [125]more, taking her together with even her bed while she is asleep, come thou to the place where this Prince is.”

Accepting the word, the Dēvatāwī having brought the Princess, deposited her together with even the bed, near the place where the Prince has gone to sleep.

After that, the Dēvatāwā and Dēvatāwī say, “We will now test the beauty of these two thus,” that is, it was [settled] that when they have awakened these two from sleep, the beauty is the less of the person who first salutes, honours, and pays respects [to the other].

Well then, by the Dēvatāwā the Prince was awakened. But the Prince [having seen the Princess] thinks, “It will be a thing that these parents of mine have done for the purpose of getting to know my motives in not marrying.” Having put on the Princess’s finger the jewelled ring that was on the Prince’s hand, and putting the jewelled ring that was on the Princess’s hand on the Prince’s finger, not looking on that side, having looked on the other side (i.e., in another direction) he went to sleep.

Thereafter awaking the Princess, she saluted and paid honours and respects to the Prince. Still the quarrel of the Dēvatāwī and Dēvatāwā not being allayed, for the purpose of looking which of their two words is right and which wrong, they summoned another Dēvatāwā.

The Dēvatāwā having come, says, “Do not ye allow this quarrel to occur; the two persons are of equal beauty.”

Afterwards the Dēvatāwā tells the Dēvatāwī, “Please bring the Princess to her city, and place her [as before],” he said. The Dēvatāwī did so.

Afterwards, in the morning the Prince having arisen, not knowing this wonder that had happened, with the thought that it was done by his father the King, not eating, not drinking, he began to beg his father the King, and the Ministers, to give him the Princess.

Thereupon, his father the King and the other persons, having thought, “Whence did we [bring and] place [there] this Princess of whom we are told! Through a malady’s causing this to this Prince, he is babbling,” began to apply medical treatment. [126]

The Princess, just like that, not eating, not drinking, began to beg for the Prince whom the Princess saw. Therefore her parents, just like that, to her also began to apply medical treatment. Vedarālas (doctors) having come, say, “We are unable to cure this malady.” But one Vedarāla said, “I can cure this malady.”

When he asked the Prince about the malady, the Prince [said], “I have no malady at all; but not obtaining the Princess whom I saw on the night of such and such a day is my malady.”

When he asked, “What mark of it have you, Sir?” the Prince said, “The ring that was on her hand,—look here, it is on my hand; the ring that was on my hand is on her hand.”

Well then, the Vedā says, “In whatever country the Princess is I will bring her. You, Sir, without troubling [yourself], eat and drink, and be good enough to remain in pleasure.” Thereupon a very great delight was produced for the Prince; the malady disappeared.

Afterwards the Vedā, taking the ring that was on the Prince’s hand, and having gone from city to city successively, entered into the very city at which she alighted. At that time, the inhabitants of the city [said], “Our King’s daughter has a malady.”

The Vedarāla having heard it, when he asked, “What manner of illness is that malady?” the inhabitants say, “ ‘Should I not obtain the Prince who was seen at night by me, my life will be lost,’ the Princess says.”

Thereupon the Vedarāla says, “I am able to cure the malady.” [They informed the King accordingly.]

Thereupon the King having given (promised) him several great offices, went summoning the Vedarāla to the palace. Then the Vedarāla asks the Princess, “What is the malady which has come to you?”

When he said it, “Not obtaining the Prince whom I saw at night, indeed, is my malady,” she replied. Then when the Vedatema (doctor) showed the ring that he took, with the quickness with which she saw the ring the malady became cured. [127]

Afterwards the Vedatema says [to the King], “Even should this malady be [apparently] cured in this manner, yet afterwards she may behave arrogantly. Because of it, there is my Preceptor [whom I must call in]. Having come with him, I must still apply medical treatment for this malady.”

After that, the King having said, “It is good,” and having given him presents and distinctions, allowed him to go. The Vedarāla having returned, went [back] with that Prince. After that, the two persons saw and married each other.

When they had been [there] a little time, the two persons having come away for the purpose of seeing the Prince’s two parents, when they were coming on the road, while she was sleeping near a river, suffering from weariness, the mouth of the Princess’s box of ornaments having been opened by the Prince, he remained looking in it. A talisman4 of the Princess’s was there. A bird having carried the talisman aloft, began to go away with it. Thereupon the Prince began to go after the bird; after he had gone on a very distant unfrequented road, it became jungly (walmat), and being unable to find the path [on which he had come], he went to another city.

As the Princess was afraid to go to seek the quarter to which the Prince went, putting on the Prince’s clothes she went to another city. Having gone to the city, when she went near the King, the King asked what was the work she could do. This Princess says, “I can teach the arts and sciences.”

Thereupon the King appointed the [apparent] Prince to teach the Princesses, and when ships came from foreign countries to take charge of them [and examine their cargoes],—all these things. And the King, thinking this person is a Prince, married [to her] and gave her a Princess of the King’s. Afterwards, not concealing from the Princess that she is a Princess, and the manner in which she is seeking her [128]husband the Prince, she told her not to make it known; and she also concealed it in that very way.

The Prince, on the journey on which he went to seek the ornament, having joined a man of another city, remained doing work for wages. While he was in that condition, when two birds were fighting, one having split open the stomach of the other threw it down. When the Prince looked at it, the ornament that he sought having been [in it], he met with it.

From the country in which is the Prince, ships go to the country in which is the Princess. The gardener [under whom he worked] having obtained and given goods to the Prince, the Prince, taking the Princess’s talisman and having put it in a box,5 was about to go [in a ship] for the sale of the goods. But a little before he was coming away, they sent word that an illness had befallen the gardener, and when he went to look [at him] the ships went away.

At that time the ships went to the other city. Afterwards, at the time when [the Princess] was examining the goods of the ships she met with this ornament. When she asked, “Whose are these goods?” on their saying they were those of such and such a gardener’s labourer, she confiscated the goods until they brought him.

Afterwards the sailors, having gone back, brought him. After that, having caused him to bathe in scented sandal water, and [the King] having appointed him to the sovereignty, marrying both the Princesses he remained [there].

P B. Madahapola, Raṭēmahatmayā, North-western Province.

[Contents]

This story is evidently that found in the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. 2, p. 307), and termed there “Tale of Kamar al-Zaman,” although in some details it adheres more closely to a story given in the Kathā Sarit Sāgara. In the Arabian Nights, the father of the Prince was King of the Khālidān Islands—(stated to be the Canaries)—and the Princess’s father was the King of “the Islands of the Inland Sea in the parts of China.” A Jinn Princess saw and admired the Prince, who had been imprisoned for refusing [129]to marry; and an Ifrit saw the Princess, and by the order of the Jinn Princess brought her while asleep (without the bed) and laid her beside the sleeping Prince. At the suggestion of an Ifrit whom they summoned to decide their dispute as to which was the more beautiful, they awoke first the Prince and then, when he was asleep, the Princess, each of whom took the other’s finger ring. The Princess was then carried back. Next day the two were thought to be insane, and they were kept in prison for three years. The Princess’s foster-brother found the Prince, cured him by telling him about the Princess, and returned with him. He visited the Princess disguised as an astrologer; she at once recovered, and her father gave her in marriage to the Prince, as well as the rule over half the kingdom. The rest of the story agrees closely with that given above.

The Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 209, contains a story which seems to be the Indian original of the first part of the tale. The second part relating to the loss and recovery of the talisman, appears to be an evident addition, since the first part is a complete tale by itself. The Indian story is as follows:—

At the orders of the God Gaṇēśa, the Gaṇas his attendants transported Prince Śrīdarśana of Mālava (without his bed), while asleep, to Hansadwīpa, an island in the Western Sea, and placed him on the bed on which the King’s daughter lay asleep. He awoke, thought it a dream, nudged her shoulder, and she awoke. When they had exchanged ornaments, the Gaṇas stupefied them and carried back the Prince. Next day the Prince’s father, after hearing his story, issued a proclamation, but could not discover where Hansadwīpa was. The Princess’s father ascertained the facts by means of the power of contemplation possessed by an ascetic, who went “in a moment” by his mystical power to Mālava, cured a madman by the touch of his hand, and was requested to restore the Prince to happiness. He carried him back to Hansadwīpa, and after the two lovers were married conveyed them both to Mālava, where the Prince eventually succeeded to the throne.

In The Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 29, a Prince by means of a magic ring caused a Princess to be transported to him while asleep on her bed. They agreed to be married, and he then sent her back to her own room in the same way. On the following day she told her father that she had dreamt of this Prince and had determined to marry him. A few days afterwards the Prince’s Ministers arrived to ask her hand in marriage, and when the Prince went there they were married.

In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 299, a Prince who refused to marry was imprisoned by his father. Three Bongas (deities) saw him, the wife of the Bonga chief proposed to give him a bride, and during the next night he found a Bonga maiden sitting beside him when he awoke. They exchanged rings, were seen by the warders, who informed the Rāja, and they were married. [130]


1 Pāyana lōkē. 

2 Bahina lōkē. 

3 Nāēwit. 

4 In the text it is termed yantraya, a machine, implement, contrivance; but maturāpu yantraya is a talisman, a charmed implement. In the story given in the Arabian Nights it is termed a talisman, and it was on the Princess’s neck. 

5 In the Arabian Nights it was placed at the bottom of a jar of olives. 

[Contents]

No. 104

Concerning the Prince and the Princess who was Sold

In a certain country there was the son of a King. He gave charge of him to a teacher, and told him to teach the son. On the day on which he was handed over he was not there. On the following day, only, having gone to the school, after that having said he was going to school he went to the high road, and during the whole day-time1 having been eating and eating kaju [nuts] in the evening he comes home and says that he went to school. A single person does not know of this deceit.

In this manner, while two or three years are going he did thus. The teacher also did not give information to the King about this matter.

He not giving it, one day the King to look into this Prince’s learning wrote a letter and placed it on the table. After that lying Prince came, having said that he went to school, [the King], with the view that “If he was learning it is good for me to ascertain easily by [means of] letters,” said, “Son, on that table there is a letter. I omitted (baeri-wunā) to look at it. Break it [open] and look what the letter is.”

Thereupon the Prince, having broken [open] the letter and looked at it, said, “Anē! Father, except that in this there are a sort of strokes and strokes, and a sort of drops, I indeed cannot perceive anything.”

Then the King having become angry at the teacher sent him a letter. The teacher having looked at the King’s [131]letter, sent a letter thus: “Anē! O King, except that you, Sir, handed over your son, I have not even yet seen the Prince after that.”

Thereupon the King having said, “We do not want the disobedient son,” caused the executioners to be brought, and having said, “Having taken him and gone into the midst of the forest, you must behead him,” gave him [to them].

At that time the Prince’s Mother-Queen said to the executioners, “Don’t kill him”; and having spoken to them and given a hundred thousand masuran to the Prince, and said, “Without having come bounding into this country again, go you to another country and get your livelihood,” sent him away.

As the Prince was going away to another country, he saw that four persons, holding a man who is dead, are dragging him to the four sides, and he asked, “Anē! You are tormenting that dead man! Why?”

Then the men [said], “We four men are to get four hundred masuran from this man. [For us] to let him go, will you give the four hundred masuran?” they asked.

Thereupon this Prince, having seen the torment they were causing to the dead body, said, “It is good”; and having given four hundred masuran to the four men, and further having given five hundred masuran, and caused the corpse to be buried, the Prince went away. That dead man having gone, was [re]born, and became a fish in the sea.

When this Prince went from that city to another city, he saw that on account of a want of money the King was selling a Princess and two Princes of the King of the city; and this Prince having become inclined to take that Princess asked the price for the Princess. The King said, “It is a thousand masuran.” Then when the Prince looked at the account of the masuran which he had, except that there were a thousand masuran by account, there was not even one in excess.2 After that, having been considering and [132]considering it, he gave the thousand masuran, and taking the Princess, went away. That this Prince is a royal Prince no one knows.

Then this Prince, calling the Princess also, went to a house at which washermen stayed. The washermen asked, “Where are ye going?”

Thereupon the Princess and Prince said, “We are going to a place where they give to eat and to wear.”

Then the washermen, in order to take [them for] work for them, said, “It is good. If so, remain ye here.” Thereupon the two persons stayed there.

When they were [there] not much time, the washermen, thinking, “What are we giving to eat to these two for?” said, “Go ye to any quarter ye want.”

At that time, the young Prince and Princess3 having gone to yet [another] garden, building a stick house [there], this Prince having told that Princess to be in the house went and plucked coconuts during the whole day-time (dāwal tissē). Taking the coconuts given as his hire (baelageḍi), and having given them at the shop, in the evening procuring two gills of rice and the requisite things for it he comes back.

When he brought them, what does that Princess do? Each day she put away at the rate of half a gill from the rice, and cooked the other things; and having given to the Prince also, and the Princess also having eaten, in this manner, when three or four days had gone, the rice that she put away was collected [sufficient] for eating at still a meal or two.

Then the Princess said to the Prince, “Elder brother, [in exchange] for the things you obtain to-day not getting anything [else], bring a cubit of cloth, and thread, and a needle.” Thereupon, having given the coconuts obtained that day he brought a cubit of cloth, and thread, and a needle.

After he brought them, having eaten and drunk in the [133]evening, and spread and given the mat for the Prince to sleep on, what does this Princess do? Having cut the cubit of cloth, and put sewing on it worth millions (kōṭi ganan) of masuran, she sewed a handkerchief. Having sewn it, and finished as it became light, she said to that Prince, “Elder brother, give this, and not stating a price, asking for only what the shopkeeper gave [for such an article] bring that.”

Thereupon the Prince, taking the handkerchief, went to three or four shops. The shopkeepers said, “We have no words [to say] regarding taking that handkerchief.”

At that time there was still a great shop; to it he took it. The shopkeepers, taking the handkerchief, having seen the marvel of it, asked, “For this handkerchief how much?”

Then this Prince said, “I cannot state a price for that. Please give the price that you give.”

Thereupon the shopkeepers having said, “Take as much rice and vegetables as you can,” after he got them gave also a hundred thousand masuran.

This Prince taking them and having returned, those two persons remained eating and drinking.

In those days the King who sold the Princess made a proclamation by beat of tom-toms,4 that is, “If there should be a person who came [after] finding my Princess, having married the Princess to him I will decorate him with the royal crown.”

Thereupon the King’s Minister having said, “I can come [after] finding her; I want time for three months, and a handkerchief that the Princess sewed,” asked for [the handkerchief]. The King gave it.

Then the Minister also having come by sea, landed at the city at which this Princess and Prince stay. Having come there, he showed and showed that handkerchief at the shops, while asking, “Are there handkerchiefs of this kind?”

The shopkeepers who got that handkerchief said, “Here; we have one,” and showed it.

Thereupon the Minister asked at the hand of the shopkeepers, “Who gave this handkerchief?” [134]

The shopkeepers said, “Behold. The man who stays at the house in the lower part of that garden brought and gave it.”

So having gone near the house, when he looked only the Princess was [there], not the Prince. Having said at the hand of the Princess, “Your father the King said to you [that you are] to go with me,” he showed the handkerchief.

Thereupon the Princess said, “No. It is not father who provided subsistence for me for so much time. There is a person who provided my livelihood. Because of it, unless I ask from him and go, without [doing so] I will not go.” At that time the Prince came.

After he came this Princess said to the Prince, “Elder brother, my father the King having said that I am to go, has sent this Minister. What do you say about it?” she asked.

The Prince said, “If you will go, go; if you will be [here], stay. It is [according to] any wish of yours.”

Then the Princess spoke, “Don’t say so, elder brother. Except that if you told me to stay I will stay, and if you told me to go I will go, for the word of my father the King I will not go. Because of it, let the whole three of us go.”

Thereupon the Prince also having said, “It is good,” the whole three having embarked began to go. While going thus, except that the Princess and Prince remain on one side, and that Minister on one side, they do not allow him to approach them. The Minister is much annoyed about it.

They went six days on the sea. On the whole six days, having said that the Minister will put into peril and kill the Prince, the Princess without sleeping remains simply looking on when the Prince has gone to sleep. In that way, on the seventh day after they embarked, the Princess being sleepy could not bear up, and said to the Prince, “Elder brother, during the time while I sleep a little you remain awake.” Having said [this], the Princess went to sleep.

The Prince having been awake a little time, through the manner of his reclining went to sleep. Thereupon this Minister having awoke, when he looked having perceived that both were asleep, quickly rolled the Prince into the sea. [135]

Just as he was thus rolling him over, that dead man having become a fish and having been [there], came and seized him behind. Having thus seized him, placing him on its back the fish asked at the hand of the Prince, “What will you give me to put you ashore?”

Then the Prince said, “I have not a thing to give now. From the [first] things that I obtain afterwards I will give you a half part.” Thereupon the fish brought him and put him ashore. Afterwards the Prince went to the Princess’s city.

[Having landed], that Minister said to the Princess, “Let us go to the palace.”

Thereupon the Princess said, “I will not go with thee. Tell thou my father to come.” So the Minister having gone, told the King to come.

Thereupon the King came. At that time that Prince also stayed near, so that he should be visible to the Princess.

The Princess, having seen the Prince, asked, “Father, in this country how are the laws now regarding journeys?”

The King said, “What, daughter, are you saying that for? They are just like [they were] when you were [here].”

Thereupon the Princess said, “At the time when you were sending letters to me, my elder brother who gave me food and clothing, and I, and the Minister, having embarked came away. My elder brother who provided subsistence for me was lost. You must make inquiry about it in a thorough manner.”

Then the King having made inquiry and looked [into the matter], getting to know that the Minister threw him into the sea, [found that] unless he beheads the Minister there was nothing else [to do]. Because of it, he commanded them to behead the Minister. After that they beheaded him.

Then, this Princess first marrying the Prince himself, he appointed the Prince to the sovereignty.

Well then, when they are there no long time, the two persons went to the sea to bathe. At that time that fish having come, seizing the Prince’s leg asked, “Where is the charge you undertook for me that day?”

This Princess having heard it, asked, “What does it say?” [136]

Thereupon the Prince said, “When I was falling into the sea that day, this fish, taking me on its back, asked at my hand, ‘What will you give [me] to put you on shore?’ Then I said, ‘From the things that I obtain first I will give a [half] share.’ That share it now asks for.”

At that time the Princess having given into the Prince’s hand the sword that was on the shore, said, “It is I whom you obtained first. Because of it, having split a [half] share off me give it to the fish.”

Then the fish said, “No need of it for me. This Prince one day has expended one thousand (sic) four hundred masuran over a dead body. Please say you do not want that debt. [I was that dead body].”

Thereupon the Prince said, “I do not want the debt.”

After that, the fish having completely let go went away. The Prince-King and the Princess-Queen, both of them, [after] bathing came to the palace.

Finished.

North-western Province.

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In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. v, p. 304), Princess Miriam, daughter of the King of France, who had been in a vessel that was captured, was offered for sale in Alexandria, and was bought by a youth for a thousand gold dīnārs (about £500), all the money he had. Each night she knitted a silk girdle, which he sold in the morning for twenty gold dīnārs. While he was wearing on his head a beautiful silk handkerchief worked by her, the work was recognised by a Minister sent by the French King in search of her. He bought it for a thousand dīnārs, and gave a feast at which he made the youth drunk and induced him to sell the Princess for ten thousand dīnārs; she was carried back to France, and married to the Minister. After some adventures while the youth was endeavouring to carry her off, the two lovers escaped to Baghdad, and were formally married by the Khalif. With her own hand she killed the Minister when he came to demand her return to France.

Sir R. F. Burton agreed with Dr. Bacher that this story is based on a legend of Charlemagne’s daughter Emma and his secretary Eginhardt (vol. vi, p. 290). Notwithstanding its resemblance to this tale, the Sinhalese story may be an independent one. The account of the Princess who works a jacket or scarf occurs in Nos. 8 and 248, in which, also, the sale led to her abduction. In a variant, robbers carried her off and sold her for a thousand masu. [137]


1 Dāwal tissē, in the thirty [paeyas] of the day-time. 

2 Some years appear to have elapsed since he went into exile. This is the case in other stories, although not mentioned by the narrators. 

3 Ladaru kumārayō dennā, the two young Princes. Kumārayō, Princes, is sometimes used when both a Prince and Princess are referred to. 

4 Literally, made public a proclamation tom-tom. 

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No. 105

The Princess Heṭṭirāla

In a certain country there are a King and a Queen, it is said. There is also a Prince (son) of those two persons. Having given seven thousand masuran, a Princess was brought, and given to the Prince by the King and Queen.

The Prince that night having spoken to the Princess, told her to warm a little water and give him it. To that having said, “I will not,” the Princess went to sleep. On that account, next morning the Prince went and sent away the Princess.

After that, again having given seven thousand masuran, and brought yet [another] Princess, they gave [her to him]. In that very way having told that Princess to warm water, because she did not warm it he went and sent her away. Thus in that manner having brought six Princesses, because they did not warm water in the night he sent away the whole six.

After that, having given ten thousand masuran, and come summoning yet a Princess, they gave [her to him]. That Princess at the time when the Prince told her, having warmed water gave it.

Well then, while he is causing the days to pass with much affection for the Princess, the whole of the men of that country became ready to go to Puttalam. This Prince also having thought of going, when he asked [permission] at the hand of the King, the King and Queen, both of them, said, “Don’t go. If you eat the things that are here and stop [here], it will be sufficient for you. They go to Puttalam near the city of the courtesan woman. When they are going away from there the courtesan woman catches [138]and takes them, having said, ‘Don’t even go.’ ” They said many things.

But the Prince without hearkening to it went away to Puttalam with the men. Having gone, he went to the city of the courtesan woman. Then certain men having been there, said, “Here, indeed, is the tavalam place1; throw down the sacks.” Well then, this party threw down the sacks.

Having thrown down the sacks, when they were becoming ready to cook, the courtesan woman having come, said, “Don’t you cook; I am preparing food for all.” The woman, however many persons should come, gives food to the whole of them.

That night, also, having prepared food for these people, and called them to the house, and apportioned the cooked rice and given it, she said, “Having eaten this cooked rice and eaten betel, should my cat be holding the light at the time when it is becoming finished, this multitude, the cattle, and the sacks are mine. Should it be unable [to do] thus, my city, people, cattle, sacks, and all my goods are yours,” she wagered and promised.

This multitude having become pleased at it, began to eat the cooked rice. When they began, the cat came, and sitting down in the midst of the multitude remained holding the light. Having eaten both the cooked rice and the betel, because at the time when they were finishing it remained holding the light, the multitude, the cattle, the sacks, became attached2 to the courtesan woman (i.e., became her property).

This multitude being unable to go away, a number of years went by. The Princess’s parents having ascertained that that Prince’s Princess is living alone, without the Prince, the two came to go away with the Princess. That King [139]and Queen (the Prince’s parents), having said that on the top of the sorrow at the loss of the Prince they cannot send away the Princess also, were much agitated. But the Princess’s parents without listening to it, joining with the Princess went to the Princess’s country.

Well then, the Princess, for the purpose of bringing the Prince, spoke to the men of the Princess’s country: “Let us go to Puttalam.”

The men said, “Having gone away to Puttalam, so many persons were caught at the courtesan woman’s city so many years ago; if, again, we also go and should be caught, how shall we come back? We will not.”

Thereupon the Princess said, “Without your becoming caught, I will save you; without fear do you become ready to go with me.” After that, many persons got ready.

The Princess having cut a long bamboo stick, and cleaned it inside, caught seven mice and put them in it; and having caught a few frogs and put them in it for food for the mice, closed both ends and put a little polish on the outside. The Princess having dressed in Heṭṭi dress, taking that staff made the name [for it], having said that the name was “tavalam staff.”

Well then, this Heṭṭirāla (the Princess) went away to Puttalam with those many persons. Having gone, when they came to the city of the courtesan woman, certain men having been [there] said, “Here, indeed, is the tavalama place; throw down the sacks.”

Well then, having thrown down the sacks, when they were becoming ready to cook, the courtesan woman came and said, “I am preparing food for you also; don’t cook;” and in the very manner [in which she behaved] to that first party, gave rice and made the promise.

When this party were eating cooked rice, the cat, sitting in the midst of this party, is holding the lamp.3 This Princess who was the Heṭṭirāla, having opened one side (end) of the tavalama staff, sent two mice to go near the cat’s head. The cat, not having even opened its eyes, did [140]not look [at them]. This Princess sent still two mice. At that also it did not awake and look; silently it remained holding the light. Then she sent the other three mice. Instantly the cat, having let go the lamp, sprang to catch the mice.

Well then, the city, the multitude of the city, the cattle, the sacks, and the whole of the goods became the property of the Princess. Well then, the Princess having told about this to the Princess’s Prince also, and having started off that party [who accompanied her] to the Princess’s country, the Prince and Princess went with the party from the Prince’s country.

When they were coming along to the Prince’s country, the Prince’s mother and the King too, remained weeping and weeping under a tree in the rice field, wearing a sort of ugly clothes, the hair of the head unfastened and hanging down, and mucus trickling down, filthy to the extent that they could not look at them.

The Prince and Princess having seen from very far that these two are [there], dressed themselves. But the two persons were unable to recognise the Prince and Princess. Having come very near they asked the King and Queen, “What are you weeping there for?”

Thereupon, the two say, “There was only a single son of ours. There is news that that son, having gone away to Puttalam, has been caught at the courtesan woman’s city. Now then, we have nobody; because of it we are weeping.”

Thereupon these two persons said, “Well then, what shall we do about that? Will you give us a resting-place in your kingdom?” they asked.

Then these two persons having said, “We can,” and having gone summoning them to the palace, gave them the resting-place. This Princess, taking off the Heṭṭi clothes, and the Prince, having put on other clothes in such a manner that they can recognise them, and having summoned the King and Queen, the Princess told all this account from the top to the root, and having said, “Behold! Your Prince is [here],” she handed him over to them.

Thereupon, this King and Queen having prepared sandal [141]milk,4 and caused the Prince and Princess to bathe in it, gave charge of the King’s kingdom to the Princess; and in that very palace these four persons passed the time in a good manner.

North-western Province.

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In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 149, a woman who kept a gambling house was accustomed to win from everyone by the aid of her cat, which brushed against the lamp and extinguished it when the play was going against her. A young woman whose husband had in this way lost everything he possessed, and who had lost his liberty also, went in search of him, bribed the servants to tell her the secret of the gambling woman’s success, and then went to play disguised as a man, having a mouse concealed in her sleeve. When the cat approached the lamp she released the mouse, which was chased by the cat. In the meantime she won back all that her husband lost.

In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (collected by Dr. Bodding), p. 115, a Prince while travelling was robbed of all his belongings by a Rāja, and became a labourer. His wife, hearing of it, went to the same place, and it was settled that the person towards whom the Rāja’s cat jumped should possess the wealth taken from the Prince. The Princess had taken a mouse with her, and kept partly uncovering it and covering it again with her shawl. When the cat was released it sprang towards her to seize the mouse, so she regained the property.

In Folk-Tales of Tibet (O’Connor), p. 39, a young man bet a person at whose house he halted that when it became night a cat would not carry a lantern into the room. Each person wagered all his property. The landlord’s cat being trained to bring in the lantern, he won the wager, and the man became his servant. His wife came in search of him disguised as a man. She made the usual bet, got her husband to conceal in his bosom a box containing three mice, and to release these in turn when the cat approached. The cat allowed the first two to run off, but dropped the lantern and chased the last one. The man and his wife returned home with all the landlord’s goods as well as their own. [142]


1 A tavalama is a caravan or drove of pack cattle or buffaloes, loaded with sacks of goods. It was the old means of transport along paths that were impassable by carts, and is still employed in some jungle districts. 

2 Hayi-wunā, lit., became fast. The words have a similar meaning in the last sentence of No. 157, a story by a different person. 

3 Apparently the well-trained cat was sitting on its hams, holding the lamp between its fore-paws. 

4 Han̆dun kiri-paen, coconut milk, scented with a little sandal-wood. 

[Contents]

No. 106

The Maehiyallē-gama Princess

In a certain city there are seven elder brothers and younger brothers, it is said. Younger than the whole seven there is a young younger brother. Those seven elder brothers said to the younger brother, “Younger brother, you must bring a wife for yourself. In that way having eaten a meal from that house and a meal from this house, you cannot end [your] existence.”

Then the younger brother said, “I indeed at any time whatever will not bring a wife.”

Thereupon the elder brother said to the younger brother, pushing him, “If so, remain looking out in order to call [in marriage] the Maehiyallē-gama Princess.”

After that, the younger brother, having said, “It is so indeed,” tied a ladder in order to go to Maehiyallē-gama. When he had gone along the ladder a considerable distance, having fallen from the ladder to the ground the Prince went into dust (kuduwelā giyā).

After that, having come from the city Awulpura, they picked up the bits into which the Prince was smashed; having come from the great city Handi they joined them together; having come from Upaddā city they caused the Prince to be [re]-born.1

After that, the Prince went to Maehiyallē-gama. When he went there, the Princess having gone to bathe, only the servants were at the palace. The servants having gone, said to the Princess, “Some one or other has come to our palace.” Then the Princess told them to give him a mat [143]at the calf-house. The servants having given him a mat at the calf-house, he did not sit down.

Again the servants went and said at the hand of the Princess, “He did not sit down.” After that, the Princess told them to give him a mat at the man̆ḍuwa (open shed). The servants gave a mat at the shed.

The Prince did not sit down.

Again the servants went and said at the hand of the Princess, “He did not sit down.” Then the Princess told them to spread a mat inside the palace and give it. The servants spread a mat inside the palace, and gave it.

The Prince did not sit down.

The servants again having gone, said at the hand of the Princess, “He did not sit down.” Then the Princess told them to give him a chair. Afterwards the servants gave a chair.

The Prince did not sit down.

The servants again went and said at the hand of the Princess, “He did not sit down.” The Princess told them to give him a couch. Afterwards the servants gave a couch.

The Prince did not sit down.

The servants went and said at the hand of the Princess, “Then, also, he did not sit down.”

Afterwards the Princess said, “Give the couch on which I recline, if so.” The servants gave the couch on which the Princess reclines.

After that, the Prince sat down.

Then the Princess, also, [after] bathing came to the palace. Having come, the Princess said at the hand of the servants, “To that person who has come give food.”

Then the servants asked at the hand of the Princess, “In what shall we give the cooked rice?” Then the Princess told them to give pieces of leaf. Afterwards the servants having put the cooked rice on pieces of leaf gave him it.

The Prince did not eat.

After that, the servants said at the hand of the Princess, “He does not eat.” Then the Princess told them to put it on a plate and give it. The servants having put it on a plate gave it.

He did not eat. [144]

The servants said at the hand of the Princess, “He did not eat.” Afterwards the Princess said, “If so, put the plate upon the betel tray and give it.” The servants having put the plate upon the betel tray, gave it.

The Prince did not eat.

Again the servants said at the hand of the Princess, “Then, also, he did not eat.” Afterwards the Princess said, “Put it on my golden dish and give it.” The servants, having put it on the Princess’s golden dish, gave it.

The Prince ate.

After that, the Princess having come near the Prince, asked, “What is He?2 A Yakā, or a Deity?”

Then the Prince said, “I am neither a Yakā nor a Deity; a man.”

Then the Princess asked, “For what matter has He Himself come here?”

The Prince said, “To marry the Princess; I for no other business whatever have come.”

The Princess said, “If so, stay.”

After that, the Princess marrying the Prince, when he was there for a considerable time the Prince said, “I must go to our city and come back.” Then the Princess said, “I also must come.”

The Prince having said, “Hā, it is good; let us go,” the two went to the Prince’s city. Near the city there is a well; near the well there is a tree. Having caused the Princess to stay in the tree, the Prince went into the city to bring a horse for the Princess to go to the city.

After he went there, a woman of the smiths’ caste (āciri gāeni) came to the well for water. Having come, when the smith woman looked in the direction of the well, the reflection of the Princess who was in the tree appears in the well. She saw the figure, the smith woman.

Having seen it, the woman thought it was the woman’s [own] figure, and having seen the beauty of it, thought, “Aḍē! I am such a good looking woman as this! Why came I for water?” [145]

When she looked up the tree she saw that the Princess is [there], and the smith woman says, “Anē! Having descended, please bathe with a little water [that I will draw for you]. Why are you there?” The Princess remained there without descending.

The smith woman once more said, “Please descend.” Afterwards, the Princess having descended, and taken off her clothes, while she was bathing the smith woman said, “Please bend down for me to rub your back.” The Princess bent down. Then the smith woman raised her and threw her into the well.

The Princess was unable to come to the ground. The smith woman, putting on the clothes of the Princess, climbed up the tree.

Then the Prince having come there bringing a horse, the Prince stopped, and thinking that the smith woman was the Princess, told the smith woman to descend; and the Prince and the smith woman went to the city on the horse.

Then a blind man came near the well for water. The Princess, being in the well, said, “Having torn the cloth of the person who came for water, and knotted the pieces together, put it into the well.”

Afterwards, having torn the blind man’s cloth, he put it into the well. Seizing it, the Princess came to the ground; and making clear the two eyes of the blind man, she went with the blind man [? to her palace].

North-western Province.

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In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 3, while a King and Queen were travelling, a shoemaker’s wife pushed the Queen into a well when she was going to drink, and then took her place, and held the King’s head on her lap. Evidently she was accepted by the King as his wife, since she accompanied him when he proceeded on his journey.

In the same work, p. 143, while a Prince was sleeping, his Princess, who was sitting at his side, was induced by a woman who came up, to exchange clothes and hand over her jewellery. Afterwards the two strolled about, went, at the woman’s suggestion, to look at themselves in the water of a well, and the woman then pushed her in, and took her place beside the Prince. When he awoke, the woman attributed the change in her appearance to the bad air of the country, and he went off with her, and married her. [146]


1 The names of the three cities are verbal jokes. Awulpura is derived from awulanawā, to collect or pick up; Handi, from handi-karaṇawā, to join together; Upaddā, from upaddanawā, to cause to be born. 

2 See footnote, p. 5, regarding the use of the third person in addressing a person very respectfully. 

[Contents]

No. 107

The Wicked Princess

In a country there was a King; the King had a Prince (son). He sent the Prince to a school to learn the arts, and the Prince quickly learnt the arts. The teacher, having become pleased with the Prince, gave his daughter in marriage to the Prince. When they were thus for no long time the Prince’s father, the King, died.

At that time he set out to go back with the Princess to his own country. When going, they were obliged to go through the middle of a forest on the path on which they were going.

In the midst of the forest there was a Vaedda King. The Vaedda King having seen this Princess and Prince, asked, “Who are you? To go where, came you?”

Thereupon the Prince says, “I indeed am the Prince called Mānam, of the King here; this is my Princess,” he said.

“It is good. Who gave you permission to go through the middle of this forest of mine? Owing to your coming without permission, I shall now kill you,” he said. “Otherwise, if you wish to go to your kingdom, having now made this Princess remain here, you may go.”

The Prince says, “I will not go, leaving here my Princess whom I married in my youth. If you will not let us go, it will be better that we two should die.”

When he had said this, the Vaedda King, although he spoke about it again and again, did not listen to him. Afterwards, having caused his army to be brought, “Look now at this army of mine,” he said; “they will kill you. Then you will not have your kingdom, nor your Princess. Obtaining your kingdom will be better than that, having [147]caused your Princess to remain here, and having gone, saving your life,” he said.

Then the Prince said, “My kingdom does not matter to me if there be not my Princess.”

“It is good. If so, look, now, in a little [time], at the way I shall kill you.”

“No matter for that.”

“My army! Come. Kill this Prince.”

Then the Vaeddās came running, bringing bows and arrows. The Prince having said to the Princess, “You sit down. Look at what I do to these Vaeddās. Don’t cry. The favour of the Gods is for us,” taking his bow, fights with the army of the Vaedda King. Having said, “Shoot! Kill the Prince!” all came, and sprang [forward], and began to shoot. The Prince having given his sword into the hand of his very Princess, taking the bow began to shoot at them.

Well then, all having fallen, a few persons, only, being left over, they bounded off and went away.

At that time the Vaedda King said, “Is He1 a great clever one! What of my army’s inability! I will not allow Him1 to take the Princess and go. Come to fight,—we two persons;” and he called him.

Thereupon the Prince, after he (the Vaedda King) took his bow, says, “Not in that way. We two having wrestled, must cut off the head of the person who should fall,” he said.

“It is good. I am satisfied.”

“If so, come. Princess, take this sword of mine,” he said.

At that time, the Vaeddā having looked in the direction of the Princess, and having spoken [to her] without the Prince’s knowing, the Princess was mentally bound to the Vaedda King. He had no beauty,—a very black colour. The Prince was a very beautiful person.

Well then, while they were wrestling, the Vaedda King having got underneath, fell. Then the Prince asked the Princess for the sword. The Princess quickly having given [148]the sheath of the sword to the Prince, gave the sword blade to the Vaedda King. Well then, the Vaedda King cut the Prince’s neck with the sword blade. The Prince died.

The Princess says, “Good work! That indeed was in my mind. Now then, there is no fear; we can remain,” she said.

The Vaedda King says, “You are very good. If you were not [here] to-day, no life for me. Owing to your faithfulness, indeed, I survive. Having taken off your clothes, and the tied things (belt, bracelets, necklace, etc.) and ornaments, give them into my hand, in order to place them on the [other] bank of that river, and come back,” he said.

Seizing them, and having taken them and placed them somewhere, and returned [he said], “Let us go; we have not any fear.”

Taking her to the middle of the river, he said, “Throughout this world there is not an evil bad woman like you.” Having said, “It is bad [even] to remain in the country in which is the woman who gave the sword sheath, in order to kill outright the Prince whom you married while young,—having tied your mind on me whom you saw to-day [only],” having said this, he bounded off and went away.

Her ornaments and her clothes having been lost, without even a place to go to for food or clothing, while she was on the bank of the river in the midst of the forest, a Jackal came running to the place where the Princess was staying, holding in his mouth a piece of meat.

Having come there [and seen the reflection of the meat in the water], he placed the piece of meat on the ground, and sprang to seize a piece of meat that was inside the river.

Then a kite that was flying above, having come, flew away, taking the piece of meat.

The Princess having been looking on at it, says, “Bola! Foolish Jackal! Putting aside the piece of meat that was in thy mouth, thou wentest to eat meat in the river! Was that good?”

After she had scolded him, the Jackal says, “Not like my foolishness was yours. Having been staying married to the King here, having indeed gone to be married to the Vaedda [149]King seen [by you] at that very instant, now you are staying in that way, without even to eat or to wear, or even a place to go to. It is thou thyself hast done foolishness more than I.” Having said this, and scolded her well, he went away.

Afterwards the God Śakra having come, taking a Jackal’s disguise, because of the wickedness which the Princess did, bit her and tore her to pieces.

(According to a variant related by a Washerman she joined a poor man and went about with him, getting a living by begging, until she died.)

P. B. Madahapola, Raṭēmahatmayā, North-western Province.

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In The Orientalist, vol. i, p. 184, this story was given by Mr. H. A. Pieris, extracted from a dramatic work called Kolan-kavi-pota. A King named Maname and his Queen while on a hunting excursion lost their way in the forest. The Vaedda King stopped them, but offered to release the King if he would hand over the Queen. The King refused, they fought, and the Vaedda King got him down. Maname asked the Queen for his sword; but as she had fallen in love with the handsome Vaeddā she held out the sheath, and when the King seized it drew out the sword and gave it to the Vaeddā, who cut off the King’s head. Afterwards the Vaeddā made off with her jewels and clothes at the river. While she sat there, Śakra appeared in the form of a fox (jackal), holding a piece of meat, Mātali as a hawk, and another dēva [Pañcaśikka] as a fish. The jackal dropped its meat on the bank, and plunged into the water to seize the fish as it swam by; the hawk then carried off the piece of meat. The Queen remarked on the stupidity of the jackal, which replied that her folly was greater than his; and she died of a broken heart when she realised it. This story is simply the Jātaka tale No. 374 (vol. iii, p. 145), except that in the Jātaka the woman is not described as dying or being killed.

In the Aventures de Paramārta of the Abbé Dubois, a dog which had stolen a leg of mutton in a village, while crossing a river with it observed its reflection in the water, let go its own mutton, and sprang to seize that of the other dog, of course losing both.

In the Totā Kahānī (Small), p. 81, a young married woman eloped with a stranger one night, and while near a pond he stole her jewels when she was asleep. In the morning a jackal came up, carrying a bone. Seeing a fish that had fallen on the bank, it dropped the bone and rushed to catch the fish, which floundered into the water. In the meantime the bone was carried off by a dog. The woman laughed, quoted a proverb, “He who leaves the half to run [150]after the whole, gets neither the whole nor the half,” and told the jackal her story. It recommended her to return home shamming insanity; she did this, and allayed suspicion by it.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 76, a fool who went to drink water at a tank saw in it the reflection of a golden-crested bird that was sitting on a tree. Thinking it was real gold, he entered the water several times to get it, but the movement of the surface caused it to disappear each time. In Julien’s Les Avadānas this story is No. XLVI, vol. i, p. 171; in this tale the man saw the reflection of a piece of gold which the bird had placed in the tree.

In the Preface to The Kathākoça, p. xvii, Mr. Tawney quoted from Professor Jacobi’s introduction to the Pariśishṭa Parvan the Jain form of the story, in which the robber left the Queen without clothing on the river bank. The Vyantara god, in order to save her soul, took the form of a jackal carrying a piece of flesh. When he dropped it and rushed to seize a fish that sprang on the bank, a bird carried off the meat. The Queen laughed, the jackal retorted, exhorted her to take refuge in the Jina, and she became a nun.

In Les Avadānas (Julien), No. LXXV, vol. ii, p. 11, a woman eloped with her lover, who carried her gold, silver, and clothes across a river and abandoned her. A fox which had caught a sparrow-hawk came up, let go the hawk in order to spring at a fish in the river, and lost both. When the woman remarked on his stupidity, the fox admitted it, and retorted that hers was still greater. This is the form in which the story occurs in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. i, p. 381; but in vol. ii, p. 367, there is a variant which agrees with the following Tibetan tale.

In A. von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales (Ralston), p. 232, a robber chief for whom a woman abandoned a blind man, sent her first into the river and then made off with her things. A jackal which came with a piece of flesh dropped it in order to seize a fish on the bank; this sprang into the water, and a vulture carried away the meat. After the usual retorts, the jackal agreed to assist her on her promising it meat daily, told her to stand in the water immersed to the neck, and persuaded the King whose wife she had been to pardon her on account of this penance. [151]


1 The third person used as a sarcastic honorific in place of the second. 

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No. 108

Holman Pissā

A certain King had a very beautiful Princess (daughter). With much affection he sent the Princess to school. Having sent her, during the time while she was learning, the teacher who was instructing her asked this Princess, “Princess, wilt thou come to marry me?” Thereupon, the Princess because he was her teacher did not scold him, and did not say, “It is good”; from that day she stopped going to school.

At that time the Princess arrived at maturity. Because that teacher was also the astrologer (naekatrāla), the King went near him to ask about the naekata (prognostics depending on the positions of the planets) for her arriving at maturity.

When he went, the teacher, in order to marry the Princess to himself, said on account of the manner in which she arrived at maturity, “Should you keep this Princess in this city, this city will become desolate throughout.”

At that time, the King, the father of this Princess, having heard that word, becoming afraid, prepared a little ship; and having put food inside the ship, and put in the Princess, and spread the sails, and gone down to the mouth of the river, sent her away.1

Thereupon, that ship having gone, descended near yet a city. At that time, the ship was visible to the King of that city. Having been seen by him, he told the Minister to look at it and return. Then the Minister having gone, when he looked a Princess of beauty such as could not be seen [elsewhere] was inside the ship. [152]

In order that the Minister might marry the Princess, he went to the King, and said, “O Lord, Your Majesty, a leopardess is coming in the ship.”

Thereupon the King having said, “It is good. If so, let us go to look at the leopardess,” set off.

Then the Minister, because the Minister’s lie is coming to light, having gone to the road, said at the hand of the King, “O Lord, Your Majesty, I did not say it in the midst of your multitude. What though I said leopardess! It is a Princess who is wonderful to look at.”

The King taking that speech for the truth, having gone, when he looked it was a good-looking Princess. Then the King having asked the Princess regarding the circumstances, came back, summoning her to the palace, and married her.

When she was there a little time a Prince was born. Having been born, during the time while he was there, that teacher who had imposed [on the King], in much grief wrote false letters to the whole of the various cities that her father the King was very unwell, and that having seen the letter she was to come speedily; and he sent the letters.

The King who had married this Princess having received the letter and looked at the letter, told the Princess. Because a King does not go to yet [another] city, he told the Princess to go with the army and Minister, and come back, and started off the Princess-Queen to go to the city at which is her father the King.

Thereupon, at the time when the Queen, carrying that Prince, was going with the Minister on the sea, the Minister said thus to the Queen, “O Queen, now then, that King does not matter to us. Because of it, let us go to another city.”

Then the Queen, at the time when they were going ashore, said thus, “Why do you speak in that manner in the company of that crowd? We are now going ashore; when we have gone ashore let us go somewhere or other,” she said.

The Minister said, “It is good.” Having come ashore and said, “Let us go to another city,” and gone a little far, the Queen gave into the Minister’s hand the Prince, and having said, “I will go aside and return,” went and hid herself. Having hidden herself, and gone into a tree on [153]which are many leaves, she remained looking in the direction of this Minister. When he had been looking out for a considerable time, she remained there looking on, and said, “When I am not [there], he will put down the Prince and go; then having gone there I will go away, carrying the Prince.”

While she was looking, the Minister, having called the Queen, because she was lost took the Prince by both legs, and having split him, and thrown him into the sea, he sought the Queen. He could not find her.

After that, this Minister went away. Having gone, he said to the King of the city, “The Queen got hid, and went off with another man.”

This Queen thinking, “What is it that he has killed that Prince! My womb has not become barren,” descended from the tree, and having gone through the chena jungle to a cemetery at another city, came out into the open ground. Having come out, when she looked about a daughter of a Moorman (a resident of Arab descent) having died, he came near the grave in which she was buried, and saying and saying, “Arise, daughter; arise, daughter,” the man was weeping and weeping.

This Queen trickishly having stayed looking at it, and thinking, “It is good. This Moorman will come to-morrow also, and will weep here. Then, having been lying at the grave, when he is calling I will get up,” remained hidden there. After the man went away, she scraped away a little earth on the grave, and at the time when the man was coming she remained lying there.

The man having come, when he was calling, “Arise, daughter,” she said, “What is it, father?” and arose. Thereupon, the man having put on the face cloth,2 closing her to the extent that [her face] should not be visible to anyone whatever, took her to the man’s house, and placed her on the floor of the upper story. [154]

That Minister having gone back, and said that the Queen went off, at the very time when he was saying it, it caused the young younger brother of the King to seek the Queen, and he came away [for the purpose].

Having come away, and come seeking her through the whole of the various cities, and come also to the city at which is this Queen, while he was walking [through it] this Queen, who was on the floor of the upper story, saw him, and waved her hand to the Prince, and causing him to be brought, wrote a letter and threw it below from upstairs.

The Prince taking the letter, when he looked at it she said [in it] that the danger which had occurred to her was thus. [It continued], “Because of it, to-day night having brought a horse to such and such a place, and put on it two saddles, and made ready for both you and me to go off, come and speak to me.” So the Prince having made ready in that very manner, came at night, and [leaving the horse went near, and] spoke to the Queen.

Then the Queen, having descended from the floor of the upper room, and come running by another path, a man of the city who walks about at night, called Holman Pissā, was [there]. The man met her first.

After that, having gone holding the man’s hand, sitting on the back of the horse she gave him the whip, and told him to drive it along a good path. At that time, that Holman Pissā, owing to his insanity,3 turned down a bye-path without speaking at all, and driving the horse they began to go away. As he was going driving it, it became light. There when the Queen looked the man was a madman.

In order to come away and save herself from the man, she said, “It is good. Now then, we two must get a living. Because of it, go and bring water for cooking.” The madman having said, “It is good,” went for water.

Thereupon this Queen having bounded off, went along in the chena jungle, and came out (eli-baessā) at another city.

Then this Holman Pissā having come bringing water, when [155]he looked the Queen was not [there]. Because of it, he said, “Anē! If there is not my piece of gold what should I stay for?” and began to seek her. At that time, the teacher, and the King, and the Minister, and the King’s son, and the Moorman, and Holman Pissā were seeking her.

After that, this Queen having got hid in the chena jungle of the city to which she went, while she remained there looking out, she saw that an Arab having died they are bringing him to bury.

Having buried the Arab, after they went away this Queen broke open the grave, and taking all the few Arab clothes, dressed in the Arab trousers and put on the Arab jacket. Tying on the turban,—there was an axe—hanging it on her shoulder, she went to the Arab shops at the city, and practising the means of livelihood which that party were practising, she stayed [there] a little time.

The younger brother of that King having gone to his village, while he was there the King of the city died, and there being no one for the sovereignty, they decorated the tusk elephant and sent it [in search of a King]. At that time, the tusk elephant having gone, kneeled down near that Arab Queen. After that, they appointed the Arab Queen to the sovereignty, and she remained there. She issued commands in such a way that to either the place where she bathes or the place where she sleeps, no one whatever could come.

When she was there in that manner no long time, the city King who had first married her, having shot (with an arrow) a deer, when he was coming bounding along was unable to catch the deer. The Queen’s father, the King, taking dogs and having gone hunting, while he was there this King’s dogs having seen the deer, they also began to chase the deer along the path. While they were coming chasing it, they came to the city at which this Arab Queen is staying. At that time, the people of the city having shot the deer, killed it.

After it died, the three parties began to institute law-suits. The King who had married the Arab Queen says, “If I had not shot it, how would your dogs chase it?”

The King, the Arab Queen’s father, says, “If there had not been my dogs, how would you catch the deer?” [156]

The men of this city say, “If we had not killed it, how would you kill the deer?”

After that, as they were unable to settle it, they came for the law-suit, near the Arab King (Queen). That King having explained the law-suit, and said that it belonged to the whole three parties, ended the law-suit.

None whatever of those parties was able to recognise this Queen yet; the Queen recognised all. Recognising them, she said, “Nobody of you can go away; I must give you an eating (kǣmak).” Having said [this] she caused all to remain.

Having stopped them, the Queen went away and dressed in woman’s clothes, and having returned, asked, “Can you recognise me?”

Then all the party asked her about the matters. The Queen having told them the manner in which all had occurred, caused that Moorman to be brought, and gave him presents. In addition, having caused Holman Pissā to be brought, she gave him to eat and drink. To the teacher because he taught her letters she did nothing. To the King’s younger brother she gave very great presents and wealth.

Because that Minister, having seized both the legs of the [baby] Prince, had split him in two, having taken the Minister to the place where there are two Palmira trees, and brought the [tops of the] trees together at one place, and tied an arm and leg, and an arm and leg to each of the two trees, they let go the two trees. At that time, in the very way he split that Prince he was split in two.

After that, just as before, she remained exercising the sovereignty in a thorough manner.

North-central Province.

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The “Arab” mentioned in the tale might be an Afghān.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 606, a young Brāhmaṇa who had arranged to elope with a girl, sent a servant to her house at night with a mule. When she mounted it the man took her away a long distance and came to another city, telling her that he intended to marry her himself. She acquiesced; and when he went to buy the articles for their wedding she fled, and took refuge with an old man who made garlands. After some time the young Brāhmaṇa came to the same town, was seen by her, and married her. [157]


1 The account of the girl who was set afloat by the advice of an astrologer who wanted to marry her is also found in No. 139, where other references are appended. 

2 Mukkāḍuwa. I have not seen this yashmak or veil worn in Ceylon; it is the top and back of the head which are covered in public by a cloth, which reaches to the waist or lower. The edge of this is sometimes drawn and held across the lower part of the face when strangers are passing. 

3 Pissi gātēṭa, probably intended for pissi gahaṭaṭa, owing to [his] insane affliction. Holman Pissā means “the madman of uncanny noises.” 

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No. 109

Concerning a Vaeddā and a Bride

In the midst of a forest a Vaeddā stayed. When the Vaeddā’s wife went to bring water, taking the large water-pot, the Vaeddā, taking his bow and having gone in front of the woman, as she is coming shoots [his arrows] to go by the woman’s ear. Every day he shoots in that manner.

One day when the woman went to bring water she met with the woman’s elder brother; he asked, “What is it, younger sister, that you are so thin for?”

Then the woman said, “Anē, elder brother, when I have taken water and am going home, the Vaeddā shoots [his arrows] to go by my ear. Through that trouble I am becoming thin.”

After that, the Vaeddā [her brother] says, “Younger sister, for that I will tell you a clever trick. To-day also when he has shot as you are going, say, ‘There will be better shooters than that.’ ”

That day when he was shooting the woman said this word. Then the Vaeddā asked, “What, Aḍiyē! didst thou say?”

Afterwards the woman says, “There will be better shooters than that in this country.”

Then the Vaeddā says, “Where, Aḍin! are they? I must seek them and look at them. Tie up a bundle of cooked rice and bring it.” So having cooked a bundle of cooked rice she gave it.

Taking it, the Vaeddā began to go through the forest jungle (himālayē). At the time when he was going he saw [158]that a man is staying looking upwards. The Vaeddā having gone near asked, “What are you staying looking upward for?”

“It is now eight days since I shot at a bird. I am waiting until it falls.” When a little time had gone, the bird’s flesh, having become decomposed, fell down.

At that time the Vaeddā thought, “A better shooter than I is this one.”

In order to inquire further, the two persons, having joined together, began to go through the midst of the forest. At the time when they were going they saw yet a man who is looking upward. These two having gone near asked, “What are you staying looking upward for?”

The man said, “I see the celestial nymphs1 dancing in the divine world.”

The two persons spoke together: “In sight this person is more dexterous than we.” Thereupon these three having joined together, at the time when they were going [they saw that] at the bottom of a Jak tree a bride was staying, leaning against the tree. A cobra was preparing to strike the woman.

Then the shooter said, “I do not see far. You aim the arrow and show me [the direction]; then I will shoot.” Then he shot at the cobra. The arrow having entered the cobra in the quarter of the cobra’s tail, came out near the bride’s head.

The three Vaeddās went to the place where the bride is. That they had shot the cobra no one in the bride’s party knows. Thereupon, when they tried to call the bride and go away, the Vaeddās did not allow them to call her and go. [They said], “If this cobra having bitten her she had died, where would there be a bride for you?”

Both the parties instituted law-suits. Both the parties having gone near the King told him to decide the law-suit. The King having heard the law-suit, after he had looked [into the matter] was also unable to decide it. At that time he asked the Vaeddās, “To whom must this woman belong?” [159]

Thereupon the Vaeddās said, “To both parties she cannot belong. She must belong to our teacher.”

Should you say, “Did they say who that was?” it was indeed that woman who at first took the water.

North-western Province.

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In Folk-Tales of Hindustan (Shaik Chilli), p. 83, a Prince while travelling met with an archer who had shot an arrow at a star fourteen years before and was awaiting its fall. He saw its approach when it was still a thousand miles away, and warned the Prince to avoid it.

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 297, the chief amusement of a rich man was shooting his arrow every morning through one of the pearls of his wife’s nose-ring. When her brother came to take her to visit her parents, he found her thin and miserable, as she feared the arrow might some day strike her face. Each day the husband asked her, “Was there ever a man as clever as I am?” and she replied that there never was one. Her brother advised her to say next time that there were many men in the world cleverer than he was. When she said this her husband left her in order to find one of them. He met a clever wrestler and a clever pandit, who joined him, and who frightened some demons that were going to eat them. [160]


1 Suranganāwō, the Apsarases. 

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No. 110

A Story about a Vaeddā1

At a certain time, in a city, a dānaya2 was given at the royal palace. On the next day the surplus rice was deposited for animals to eat, and dogs, cats, pigs, fowls, and crows came and began to devour it.

Then a Vaedi youth who had gone to kill some game and was hungry, came and saw the fowls and pigs eating some cold cooked rice, whereupon he went to the heap of rice, and pushing aside the upper part of it took a little from the bottom and ate it.

At that time the royal Princess was at the open upper story of the palace. She saw this action of the Vaeddā, and said to her mother, “Anē! Ammē! However poor a man may be he does not do that disgusting work.”

The Queen admonished the Princess, and said to her, “Appā! My daughter, do not say so of any man whatever; you do not know what may happen to you” (meaning that it might be her fate to be married to such a man).

Then the Princess, speaking in ridicule of the Vaeddā’s want of good looks, replied, “If so, why should I wear this costume? [I may as well begin to dress like my future husband’s people].”

The Vaeddā, after stopping and hearing this conversation, went away.

As a lion used to come to that city [and carry off the inhabitants] the King subsequently caused the following proclamation to be made by beat of tom-toms: “I will give my daughter to any person whatever who kills the lion [161]which comes to this city.” On hearing this, the Vaedi youth having dug a hole in the path by which the lion came, and having got hid in it, when the animal approached shot it with his bow and arrow and killed it.

When the King learnt that somebody had killed the lion he gave public notice that its destroyer should be sought for. The Vaedi youth then came forward, and after he had [proved that he was the person who killed it] the King gave that royal Princess to him in marriage [and he went away with her].

While she was living with him another good-looking Vaedi youth accompanied him one day. On seeing him the Princess trickishly drove away the Vaeddā who was her husband, and married that handsome Vaedi youth.

It was not long before this Vaeddā one night killed a buffalo, and [taking some of the flesh] said to the Princess, “Cook this, and give it to me.”

The Princess replied, “It would be disgusting work for me to do; it is no business of mine. [She added] “What does it matter if my first husband is not good-looking? He was good to me.” Saying this, she drove this Vaeddā away, and seeking the place where the first Vaeddā whom she had married was stopping, went to him and said, “Let us go [off together].” But the Vaeddā said, “I will not.”

After that, she put on her Princess’s robes as before, and came away.

In a little while afterwards that very Vaeddā was appointed to the kingship, and everybody subsequently lived prosperously and in health.

North-central Province. [162]


1 This story appeared in Ancient Ceylon, p. 93. 

2 A free gift of food to the poor; see vol. iii, Nos. 212 and 241. 

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No. 111

The Story of the Four Giants1

In a certain country there were seven giants. The youngest giant of the seven of them without any means of subsistence remained on the ash-heap itself, near the hearth. At that time the other six persons scolded him: “How wilt thou eat and dress?” Then when this youngest giant was preparing to take a digging hoe with a broken corner the other persons scolded him regarding it [also].

Thereupon, having put down the digging hoe and gone, not bringing any tool, into the midst of a forest which had Wīra, Palu, and such-like trees, and having looked for a place suitable for a rice-field, with his hand he loosened and uprooted and threw them all down. Having made the rice-field, and made the ridges in it, he came home and said, “I have made a little rice-field plot (liyadda); to sow it give me a little paddy,” he asked his brothers. When he said it they did not give it.

Thereafter, having gone near his uncle2 he spoke thus, “I have made a rice-field plot; let us go to look at this rice-field plot. How about a little paddy for it?” he asked.

Thereupon his uncle said, “Having looked at the rice-field I will give you paddy.”

The two together went to the rice-field. While there his uncle ascertained the size of the rice-field and the quantity of paddy that was necessary for it, and having come home told him to take a round corn store (bissak) in which sixty amuṇas (about 350 bushels) of paddy were tied up. Thereupon the giant who was on the ash-heap, placing the corn [163]store of sixty amuṇas on his shoulder, brought it home; and having made [the paddy] sprout, sowed the rice-field.

After the [paddy in the] rice-field ripened he cut it and trampled it [by means of buffaloes], and having collected and placed the paddy in a heap, came home. Having returned summoning his brothers, he told them to climb upon the heap of paddy, and look if the spires [of the dāgabas] at Anurādhapura are visible. Having looked in that way, and having seen them, though they were visible they said they were not. Thereupon anger having come to the giant of the ash-heap, he kicked the paddy heap, and having come home, taking his sword began to go away somewhere.

While going thus, he saw that yet [another] giant, having uprooted a Banyan-tree, is polishing his teeth [with it], and he went quite near. Thereupon, the giant asked the giant of the ash-heap, “Where are you going?”

“I am going to seek a means of subsistence,” he gave answer.

The two persons having conversed in this manner, while the two were going away together they saw that yet a giant, having threaded an elephant on a fish-hook, had cast it in a river,3 and they asked him, “What are you doing? Why have you thrown an elephant into the water?”

The giant says, “I am trying to catch and take a sand fish. Where are you two going?” he asked these two persons.

“We are going in order to seek a means of subsistence,” these two said.

Having said, “If so, I will come with you,” and having abandoned his work, and cast away the elephant, he also set off with them, and the three persons began to go away.

While they were going thus they met with a river. They saw that in the river yet [another] giant having placed his foot across the river, from this bank to the far bank, is causing the water to stop. The giant asked, “Where are you three persons going?” [164]

The three persons said, “We are going to seek a means of subsistence.”

“It is good. I also will come with you,” the giant said.

Well then, while these three are going, having met with yet a river, when the giant who was on the ash-heap told the other giants to hang on his body, the other giants hung on it. After that, having descended into the river, the giant began to swim in the river. At that time a fish came to swallow them. Having chopped the fish with his sword, the giant who stayed on the ash-heap, taking the fish and taking these giants, swam to the far bank.

Thereafter, a giant having gone up a tree, they told him to look for a place where there is fire. He said that a fire smoke is rising. Then they told him to mark [the direction] and bring fire.

The giant having gone, when he looked about saw that a woman, [after] placing a large pot of paddy on the hearth, was pouring water over (that is, bathing) a child. At the time when he asked for a little fire, she said, “I am pouring water over the child. You come and take it.”

The giant having gone, at the time when he was bending to take the fire the woman arose and came, and having lifted up and cast the giant on the heap of fire-charcoal, and killed him, put him in the house.

Thereafter, to look for him yet [another] giant went. When that giant also in that way was bending down, the woman having arisen and come, and put him on the fire-heap, and killed him, put him into the house.

When [the ash-heap giant] told that [other] giant to look for the two giants, he went, and asked, “Didn’t our men come here?”

Thereupon the woman said, “Those men I saw not.” After that, like the giants who first got the fire, at the time when he was bending down to take the fire, the woman having arisen and killed him also in the way in which she killed the first giants, put him into the house.

Thereafter, the giant who at first did cultivation work having gone, taking his sword also, asked, “Didn’t my three men come here?” [165]

At that time the woman said, “I did not see them.”

Thereupon, at the time when the giant prepared to cut the woman with his sword, she said, “Anē! Don’t cut me. I will give your men.” Having said it, and restored the three men to consciousness, she gave them.4

Taking the giants also who had brought the fire, and having come again near the last river, and roasted the fish, the four persons divided it, and ate. He put the [back] bone of the fish into the river. The four persons again began to go away.

After that, having gone to the city, when they asked for a rest-house [the people] said, “The rest-house indeed we can give. A bone having become fixed across in this river, water has become scarce [on account of it].” They told them to remove the bone: “We will give a Princess of our King’s for removing it. That also (ēt) anyone is unable to do.” This speech the men of that country said to these giants.

After that, these giants having said, “It is becoming night for us; we cannot go,” stayed in the resting-place at that very spot. [Afterwards], that giant of the ash-heap having gone and thrown aside the bone, brought a pot of water.

Yet [another] man, breaking the bone, took a piece near the King. And the King was ready to give the Princess to the man. Then the giant who was on the ash-heap having gone near the King (raju), taking the bone, said, “It was not that man; it was I who took and cast away the bone.” Thereafter the King beheaded the man who said it falsely.

He was ready to give the [Princess] to the giant who was on the ash-heap. But the giant gave the Princess to the giant who uprooted the Banyan-tree; and having planted a Lime-tree and put a Blue-lotus flower into a small copper pot full of water, and said, “Should any harm occur to me the Lime-tree will blanch,5 or will become like dying; the [166]Blue-lotus flower will fade. At that time thou must come seeking me,” the giant of the ash-heap began to go away [with the other two giants].

Having gone to yet [another] city he asked for a resting-place. Thereupon they said, “Anē! We can give a resting-place indeed. A lion having come eats the city people. There is not a means of getting firewood [for cooking]. Also it is said that the King will give our King’s Princess to a person who has killed the lion.”

After that, the giant of the ash-heap, getting a resting-place there, took an axe, and having gone into the jungle, at the time when he was walking about the lion was sleeping in the jungle. This giant having chopped with the axe at the head of the lion and killed it, came back [after] cutting off his ear.

Yet [another] man having come [after] cutting off the lion’s head, gave it to the King. Well then, the King became ready to give the Princess to the man. At that time this giant having gone near the King, said, “It is not that one who cut off the head; it is I [who killed it],” and he gave him the lion’s ear.

Thereafter, the King having beheaded the man who told him falsely, was ready to give [the Princess] to the giant of the ash-heap. The giant of the ash-heap gave the Princess to the giant who was stringing the elephant on the fish-hook; and in the very manner as at first having planted a Lime-tree and put a Blue-lotus flower in a small copper pot of water and given him it, he said, “Should any harm occur to me the Lime-tree will die, the Blue-lotus flower will fade. At that time you must come seeking me;” and those two giants began to go away.

Having gone to a city they asked for a resting-place. Thereupon the men said, “In our country we cannot give resting-places. A leopard having come eats the men. There is a Princess of our King’s. To a person who has killed the leopard he will give the Princess, he said. That also anyone is unable to do.”

Notwithstanding, these two giants got the resting-place there. The giant of the ash-heap taking also the axe, [167]went into the jungle, and when he looked the leopard was sleeping. The giant having chopped at the leopard with the axe and killed it, came back [after] cutting off the ear.

Another man having seen it, came [after] cutting off the head of the leopard, and gave it to the King. When the King was becoming ready to give the Princess to the man, the giant of the ash-heap went near the King, and said, “It is not that man who killed the leopard; it is I,” and he gave him the leopard’s ear.

Thereafter, the King having beheaded the man who said it falsely, made ready to give the Princess to the giant of the ash-heap. The giant having given the Princess to the giant who stopped the water with his foot, and in the first manner having planted a Lime-tree and put a Blue-lotus flower into a small copper pot of water, and said, “If there be any harm to me the Lime-tree will die, the Blue-lotus flower will fade. At that time come seeking me,” the giant of the ash-heap began to go away alone.

Having gone to a city that had become abandoned, at the time when he is looking at the houses in a street, a Princess having been in an upper story says, “Our father having become insane, and having eaten all the city people, now this city is desolate. Why have you come?”

Thereupon this giant said, “I came because of [the want of] a means of subsistence.” Having halted there, and that day having eaten cooked rice from there, he asked at the hand of the Princess, “Are there menēri [seeds]6 and dried areka-nuts?” Thereupon the Princess having said, “There are,” sought and gave them.

The giant of the ash-heap put down the menēri from inside the open ground in front of the house up to the house. The dried areka-nuts he put above it. Having put them down, taking the sword also and half shutting the door he remained [there]. At that time the King having come, sprang towards the doorway [and slipped upon the loose seeds and nuts]. Thereupon he of the ash-heap chopped at him with the sword, and killed the King.7 Having killed [168]him, taking the Princess he began to go away. Having thus gone, and having built a house near a river, they remained there.

One day, when the Princess was bathing at the river, she uprooted a hair8 of the Princess’s, and it fell into the water. The hair having gone along the river, and having caught on a fish (mālu kūriyekuṭa), the fish swallowed it. The fish fell into the net of the fisherman of the King of that country. Having cut open the fish, at the time when he looked [inside it] a hair had been made into a ball. When he unrolled the hair and looked at it, its length was seven fathoms seven hands.

The fisherman gave it to the King. Thereupon the King said, “To a person who should find and give me the woman who owns this hair, I will give a fourth share from my city.”

A widow woman said, “I can, if you will give me a ship.” Thereupon the King gave her a ship.

The widow woman having taken the ship, found the Princess. Having been there a few days, she asked at the hand of the Princess, “Has your husband confidence in you?”

The Princess said, “Yes, he has confidence in me.”

Thereupon the old woman said, “It is good. If he has confidence in you ask where his life is.”

The Princess asked at the hand of the Prince (giant), “Where is your life?”

At that time the Prince (giant) said, “My life is in the sword.”

One day, the giant of the ash-heap, having placed the sword in the house, went on a journey. This Princess had previously (kalin, betimes) told at the hand of the widow woman that the giant’s life is in the sword. That day the Princess said to the widow woman, “Look at my head” (to search for insects). After that, when the widow woman was looking and looking the Princess went to sleep.

The widow woman having taken the sword that was on the ground [in the house], and put it into the fire on the [169]hearth,9 lifted up the Princess, and having put her in the ship, and crossed over to that bank, handed over the Princess to the King. The King gave the widow woman many presents and distinctions.

The giant of the ash-heap having become unconscious, fell down. In the very way he told the three giants whom he caused to stay at first, the Lime-trees died, the Blue-lotus flowers faded.

The three giants came seeking him. When they came he was dead. The three persons having dug the ash-heap, when they looked the sword was even yet there. Taking it, at the time when they were polishing it the giant of the ash-heap became conscious. His three friendly giants asked, “What is this that happened?”

Thereupon the giant of the ash-heap said, “A widow woman stayed near us. It is that woman, indeed, who did this work.”

Thereupon the giants asked, “Whence came the woman?”

“She came from the sea,” he said.

Well then, these very four giants having gone on the sea, and having gone to the city at which is the Princess, at the time when they looked saw that the Princess is bound [in marriage] to the King.

Having cut down the King and the widow woman, the giant of the ash-heap exercised the sovereignty of that country; and the other giants went back to the very places where each of them stayed.10

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xvii, p. 50, in a Salsette story by Mr. G. Fr. D’Penha, a Prince to avoid marrying his sister went away with a hunter and a carpenter. At a deserted city at which they stayed a Rākshasa came daily when one was left to cook, and ate the rice. On the third day the Prince was the cook, and he killed the Rākshasa. The Prince’s life was in his sword; if it rusted he fell sick, if it broke he would die. He made the carpenter King of the city and the hunter King of another, giving them life-index [170]plants. The Prince then went away, killed another Rākshasa, and got from his waist a diamond which showed a passage through the water of a tank to a palace where he married a Princess and became King. He then forgot his sword, and it rusted. His friends learnt by the fading plants that he was ill, and found him just alive. He recovered when they cleaned and repolished the sword, after which they became his Chief Officers of State.

In Folk-Tales of Hindustan (Shaik Chilli), p. 45, a Prince, accompanied by the sons of a goldsmith, a paṇḍit, and a carpenter, went to kill a giant. While they halted, a giant took the food that each in turn cooked. When the Prince cooked he vanquished the giant, who offered him his daughter in marriage, and joined his party. The Prince married her to the goldsmith’s son, and went to another city where the Prince’s giant killed a giant who ate the people. The King’s daughter was married to the paṇḍit’s son. At a third city the giant killed a lion, and a Princess was married to the carpenter’s son. When they arrived at the city of the giant they had come to kill, the Prince and giant found he was the one already killed at the second city. These giants could take any shape, and thus evidently were Rākshasas. The Prince married a Princess at the fourth city and lived there with his giant. One day his wife lost her shoe while bathing in a stream, and a Rāja’s son found it floating down. A witch undertook to find the owner, dived into the water, came to the fort, became the Princess’s servant, and learnt that the Prince’s life lay in the brightness of his sword; if it became rusty he would die. One night the witch burnt the sword in a furnace, the Prince died, and she took his wife through the water to her admirer’s palace, where she demanded a year’s delay before marrying him. The Prince’s giant found and repolished the sword, and the Prince revived. They summoned the other friends, went in search of the Princess, killed the Rāja, his son, and the witch, and returned home.

In Tales of the Punjab (Mrs. Steele), p. 42, when a Prince was travelling accompanied by a knife-grinder, a blacksmith, and a carpenter, a demon in the form of a mannikin ate the food which the last three cooked in turn, but was killed by the Prince when he cooked. The Prince married the knife-grinder to the King’s daughter, the blacksmith to the daughter of a King at another city at which the Prince killed a ghost (Chuṛel), and the carpenter to a Princess at a third city. To each of the friends the Prince gave a barley plant as his life index; if it drooped he would be in trouble and needing their help. He went on, killed a Jinn who had carried off a Princess with golden hair, married her, and lived at the Jinn’s palace. When bathing she set one or two hairs afloat in a Bō-leaf cup, which was secured by a King lower down the river. A wise woman sent to find their owner, discovered her, ascertained [171]that the Prince’s life was in his sword, at night put it in a fire, and when the hilt rolled off the Prince died. She then carried off the Princess to the King. As the barley plants snapped in two, the three friends came with armies, found the body of the Prince and his sword, repaired and repolished the latter, and thus restored the Prince’s life. The carpenter discovered the Princess, made a flying palankin, into which she, together with the King’s sister and the wise woman, mounted with him, and he sailed back to the Prince, throwing down the other two women on the way.

In Sagas from the Far East, p. 39, four companions took possession of a house on a hill. They cooked in turn, the other three going to hunt. On each day a demoness in the form of a woman a span high begged a taste of the food, and she and the food and cooking-pot then disappeared. The fourth man killed her.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 386, the sword incident varies. A Prince’s wife, wishing to deprive him of the magic power conferred by the sword, put the weapon in a fire while he slept. He became unconscious when the sword was dimmed, but recovered when the Goddess Durgā restored its brightness.

In the same work, vol. ii, p. 487, an Asura’s vital point was his left hand; he died when a King shot him through it.

In the Mahā Bhārata (Vaṇa Parva, cccxi) four of the Pāṇḍava Princes were killed in turn by a Yaksha as soon as they drank at a pool. When the eldest brother answered his questions satisfactorily he revived them. [172]


1 The Sinhalese title, is “The Story of the Seven Giants.” 

2 Māmā, mother’s brother. 

3 This reminds one of the lines:

“His hook he baited with a dragon’s tail,

And sat upon a rock and bobbed for whale.”

 

4 This episode, and the Lotus-flower and Lime-tree as life indexes, are given in No. 20, vol. i, and the life indexes also in vol. iii, Nos. 187, 237, and 260. 

5 Hē yayi, lit., will go white, that is, lose colour. 

6 An edible grass, Panicum sp. 

7 This episode occurs in vol. i, No. 20, and vol. iii, No. 260. 

8 Isakē gahak, lit., a head-hair tree. A similar episode occurs in vol. iii, No. 208. 

9 The episode of the life in the sword which was burnt occurs in vol. i, No. 20, and vol. iii, Nos. 187, 237, 260. 

10 Hiṭapu hiṭapu taenwalaṭama. 

[Contents]

No. 112

The Story about a Giant

In a certain country two men spoke together: “Let us two persons go to seek the kingdom gored [by] the Sky Buffalo,”1 they said, it is said.

After that the two went, it is said. Procuring provisions, they began to go. At the time when they are going thus for not much time, one man was struck by inability [to proceed]. The man said, it is said, “Don’t you go here alone,” he said.

“Without going alone what shall I do?” he said. After that, that man died.

This man having gone, contracted (lit., tied) a marriage. Putting [out of consideration] the displeasure of the woman’s two parents, he contracted the marriage. The mother-in-law and father-in-law, both of them, having said, “Don’t you two remain in my house,” told them to go. After that, the son-in-law having caused thieves to be brought, took the goods in the house that he had not brought; the best (hon̆da hon̆da) goods the man took, a few things those men got.

The man, taking the woman, went to another city. At the time when they were at the city no long time, a child was born to the woman. The child, at the time when he was seven years of age, catching the remaining Hares and Mouse-deer dashes them to the ground. A long time after twelve years were fulfilled, having run after Sambhar deer and caught them he dashes them to the ground;2 having caught Boars also he dashes them to the ground. [173]

That he is doing thus was known to everybody. Having perceived it they told the matter to the King of that city. The King, causing the young man to be brought, and having given him many offices, made him remain near the King; he is stopping there.

Then a hostile army having come to the city and laid [siege] to the city,3 after the Ministers told the King, causing the giant to be brought he asked, “A hostile army having come is surrounding my city. On account of it, art thou able to drive off and send away the army?”

The giant said, “I am not unable to do it.”

After that, the King said, “What are the things thou wantest for it?” he asked.

When he asked, he said, “Should I receive a tusk elephant and the sword, it will do.” Afterwards he gave the tusk elephant and sword.

Having waited until the time when he gives them, he went for the battle. Having gone, and having cut down that army, he came to the royal palace. Having come, he made obeisance4 to the King [and related an account of his victory]. After that, the King having given half the kingdom to the giant, he remained [there].

Well then, beginning from that day, he remained exercising the sovereignty [over the half of the kingdom] until the time when he dies.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

I was informed that in the allusion to the Sky Buffalo which gored the earth, reference is made to the country in which the sky pierces (that is, touches) the earth (see vol. i, p. 284). The Sky Buffalo is not mentioned elsewhere in these stories.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 6, the God Śiva is represented as saying, “Moreover, this world resembling a skull, rests in my hand; for the two skull-shaped halves of the [Mundane] egg before mentioned are called heaven and earth.” It is evident that here also the two halves of the egg, that is, the sky and the earth, are supposed to be in contact, the sky resting on the earth. In the Rigveda they are termed two bowls; the sun travelled in the [174]hollow space between them (i, clx, 2), and the upper one was supported by pillars.

The feats of the youthful giant in chasing and seizing wild animals are borrowed from the Mahāvansa, chapter xxiii (p. 161 of Professor Geiger’s translation), where it is stated of Khañjadēva, one of the ten leading chiefs under King Duṭṭha-Gāmaṇi in the second century B.C., that “when he went a-hunting with the village folk he chased at these times great buffaloes, as many as rose up, and grasped them by the leg with his hand, and when he had whirled them round his head the young man dashed them to the ground, breaking their bones.” [175]


1 Asamīma aenicci rājjayē. 

2 Bima-gahanawā. 

3 Nuwaraṭa lāewā. 

4 Baehae daekkā. 

[Contents]

No. 113

Hiṭihāmi the Giant

In the Wanni country, in the north-western quarter of the Island of Lan̥kā (Ceylon), there is a village called Andara-waewa. In that village a giant was born. His parents, cherishing him, reared the child.

While the child is at the age for playing seated, he eats about two quarts of cooked rice [daily]. At the walking age he eats about three quarts of cooked rice. While seven years of age he eats about four quarts of cooked rice.

Having gone with children who walked about for amusement, having caught hares and mouse-deer, and struck them on the ground, killing them, he brings them [home]. After he has brought them, his two parents ask, “Whence, son, are these?” Then the child says, “Mother, having gone running I seized them.”

Thus, having been living in that manner, at the age of about twelve years he said to his mother, “Mother, give me food [to enable me] to go to cut a chena.” So his mother gave him food.

The child having eaten the food, and gone to the jungle taking two bill-hooks, cut the chena that very day. Having cut it, and come home, he said to his mother, “Mother, I cut a chena. I don’t know the time for setting fire to it. Because of it, tell father to set fire to the chena.”

After that, his mother said, “Our son cut a chena. Set fire to it; son does not know the time for setting fire [to it].” After that, the man went and set fire to the chena.

This giant-child having gone, cut the fence [sticks] for the chena in one day; on the next day he went, and sowed [176]it till he finished it. The sowing account was a pāela (a quarter of an amuṇa of 5.7 bushels) of millet.1

On the next day he said to his mother, “Mother, I cut a chena indeed; for the purpose of going and doing the work at a tāwalla2 also, give me food.” Afterwards his mother gave him food. Having eaten the food, the child went to the tāwalla, and put up earthen ridges over the ground for [making a field large enough for sowing in it] one and a half amuṇas (8.55 bushels) of paddy.3 Having put them up he came home.

Having gone on the following day, he made [the soil into] mud4 [by causing cattle to trample it]. Having made [it into] mud he came home.

Having come, he said to his mother, “Mother, place one and a half amuṇas of paddy in water [to cause it to sprout] for sowing in the tāwalla.” Afterwards his mother made the paddy sprout. This child took the one and a half amuṇas of paddy, and sowed it that very day. In the evening he came home.

On the following day he said to his mother, “Mother, give me food. I indeed sowed the tāwalla; there is still to build the watch-hut in it.” Afterwards his mother gave him food. The child ate the food, and went to the tāwalla. Having gone there, and that very day having made the fence, and that very day having built the watch-hut, he came home. Having eaten food, he went back to the watch-hut, and with his own foot he sprinkles water over the amuṇa and a half of paddy.5 [177]

At that time the King caused a Mallawa6 giant to be brought to Kandy. Many men wrestled with the Mallawa giant and fell. After that, the King said to the Ministers, “Go and find a thoroughly strong giant, and come back.” Afterwards the Ministers spread the news: “Is there a giant able to wrestle with the Mallawa giant?”

Then certain men said, “At the village called Andara-waewa there is a man called Hiṭihāmi, who eats the cooked rice from seven [quarts] of rice. That man is good for wrestling with the Mallawa giant.”

After they said it, the Ministers went to Andara-waewa to seek the giant Hiṭihāmi. When they went there, the boy Hiṭihāmi was not at home; only the giant’s mother was there. They asked at the hand of his mother, “Where is now Hiṭihāmi?” Then his mother said, “My son went to the watch-hut at the tāwalla.”

After that, the Ministers went to the tāwalla to seek him. As they were going there they saw Hiṭihāmi sprinkling water for the tāwalla with his foot. Thereupon the Ministers went to the place where Hiṭihāmi was sprinkling water. Having gone, the Ministers asked, “Is it you they call Hiṭihāmi of Andara-waewa?”

Then Hiṭihāmi said, “Yes, it is I myself. What matter have you come about?” he asked.

Then the Ministers said, “It has been arranged by the King [that you are] to go for the Mallawa wrestling. Because of it, get ready7 for you to go.”

After that, Hiṭihāmi having come home with the Ministers, asked at the hand of his mother, “Mother, haven’t you cooked yet?”

His mother said, “Son, I have not yet cooked. I have only boiled five quarts of menēri.”

Then Hiṭihāmi having [drunk] the milk taken from seven buffalo cows in the large cooking-pot, and having eaten those five quarts of boiled menēri, [after] washing his [right] hand [178]and taking his betel bag also, said to the Ministers, “Let us go;” and Hiṭihāmi and the Ministers went.

At the time when they are going, there are a great many pumpkins at a chena on the path. Having seen them, Hiṭihāmi, plucking four pumpkins also and continuing to eat them, went to Kandy.

The Ministers who went with him said to the King, “Hiṭihāmi of Andara-waewa has come.”

The King told Hiṭihāmi to come near, and said, “Can you wrestle with the Mallawa one?”

Then Hiṭihāmi replied, “Putting one Mallawa person [out of consideration], should seven come I am not afraid.” After that, the King told him to go for the wrestling with the Mallawa one.

As soon as Hiṭihāmi went, he seized the Mallawa one. Then the bones of the Mallawa one were broken. The King said, “Ā! Kill not my Mallawa one!” So Hiṭihāmi let go. The Mallawa one having died, fell on the ground.

After that, the King was displeased with Hiṭihāmi. Having become displeased he said to the Ministers, “You must put Hiṭihāmi on the other bank of the river (Mahawaeli-gan̆ga).” The Ministers put Hiṭihāmi on the other bank.

As Hiṭihāmi was coming away to his village, sixty persons having come together for a paddy kayiya,8 were at the foot of a tree. Hiṭihāmi having gone there, asked, “What are you come together there for?”

Then the men said, “We have come together to cut a paddy kayiya.”

Hiṭihāmi said, “Are you willing for me also to cut the paddy plants for a breath (husmak)?”

The men said, “It is very good; let us cut.”

Afterwards, asking for the sickles from each one of the men, and having broken them, and thrown them down, and drawn out the betel-cutter that was in Hiṭihāmi’s betel wallet (bulat-payiya), taking it he began to cut the paddy plants. Only the paddy plants of two amuṇas of paddy [179](about four and a half acres) were ripe; there were no more.

He finished the two amuṇas of paddy plants, and because there were no [more] ripe paddy plants, cutting the fence of the upper field and having gone [there], he began to cut the green paddy plants.

Then the men who owned the field said and said, “Don’t cut [those].” He does not stop. Afterwards the men tied a ball.9

Afterwards, the giant having come to the high ground [outside the field], when he came to the place where the men were near the tree, the men said, “Let us go to eat the kayiya.”

Then Hiṭihāmi said, “You go and eat the kayiya; I am going to my village.”

As he was coming on and on, having met with a wild buffalo it began to gore him. So Hiṭihāmi seized the two horns of the buffalo, and loosening the two horns, went to his village [with them].

Having gone [there], and given into his mother’s hand the two horns, he said, “Mother, having conquered in the Mallawa wrestling, at the time when I was coming back about sixty men had come together to cut the paddy plants in a rice field. At the hand of the men I asked, ‘What are you many men joined together there for?’ Then the men said, ‘We are [here] to cut a paddy kayiya.’

“Afterwards, asking for the men’s sickles, I broke them and threw them down, and taking the betel-cutter10 that was in my betel wallet, descended to the field, and having cut the paddy plants, there also I got the victory.

“As I was coming away, a wild buffalo came to gore me. [180]Afterwards, loosening the buffalo’s two horns [I brought them away]. These indeed are the two horns.” He told her all the matters.

Then his mother said, “Son, except that you have said that word to me, do not say it for anyone else to hear;” and having cooked several kinds of cakes, and milk-rice, gave them to Hiṭihāmi the Giant to eat.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

This story differs from nearly all the others in being almost certainly based on a considerable statum of fact. Apparently, it is the exaggerated tradition about a very strong man who defeated a celebrated Indian wrestler at Kandy. The story also gives more details concerning the village cultivations than any others I have met with.

Perhaps it is not the only record of this Hiṭihāmi. Among the names of the deified chiefs of ancient times, termed Baṇḍāra, there is one called Hiṭi Baṇḍāra, who is said to have lived at a village called Gōkaraella, twelve miles north-east of Kurunāegala. It is possible that he is the hero of this story; but as the names of the villages are different there is considerable doubt regarding it. There was a village called Andara-waewa (in the Wanni Hat-pattu district of the North-western Province) which was abandoned some centuries ago, the field and village tank having become overgrown with jungle and forest.

As Kandy was founded early in the fourteenth century, according to the manuscript Pradhāna nuwarawal, the story may record events of the fourteenth, fifteenth, or possibly the sixteenth century, A.D. [181]


1 Kurahan, the Tamil kurakkan, the Indian rāgi (Eleusine coracana). 

2 A temporary rice-field made inside a village tank, at the edge of the water, after it has lowered considerably and left a tract of rich land exposed. Heavy crops are obtained from such fields, but they involve much labour, as the water for irrigating them must be raised from the level of that in the tank. 

3 This would be a field of about three and a half acres. 

4 Maen̆ḍaewwā. 

5 This is often done in such fields. The water is splashed sideways with one foot, out of the shallow channels in which it stands; the man balances himself on the other leg with the aid of a staff. 

6 Probably Mālwa in India; in the Jātaka story No. 183 (vol. ii, p. 65), it is the Mallians who are referred to as well-known wrestlers. 

7 Um̆baṭa yanḍa dōḍu-weyanin. 

8 See vol. i, p. 52, foot-note. It is the Eastern form of the American “Bee.” 

9 Bōlak baen̆dā. I have no explanation of this expression. Probably it refers to a magical spell and charm for preventing anyone from unlawfully interfering with the crop. An instance of the employment of such a form of charm for this purpose occurred in 1901 in the Puttalam district; evidence regarding this was given in the Police Court there, and fines were inflicted on the placers of it, and were confirmed by the Supreme Court. 

10 Puruk dāe-kaetta. 

[Contents]

No. 114

The New Speech1

A certain Gamarāla had a daughter, it is said. Many persons having come, ask to marry the daughter. After they have asked it, this2 Gamarāla asks those people who come, “Do you know the New Speech?” At that time those people say, “Anē! There is not a New Speech that we know.” “If so, go you away,” the3 Gamarāla says to those parties. Well then, those people go.

Then still a party come. He asks that party, also, in that very manner, “Do you know the New Speech?” Thereupon that party say, “Anē! There is not a New Speech that we know.” Then the man says, “If so, I will not give my girl. I will give her [only] to the man who knows the New Speech.”

In this manner, many persons having asked and asked, went away. Because even one person is not learning the New Speech, even one person does not obtain her.

A young man at yet [another] village said thus: “Anē! Father, I know4 a New Speech. Because of it, marry and give that Gamarāla’s daughter to me,” he said.

Thereupon, he having gone asks the Gamarāla, “My son knows a New Speech. Because of it, can you marry your daughter to my son?” he asked.

Then the Gamarāla, having become pleased, said, “It is very good.”

On the following day after that the marriage took place. [182]When not much time had gone, one day when the father-in-law and the son-in-law were getting ready to go and plough the rice field, they said at the hand of the girl’s mother, “Bring cooked rice to the rice field,” and went to plough.

While ploughing, the father-in-law’s goad having broken he went to the jungle below the rice field to cut a goad. Then that girl’s mother, bringing the cooked rice and coming to the field, asked the son-in-law, “Where, son-in-law, is your father-in-law now?”

Then the son-in-law said, “Andō! Mother-in-law, is there any stopping in the field for him! There, Ōn̥! A woman was beckoning with her hands; he will have gone on that account;” and leaving aside the quarter to which that man went, he stretched out his hand in another direction. “He went there, Ōn̥! You go, too,” he said. Afterwards the mother-in-law went there.

Then that father-in-law having come to the rice field [after] cutting a goad, asked at the hand of that son-in-law, “Son-in-law, where is your mother-in-law?”

Then the son-in-law said, “Andō! Father-in-law, is there any staying here for her! Having brought and placed here the [mat] box of cooked rice, there, Ōn̥! A man was beckoning with his hand. She will have gone on that account;” and leaving the quarter to which she went, he stretched out his hand in another direction. “She went there, Ōn̥! You go too,” he said.

The Gamarāla, taking the goad, went there to seek the woman. That woman is seeking the man; the man is seeking the woman. While seeking him in that manner that woman came to the rice field, and asked, “Son-in-law, hasn’t he come yet, your father-in-law?”

Then the son-in-law said, “Not he, mother-in-law; he hasn’t come yet.”

While she was there, the father-in-law came up and beat the woman until the goad was broken to pieces. Afterwards the woman came home.

While the two men, having eaten the cooked rice, were ploughing, the son-in-law asked at the hand of the father-in-law, [183]“Father-in-law, she is a slut whom you have called [in marriage], isn’t she?”

The father-in-law asked, “What is [the meaning of] that, son-in-law?”

The son-in-law replied, “Andō! You have been married such a long time, too! Don’t you know about it? When you are sleeping, having come every day she licks your body. Sleep to-day, also; while you are sleeping she will lick your body, Ōn̥!”

Afterwards, having ploughed, when it became night the son-in-law, going in front, came home, and says at the hand of the mother-in-law, “Andō! Mother-in-law, he is a salt leaf-cutter whom you have married, isn’t he?”

Then the mother-in-law asked, “What is [the meaning of] that, son-in-law?”

The son-in-law said, “Andō! You have been such a long time married, too! Don’t you know about it? To-day, after father-in-law has gone to sleep lick his body. There is salt taste, Ōn̥!”

Afterwards, in the night when the father-in-law had gone to sleep, the mother-in-law went and licked his body. Then the father-in-law, having awoke, said, “Ci! Ci5! Slut!”

The mother-in-law said, “Ci! Ci! Salt Leaf-cutter!” and the two quarrelled.

When not much time had gone by, the6 Gamarāla said a speech to the son-in-law in this manner. His elder daughter had been given [in marriage] to a person at a distant village. “Son-in-law, as I have got news that my daughter’s illness is severe, I am going because of it, and having gone there am returning.”

Saying, “Sow one and a half amuṇas of paddy (eight and a half bushels), and block up [the gaps in] the fence, and tie the fence of the garden, and heat water, and place it [ready] for me to bathe when I come,” he went.

Thereupon the man, getting the whole of these into his mind, said, “It is good.”

After the Gamarāla went away, he lowered out of the corn-store one and a half amuṇas of paddy, and having [184]taken them placed them in the rice field; and having come back, and gone [again] taking the yoke of cattle and the plough, and driven two or three furrows for the whole length of the field, and sown over the field the amuṇa and a half, and tied the cattle at a tree [in the jungle], and cut the fence that was round the field, and come home, and also cut the fence of the garden, and heated a pot of water, also, until it was thoroughly boiling, while he was placing it [ready] the Gamarāla came, at the time when the ground is being stricken dark.

Having come, he asked, “Did you do all these services?” That son-in-law said, “Yes.”

After he said it, he asked, “Did you warm water for me to bathe?”

At that time he said, “Father-in-law, I heated the water, and the chill has been taken off. Come to bathe.” He brought that pot of boiling water, and called him.

Then the Gamarāla said, “I can bathe [myself]. You go.”

Thereupon he says, “When do you bathe (that is, pour water over yourself) by your own hand? Please bathe by my hand.”

Having said, “It is good,” the father-in-law tying on the bathing cloth (ambuḍa baen̆ḍaganda), told him to bathe him.

Thereupon the son-in-law poured on his back, from the pot, that water which was boiling. Then the Gamarāla, as it was burning his back, cried, “What, son-in-law, did you do here?”

Then the son-in-law says, “Don’t shout in that way, father-in-law; that indeed is a piece of the New Speech.”

Because his back had been scalded, the hot water having been thrown on it, the relatives were dismissed from his mind. The Gamarāla’s back was scalded to the extent that he was unable to rise for two or three days.

After two or three days had gone by, when he looked at the fence of the garden, the fence had been cut. Thereupon the Gamarāla asked at the hand of the son-in-law, “Son-in-law, who cut the fence of the garden?”

Then he says, “Father-in-law, that indeed is a part of the [185]New Speech,” he said. At that time, also, the Gamarāla was angry.

[After] looking at it, he went to the rice field, and when he looked, the fence of the rice field also had been cut, and paddy had been sown in the [unploughed] rice field. When he asked also at the hand of the son-in-law, “What is [the meaning of] that?” “A part of the New Speech, indeed, is that,” he said. The Gamarāla at that also became angry.

Afterwards he asked the son-in-law thus, “Where is even my yoke of cattle?”

Thereupon the son-in-law said, “They are tied in the chena jungle.” He was angry also concerning that [the cattle being then dead or nearly so].

For many a day afterwards he remained without talking with the son-in-law. During the time while he is thus, that daughter who had been given [in marriage] to an out-village, sent word that [her] father and brother-in-law, both of them, must come.

Next day that father-in-law having cooked cakes, tied them in a bag, and having cooked a bundle of rice, tied that also in a bag, in order to go to the place where the Gamarāla’s elder daughter was given in marriage. Then he called the son-in-law, saying, “Let us go.”

The son-in-law, taking the cake bag, asked, “Father-in-law, what sort is this?”

The father-in-law replied, [jokingly,] “There are cobras in it.”

Then the son-in-law, taking the bag of cooked rice, asked, “Father-in-law, what sort is this?”

The father-in-law said, “That is for the road.”

Afterwards the son-in-law, taking the cake bag, went in front; the father-in-law taking the bundle of cooked rice, went behind. The father-in-law was unable to go quickly.

The son-in-law while going on and on ate those cakes. At the place where the cakes were finished he broke open the mouth of the bag, and setting it on an ant-hill stopped there looking at it.

Then the father-in-law having come up, asked, “What, son-in-law, is that?” [186]

The son-in-law said, “I don’t know, father-in-law. As you said those were cobras I placed it on the ant-hill for them to creep out.”

Afterwards taking the rice bag, also, that was in the hand of the father-in-law, he again went a long way in front, opened the rice bag, and ate the cooked rice, and having thrown away the bag, stopped there, sitting down.

The Gamarāla having come up, said, “Let us eat the bundle of cooked rice. Where, son-in-law, is the rice bag?”

Then the son-in-law said, “I don’t know, father-in-law. As you said that was for the road, I put it on the road and came away.”

They were near a [road-side] shop. At that time, having given the son-in-law a panama,7 the Gamarāla said, “Go to that shop and bring plantains.”

Then having gone to the shop, taking sixteen plantains for the panama he thought thus:—“Should I take these sixteen plantains near father-in-law, I shall receive eight plantains [as my share]. Because of that, I must eat the eight plantains here and go.” Thereupon he ate eight plantains.

Having eaten them, he thinks again, “Should I take these eight plantains father-in-law will not eat them without having given me four plantains. Because of it, I must eat the four plantains in this very place.” So he ate the four plantains.

Having eaten them, still he thinks, “Should I go taking these four, father-in-law will never eat without giving me two. Because of it, after eating the two in this very place I must go.” So from the four he ate two.

Having eaten these, still he thinks, “Should I take these two near father-in-law8, he will never eat without giving me one. Because of it, I must go after eating one in this very place.” So from the two he ate one.

Having eaten it, still he thinks, “Should I take this near father-in-law8 he will never eat without giving me a piece. Because of it, I must go after eating the piece here.” So breaking the plantain in two he ate a piece. [187]

Having eaten it, he brought the remaining piece, and gave it to his father-in-law. Thereupon the Gamarāla asks, “Is there [only] so much plantain, son-in-law?” he asked.

Then the son-in-law said thus, “Father-in-law, I ate my portion; your portion is that much,” he said.

The village at which was the father-in-law’s daughter, was very near. Afterwards the son-in-law said, “Father-in-law, isn’t there scarcity of food now everywhere in the country? On that account it is wrong for us both to go there at the same time. You come behind; I will go in front.”

Having gone to the place where the daughter was, he said, “Father-in-law is coming there. It is bad for him to eat anything; he has eaten a medicine. On account of the medicine he is only eating [paddy] dust porridge; it is bad to eat anything else. On that account cook quickly a little porridge from paddy dust, and place it [ready] for him,” he said.

After that, having amply cooked rice and curry for the son-in-law, she gave him to eat; and for the daughter’s father, taking some of the paddy dust that was in the store-room, she cooked porridge. While she was looking for him the Gamarāla came; afterwards she gave him the porridge.

The man, thinking, “Anē! Our daughter must be without anything to eat,” having eaten a very little of the porridge went to sleep.

In the night that daughter’s girl was crying. Saying, “I want to go and sleep near grandfather,” she went to the place where the man was. Having gone there the girl was crying in the same way.

Then the son-in-law, hearing her, asked at the man’s hand, “What, father-in-law, is that girl crying for?”

The father-in-law, being very sleepy, said, “I don’t know, son-in-law; we must split her belly,9 maybe.”

Afterwards the son-in-law, having got up, came to the place where the girl was, taking a knife, and split the girl’s belly. [188]

Next day, having buried the girl, the father-in-law and the son-in-law came to their village.

After they went, the son-in-law, having become desirous to eat cakes, told [his wife] to cook cakes. Thereupon the Gamarāla’s wife said there was no palm sugar. On account of it, the son-in-law, having become hostile, was minded to go once again to the village at which the Gamarāla’s elder daughter was given [in marriage].

Having gone there, he said to the Gamarāla’s daughter, “Anē! Mother-in-law having died, I came here to tell you of the pinkama.10 The pinkama is on the day after to-morrow. Because of it, cooking a few cakes and the like, come,” he said. Thereupon the Gamarāla’s daughter wept.

Then this son-in-law says, “What are you crying for? As for the name ‘crying,’ we also cried. Through crying you will not meet with her. Because of it, plucking and setting to ripen a spike of plantains and the like, and cooking a few cakes, come on the day after to-morrow.” Having said this he came back.

Having come there, he said to the Gamarāla and the whole of the other persons who were listening, “Father-in-law, your daughter having died, the pinkama is on the day after to-morrow. Because of it, they said to the whole of you that you are to go [after] plucking and setting to ripen spikes of plantains, and cooking cakes.”

Afterwards the Gamarāla, the Gamarāla’s wife, the son-in-law, the son-in-law’s wife, all having wept and wept, cooked cakes and milk-rice; and taking ripe plantains, and tying pingo (carrying-stick) loads of cakes and spikes of plantains, the two parties went until the time when they came face to face.

When they are coming in contact the Gamarāla’s wife goes weeping, “Anē! Daughter, he said you died.”

Thereupon the daughter comes weeping, “Anē! Mother, it is for your pinkama we came here.”

While both parties, having made lamentation in this manner, are weeping, the son-in-law who knows the [189]Gamarāla’s New Speech, said, “To-day also you cannot cook cakes! Eat ye,” and began to eat the cakes.

After that, their troubles being allayed, when they asked from this one, “What is this you said?” he said, “This indeed, father-in-law, is a little of the New Speech. For the purpose of your getting to know it I did it.”

After that all were consoled.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Orientalist, vol. i, p. 131, Mr. W. Goonetilleke gives the incident of the plantain eating as part of a tale called “The Story of Hokkā.” The hero of it was a servant of the Gamarāla’s. He bought sixteen plantains, and ate his half share, on his way back repeating the process until only one was left, which he offered to the Gamarāla. His master complained of his stupidity in getting only one plantain for the money. Hokkā replied that he received sixteen, but had eaten the rest. “How did you [dare to] eat them, you dog?” asked the Gamarāla. Hokkā held up the plantain, peeled it, and put it in his mouth, saying, “This is the way I ate the plantains, your honour.”

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 92, a foolish man who was taking money to the local treasury, put it in some flour which he handed to a baker’s wife to be made into cakes. In the morning, when he remembered and asked for it, she refused to return it unless he told her two stories this way and two that way, and as he could think of none he went off without it. When his clever brother heard of it, he put some brass finger-rings into flour, handed it to the same woman, and in reply to her remarks stated that there were many rings at the bush where he picked these. When she went to pick some, thinking them gold, the man told her husband that she had followed a man who beckoned to her, the husband took a bamboo and gave her a sound beating. The clever brother, learning that the baker’s daughter was betrothed to a lad at another village, told a person whom he met to inform the boy’s parents that the girl had died from snake-bite; he himself told the girl’s mother that wolves had attacked and killed the lad. The two mothers met on the way, quarrelled and fought, and became reconciled on finding the reports false. The brother told the baker’s wife that he had now told her two stories this way, and she was glad to give him his brother’s money before he told her two that way.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 289, a barber whose wife was visited by a King pretended to be sick, and informed the King that his wife was a witch who extracted and sucked his entrails while he slept, and then replaced them. When the barber went home he told his wife that his razor had broken on some abnormal and [190]very sharp teeth of the King’s. When the King came, and the barber’s wife stretched out her hand to find the teeth, the King cried, “A witch! A witch!” and escaped.

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. i, p. 355) a negro slave related how when his master sent him home for some article, he informed his wife and daughters that his master had been killed by the fall of an old wall. They rent their robes, overturned the furniture, and broke the windows and crockery, the slave assisting them. Then, led by him, they and the neighbours went lamenting to bring the body home. The Governor also took labourers with spades and baskets. The slave got ahead, told the master that his house had fallen and killed his wife, daughters, and everything else. While his master and his friends were lamenting and tearing their robes the procession of mourners arrived and the hoax was discovered. The Governor made the slave “eat stick” till he fainted.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 211, a man who was sent by his master to buy mangoes, only sweet and fine ones, tasted each one to ascertain if it was of the requisite quality. [191]


1 Alut Kathāwa. 

2 Lit., by this. 

3 Lit., by the. 

4 Lit., “I am able for.” The infinitive is often omitted: the villager says, Ēka maṭa puḷuwani—“I am able [to do] it.” Compare also No. 93. 

5 C is pronounced as ch in English. 

6 Lit., by the. 

7 A sixteenth part of a rupee. 

8 Mānḍi. 

9 A village saying, perhaps intended to frighten the child and make her behave better. 

10 The funeral feast given to Buddhist monks on such occasions. 

[Contents]

No. 115

The Master and Servant

While a certain Master and Servant were going on a journey, they having become hungry the Master said, “Aḍā! Bring plantain flowers,”1 and gave money to the Servant.

The Servant having brought plantain flowers, for the purpose of eating them they sat down at a place. The Master spoke to the Servant, “Aḍā! Don’t throw away their rinds (potu); having given money also [for them] what are you throwing them away for?” he said.

“If so, you must eat them,” the Servant said.

Thereupon, while the Master first was eating the peel (leli) of the plantain fruits, his stomach having filled he became unable to eat the core [of the peeled fruit].

After that, the Servant ate the small quantity of the core.

Ūva Province. [192]


1 He meant the fruits, as mentioned lower down. 

[Contents]

No. 116

How the Son-in-law Cut the Chena

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. There is a daughter of those two persons. Having brought a man to the house for the girl, he stayed there.

One day the father-in-law said to the son-in-law, “[After] asking for a Naekata (a lucky hour, depending on the positions of the planets), and returning, prepare to cut a little jungle [for making a chena].”

After that, the son-in-law went near the Naekatrāla (astrologer) and asked for a naekata. Then the Naekatrāla said, “The naekata will be on Thursday” (Burahaspotindā, sic).

Afterwards the son-in-law, saying, “Burahās, burahās,” comes away. The path on which to come is along the [front of the] Gamarāla’s house; except that, there is no other path. When he is coming away along the [front of the] Gamarāla’s house, the Gamarāla’s dog comes growling (burāna) in front of him. Well then, the son-in-law forgets the naekata.

Well then, having gone back again near the Naekatrāla, he said, “Anē! Naekatrāla, not having remembered the day I have come here again.” Then the Naekatrāla says, “Why do you forget; didn’t I say Thursday?”

When the son-in-law, again saying and saying, “Burahās, burahās,” is coming away along the [front of the] Gamarāla’s house, the dog comes growling. Well then, again this man forgets the naekat day.

Again having gone near the Naekatrāla, he asks him. Thus, in that manner, that day until it becomes night he walks there and here. [193]

Afterwards the Naekatrāla said, “What has happened to you that you are forgetting in that way?”

Then this son-in-law says, “What is it, Naekatrāla? Isn’t it because of the Gamarāla’s dog? What else?”

Then the Naekatrāla said, “Why do you become unable [to remember] because of the dog?”

This son-in-law replies, “When I am going from here saying and saying, ‘Burahās, burahās,’ along the [front of the] Gamarāla’s house, that dog comes in front of me growling. Well then, I forget it.”

The Naekatrāla having given into the man’s hand a cudgel, said, “Should the dog come, beat it with this;” and saying, “The day is Thursday,” sent him away.

After that, the man came home in the manner the Naekatrāla said. That day was Wednesday; the next day, indeed, was the naekata. On that day he said to the man’s wife, “To-morrow, indeed, is the naekata, Thursday. Early in the morning you must make ready a bundle of cooked rice.”

On the following day the woman cooked a bundle of rice and gave him it. The man, having taken the bundle of cooked rice and hung it on a tree, clearing at the tree only [sufficient] for the man to lie down, slept there until the time when it becomes noon. At noon, bathing in water and returning, he ate the bundle of cooked rice; and having been sleeping there again until the time when it becomes night, he came home in the evening. Thus, in that way, until the time comes for setting fire to the jungle, he ate the bundles of cooked rice.

Then when men told the son-in-law they were going to set fire to the jungle [at their chenas] he said, “Father-in-law, I must set fire to my jungle. I cannot quite alone. If you go too it will be good.”

Afterwards the father-in-law said, “Hā, if so, let us go,” and taking a blind (smouldering) torch, and taking also a bundle of [unlit] torches, the father-in-law quite loaded, the son-in-law empty-handed in front, they go on and on, without end.

The father-in-law said, “Where, son-in-law, are we going still?” [194]

The son-in-law says, “Still a little further. Come along.” Having said this, and gone near the tree where he ate the rice, a buffalo was asleep in the place which he had cleared and had been sleeping at. The son-in-law, cutting a stick, came and struck the buffalo, and drove it away, saying, “What did you come to sleep in my chena for?”

Then the father-in-law asked, “Where, son-in-law, is the chena?”

The son-in-law says, “Andō! Father-in-law, this Caṇḍāla1 buffalo was sleeping in one part that I had cut. The others men stole and went off with, maybe.”

After that, the father-in-law, having become angry, came home.

North-western Province. [195]


1 The collective name of some of the lowest castes. 

[Contents]

No. 117

A Girl and a Step-mother

At a certain time, at a village there was a certain Gamarāla. There was a daughter of the Gamarāla’s. The daughter’s mother died. After she died, for the Gamarāla they brought another [woman in] marriage. Of the previous dīga (marriage) of that woman there is a girl. The woman and the girl are not good to the Gamarāla’s daughter.

At the time when the Gamarāla is not [there], she tells the two girls to clean cotton. She told that step-mother’s daughter to remain at the corner of the house, and clean the cotton. She told the daughter of the Gamarāla’s previous marriage to clean cotton in the lower part of the garden, under the lime tree. Having told her to clean it, the step-mother says, “Should a roll of cotton go away through the wind I will split thy head,” she said.

When with fear on account of it, the [Gamarāla’s] girl is cleaning the cotton, a great wind having struck her, all the small quantity of cotton went away owing to the wind. The step-mother saw that the cotton is going. Having seen it, she went and said to the girl, “Why did’st thou send away the cotton in the wind? Thou canst not remain here. Thou having gone near the female Bear, [after] begging for the golden spindle (ran idda), the golden bow for cleaning cotton (ran rodda), the golden spindle (ran wawnna), the golden spinning-wheel (ran yantarē), feed the seven mouths of the Seven-mouthed Prince and get a living. Unless [thou dost] that, thou canst not obtain a living here.” Having said [this], she beat her.

The girl, hearing the word which her step-mother said, went near the female Bear, and asking for [and obtaining] [196]the female Bear’s golden spindle, golden cotton-bow, golden spindle, golden spinning-wheel, went to the place where the Seven-mouthed Prince is. The Seven-mouthed Prince is a human-flesh-eating man; there are seven mouths for that man.

At the time when the girl was arriving there, the Seven-mouthed Prince had not come back since he went1 to eat human flesh. This girl having hastened, having cooked seven quarts of rice and seven curries, and covered those things and placed [them ready], remained hidden when the Seven-mouthed Prince was coming.

The Seven-mouthed Prince having come, when he looked some rice and curry had been cooked. The Seven-mouthed Prince asks, “Who has cooked these?” The girl does not speak about it. After that, the Seven-mouthed Prince having prepared himself, ate the whole of the cooked rice and curry. Having eaten, and having been sleeping, on the following day, in the morning, he went for human-flesh food.

Having waited until the time when he goes, the girl that day having cooked six quarts of rice, and having cooked six curries, cleaned and swept the house, and that day also got hid. That day also, having come, he asked in that manner [who had done it]. That day, also, she did not speak. That day he obliterated one mouth.

In this order, until the time when it became one quart, she cooked and gave him to eat. Out of the seven mouths he obliterated six; one remained over. On that day, having cooked in the day a half [quart] of rice, and cooked two curries, and having warmed and placed water for the Seven-mouthed Prince to bathe, and taken another sort of cloth [for him], she placed those things [ready] for him. Having expressed oil, she placed it [ready for him]. That day the Seven-mouthed Prince having come, says, “Come down, person who is assisting me.” Having said it, he called her. After that, the girl came. After she came, he asked, “What is the reason of your assisting me in this way?”

Then the girl tells him. The girl says, “I have no [197]mother; father has brought a step-mother. That step-mother having beaten me said, ‘Thou canst not be here and obtain a living. Thou having gone near the female Bear, [after] begging for the female Bear’s golden spindle, golden cotton bow, golden spinning-wheel, golden spindle, go near the Seven-mouthed Prince, and feeding the seven mouths obtain a living. Except that, thou canst not get a living here,’ she said. Owing to that I came,” she said.

Afterwards he became much pleased about it. Having become pleased he told her to stay [as his wife]. Afterwards having called the Prince, and caused him to bathe in warm water, and caused him to put on good cloths, and rubbed oil [on his hair], and combed his head, that day the two sitting down ate cooked rice.

From that time, the party became rich there to a good degree. The girl’s father, and step-mother, and step-mother’s girl, having gone to the place where she is, obtained a subsistence from there.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

Messrs. H. B. Andris and Co., of Kandy, have been good enough to inform me that the wawnna is a kind of spindle or yarn-holder, two and a half feet long, on which the thread is wound after spinning. It is narrow in the middle part and wider at each end. The rodda is eighteen inches long. [198]


1 Giya haeṭiyē āwē nāe. 

[Contents]

No. 118

The Wicked Elder Brother

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. There is a younger sister of the man. The elder brother’s wife is very dear to the younger sister; the younger sister is a very good girl.

One day the elder brother said at the hand of the woman, “It is in my mind to call my younger sister [to be my wife].”

The woman says, “Well, what is it to me, if it be good to you?”

While she was there, the woman having placed paddy on the hearth, and waited until the time when it is boiling, said to that sister-in-law, “Sister-in-law, having gone rubbing castor-oil on your two legs take out the paddy that is on the hearth.”

The woman combed the man’s head. She said it to the girl unnoticed by the man, to save the girl.

That girl having gone rubbing her two legs, when she was taking out the paddy the heat of the fire on the hearth struck her two legs, and the castor-oil, having become warm, descends down her two legs. Then that woman, having been combing and combing the man’s head, says at the hand of the man, “There! You say it is in your mind to call your younger sister [to be your wife]. Look there, at the matter from her legs; her legs are ulcerated.”1

Then the man says, “It is unnecessary to keep that one; [199]you take that one, and having taken this bill-hook cut that one’s neck, and come back.”

After that, the woman, calling her sister-in-law and having gone, handed her over to a widow woman, and having secretly taken that man’s money also, gave it to the widow woman for her expenses on account of the girl.

While returning, she cut a dog on the path, and smearing the blood on the bill-hook, came back and showed it to the man, “Look here (Menna). The blood that has been cut from your younger sister.” Well then, to the man’s mind it is good.

At the time when the man is not at home, having cut a tunnel from the woman’s house to the widow woman’s house, and from the woman’s house to the widow woman’s house having drawn a silver chain and an iron chain, she said at the hand of the widow woman, “If there be a sorrow shake the iron chain; if there be a pleasure shake the silver chain.”2 Having said it the woman came home.

On a certain day the girl arrived at marriageable age. The widow woman shook the silver chain. Afterwards, this girl having gone [there], when she looked the girl had arrived at a marriageable age; and having distributed the present given to the washerman on the occasion, and the like, she again said at the hand of the widow woman, “If there be a pleasure, shake the silver chain; if a sorrow, shake the iron chain,” and came home again.

Again one day she shook the silver chain. This woman having gone again, when she looked [she found that] to give the girl [in marriage] the name [of the man] had been decided. Afterwards, having distributed the [food of the] wedding [feast] and the like, the woman came home.

The girl having been [married] a little time, bore a boy. Afterwards the girl said to the girl’s man, “Tying pingo (carrying-stick) loads, let us go to our village.” The man also having said “Hā,” cooking cakes, and carrying the little one also, they came to the widow woman’s house.

Then the widow woman shook the silver chain. The [200]girl’s sister-in-law came. Having come, when she looked the girl’s little one is there also.

Having given from the cakes to the widow woman, she took the others, and calling the girl, calling the girl’s husband also, and carrying the little one, she returned home [with them]. Having gone home, the girl’s sister-in-law caused the little one to lie in the waist pocket of the girl’s elder brother, and said, “There. Your younger sister’s little one!” [and told him how she had been saved].

After that, the elder brother having wept, took the little one in his arms.

North-western Province. [201]


1 Severe cases of ulceration of the lower part of the legs were formerly numerous in the jungle villages, and were due to a complaint termed the “Parangi disease.” It is gradually dying out, now that people have more wholesome food and water. 

2 Compare also vol. i, p. 131. 

[Contents]

No. 119

Nahakoṭā’s Wedding Feast

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. While they were there the woman bore two girls and a boy. When they were there a long time the man died.

After that, the big girl having grown up, they gave her in dīga (marriage). The boy cannot speak well; his nose is short. The other girl has become considerably big. That boy is older than the girl. It is Nahakoṭā’s1 endeavour to call that younger sister [in marriage]. That woman (their mother) having perceived that, went with the daughter to the place where the other big daughter was given; and having conducted her [there], came back.

After that, a day or two having passed, Nahakoṭā went, in order to call the girl back [to be his wife]. Having gone [he said] at the girl’s hand, “Younger sister, mother told me to go back with thee; on that account I came here.”

While coming with that girl, having met with villages on the road that girl says, “Elder brother, is our village still far away?”

Then Nahakoṭā says, “Why do you say, ‘Elder brother, elder brother?’ Would it be bad if you said, ‘Husband, husband’ (Wāhē)?”

Then that girl being frightened, comes without speaking. Again, when coming a little further, she asks, “Elder brother, is our village still far away?”

Then Nahakoṭā says, “Why do you say, ‘Elder brother, [202]elder brother?’ Would it be bad if you said, ‘Husband, husband?’ ”

Then the girl being frightened comes without speaking. Thus, in that way they came quite home. Having come, Nahakoṭā said to Nahakoṭā’s mother, “Mother, pound flour and cook cakes. I am going to spread nets to catch [animals] for my [wedding] feast.” Having said it, Nahakoṭā went to spread nets, joining with a man.

After that, the girl says, “Mother, when elder brother and I were coming, I asked at elder brother’s hand, ‘Elder brother, is our village still further on?’ Then elder brother said, ‘Why do you say, “Elder brother, elder brother?” If you said, “Husband, husband,” would it be bad?’ ”

Afterwards the woman says, “Daughter, let us two go somewhere or other before that one comes.” Having said it, and cut the throat (lit., neck) of a cock, and hung it above the hearth, and placed a cooking-pot on the hearth, and blown the fire, and shut the house door, the woman and the girl went somewhere or other.

Nahakoṭā, having spread nets, came home. While he was in the veranda, as the blood of the fowl [hanging] in that house was falling into the cooking-pot, the pot having become heated, for three watches (each of four hours) when each drop of blood was falling it makes a noise, “Cōs, cōs,”2 like cooking cakes.

Nahakoṭā thought, “Our mother, etc., cooking cakes, indeed, that is.”3 Having sprung into the open space in front of the house, and beaten and beaten tom-toms on his rear, he began to dance, singing and singing, “Aḍē! Tuḍē! They are cooking cakes for my Nahakoṭā feast.”

Having danced, after it became night, on account of their [203]not opening the door Nahakoṭā knocked at the door and told them to open the door. They did not open it.

Afterwards, having opened the door, when he looked there was nobody. A cock, only, was hung near the hearth, a cooking-pot placed on the hearth, only the fire is blazing on the hearth.

Afterwards, Nahakoṭā having wept, remained there quietly.4

North-western Province. [204]


1 Short-nosed one. 

2 In transliterations the letter c is pronounced as ch. The noise was a splutter. 

3 This incident occurs in Folklore of the Santal Parganas (collected by Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 154. A girl married to a tiger ran off after killing a cat and hanging it over the pan on the fire. When the tiger returned he thought she was cooking. 

4 Nikan hiṭiyā. The expression here implies, I think, that he did not again attempt to marry his sister. 

[Contents]

No. 120

How a Man Charmed a Thread

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. The woman having falsely said that she had the Kaḍawara disease,1 taking on false illness lay down. The man every day goes to the watch-hut [in the chena].

One day when he was going to the watch-hut, he asked for thread at the hand of the woman, in order to bring it on the morrow morning, [after] charming it for the Kaḍawara. After that, the woman gave him thread, having become pleased at it.

The man knows about the woman’s trickery. Knowing it, that day evening having gone to the watch-hut the man charmed the thread. How did he charm it? The woman’s father’s name was Palin̆guwā.

At the very time when the man was going to sleep, holding the thread, the very manner in which he charmed it [was this]: having made [nine] knots [on it], he charmed it [by] saying and saying [only], “Palin̆guwā’s woman, Palin̆guwā’s woman.”

On the following day morning he came back, and tied it on the woman’s arm. At the very instant, the woman, quickly having arisen, does her work. While she was thus, the woman says, “Having hastened quickly, you must distribute [betel].”2

Afterwards, the man also having said, “It is good,” he gave betel to Kaḍawara Vedās3 who dance well, and said, [205]“Come on such and such a day.” He collected for it the articles to be expended, and caused arrack (spirit distilled from palm-juice) to be brought, and prepared all.

On the Kaḍawara day the men came, and having eaten and drunk, and dressed themselves [in their dancing costume and ornaments], as they were descending [from the raised veranda] into the open space in front of the house, this woman quickly took out the mat also, and stretching out her two feet at the doorway, sat down on it, (ready for the ceremony, which would be performed in front of her).

Then this man having come speedily, bringing the rice pestle, beat that woman with the pestle and put her in the house. Having shut the door and locked it, and come outside, as he was coming out the Kaḍawara Vedās, becoming afraid, prepared to run away, saying, “Perhaps this man is a mad-man.”

Then this man said, “Don’t you run away. Dance well. There is arrack; drink as much as you want.”

Afterwards, they having drunk and drunk and danced until it became light, in the morning the man cooked abundantly, and gave the Kaḍawara Vedās to eat, and having given them presents sent them away.

North-western Province. [206]


1 Illness caused by one of the demons called Kaḍawara Dēvatāwā. 

2 Betel is presented to devil-dancers when inviting them to come for a demon ceremony. 

3 A Vedā (low caste) or Vedarāla (good caste) is either a medical practitioner, or a soothsayer, or person who expels demons. 

[Contents]

No. 121

How the Rice and Curry became Raw

At a certain time there were a woman and her husband, two persons. During the time while they were [there], one day the husband said to the woman, “I am going to-day to the watch-hut. Having gone there, I shall not come back to-morrow morning; I shall be delayed, ploughing the field below that field. Because of it, you must bring me cooked rice to-morrow morning.”

Then the woman during the whole night1 having abundantly given food and the like to her paramours, without sleeping, it became light. After that, the woman went to sleep.

[After] going to sleep, being without the means of bringing cooked rice [through want of time to cook it], she washed rice, putting it in a cooking-pot, and cut up dried fish and brinjal,2 putting them raw into a large cooking-pot, and took them to the rice field [uncooked].

After she went, that man said, “Bola! Strumpet! Didst thou stay with thy paramours until so much time has gone?” and scolded her [for being late].

Thereupon, this woman, saying, “Apoyi! Because you said such a vile word to me may the cooked rice and curry which I brought for you become raw,” put them down on the ground.

When the man looked, the woman’s speech was true; the cooked rice and curry had become raw. After that, the man, having said to the woman that she was a good woman, thoroughly respected her.

North-central Province. [207]


1 Rāe tissē, during the thirty [paeyas, each being twenty-four minutes] of night. 

2 Egg-plant, or aubergine (Solanum sp.). 

[Contents]

No. 122

How a Woman ate Cooked Rice by Stealth

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. There is also a little one of the woman’s; the little one cannot talk well yet.

Having waited until the time when the man goes to the watch-hut [at night], this woman every day while he is in the chena having cooked raw-rice1 eats small beans (māekaral) [with it] in the house. Every day having cooked fry of them (the beans), and given to the little one, they eat it every day at night [without his knowledge].

One day, at the time when the man comes, the little one says, “Father, having cooked maekittan fry, and having cooked raw-rice, let us eat her, eh?”

Then that man says at the hand of the woman, “What, Bolan, does this one say?”

The woman says, “I don’t know. He eats in dreams,2 maybe. Cause thread to be charmed for it and come back.”

Afterwards the man, causing the thread to be charmed, came and tied it on the arm of the little one.

North-western Province. [208]


1 Rice from which the skin has been removed without first softening it in hot water. After the cooking the grains adhere together. 

2 This is considered to be a bad omen, hence the tying of the thread to put an end to such dreams; see vol. i, p. 15. I have been assured by those who have worn such threads that tying one on the arm has the desired effect in checking evil dreams. To dream of eating food is a prognostic of a future deficiency of food. 

[Contents]

No. 123

How a Woman Offered Cakes

In a certain country there are a man and a woman, it is said. The woman has been brought from another country (district). A paramour has become associated with the woman.

She said to the woman’s husband, “In our country there is a custom. In the lower part of the garden we must offer cakes to the Yakā who is in the lower part of the garden; if not, the Yakā causes sickness. When I was living at my village, too, I offered them every day. Because of it, we must offer them now also.”

Afterwards the man said, “Hā, it is good. Continue to offer them. For it, what else do you want, etc.?”

After that, the woman said, “We don’t want anything else. Having set up two sticks, cleft into four at the top (aewari kanu), we must offer on one twenty cakes, on one thirty cakes. That is all.”

Having cooked the cakes, on the day on which she offers them she cannot cook more [food]. At the house no one can eat [afterwards on that day]; should they eat they will die.

After that, the man having prepared the two cleft sticks in the lower part of the garden, gave her them. From that day, the woman having cooked fifty cakes, at one cleft stick offers twenty, at one cleft stick thirty.1

When it is becoming dark, the paramour having come is in the lower part of the garden. The woman having offered [209]the cakes says, “Leaving the twenty, taking the thirty, go, O Yakā.” Having said [this] the woman comes home.

The paramour having come, leaving the twenty, eats the thirty, and goes away. Afterwards the woman having come [there], eats the twenty, and goes back.

In that very manner, the woman every day having given cakes to that paramour, the woman also eats. That man was unable to find out the roguery.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 118, a man who wished to have meat to eat, induced his sons to kill a sheep and offer the flesh to the deity of a tree which stood in their field, telling them that their prosperity was due to this god. [210]


1 A leaf cup, a reversed cone, would be set point downwards in each cleft, and the cakes be heaped upon it. 

[Contents]

No. 124

The Manner in which a Woman prepared a Flour Figure

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said; the woman is associated with a paramour. The woman has been brought from another country.

One day (dawasakdā) the woman said, “In our country there is a custom. Having constructed a flour figure, and having made it sit upon a chair near the hearth, we must cook cakes and offer them [before it].” After that, the man having sought for the articles for cooking cakes gave her them.

After that, the woman, having pounded flour and made [enough] for two cooking pots, having increased the syrup for one pot, and diminished the syrup for one, and having been there until the time when the man goes somewhere or other (kohedō), told the paramour to come. After having put and smeared flour over the whole body1 of the man, having brought a chair near the hearth and made him sit upon the chair, the woman sitting down near the hearth cooks the cakes.

That man having come home, when he looked there is the flour figure. While the man in silence is looking on in the raised veranda, having seen that the woman puts the well-cooked cakes separately into a pot and the badly cooked cakes into another pot, and getting to know about the flour figure paramour, to make the woman get up of necessity,—a calf had been brought from the woman’s village—the calf had been tied up,—the man having gone very quietly [211](himimma) unfastened the calf. Very quietly having come again to the veranda he said, “Ōn̥ (there)! The calf that was brought from your village is loose; tie it and come back.”

The woman says, “I am unable to go;2 you go and tie it, and come.” The man said, “I will not.”

Afterwards the woman having arisen went to tie the calf. [Then] this man, having arisen from the veranda, struck the oil cooking-pot that was on the hearth on the top of the head (ismun̆dunē) of the flour figure paramour. The flour figure, crying out, is wriggling about.

That woman having tied up the calf and come, says, “I had prepared the flour figure. Having thrown it away that one will have come and sat there [in its place]. What shall I do? [When] he escaped from you even so much [time], am I indeed going to eat that one’s liver?3 Why didn’t you split that one’s head?” Having said [this] she caused the man to be deceived.

Finished.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

The woman’s remark regarding the liver is an instance of the survival of a very old expression, perhaps connected with magical practices. In the translations from the Chinese Tripiṭaka published by M. Chavannes in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues, vol. i, p. 120, a girl cried, “May I become a demoniacal and maleficent being to devour the liver of the elder brother.” In Folk-lore of the Santal Parganas (Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 419, it is stated that witches are believed to cause people’s deaths by eating their livers. The Sinhalese text is, “Um̆bawaen occarawat bēruwa mama nan̥ ōkage kaewtu kanawā nāe?” The final word is merely a colloquial expletive which adds emphasis to the question. It occurs also in No. 197, vol. iii, footnote No. 1, and elsewhere. Perhaps this is the original form of the curious syllable sometimes heard at the end of questions put to acquaintances by Burghers of the lower class in Ceylon, as in the query, “I say, man, what are you doing, nŏ?” [212]


1 Æn̆ga purāma. 

2 Maṭa yanḍa nāe, lit., “There is not [an opportunity] for me to go.” 

3 The meaning is, “If you did not notice and punish him for so long, was it likely that I should?” 

[Contents]

No. 125

How a Woman became a Lapwing1

At a certain village there were an elder sister and a younger brother, it is said. He gave the elder sister2 in dīga [marriage] to a [man of another] country. For the younger brother they brought a wife to the house.

When no long time had gone after the elder sister was given in dīga, the elder sister’s husband died; and being without [anything] to eat or drink, the elder sister came to the younger brother’s house in order to beg for something.

At that time, the man said, “Aḍē! Give our elder sister amply to eat and drink, and having tied up and given a bag of paddy amounting to a load, send her on her journey;” and in order to look at his wife’s trustworthiness or untrustworthiness he stayed in a tree behind the house, looking out, near the path on which the elder sister goes.

Thereupon, the man’s wife, having given the man’s elder sister a piece of stale cake to eat, put in a [mat] box a little worthless paddy chaff that had been blown away when she fanned paddy, and gave her it.

After that, when this elder sister, being grieved, was going on the path, she went saying and saying, “Anē! If my younger brother were there she would not do thus. Sister-in-law gave me only paddy chaff and a few stale cakes; but [even] should my sister-in-law do magic against me, may a shower of flowers rain at my younger brother’s doorway.” Then, weeping and weeping she came home.

Then the younger brother who stayed in the tree having been hearing that word, came home, and asked his wife, “Aḍē! Didst thou give my elder sister amply to eat and drink?” [213]

The woman said, “Andōma! When she had eaten I tied up a bag of paddy equal to a load, and gave it. What else will you tell me to give?”

Thereupon the man having said, “It is good,” and having been keeping it in his mind, after two or three days had gone, said, “Aḍē! Thy mother is ill. Prepare something and give me it [as a present for her, to enable me] to look at her and return,” he said. The man said it falsely.

The woman saying, “Perhaps it is true,” cooked a packet of rice, and taking thirty ridīs,3 put them at the bottom of the packet of cooked rice, and tied and gave him it, for him to go to her parents’ house and return. Unknown to the man4 she did this dishonesty (i.e., put his money in the bag).

Thereupon the man, taking the packet of cooked rice, went to the house of the man’s elder sister. That day he remained there without coming back.

That elder sister having unfastened the bag, when she looked [saw that] at the bottom of the rice there were thirty ridīs. Afterwards the elder sister called the younger brother and asked, “Younger brother, whence are these thirty ridīs at the bottom of the rice in this bag?”

The younger brother said, “I told her of our house (apē [214]gedara ēkī5) to cook and give me a packet of rice, in order to go to her village. She will have put in the thirty ridīs.”

At that time a washerwoman who stayed in that village brought clothes to the younger brother’s house. Thereupon this woman (his wife) asked at the hand of the washerwoman (radawī atin), “Washerwoman-aunt, our house man went to go to [my] village and return. Didn’t you meet him on the way?”

The washerwoman said, “Anē! Madam (mahattinē), on the road indeed I did not meet with him; he is staying at the gentleman’s (rāhamillē) elder sister’s house. Except that it seemed that he is6 at the house itself, he did not [otherwise] go to your quarter.”

Thereupon, at that instant7 a disturbance (internal) having come to her, while this woman was saying, “Is it true, washerwoman? Is it true, washerwoman? Saw you him, washerwoman? Saw you him, washerwoman? Gave he them, washerwoman? Got she them, washerwoman? There are thirty ridīs, there are thirty, there are thirty,”8 except that she got her breath upwards, she did not hold it down. Having gone in that very manner, when she said there were thirty ridīs she became a female Red-wattled Lapwing,9 and flew away. Now also the Red-wattled Lapwings say, “Hoṭāe ṭikiri, hoṭāe ṭikiri.”10 From that time, indeed, the Red-wattled Lapwings increased.

Then the man having come back, not contracting another marriage he remained providing subsistence for his elder sister.

Well then, we came here.11

North-western Province. [215]


1 Another title is, “The Story of Thirty Ridīs.” 

2 In a variant she is his younger sister. 

3 Lit., “silvers.” In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. i, p. 234) there is a similar expression denoting silver coins: “I gave the servant a few silvers.” The ridī or larin is the silver wire “hook-money,” at first imported from the Persian Gulf, where it was coined in Lāristān, but afterwards made in Ceylon. Captain Robert Knox says of it, “There is another sort, which all People by the King’s Permission may and do make. The shape is like a fish-hook, they stamp what mark or impression on it they please” (Hist. Relation of Ceylon, 1681, p. 97). Baldaeus remarked, “The most current coin here are the silver Laryns each whereof is worth about tenpence … as well in Ceylon as Malabar two golden Fanams, at five-pence a piece, make a Laryn” (A Description of ye East India Coasts, etc., translation, 1672, p. 727). As a later value I was informed that three ridīs were equal to one rupee. Further information regarding this money will be found in the Additional Notes at the end of vol. iii. 

4 Ē minihāṭa himin. Himin, hemin, or semin commonly means slowly, gently; hence in village talk, secretly, unperceived, unknown to. 

5 See footnote on the first page of No. 201, vol. iii. 

6 Innawā pewuni. 

7 Ē pārama, lit., at the very stroke. 

8 The words are an imitation of the rapidly-uttered alarm notes of the common Lapwing of Ceylon:—Haebāeda ridiyē, haebāeda ridiyē, daekkāda ridiyē, duṭuwāda ridiyē, dunnāda ridiyē, gattāda ridiyē, ridī tihayi, tihayi, tihayi

9 Kiralī (Lobivanellus indicus). 

10 Perhaps this means, “[Our] bills are small.” 

11 The narrator is supposed to have been a spectator. 

[Contents]

No. 126

The Story of the Seven Wicked Women1

In a certain country, when seven elder sisters and younger sisters, fastening on bangles (at-wael) are going along, a woman having been near the well asked, “Where are they2 going?”

Then the seven elder sisters and younger sisters said, “We are going to seek for ourselves seven elder brothers and younger brothers.”

Then this woman said, “There are seven elder brothers and younger brothers of mine.” Having said, “Let us go, if so, to our house,” and having gone calling the seven persons and sent them to seven houses (rooms), she lowered [from the corn store] seven [mat] boxes of paddy, and gave them.

The seven persons having boiled the paddy, and said, “Sister-in-law, look after this,”3 and spread it out to dry, the seven went for firewood. Having gone there they spoke, “Let us find a means4 of killing sister-in-law.”

There was a Brown Monkey (rilawā); catching the monkey they brought it home.

This younger sister having gone to sleep and a great rain having rained, all the paddy was washed away.5 When those [216]seven persons having come looked, all the paddy had been washed away.

After that, the seven persons again having lowered paddy [from the corn-store], when they were pounding the paddy raw (lit., hard) that younger sister awoke. Having awoke thus, she asked at the hand of those seven, “Sister-in-law, is there cooked rice?”

Then the women said, “Is there cooked rice in our hand? It is in the cooking pot, isn’t it?” The women having previously (lit., betimes) broken up bits of potsherds, and put them in the drinking kettle, and put it away, are pounding paddy.

Afterwards that sister-in-law having gone and eaten the cooked rice, and said, “Sister-in-law, give me water,” these women said, “Is it in our hand? It is in the house, in the drinking kettle; take it and drink.”

Afterwards the sister-in-law having taken the drinking kettle, when she was drinking the water the pieces of potsherds stuck in her throat.

These seven persons spoke, “Should that one’s elder brothers come, indeed, we shall be unable to kill her. Before they come let us kill her.” Having spoken thus, and having put the sister-in-law and that monkey into a bag and tied it, they hung it at the ridge pole. Having hung it, after the seven persons were pounding paddy the seven strike seven blows with the rice pestles at the bag. At the number they are striking, that monkey, jumping and jumping, scratches that woman who is in the bag. He having scratched her, afterwards blood descends from the bag. Then the seven persons having said, “Now then, it is bad [for her] to be [thus]; having released her let us put her down,” having unfastened the bag, put down the sister-in-law at the veranda.

Then the sister-in-law’s elder brothers came home. Having come there the eldest brother asked, “Where is our younger sister?”

Then these seven women said, “We don’t know. Having gone behind Roḍiyās, and her caste having [thus] fallen, there! she is weeping and weeping in the direction of the veranda.” [217]

Afterwards the eldest elder brother having gone, “What, younger sister, happened to you?” he asked at the hand of the younger sister.

The younger sister cannot speak, because a sharp piece of potsherd has stuck in her throat. The whole seven elder brothers having gone, spoke [to her]. Because she did not speak, the eldest elder brother said, “Who can cut [and kill] this younger sister?” The whole five other elder brothers said they could not; the young elder brother said, “I indeed can.”

Having said it, causing them to cook a bundle of rice, calling the younger sister also, and taking the sword, and taking the bundle of cooked rice, he went [with her] to a forest jungle (himālēkaṭa). Having gone there he said to the younger sister, “Younger sister, [for me] to look for lice on your head lie down.” Afterwards the younger sister lay down; well then, the elder brother began to smash the lice. Then sleep went to the younger sister.

Afterwards the elder brother having placed the younger sister’s head very softly on the ground, and having cut a Rat-snake on the path he was coming on, [after] smearing the blood on the sword he showed the sword to the people who were at home.

Afterwards that younger sister having awoke, when she looked her elder brother was not [there], in the midst of the forest. Well then, weeping and weeping, taking also the bundle of cooked rice, having bounded to a path she began to go.

Having gone thus,—there is a city called “The City the Rākshasa eats”; there is an alms-hall at that city,—having gone, she arrived there. There, having eaten that bundle of cooked rice, and having joined herself to the people who are giving alms, she began to give alms.

The eyes of the whole of these seven elder brothers and seven women became blind. After that, news reached those persons that there is an alms-hall of the city the Rākshasa eats. After that, they very fourteen persons went near the alms-hall.

That sister-in-law also having gone in a dīga [marriage], [218]has borne a child also. She having given food to this party, when that sister-in-law and the sister-in-law’s child were preparing (lit., making) to sleep, the child said to the sister-in-law, “Mother, for me to hear it tell me a story.”

Then the sister-in-law [said], “Son, what do I know? I will tell you the things indeed that happened to me.” So the son said, “It is good, tell them.”

Afterwards she told him all the matters that occurred to this sister-in-law. Those seven elder brothers having heard the things she says, and having said, “Anē! Our younger sister to-day is relating our grandeur!” as soon as they gave the salutation “Sādhu!” the eyes of the whole seven elder brothers became clear.

The eyes of the seven women did not become clear. The seven elder brothers also stayed at the very city at which is the younger sister. The seven women having been in much hunger they went and died.

Finished.

North-western Province. [219]


1 The text is given at the end of vol. iii, as an illustration of the usual conversational style in the villages. 

2 Third person for second, in an honorific sense; she was speaking to the women. 

3 Lit., “these,” the word for paddy being plural, like that for rice. 

4 Upaharana in the text, apparently intended for upakaraṇa

5 Agārē giyā; agāraya is a drainage area. The meaning is that the flow of the flood water over the ground carried away the paddy, which would be spread on mats laid on the ground. 

[Contents]

No. 127

The Story of the Old Man1

In a certain country an old man ground gunpowder. Having ground it until the time when it became night, he dried it in the sun. In the evening, at the time when he was preparing (lit., making) to put it in the powder-horn, the old gentleman’s2 grandson having come said, “Grandmother, let us burn (pussamu) gunpowder, to look at it.”

Then, having scolded the child she said, “Bring a fire-brand.” Having brought it, “Grandmother, give me a little powder,” he said. After that, she put gunpowder into a potsherd. Having put it in she told him to burn it. When he was placing the fire-brand [to it] the little powder that was in the potsherd all burnt.

Because the old gentleman was near the potsherd the old gentleman’s beard and body were burnt. On account of the difficulty of his body he said to his wife, “Warm and give me a little water,” he said.

The woman having warmed the water called him to bathe; at that time the old gentleman came there. After that, while the woman for the purpose of cooling the water went to bring cold water, the man, taking a piece of coconut shell, poured [the hot water] over his body. Because there was too much heat in the water his body began to burn.

While he was crying out on his body’s burning, a man having come said for that burning, “Cowdung (ela-goma) indeed is good.”3 [220]

Afterwards the man having gone running, bringing excrement deposited by a child called Goma, from the place where they tie the cattle, smeared it on the burning places. The [old] man perceiving the stench, at the time when he said to his wife, “What is this stench? Is this cowdung or what? Look,” the woman brought a lamp. When she looked, perceiving that it was ordure, she said, “The things this foolish stubborn fellow is doing to himself!” Spitting, having brought water and bathed him she went with him into the house. Afterwards in many days she made him well.

North-western Province. [221]


1 Nāki mahallāe kaṭantarē. 

2 Nākirālagē. 

3 From my own experience in the case of a severe burn, I can say that a paste of cow-dung smeared completely over a burnt place entirely removes all pain, and the wound soon heals under it. The paste dries immediately owing to the heat of the skin, and after that no unpleasant smell remains. 

[Contents]

No. 128

The Magic Lute Player1

In a country a Prince [after] constructing a Lute plays2 it. Throughout the extent through which the sound was heard, not a female elephant nor tusk elephant stays away; it comes to look. In that manner he caused many elephants to be brought [up to him] in the jungles.

A Princess of another city was minded to look at this Prince. Because it was so she said, “I will (would) give five hundred masuran to a person who brought and gave him; having given them I will marry that person.”

Yet [another] Prince asked, “I will bring and give him; will you marry me?” When he asked, the Princess says, “Cause him to be brought; I will [then] marry you.”

Thereupon this Prince having also taken a great quantity of white cloths, proceeded to that city. Having gone there, and having halted (natara-welā) in a jungle, cutting sticks he constructed a white tusk elephant with [them and] the white cloths; having made it this Prince is under the tusk elephant.

Certain men (minissu wagayak) having seen this white tusk elephant, say to the Prince who having played the Lute causes the tusk elephant to be brought, “O Prince, there is a good white tusk elephant in that forest,” they said.

Afterwards this Prince took the Lute and played it as on other days; this tusk elephant did not come. Having said [to himself], “What is [the reason of] it, Bola? To-day [222]this tusk elephant did not come!” and having gone a considerable distance he played it. Then this tusk elephant went a little further off (epiṭaṭa). The Prince at that time went near and played it; then this elephant went still a little further. In that manner this Prince having placed and placed the Lute at the end (assē) of the tusk elephant’s tail, plays it; still also this tusk elephant goes on. In that way these very two went to this Princess’s city.

Thereupon this Princess became much pleased, and having given five hundred masuran to this Prince got married to this Prince. The Prince who played the Lute she caused to remain as the Minister.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

Although there appears to be no Indian folk-tale of a musician who could attract the wild animals like the Finnish hero, the notion is found in that country, and one of the reliefs at the Rāmaswāmi temple in Kumbakōnam represents various wild animals listening to Krishṇa’s flute playing. Colossal figures of animals are sometimes taken in processions; they are formed on a framework of bamboos or sticks; in one figure of an elephant the spaces in the frame were filled with leafy twigs. [223]


1 The Sinhalese title is, “The Story that tells the manner in which he played on the Lute for the Representation of the Tusk Elephant (Ætāerinba).” 

2 The verb used throughout the story is gānawā, to rub. 

[Contents]

No. 129

The Lad who Sang Songs

At a certain time there was a man; the man had a girl and a boy. At the time when they were thus, the man went alone to the sea to catch fish (mas). Having gone, when he was catching fish a very large wave having knocked him into the sea, the man on account of the water (current) drifted away.

At that time the men of the ferry-boat near there were laying nets. This man having gone was entangled (lit., tied) in the nets. Then the ferry-boat men drew out the nets. When they looked a man was entangled in a net. Then, taking the man ashore they laid him on his face, and while they were pressing on his belly with the feet, without the man’s life going he breathed.1 Then without having caused hurt to this man when they were treading on his belly for the water to go, the man became conscious.

Then the men having said, “Of what country are you?” having spread the news around, and given him cooked rice which had been taken for the party to eat, they told him to choose [some] fishes. He having selected them, in the evening they went to the village, taking the man. Having gone [there], as this man who fell into the sea does not know the road to go to his village, doing work for hire for the ferry-boat men and continuing to eat [thus], he stayed [there].

The elder female child and the younger lad whom there were of the man who fell into the sea, went to the Heṭṭiyā’s shop to bring salt. At the time when they went, the [224]Heṭṭiyās put the girl in the house, and shut the door. Having beaten the boy, they drove him away.

At that time, the King of that city having made ready a very great eating (kāema), sent letters to the Kings of other cities to come for the eating. After that, those Kings all came to the city. In the royal party, the King of the city at which was the man who fell into the sea and went ashore, also came.

Having come, all the party having assembled in that day night, after they ate the food this lad who had lost his father and elder sister had come [there]. Having given food to this lad, while he was [there] the royal party, having eaten and drunk, conversed together regarding the happiness and sorrow in the various cities.

Then this lad who was without father and elder sister, thought of telling the matters which the party omitted, by way of a verse. Having thought of it he says,

Apuccī mūdē waeṭunā.

Akkā Heṭṭiyā

Pādēṭa damalā

Dora wahagattā.

Ayinān! Ayinān!

Father fell into the sea.

In his quarter the Cheṭṭi

Elder sister has set; he

The door has shut on me.

Alas! Alas!

Thereupon, having met with this lad, hearing the words that ought to be known at the city at which they are, they spoke, “Hahak! Hahak!2 don’t speak.” Having stopped the talk, they said, “Who is that lad who said the verse? Say that verse again for us to hear.”

Then the boy said again,

Father fell into the sea.

In his quarter the Cheṭṭi

Elder sister has set; he

The door has shut on me.

Alas! Alas!

Then the royal party, calling the boy near, and after that having heard of the matters that occurred, gave food to the lad from the royal house, and made him stay at the royal house. [225]

When he was [there] in that way for a little time, the King of that city having died, because a King was necessary to burn [the corpse]3 they decorated the tusk elephant, and taking it they walk through the whole city. Then the tusk elephant keeps coming towards the palace itself.

Because of it, men came out on the path on which the tusk elephant is coming. At that time, the tusk elephant having come, kneeling down made obeisance to that lad.

Then those men, having made the lad bathe in sandal water (water perfumed with sandal), and placed him on the tusk elephant’s back, went in procession round the city, and having come back they burnt that King, and made a funeral mound [over the ashes].

While exercising the sovereignty over the men of the city, when a little time had gone the King went to that place called the Heṭṭiyā quarter, and having beheaded all the Heṭṭiyās, came back calling his elder sister [to accompany him], and gave her in marriage.

There was a daughter of the dead King. After marrying that Princess, in a little time there was a child.

After that, he went to that city in which his father is, and calling his father also, he returned. Having come back, he remained exercising the sovereignty in a good manner.

North-central Province. [226]


1 Husma elunāya. 

2 I do not know if this word is intended for an exclamation (= hāhā), or a noun, hasak, a sorrow. 

3 See the variant from Tibetan Tales at the end of No. 190, vol. iii. 

[Contents]

No. 130

The Hunchback Tale

In a certain city, at one house there was a Hunchback. One day, at the time when this Hunchback went to the rice field, his wife, having cooked rice, called him, saying, “Hunchback! Hunchback!” Thereupon anger having come to him he went home and thrashed his wife; thereupon the woman died.

Having buried the woman, at the grave he planted tampalā.1 When the tampalā had become large a cow having approached there ate the tampalā with the sound2 that goes “Kuda caw caw.”3 At that time, also, anger having come to the man he struck and killed the cow.

Having buried the cow, upon the grave he planted a foreign yam plant. [When it had grown], cutting up the foreign yam plant [after digging it up], and having gone and put it in a cooking-pot (haeliya), when he had placed it on the [fire on the] hearth, at the time when it boils4 with the sound2 that goes “Kuda goda goda, Kuda goda goda,”5 the man having become angry carried [the pot] also away, and struck it on the stone [and broke it].

After a few days, at the time when he was sleeping, [227]with the sound that goes Kuda rūn6 flies alighted on his body. Thereupon he having arisen, with the intention of killing the flies set fire to the house.

After the fire became alight, having seen that it burns with the sound that goes “Kuda busu busu, Kuda busu busu,”7 he, also, sprang into the midst of the fire and was killed.

Ūva Province.

[Contents]

The story is a variant of No. 29, vol. i, “The Pied Robin.” [228]


1 A vegetable cultivated in village gardens and chenas, Nothosærua brachiate

2 Ana-karaṇayen; the verb ana-karaṇawā is usually “to order.” 

3 Apparently understood by him to be intended for Kudā chawa chawa. “Hunchback, [you are] vile, vile.” 

4 Idena, which ordinarily would mean “ripens.” 

5 He appears to have understood this to mean, “Hunchback, [you are] clownish, clownish,” goḍayā being “clown.” 

6 Perhaps to be taken as one word, Kudarūn, = Kudō + arūn, “Hunchbacks [are] fellows.” 

7 Busa means chaff, cow-dung; he thought the meaning was, “Hunchback, [you are] chaff, chaff.” 

[Contents]

No. 131

The Poor Man and the Jewels

At a certain village attached to a seaport there was a poor man. The man tried to borrow twenty thousand pounds from rich men who were in the village. As there was not a thing to take from him [as security] any one was unwilling to give the money.

While he was walking about asking for the money, a certain nobleman1 having called him, said, “I will give you the money; I shall not take it again from you.” Having said thus, he counted the money and gave it to him.

And the man taking it, and having gone near the landing-place and expended two thousand pounds, caused a house to be built, and having expended sixteen thousand pounds caused the house to be filled with cow-dung, chaff, etc.

After that, he set fire to the house, and having collected and put into sacks the whole of the ashes, he gave a thousand pounds, and bringing a ship for hire loaded the sacks into it. Having gone to a country in which cold, etc., proceed from serpents,2 and heaped up the sacks, and told him to come in three months more, he sent away the shipmaster (naew-potiyā).

The man having unfastened the whole of the sacks of ashes, placed [the ashes] thinly [on the ground]. The whole of the serpents having come to the ashes, owing to their having slept there eject jewels. [229]

After three months he again put the ashes into the sacks. And the ship having arrived that day, he loaded the whole of the sacks [in it], and having gone to his own country and heaped up the sacks, and for the remaining cash taking a house for hire, he placed the sacks of ashes [in it], and dwelt there.

One day having washed a little of the ashes from a bag, there was a quantity (rāsiyak) of very valuable gems there. Having shown that to the nobleman who gave the money, he told him to take a part from the bags, but he said he did not want them. And the poor man having much importuned him, and given him a portion from the bags, the two persons lived in friendship.

Finished.

Ūva Province. [230]


1 Siṭāna kenek. 

2 Sarpayingen gahana sītādīka raṭakaṭa gos. The meaning is not clear; apparently, as the bodies of snakes are always cold, they were in such numbers that they chilled the air. Like pariah dogs, they enjoyed the warmth and comfort afforded by the soft ashes, and on departing left the gems out of gratitude. 

[Contents]

No. 132

The Learned Poor Man

In a certain country a poor man, having nothing to eat, went to another country. Having gone there, and gone to a travellers’ shed, he remained lying down.

During the time while he was there, still [another] man of the city who was without food and clothing came to the travellers’ shed. Then the man who came first asked the man who came afterwards, “Where art thou going?”

The man said, “Being without [food] to eat, I am going to this city to beg something.”

Then the man who came first says, “I, indeed, being without [food] to eat have come here. Now then, because we two are men without [food] to eat, I will tell you a device,” said the man who came first to the man who came afterwards.

Then the man who came afterwards asked, “What is it?”

The man says, “Thou having gone to the royal palace and made obeisance, say at the hand of the King, ‘From the exalted royal palace I ought to receive a salary.’ Then the King will ask, ‘On what account should I give pay to thee?’ Then say thou, ‘In this your kingdom, Sir, either for any needed fight, or any needed thing, when I have come into the midst of it I can manage the affair. I can [also] beat the notification tom-toms. Because of that, indeed, I am asking pay.’ ”

Then the man having gone near the royal palace, asked in that manner. The King asked, “For what shall I give pay to thee?” The man replied in the very way which that man told him.

Then the King having heard the words and being pleased, [231]appointed a salary for that man, and said, “From to-day thou must look after the troubles of this city.”

The man having said, “It is good,” said at the hand of the King, “I have nothing to eat,” asking for the pay also, [and he received a sum in advance].

Having gone near that man who gave him the instructions, and told him this talk which occurred at the royal palace, and given the teacher a half share from that pay which was given, taking the other half share the man went to his village. That man who gave the instructions, not going anywhere else, remained cooking and eating at that very travellers’ shed.

Thereafter, for the man who received the pay the King established the name Bēri-Nādayā.1 Well then, when that Bēri-Nādayā was coming and going to [and from] the palace, he was providing assistance for that teacher.

At that time, on a road of the city a lion having lain in wait began to kill people. In those days, Bēri-Nādayā, having come to his village, stayed [there]. Without telling Bēri-Nādayā, because he was a new man, having sent the old accustomed Ministers and other multitudes for killing the lion, [the King] told them to return [after] killing the lion.

Thereupon, the party having been sent to go, after they went, when Bēri-Nādayā was going to the royal palace he went to the place where the teacher was staying.

At that time, the news regarding this lion having reached the teacher, he said, “In this manner, a lion which eats men is staying at this city. I have news that men went from the royal palace to kill the lion. Because of it, as soon as you go, ‘You must seize the lion,’ the King will say. Thereupon, say ‘I can,’ and asking for a piece of cord, and placing it [coiled] round your neck, go. Then the men will come [after] killing the lion. Then say, ‘There! People, the work you have done is good! (sarcastically). Asking for a cord I came from the palace [in order] to go [back after] seizing it [alive], so as to place it as a present2 [for the King]. Concerning this, blame will fall on you from [232]the King.’ Having said this, frighten them. Thereupon the party will say, ‘Anē! Bēri-Nādayā, don’t say that we killed it.’ Then say thou, ‘It is good. If so, let no one speak [about it]. Having placed [the deed] upon my own back, I will say it myself.’ Then the men will say, ‘It is good.’ ”

When Bēri-Nādayā was doing this, it happened in this very manner. [The King] gave Bēri-Nādayā at the rate of a thousand masuran a month. Then Bēri-Nādayā, taking the pay, as on other days continued to give little by little [only] to that teacher, so that his regard [for him] became lost, and remained so.

At that time, to seize that city seven Kings and seven armies came, and surrounded the city. On account of it, this King having said, “To this Māra3 army what shall I do?” was in fear.

Then the King having waited until the time when Bēri-Nādayā came, says, “It is not like you killed the lion. Seven Kings and seven armies having come, are near the city gates. Go and fight.”

That Bēri-Nādayā went near that teacher, and told him this. The teacher said, “[After] asking for the King’s festival tusk elephant and sword, come thou.”

After that, Bēri-Nādayā having gone near the King, when he came [after] asking for the festival tusk elephant and the sword, both of them went for the fight. Having gone, Bēri-Nādayā, being on the tusk elephant, when he peeped and looked having seen those monarchs4 and the multitude, fell unconscious under the tusk elephant.

Thereupon, that teacher, having dragged Bēri-Nādayā aside, and cast him away, wrote a letter and shot it [attached to an arrow] to the place where those seven Kings were. The royal party said, “What is this that is fallen from the sky?” When they looked there was written, “It is I myself whom they call Danuddara Paṇḍitayō.5 If you [233]can, be pleased to come to fight.” The royal party becoming afraid regarding it, all ran off to the quarters to which each one went.

The Paṇḍitayō came to the palace on the tusk elephant. After he came, the Paṇḍitayō was placed by the King in the post of Prime Minister.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Jātaka, No. 80 (vol. i, p. 204) there is a story which closely agrees with this. The clever man was a dwarfish Brāhmaṇa who, aware that he would not be employed on account of his small size, joined with a huge ignorant weaver, who received an appointment as archer to the King at Benares. By following the Brāhmaṇa’s instructions the weaver obtained all the credit of killing a tiger and buffalo as in this tale, but becoming proud, he treated his adviser with scorn. Afterwards, when ordered to attack a hostile force he was so overcome with fear that the Brāhmaṇa made him descend from the elephant on which they were riding, and he himself then attacked the enemy’s camp, captured the King, and was loaded with honours.

The despatch of the message attached to the arrow is not mentioned in this story; but in the Jātaka tale No. 181 (vol. ii, p. 62) Prince Asadisa, son of a King of Benares, is represented as scratching a message on an arrow, firing it into the camp of some hostile forces headed by seven Kings who were besieging the city, and thereby scaring these enemies away. A footnote states that in the Mahāvastu the message was wrapped round the arrow.

In two instances in the Mahā Bhārata (Drōna Parva, xcix, and cci) the senders’ names were engraved on arrows.

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. 4, p. 103), a Prince wrote a letter, set it on the point of an arrow, and shot it into a garden in which a lady was walking.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 519, a young Brāhmaṇa suggested to a Prince that he should receive a daily salary of one hundred gold pieces; this was paid to him. In the same work, vol. ii, p. 251, an unknown man demanded and received five hundred dīnārs (about £250) as his daily wage. In the Hitōpadēśa an unknown Rājput was granted four hundred gold pieces as his daily pay.

While the Sinhalese were besieging the Portuguese in Colombo in A.D. 1588, the Sinhalese King shot into the fort a letter containing a demand for the safe conduct of officials who were to arrange a truce (Pieris, Ceylon, vol. i, p. 243). [234]


1 Tom-tom-voiced one (Bhēri + nāda + ). 

2 Daekun = dakshiṇa

3 Death personified. 

4 Diviyan, for deviyan, literally, deities. 

5 Many-bows-carrying Paṇḍitayā (Dhanu + ut + dara); it is a plural honorific form. 

[Contents]

No. 133

A Poor Man and a Woman

At a certain city there were a poor woman and a man. Because the two persons had not [anything] to eat and to wear, the woman having pounded and pounded [paddy] obtained a livelihood.

When not much time had gone in this manner, being unable to pound and eat, her strength and ability [to work] went. Thereupon she one day having beaten the man with the broom,1 and having said, “Strumpet’s son, bring thou from somewhere or other things for food,” seized him by the hair-knot, and cast him out of the door-way.

Then the man, through shame at what the woman had done, having gone along a road and sat down at a tree, when the time for eating rice came, wept.

Thereupon, the Dēvatāwā who stayed in that tree came and asked at the hand of the man, “Bola, what art thou crying for?”

Then this man says, “O Lord, my wife having become without strength or ability [to work], because we two were unable to obtain [anything] having beaten me with the broom, seized me by the hair-knot and put me outside. Having come [here] owing to it, because I cannot bear my hunger I wept.”

The Dēvatāwā asked, “What dost thou want?”

The man said, “I want goods.”

Thereupon the Dēvatāwā, having given the man three pills, says, “Taking these three pills, having thought of the thing thou wantest cast them down. The things thou wantest will be created.” [235]

Then the man, taking the pills, for one said, “May my house be created a palace, together with the possession of wealth,” and threw away one pill. In that manner this occurred.

For the next one he said, “On each side of the door-way of my house, may a horse of silver and a tusk elephant of gold be created,” and threw away a pill. In that manner they were created.

For the other one he said, “A road to my house having been created, let a carriage for me to go in, and many things come into existence,” and threw away the other pill. In that very way they were created. After that, having come home he remained in happiness.

After that, a woman of another house came to this house for fire. Having come and seen these matters, she asked this woman, “Sister-in-law, how did you obtain these things?”

Thereupon this woman says, “Having beaten my husband with the broom, I caught him by the hair-knot, and put him out at the door-way, to seek goods and come back. After that, he went, and having been near a tree came back [after] receiving them.” Having said [this], she told the woman about these matters [and that her husband received the things he thought of].

Afterwards the woman, having gone home and beaten the woman’s husband with the broom, caught him by the hair-knot, and put him out at the door-way. The man having gone also, stayed near the tree, weeping and weeping.

At that time, by the Dēvatāwā three pills were given (lit., gave) to [this] man also. The man, taking them, came home.

Thereupon the woman having warmed water, and made him bathe, and given him to eat, and given him betel to eat, asked the man, “What have you brought?” The man showed her the three pills.

The woman, taking the three pills in her hand, and having looked at them, said, “Are these ani that you have brought?” and threw them away. Then in every place on the woman’s body ani were created. [236]

Then for three years having striven, finding the three pills she said, “Leaving the anus which was there, may the others be obliterated,” and having picked up the three pills she threw them away. Thereupon she became as at first.

North-central Province.

[Contents]

The plight of the woman is nearly similar to that of Indra after he had been cursed by Gautama for visiting Ahalyā, as related in the Kathā Sarit Sāgara, vol. i, p. 123.

In Folklore in Southern India (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 208, while an indigent Brāhmaṇa was asleep in a forest, the God Śiva and his wife Pārvatī ate his cooked rice, leaving in its place five magic cups of gold out of each of which an Apsaras came and served him with delicious food. After he had returned home and given a feast to the villagers, a rich landholder went off to obtain similar prizes, the God and Goddess ate his rice, and left five cups for him. As soon as he returned home he summoned the whole village to a feast; but when the cups were opened out several barbers issued from each, and held and shaved all the guests clean.

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. iv, p. 114) a man heard in the Night of Power that three prayers would be granted to him. After consulting his wife, he prayed that his nose might be magnified, as a sign of his nobility, and it became so large that he could not move. He then prayed to be rid of it, and his nose disappeared altogether; his last prayer caused it to be restored to its first state. [237]


1 See foot-note, vol. i, p. 50. 

[Contents]

No. 134

The Story of the Rākshasa and the Princess1

In a certain country there are a King and a Queen, it is said. The Queen bore a Princess. In that very country there are a Rākshasa and a Rākshasī. The Rākshasī, too, bore a son. In that Princess’s horoscope there was [found] that she will contract marriage with a Rākshasa; in that Rākshasa’s horoscope there was [found] that he will marry a Princess.

After both had become considerably big the King and Queen died; only that Princess is in the palace.

The Rākshasa can create anything [he has] thought of. The Rākshasa thought, “The palace and royal goods that are in the palace all are to disappear.” In that very manner they disappeared.

There not being a place for the Princess to stay in, when she is weeping and weeping the Rākshasa having come there asked at the hand of the Princess, “What are you weeping for?”

Then the Princess said, “I weep as there is not a place for me to be in, and not a thing to eat,—because of that.”

After that the Rākshasa said, “I will give food and clothing; can you come to our house?” Then the Princess said, “I can.”

After that, the Rākshasa and the Princess came to the Rākshasa’s house. Then at the hand of the Rākshasa asked the Rākshasa’s mother, “Who, son, is that?”

Then he said, “Mother, I have come summoning such and such a King’s Princess, for you to get [some] ease.”2 [238]

After that, the Rākshasī having said, “Yes, it is good,” while, having employed the Princess, she was making her do all the work, the Princess being like a servant of the Rākshasī’s, the Rākshasī had the thought, “[How] if I eat the Princess?”

Having thought it, one day when the Rākshasī was preparing to go to eat human bodies she said at the hand of the Princess, “[By the time] when I am coming, having brought and placed [ready] seven large pots of water, and brought and placed [ready] seven bundles of firewood, and boiled and pounded seven pāelas of paddy (each about three-eighths of a bushel), and plastered cow-dung on [the floors of] seven houses, and cooked, warm water for me to bathe and place thou it [ready]. If not, I will eat thee.” Having said this the Rākshasī went to eat human bodies.

After that, the Princess remained weeping and weeping. So the Rākshasa asked, “What art thou crying for?”

The Princess said, “Mother, telling me so many works, went away. How shall I do them?”

Then the Rākshasa said, “Don’t thou be doubtful about it. When mother, having come back, has asked, say thou that thou didst all the works.”

After that, the Princess, having remained silent in the very manner the Rākshasa said, told at the hand of the Rākshasī [on her return] that she did the works. When the Rākshasī looked to see if the works were right, all were right. Well then, to eat the Princess there was no means for the Rākshasī.

After that, she sent word to the Rākshasī’s younger sister, “There is a girl of the palace [here]; I have no means of eating that girl; whatever work I told her that work has been quite rightly done. Now then, how shall I eat [her]? I will send this girl near you; then you eat her.”

The Rākshasī said at the hand of the Princess, “Go to the house of our younger sister’s people; a box of mine is there. If thou dost not bring it I will eat thee.”

After that, the Princess having come near the stile, while she was weeping and weeping the Rākshasa came there and asked, “What art thou weeping for?” [239]

Then the Princess said, “Mother told me that there is a box at the house of little-mother’s people.3 Having said [I am] to bring it, if not she will eat me, when I have gone for the box little-mother will eat me. To-day indeed I cannot escape.”

After that, the Rākshasa [said], “Little-mother is blowing and blowing [the fire] at the hearth; the box is near the door. Thou having gone running, taking the box come away.”

Afterwards, having gone running, at the time when the Princess looked the Rākshasī is blowing and blowing at the hearth; the box was near the door. The Princess having gone into the house, taking the box came running. The Rākshasī chased after her; she was unable to eat her. For that Rākshasī [who sent her] there, also there was not a way to eat her.

When she was there in that way for a considerable time they asked for a marriage for the Rākshasa. Having asked it, the Rākshasī also having become ready to go for the marriage, said at the hand of the Princess, “When we come summoning the bride, having well prepared the house, and set the tables and chairs, and boiled and cooked for the marriage party, place [the food ready].” Saying [this] the Rākshasī went for the marriage.

The Rākshasa having been behind said at the hand of the Princess, “Thou having remained without speaking, say thou didst all the works that mother told thee.” Having said it the Rākshasa, too, went for the marriage.

Afterwards the Princess having been [there] without speaking, after the wedding-party, summoning the bride, returned, the Rākshasī asked at the hand of the Princess, “Didst thou do all the works I told thee? Didst thou do them?”

The Princess said, “Yes.” When the Rākshasī looked all the works were right; there also there was no way to eat her.

Afterwards she taught the bride, “Daughter, there! [240]Eat that girl if you can; I tried to eat her in [every] possible manner.” After that, the girl tried if she could eat her;4 she was unable to eat the Princess.

When she was there in that manner a considerable time, the Rākshasa and the Princess having got hid went away. Having thus gone, and having created the Princess’s royal palace in the very manner in which it was [before], the two remained at the palace.

Finished.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 215, a Brāhmaṇa married a Rākshasī Princess, and there is an account of a similar union in the story No. 135 which follows. [241]


1 The text of this story is given at the end of vol. iii. 

2 Lēhuwak. 

3 Pinci ammalāe gedara. Pinci or punci ammā is the mother’s younger sister. 

4 Lit., tried can she eat her. This is the usual form of expression. It is common in Ireland also:—“A man came forward and asked me would I buy a stone with Irish letters on it” (Prehistoric Faith and Worship, p. 150). “He got into a bad rage entirely, and asked her was Manis asleep again” (Donegal Fairy Stories, p. 83). 

[Contents]

No. 135

The Way the Rākshasī Died

In a certain city there is a Rākshasī, it is said. The Rākshasī seizing each man who is going along, eats him. While a Brāhmaṇa was going along, she seized the Brāhmaṇa, but because the Brāhmaṇa had a good beautiful figure, putting him in her rock-house (cave) and shutting the door, she remained without eating him.

During the time while he was there a child was borne to the Brāhmaṇa by the Rākshasī; the child was like the Brāhmaṇa. Having sought food she continued to give it to the Brāhmaṇa and the little one. While the Rākshasī was there in that way the youngster (paeṭiyā) became big.

One day having waited until the time when the Rākshasī goes to seek food, the youngster asked at the hand of the Brāhmaṇa, “Father, what is [the reason why] you have one form and mother a [different] form?”

Then the Brāhmaṇa says, “Son, your mother is a Rākshasī. Seizing each man who is going past this place, she eats him. I also came to go this way. Then seizing me she put me in the rock cave. She has not done any harm to me yet.”

The youngster said, “Father, we cannot remain in this way. Rākshasīs and men cannot be in one place.”

Then the Rākshasī came, bringing food. So the youngster said, “Mother, when you are not here how will it be for us? Tell us the limits [of the power] of these persons” (that is, those who lived there).

The Rākshasī said, “In width they are five gawwas (twenty miles); in length they are ten gawwas (forty miles).”

On the following day, during the time when the Rākshasī [242]went to seek food, the Brāhmaṇa and the youngster having taken a large quantity of excellent (hon̆da hon̆da) goods, the two persons bounded off to go by the quarter that was ten gawwas long, and went away. Then the Rākshasī having come [after] seeking food, when she looked neither Brāhmaṇa nor youngster [was there].

After that, while the Rākshasī was going along continuing to cry aloud, these two persons had not yet succeeded in bounding through the forest that was ten gawwas in length. The Rākshasī, weeping and weeping, having said, “What was this need for you to abandon me?” came back, summoning these two [to accompany her].

On the following day, after the Rākshasī went to seek food, these two persons having bounded through the quarter that was five gawwas in width, reached the far bank of a river.

Then the Rākshasī having come [after] seeking food, when she looked these two were not [there]. After that, as the Rākshasī was coming continuing to cry aloud, these two came to this bank of the river; the Rākshasī, sitting down on the bank on that [other] side, remained crying aloud.

While she was there the Rākshasī said, “Son, there is a spell of mine; [after] learning it go.”

Thereupon the youngster said, “I will not [return to learn it]; say it while sitting there.”

Afterwards the Rākshasī, sitting on the bank on that side, said the spell. The youngster, sitting on the bank on this side, learnt the spell. “When you have uttered that spell, on this side of twelve years you will meet with any lost thing,” the Rākshasī said.

After that, the Brāhmaṇa and the youngster came away to the Brāhmaṇa’s village. That Rākshasī having been looking while a trace of the heads of these two was visible, through the affection there was for the two persons, when those two were hidden [from her view] the Rākshasī’s bosom was rent, and she died.

While that Brāhmaṇa and the youngster, having gone to the village, were staying there, certain goods of the King’s having been lost, the King published a proclamation by beat [243]of tom-toms that to a person who found and gave the goods he will give wealth [amounting] to a tusk elephant’s load, and a district from the kingdom.

Then the Brāhmaṇa’s youngster having said, “I can,” and having uttered the spell taught by that Rākshasī, obtained the goods and gave them to the King. He having given them, the King gave to the Brāhmaṇa’s youngster wealth [amounting] to a tusk elephant’s load, and a district from the kingdom.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

This is the first part of the Jātaka story No. 432 (vol. iii, p. 298), in which the King and family priest hid some valuable jewels taken by them out of the treasury, in order to test a youngster’s power. He discovered them, but the King insisted on his declaring also who was the thief. He endeavoured to avoid doing this, and when at last he made it known, the people rose, killed the King and priest, and set the youngster (who was the Bōdhisatta) on the throne.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 360, a similar story is also given. The Brāhmaṇa was seized by a Kinnarī, who is afterwards termed a Yakshī. When the son and father escaped she did not die, but sent the boy a guitar by playing on which he would preserve his life. If, however, he touched the first string with his finger he would experience misfortune; of course he did this. [244]

[Contents]

No. 136

How a Rākshasa Turned Men and Bulls into Stone

In a certain country there are seven elder brothers and younger brothers. In a certain [other] country there are seven elder sisters and younger sisters. At the time when they are there the whole of the seven elder brothers and younger brothers are without wives; the seven elder sisters and younger sisters are without men (husbands).

At the time when the seven elder brothers and younger brothers are doing work in the rice field, the seven elder sisters and younger sisters are going by the place where they are working. “Where are you going?” they asked (haehuwwā).

At the time when they asked they said, “Seven elder sisters and younger sisters are going to seek for themselves seven elder brothers and younger brothers.”

“We indeed are seven elder brothers and younger brothers.”

With the eldest elder brother the eldest elder sister contracted (lit., tied) marriage; with those [other] six persons these six [other] persons contracted marriage. To the seven houses they took the seven persons (their wives).

A Rākshasa came for religious donations (samādamē). Having come, at the very first he got donations from the eldest elder sister. When he begged from the other six, five persons gave donations abundantly (hon̆daṭama). When he begged for donations from the youngest younger sister, she tried to give them [while] sitting in the house. [245]

“We do not take them in that way,” [he said].

When, having come to the doorway, she tried to give them [there, the Rākshasa] placed a walking-stick in his hand, and when he extended [it towards her] he began to go in front; the woman, weeping and weeping, began to go behind the Rākshasa [holding the other end of the magic stick].

Having gone on and on, at the time when he stopped there were seven stone posts. When the walking-stick that was in his hand prodded the ground she became stone [like them].

The young younger sister’s seven elder brothers and younger brothers went [on a trading journey?] taking seven yokes of bulls. At the time when they were taking them, the seven yokes of bulls and the seven men he made into stone.1

He restored that woman to consciousness again; having restored her to consciousness the Rākshasa went with her [to his] home. After he went, when the son of the elder sister of the younger sister who went with [the Rākshasa] proceeded there (etenṭa gihāma) [to seek] the seven yokes of bulls and the men who went [with them], his seven fathers2 and the seven yokes of bulls were there [turned into stone].

(Apparently this is only a portion of a longer story, but the narrator was unacquainted with the rest of it.)

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 222, a Jōgī turned into stone seven brothers who had followed him in order to recover the wife of one of them whom he had carried off by getting her arm-tassel and going away with it. She was compelled to follow him while it was in his possession. When her son who was left behind proceeded in search of her, he came to the place where his petrified uncles were. As he was eating his food there he saw the stones weeping, recognised them, and placed a little food on each for them to eat. Afterwards, when he had killed the Jōgī and was returning with his mother, he bathed, and then spread a cloth over [246]the stones, on which they recovered their human shape, became alive, and thought they had merely slept.

In the Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 85, a Prince who had stolen the garments of Indra’s daughter while she was bathing, was turned by her spells into stone when he looked back at her. He was revived by an old woman with whom he lived; she sprinkled water on the stone and uttered spells.

In the same work, p. 149, the Turtle Prince was informed that if he looked back after stealing the garments of a divine maid or Apsaras while she was bathing, he would be turned into stone. See the first note after No. 151 in this volume.

See the notes after No. 155. [247]


1 Gal keruwā. He appears to have lain in wait for them. 

2 Abuccalā; the brothers of a man’s father are termed his fathers. 

[Contents]

No. 137

The Rākshasa-eating Prākshasa1

In a certain country there is an islet; on the islet there are a few houses. On the islet a Rākshasa dwells. This Rākshasa having seized them eats [the men] from each house at the rate of one man every day.

When the Rākshasa is coming seizing and eating the men in that way for a great number of years, the men of the islet having become finished, at one house, only, men have remained over. In that family there are two parents and four children. The names of the four are One-cubit, Two-cubits, Three-cubits, Four-cubits.

While these children are there, the Rākshasa seized even both the parents of these children. Out of the children, the child called Four-cubits is a female child. The female child for grief at the loss of her mother is weeping and weeping. While these three elder brothers are unable to pacify her, one day at night, One-cubit having spoken says, “Two-cubits, Three-cubits, being now without our mother and father, there is not a thing for us to eat. Our younger sister having remembered mother at all times, is weeping and weeping. Because of it, I and Two-cubits having gone to a country, will come back [after] seeking something for you to eat. Three-cubits, you stay [at home], looking after and soothing younger sister.”

One-cubit and Two-cubits having crossed over from the island, and having gone on and on, arrived at a country. Having arrived, while they are going thus, they met with [248]a youth who is looking after cattle. Having met with him, he asked these two, “Where are you two going?”

“We two are going seeking any sort of livelihood,” they said.

“Can you two stay to look after cattle?” he asked. “We can,” they said.

Having said, “Come. Our Gamarāla has many cattle. For looking after them he still wants people,” this youth who looks after cattle, calling these two, went to the Gamarāla’s house.

When they went, the Gamarāla asked this youth who looks after the cattle, “Who are these two youths?” “These two came seeking a livelihood,” he said.

Then the Gamarāla asks these youths, “What can ye do for a living?” “We can graze cattle,” they said.

Then the Gamarāla asked the big youth, “What name?” “One-cubit,” he said. He asked the younger youth, “What is thy name?” “Two-cubits,” he said.

Thereupon the Gamarāla, having given charge of one hundred cattle to One-cubit, and one hundred cattle to Two-cubits, said, “Having thoroughly caused the cattle given to you to eat and drink, and having looked after them, not giving the cattle to jungle quadrupeds, ye must bring them in the evening, and completely put them in the folds,” the Gamarāla said.

After many days, the Gamarāla thought, “I must go to look at the cattle [that are] with One-cubit and Two-cubits.” One day in the evening, at the time when they were putting them in the folds, he went and remained looking on. The cattle are thoroughly healthy. When the Gamarāla looked [at the numbers] those of both persons are correct.

The Gamarāla, having become much pleased, having gone home, says, “The cattle of One-cubit and Two-cubits are in very good [condition]. Please give food amply to both youths,” the Gamarāla ordered at the house. Thereupon, they give food amply to both persons. For [many] days besides, the two are thoroughly taking care of the cattle.

While Three-cubits is looking after the younger sister, [249]one day the younger sister, having called to remembrance her mother, began to weep. Thereupon he said, “Four-cubits, younger sister, don’t cry. Our big elder brother and little elder brother [after] seeking food for us two will now bring it. Then I will give you a great deal to eat.” While he was speaking in order to pacify her, she began to weep still still more. Three-cubits endeavoured much to pacify her; he was unable to pacify her.

Then Three-cubits says, “Younger sister, don’t you cry; I will go on the island, and bring a Kirala2 fruit, and give you it. You remain [here] without going to bathe, or going anywhere. I will go quickly, and bring Kirala.” Having said [this], Three-cubits went to the edge of the island.

Just as he is going there, the Rākshasa having landed on the island to seize and eat human bodies, when he is coming looking and looking at the whole of the houses, he saw this Four-cubits, the little lass,3 and having sprung into the house, lifted her up and ran away.

On the other bank of the island, sitting in a boat a man is killing fish. Then, having seen this Rākshasa lifting up this child and going away, the man who is killing fish, having become afraid of the Rākshasa, sprang from the boat into the water, and remained under water (lit., swallowed up). After the Rākshasa, not seeing him, went away, the man who is killing fish mounted into the boat.

Well then, Three-cubits, [after] plucking Kirala quickly having gone taking them to give to his younger sister, when he looked his younger sister was not [there]. Thereupon, when Three-cubits, saying and saying, “Four cubits! Younger sister, younger sister!” was going weeping and weeping, seeking her, through not seeing her he sought and sought still still further, and went to the edge of the island.

While he was there weeping and weeping, saying and saying, “Four-cubits! Younger sister!” that man who was rowing the boat heard it, and came to see what this youth is lamenting for. [250]

Having come, “What is it, boy, thou art lamenting for?” the boatman asked.

Then he says, “Anē! Our younger sister was weeping and weeping at home. Then, having come on the island to pluck a Kirala fruit, I went back [after] plucking a Kirala fruit, to give it to younger sister. Having gone home, when I looked for younger sister, younger sister was not [there],” the youth, weeping and weeping, said to the boatman, saying and saying [also], “When elder brothers have come now, and have asked, ‘Where is younger sister?’ what shall I say?”

Then the boatman says, “Thou having now wept, what [good] will it do? Why didst thou come away, leaving thy younger sister quite alone? It would be thy younger sister whom, a little time before now, when I was fishing and fishing sitting in the boat, I saw the Rākshasa carrying, and going away with, after crossing to the other shore. I also sank in the water through fear, and got hid.”

Then this youth, Three-cubits, saying and saying, “Ayiyō! My younger sister! My younger sister!” and again having wept and wept, rolling on the ground, the boatman says to him, “Thou having now lamented, what [good] will it do? Be off home!”

Well then, while Three-cubits is at home, weeping and weeping, One-cubit having said, “Two-cubits! Younger brother,” says [also], “Now then, it is enough. We have stayed here. We don’t know now what our Three-cubits and Four-cubits our younger sister are doing at this time. Let us go to look.”

One-cubit and Two-cubits spoke together, and said, “Let us tell the Gamarāla to-day, and to-morrow go to the village, and return. To go to look at either little younger brother or younger sister is good.”

One-cubit and Two-cubits, the cattle having gone [home] in the evening, put them in the folds; and having gone to the house told the Gamarāla, “We must go to our village, and [after] looking at our younger brother and younger sister, come back,” they said to the Gamarāla.

Then the Gamarāla said, “It is good. Go and come back [251]again.” When he said, “What do ye want to take?” they said, “Should you tie up and give us a few cakes to take to the village, it would be good.”

Then the Gama-gāeni (wife of the Gamarāla) quickly having tied up two packets of cakes in sufficient quantity for both of them, gave them to them to take. Both of them, taking them, set off to go to the village, and went away.

Having gone, and crossed over to that shore, when they went home only Three-cubits, their younger brother, was at home. “Where, little younger brother, is younger sister?” asked One-cubit and Two-cubits.

Then Three-cubits said, “Elder brothers, after you went younger sister began to cry. Then I said, ‘Don’t cry; I will go on the island and pluck a Kirala fruit, and bring it.’ Having gone, when coming [after] plucking a Kirala fruit, a man who was in the boat at the island saw that the Rākshasa went away taking younger sister,” he said.

Then both the elder brothers asked, “Where did he bring her?”

“To that side of the island she was brought,” he said.

The whole three having been [there] a few days, the three spoke together: “Let us go to seek our younger sister.”

Having said, “It is good,” while the whole three are going along eating and eating the two packets of cakes that they brought, the two elder ones, having seen that the two packets of cakes are coming to be finished, said to the younger brother, “Our cakes are coming to be finished. You go along this path, and return [after] seeking something for us to eat,” they said.

Three-cubits went; he went to seek some food, and return. When going, he went to the house of the Kuḍu Heṭṭirāla4 of that village. Having gone he said, “Anē! Heṭṭirālahāmi, the food we brought became finished. You must give something for us to eat for the present on the road.”

When he said it, there was much paddy dust at the house of the Heṭṭirāla’s people. The Heṭṭirāla told them to give [252]a little of it. Then he made a large bag (olaguwak), and putting in it paddy powder to the extent it holds, when he was coming he saw (diṭuwāya) a large tree in the midst of the jungle. When coming near the tree he saw a bats’ place. When he looked there, having seen that many bats’ skins had fallen down, those also in a sufficient quantity he put into the bag.

When he was coming [after] putting them in, he saw that both One-cubit and Two-cubits, being without food, were sitting at the root of a tree. When he asked, “What are you doing here?” “Until you came we were looking out at the road,” they said.

When they asked, “What is there for us to eat?” “Only paddy dust and bats’ skins,” he said.

“What are we to do? Let us go, eating and eating even those,” they said.

When they were going very far in that manner, having seen that a man is bringing an ass to sell, said Three-cubits, “One-cubit, Two-cubits, you must take that ass and give it to me,” he said; “if not, I will not come to look for younger sister,” he said. Then, taking the ass they gave him it.

When going still further having seen that a man is bringing two flat winnowing trays, “One-cubit, Two-cubits, having taken those two winnowing trays, you must give them to me,” he said. Taking also the two winnowing trays they gave him them.

When going still a little further, having seen that they are bringing two bundles of creepers, he told them to take them also, and give him them. Taking them also, when going on having seen that yet [another] man was bringing a tom-tom, he told them to take that also, and give him it. Taking that also, they gave him it.

Having seen that still a man was bringing two elephant’s tusks, he told them to take them also, and give him them. Taking them also they gave him them.

When going still a little further, having seen that a man was taking porcupine quills, he told them to ask for and give him a few of those also. They asked for and gave them. [253]

When going still a little further, having seen that there were two red ants’ nests in a tree, “Please break and give these also to me,” he said. Those also they broke off and gave.

When they gave them, having made two wallets, and put the things in the two wallets, tying them well and loading all on the back of the ass, as they were going very far they met with an old mother. Having met with her she asked, “Anē! where are you going on this path? This path is a path going to the house of the Rākshasa. Should you go [on it] the Rākshasa will kill and eat you,” she said.

Then they say, “It is on this path itself that our younger sister will be. Let us go on. If the Rākshasa kill us let him kill.”

Having said [this], the three persons having gone on and on, when they were going met with a great big house. The three spoke together: “It has now become night. Having stayed at a resting-place at this house, let us go on in the morning to-morrow,” they said.

Having said, “It is good,” when they went near the house the Rākshasa’s wife asked, “Who are you? Where are you going? What came you here for?”

“We are One-cubit, Two-cubits, Three-cubits. Our younger sister, Four-cubits, having been in the island, a Rākshasa brought her away. We are going seeking her,” they said.

“Anē! My elder brothers, (ayiyanḍilā)! Did you come seeking me?” Having said, “It is I myself,” holding her elder brothers she smelt5 them, and said, “Apoyi! When the Rākshasa has come now he will eat you.” Having quickly called them into the house, she told the whole of them (sēramanṭa) to ascend to the upper room (uḍa geṭa), and remain [there]. Even the ass they took up. “When the Rākshasa has gone in the morning we can talk together,” she said. [254]

Having said [this], the younger sister, having gone outside, and made fast and tied up the stile, and come back quickly, and given her elder brothers to eat, became as though not knowing anything [about them].

While she was there, when the Rākshasa is coming saying “Hū” three times, the three elder brothers were frightened. The ass was more frightened than that; it began to move about.

Then the younger sister says, “Elder brother, there! The Rākshasa is coming! Remain without moving about until it becomes light to-morrow.”

“It is good, younger sister,” Three-cubits, the youngest elder brother, said.

There! When that little time was going the Rākshasa came. Washing his face and mouth, he sat down to eat food. Having sat down, eating and eating food, he says, “There is a smell of human flesh; there is a smell of human flesh.”

Then the Rākshasī says, “If you eat human flesh, and in your mouth there is human flesh, and in your hand there is human flesh, is there not a smell of human flesh?”

“No, it is a smell of fresh human flesh.”

When the Rākshasī said, “If so, it is to eat me you say that,” the Rākshasa, having eaten without speaking, rolled over at that very place and went to sleep.

All One-cubit’s party (Ekriyanalā), through the fatigue of the journey, the whole of them (sēramanṭama) went fast asleep. When a little time is going by, a red ant (dimiyā) having come out of a red ants’ nest, and as it was going along having climbed up the ass’s leg, the red ant bit it. Then the ass, making a sound “Tok, tok,” began to kick the boards [of the floor].

Then One-cubit opened his eyes. When he was looking what was the noise, it was the noise of the ass kicking. Then One-cubit held the legs of the ass, for it not to make the noise.

Then the ass, becoming afraid, got up, making a sound, “Diḍi-biḍi.”

The Rākshasa having become afraid, and having jumped [255]up, when he was saying, “What, Bola, is this one? I am going to eat this one,” Three-cubits says, “Come here, thou! To eat thee is insufficient for me!” he said.

Then the Rākshasa, having been frightened, said, “Who art thou, Clever One, to eat me?”

“I am the Rākshasa6-eating Prākshasa,” he said.

The Rākshasa, becoming thoroughly frightened, called out, “Get down, and come here.”

“Thou come here,” Three-cubits called out.

“Who art thou?” he asked again.

“It is I indeed, the Rākshasa-eating Prākshasa,” he said.

“If so, throw down thy two Jak trees,”7 he said. Then he lifted up and threw down the two bundles of creepers.

“Throw down thy two tusks,” he said. He lifted up and threw down the two [elephant’s] tusks.

“Throw down thy two ears,” he said. He lifted up and threw down the two winnowing trays.

“Show me one eye,” he said. Then having put down the tom-tom at the corner of a plank on which there was plaster he showed him it.

He told him to tap on his belly, and show him it. Then, pressing one hand on one side (end) of the tom-tom, at the other side (end) he made a noise, “Bāhāk, bāhāk.”

Then the Rākshasa having become [more] frightened, standing up holding the Rākshasī’s hand, and looking for the road so as to run off, told him to cry out.

Then Three-cubits thinks, “When he is running away now, he will run off taking with him younger sister.” Having become afraid of it, taking a red ants’ nest softly to the end of the boards, he broke and threw down the red ants’ nest on the Rākshasa’s head. Then the Rākshasa having let go the hand of the Rākshasī, began to scratch his head and body in all places.

At that very time having put the other red ants’ nest into the two ears of the ass, the three persons began to prick it with the porcupine quills. Then when it began to give hundreds of brays (būruwē beri), the Rākshasa having become thoroughly frightened, said, “I don’t want you [256]below”; and having abandoned even the Rākshasī, crying “Hū,” and breaking through the fence also and upsetting the village, on account of the noise of the ass and the cunning of the three persons and the power of the red ants, he ran away.

Then the elder brother, and the younger brothers, the three persons, taking their younger sister, went to their village.

Kumbukkan, Eastern Province.

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In a variant (a) of the North-western Province the persons were a youth termed One-span (Ek-wiyatā), his two elder brothers, and his elder and younger sisters. A quarrel having arisen among them, One-span and his younger sister went off alone. While they were in the midst of a forest a Rākshasī carried off the girl during her brother’s temporary absence, so he returned home, informed the others, and he and his two brothers set off in search of her. The elder sister having been angry with him, gave One-span some cold boiled rice to take with him, and to the others warm rice. When the two opened their bag of warm rice they heard worms or grubs (panuwō) that were in it making a sound, “Mini, mini,” as they gnawed at it, so they begged their brother to share his cold rice with them. He did so, and afterwards when they objected to take and carry along with them a coconut tree, a palmira tree, an elephant calf (aet-wassek), and two or three large black ants (kaḍiyō), on each occasion he demanded the return of the rice and curry they had eaten. They found their younger sister at “a very large tiled house,” and she hid them and the young elephant and the other things in the loft. The Rākshasī returned, said, “There is a smell of fresh human flesh,” and afterwards was frightened as in the story given above, and ran away.

If the names in this tale and variant indicate the heights of the persons, as appears probable, this is the only instance in which dwarfs are mentioned in the Sinhalese folk-tales that I have collected.

In the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka (Kern, S.B.E., vol. xxi, p. 83), mention is made of a form of dwarf demons, “malign urchins, some of them measuring one span, others one cubit or two cubits, all nimble in their movements.”

In Tales of the Punjab (Mrs. Steel), p. 3 (Wide-Awake Stories, p. 7), there is an account of a dwarf who was only one cubit high; he had magical powers. In Sagas from the Far East, p. 39, a demoness in the form of a woman one span high is mentioned (see p. 171). In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 189, there is an account of a man who was only a span high. [257]

In the last mentioned work, p. 81, two men who were in a tree frightened a Rāja and his attendants by dropping a tiger’s paunch and beating a drum out of which flew a number of bees that they had placed in it. These attacked and drove away the people below, and the men got their goods.

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xiv, p. 135 (Folklore in Southern India, p. 116), in a Tamil story by Pandit Naṭēśa Sāstrī, a tiger which knew magic took the form of a youth, married a girl who went off with him, and had a son who was a tiger. The girl sent a message to her three brothers, and they went to rescue her, taking an ass, an ant, a palmira tree, and a washerman’s iron tub that they found. They were put in the loft by her. When the tiger told them to speak, one put the ant in the ear of the ass, to make it bray. He then told them to show him their legs and bellies; they held out the palmira tree and the tub, on seeing which he ran off, and they escaped with her.

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 229, a blind man and a deaf man when going for a walk found and took with them a washerman’s ass, and the large pot in which he boiled clothes, and also put some large black ants into a snuff-box. They took shelter from a storm in the house of a Rākshasa, and fastened the door. When the ogre tried to enter, saying “I’m a Rākshas,” the blind man replied, “Well, if you’re Rākshas I’m Bākshas, and Bākshas is as good as Rākshas.” The Rākshasa asked to see his face and was shown the donkey’s; he asked to see his head and was shown the pot; he told him to scream, and the ants were put in the ears of the ass, the braying of which frightened the Rākshasa away. When they went off next day with his treasure, he came with six friends to kill them. They climbed up a tree (as in the next variant), the ogres stood on each other’s shoulders to reach them, the blind man lost his balance, fell on the uppermost one, and all tumbled down together. When the deaf man shouted, “Well done; hold on tight, I’m coming to help you,” all the Rākshasas ran away.

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The Rākshasīs-eating Prākshasa.8 (Variant b.)

At a certain village there were a Gamarāla and a Tom-tom Beater. For the Tom-tom Beater there was nothing to eat. Because of it, having gone to the Gamarāla’s house he got a large basket of paddy on loan. While he was eating it the two persons having joined together worked the Gamarāla’s two rice fields.

Out of them, the [rice in the] Gamarāla’s field being of [258]very good quality was well developed; [that in] the Tom-tom Beater’s field was undeveloped. Because of it, the arrangement which the Tom-tom Beater made was thus: “Because I am to give a debt to you, you take my rice field, please, and give me your rice field, please,” the Tom-tom Beater said to the Gamarāla. So the Gamarāla having told him to take it, the Gamarāla took the Tom-tom Beater’s field.

The Tom-tom Beater having cut the growing rice in the field and trampled it [with buffaloes], got the paddy. The Gamarāla obtained hardly anything (ṭikapiṭika). So not much time was occupied in eating it.

After that, a daughter of the Gamarāla’s was taken away by a Rākshasa. Then the Gamarāla having come near the Tom-tom Beater, and said, “Let us go on a search for my daughter,” both persons went together.

At that time the Gamarāla took a bag of money. The Tom-tom Beater, not showing it to the Gamarāla, took a bag of fragments of broken plates. The Gamarāla tied up a bag of cooked rice; the Tom-tom Beater tied up a bag of rice-dust porridge.

At the time when they were going, being hungry they stopped at the bottom of a tree and made ready to eat the cooked rice. Having made ready, the Tom-tom Beater, taking a small quantity of rice from the Gamarāla’s leaf [plate] of cooked rice, ate it.

Having eaten it, the Tom-tom Beater says, “Don’t you eat the cooked rice which I have polluted by eating; be good enough to eat my bag of cooked rice.” Having said it, he gave him the bag of rice-dust porridge. Then when the Gamarāla unfastened the bag there was only porridge.

Having said, “Well then, what [else] shall I do?” the Gamarāla ate the rice-dust porridge. The Tom-tom Beater ate the package of good cooked rice which the Gamarāla brought. Thereupon the Gamarāla said at the hand of the Tom-tom Beater, “I ate the rice-dust porridge; don’t tell anyone whatever,” he said. The Tom-tom Beater said, “It is good.”

At the time when they were going away, yet [another] Tom-tom Beater, taking a drum to sell, came up. So this [259]Tom-tom Beater, thinking of taking the drum, spoke to the Gamarāla [about it]. Then the Gamarāla said, “If there is money in thy hand give it, and take it.”

The Tom-tom Beater, having shaken the package of plate fragments said, “There is money by me; I cannot unfasten it. If you have money be good enough to give it.” The Gamarāla said, “I will not.”9

Then the Tom-tom Beater said, “If so, I will say that you ate the rice-dust porridge.” Then the Gamarāla said, “Here is money,” and gave it. So the Tom-tom Beater got the drum.

Taking it, at the time when they were going along the path again, a man came taking a deer-hide rope. That, also, the Tom-tom Beater having thought of taking, in the very same way as at first he asked the Gamarāla for money. The Gamarāla said, “I will not give it.”

So the Tom-tom Beater said, “I will say that you ate the rice-dust porridge.” Then having said, “Don’t say it,” the Gamarāla gave the money.

After that, the Tom-tom Beater taking the deer-hide rope, at the time when they were going along the road, a man came bringing a pair of elephant tusks.

Then the Tom-tom Beater in the very same way as at first asked the Gamarāla for money. The Gamarāla said, “I will not [give it].”

So the Tom-tom Beater said, “If so, I will say that you ate the rice-dust porridge.” Then the Gamarāla, having said, “Don’t say it,” gave the money.

The Tom-tom Beater taking the pair of elephant tusks, they went to the Rākshasa’s house. When they went, the Rākshasa having gone for human flesh food, only the Gamarāla’s daughter was [there]. The girl quickly having given food to the two persons, the Gamarāla’s daughter told them to go to the upper story floor.10 Afterwards the Gamarāla and the Tom-tom Beater went to the upper story floor.

In the evening, the Rākshasa having come said, “Smell of fresh human flesh!”

Then the Gamarāla’s daughter said, “Having come [260][after] eating fresh human flesh, what smell of human flesh!” After that the Rākshasa without speaking lay down.

Then at the time of dawn the Tom-tom Beater was minded to chant verses, so he spoke to the Gamarāla [about it]. The Gamarāla said, “Don’t speak.” Without listening to it he chanted verses softly, softly (hemin hemin).

Thereupon the Rākshasa having arisen, asked, “Who art thou?”

The Tom-tom Beater said, “I myself am the Rākshasīs-eating Prākshasa.”

Then the Rākshasa said, “If so, show me thy teeth.” The Tom-tom Beater showed him the pair of elephant tusks.

Then the Rākshasa, becoming afraid, said, “Show me the hair of thy head.” The Tom-tom Beater showed him the deer-hide rope.

Then the Rākshasa said, “If that be so, let us roar.” Then having said, “It is good,” the Tom-tom Beater began to beat on the drum. The Rākshasa becoming [more] frightened, said that he was going near his preceptor, and ran away. Then the Tom-tom Beater and the Gamarāla, in order to get hidden, went into the midst of the forest of Palmira trees.

Then the Rākshasa, placing his preceptor in front, came up to go through the middle of the forest of Palmira trees. At that time, having seen the two Rākshasas, these two persons being afraid prepared to climb two trees. Thereupon the Tom-tom Beater, taking the drum, went up the tree. The Gamarāla being unable to go up the tree, having gone to the middle of the tree, slid down [with a] sīri sīri [noise] to the ground.

Thereupon the two Rākshasas came near the Gamarāla. Then the Tom-tom Beater, from the top of the tree, having shaken the leaves and beaten the drum first, said, “After I descend leave the big one for me, and do thou eat the little one.” Then the two Rākshasas becoming afraid, ran off.

Then the Tom-tom Beater descended from the tree, and again having gone with the Gamarāla to the Rākshasa’s house, taking the Gamarāla’s daughter and the goods that were in the Rākshasa’s house they came to their village. [261]

While at the village the Gamarāla said, “Take thou the goods; after the girl was there it is sufficient for me.” Then the Tom-tom Beater having brought [home] the goods became very wealthy.

After a little time had gone by since that, the Gamarāla came to the Tom-tom Beater’s house to take the debt of paddy. Then what does the Tom-tom Beater do? Before the Gamarāla’s coming, a very large basket was tied up [by him], shells and chaff having been put in it.

After the Gamarāla went, the Tom-tom Beater said, “Because of you, indeed, I have tied up that basket. If you want it, be good enough to take it and go.” Then the Gamarāla having gone and opened the mouth of the basket, when he looked there were only shells and chaff.

Thereupon, at the time when the Gamarāla was asking, “What is this chaff?” the Tom-tom Beater said, “Apoyi! What has happened here? Through your bad luck there were other things, indeed! In that way, indeed, you came down from the Palmira tree that day,” the Tom-tom Beater said.

Then the Gamarāla, without speaking, went home without the paddy.

North-central Province.

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In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xiv, p. 77, in a Tamil story related by Pandit S. M. Naṭēśa Sāstrī, two men who had previously frightened some bhūtas, or evil spirits, were belated at night in a wood they haunted, so they climbed up a tree for safety. The bhūtas afterwards came there with torches in search of animals for food, and this so terrified one of the men that he fell down among them. The other man then shouted to him to catch the stoutest of them if he must eat one, on which the bhūtas all ran away.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 38, when a barber and fakīr had climbed up a tree in order to overhear the talk of a number of tigers who came there at night, and also to collect valuables left by the tigers, the fakīr became so alarmed when he heard the tiger King using threatening language against them, that he lost his hold and fell into the midst of the tigers. The barber instantly cried out loudly, “Now cut off their ears,” on hearing which the tigers ran away. The fakīr, however, received such injuries that he died.

I have omitted two nocturnal incidents due to the Tom-tom Beater’s inability to control his bodily functions. [262]

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The Rice-dust Porridge. (Variant c.)

In a certain country there are a Gamarāla and a Tom-tom Beater, it is said. The Gamarāla having become very poor had not a thing to eat. That Tom-tom Beater was a very rich man.

While they were thus, one day the two persons having spoken about going on a journey and said, “Let us go to-morrow,” made ready. There being not a thing for the Gamarāla to eat before going, and being without a thing to take for the road, [after] stirring with a spoon a little rice-dust porridge and taking the porridge to the road, he was ready to go.

The Tom-tom Beater, having amply cooked rice and curry, and eaten, tying up a packet of cooked rice for the road also, went to the Gamarāla’s house. Having gone there, the two persons went on the journey. The Gamarāla took the rice-dust porridge, the Tom-tom Beater took the packet of cooked rice.

Having gone on and on, after it became late in the morning the Tom-tom Beater said, “Hā. Now then, Gamarāhami, let us eat the packet of cooked rice.”

Afterwards, the Gamarāla having said “Hā,” and both of them having unfastened the two bags, the Tom-tom Beater, taking the packet of cooked rice, eats it. When the Gamarāla was taking the rice-dust porridge the Tom-tom Beater asked, “What, Gamarāhami, are those?”

Then the Gamarāla said, “In order to cook rice for myself quickly, I came [after] cooking porridge. Don’t tell it at the hand of anyone.”

The Tom-tom Beater says, “Anē! Gamarāhami, I shall not tell it. The gentleman (Rāhami) will be good enough to eat it.”

The two persons having eaten and finished, when they are going on again, a man is going taking a rice pestle to sell. Then this Tom-tom Beater says to the Gamarāla, “Anē! Gamarāhami, be good enough to take and give me that rice pestle.” [263]

The Gamarāla says, “Where, Bolat,11 have I the money [for it]?”

Then the Tom-tom Beater says, “If so, I will say that the Gamarāhami ate rice-dust porridge.”

Afterwards the Gamarāla,—there is a little money in his hand,—having given from it, taking the rice pestle, gave it to the Tom-tom Beater.

Again, when they had gone a great distance, a man is coming taking a [wooden] rice mortar to sell. So the Tom-tom Beater again says, “Gamarāhami, Gamarāhami, take that rice mortar, and be good enough to give me it.”

Then the Gamarāla says, “Anē! Bolat, come thou on without speaking there. Where have I money to that extent, to take and give you those things?”

Thereupon the Tom-tom Beater says, “If so, I will say that the Gamarāhami ate rice-dust porridge.” Afterwards the Gamarāla took and gave him the rice mortar also.

Again, when they had gone a great distance, a man is going taking a millet stone (quern) to sell. The Tom-tom Beater says, “Gamarālahami, you must indeed take and give me that millet stone.”

Afterwards, anger having come to the Gamarāla, he says, “O Vishṇu!12 Bolat, where have I money to that extent?”

Then the Tom-tom Beater says, “If so, I will say that the Gamarāhami ate rice-dust porridge.”

Afterwards, the Gamarāla having given money to the man who owned the millet stone, taking the millet stone gave it to the Tom-tom Beater.

Taking that also, again when they are going a great distance a Tom-tom Beater is coming, taking a tom-tom. Again that Tom-tom Beater says to the Gamarāla, “Gamarāhami, be good enough to take and give me that tom-tom.”

Then the Gamarāla says, “Andō! I having come with this Tom-tom Beater lump,13 [see] what is happening to me! Where is the money to take and give these things in this way?”

Having said [this], and given money to the man who [264]owned the tom-tom, taking the tom-tom and having given it to the Tom-tom Beater, again they go on.

When the Tom-tom Beater, taking the rice pestle, and the rice mortar, and the millet stone, and the tom-tom, all of them, was going with the Gamarāla it became night. After that, they went to a house to ask for a resting-place. The house was a Rākshasa’s house. The Rākshasa was not at home; only the Rākshasa’s wife was at home. This Gamarāla and Tom-tom Beater asked at the hand of the woman for a resting-place.

Then the woman says, “Anē! What have you come here for? This indeed is a Rākshasa’s house. The Rākshasa having come and eaten you also, will eat me. Before he comes go away quickly.”

Afterwards these two persons say, “Anē! Don’t say so. There is no place for us to go to now. Somehow or other you must give us a resting-place.”

After that, this woman said, “If so, remain without speaking, having gone to that upper story floor.” Thereupon these two persons ascended to the upper floor, and stayed [there].

Then the Rākshasa having come, asked at the hand of the woman, “What, Bola, is this smell of a human body that came, a human body that came?”

The woman says, “What is this thing that you are saying! Every day you are eating fresh human flesh indeed; how should there not be a corpse smell?” After that, the Rākshasa without speaking lay down.

Then to the Gamarāla says the Tom-tom Beater, “Gamarāhami, I must go out.”

The Gamarāla says, “Remain without speaking. Now then, after the Rākshasa has come he will eat us both.”

Then this Tom-tom Beater says, “If so, I will say you ate rice-dust porridge.”

Thereupon the Gamarāla says, “Owing to this one, indeed, I shall not be allowed to save my life and go.”

The Rākshasa having heard the talk, said, “What, Bola, is that I hear?”

The woman says, “On the upper story floor the coconut [265]leaves are shaking.” At that, also, the Rākshasa remained without speaking.

Again that Tom-tom Beater says, “Gamarāhami, I must go out.”

Then the Gamarāla says, “The Gods be witnesses! Endless times, having heard the talk, the Rākshasa asked at the hand of the woman, ‘What is that I hear?’ Now then, having come on this journey indeed, he will eat us. What shall I do? Let him eat, on account of my foolishness in coming.”

Then the Tom-tom Beater says, “If so, I will say you ate rice-dust porridge.”

The Rākshasa, having heard that talk also, again asked at the hand of the woman, “What, Bola, is that I hear?”

Then the woman says, “What is it, Anē! Appā! that you are making happen to-day? There is very much wind; owing to it will the coconut leaves stay without waving about?” At that time also, having said, “Ahā,” the Rākshasa remained without speaking.

Then the Tom-tom Beater again says, “Gamarāhami, I have the mind to beat a tom-tom verse.”

The Gamarāla said, “What is the reason why you (om̆baheṭa) have such a mind to die?”

The Tom-tom Beater says, “So indeed! I will say that you ate rice-dust porridge.”

Then the Gamarāla said, “Beat very slightly and slowly, so that [the sound] will not come even to the ear.”

The Tom-tom Beater having said “Hā,” very loudly beat, “Dombitan̥, Dombitan̥.”

Then when the Rākshasa, without asking the woman [about this noise] was ascending a great distance along the ladder, in order to go to the upper floor, the Tom-tom Beater dropped the rice pestle on the Rākshasa, and dropped the rice mortar. When he dropped the millet stone the Rākshasa died.

The Tom-tom Beater, taking the tom-tom, went to his village. The Gamarāla calling the Rākshasa’s wife [in marriage] remained at the Rākshasa’s village.

North-western Province. [266]

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The Evidence that the Appuhāmi ate Paddy Dust. (Variant d.)

In a certain country a Padu14 man, and an Appuhāmi15 having joined together, went away on a journey, it is said. Of the two persons, the Padu man tied up for himself a packet of cooked rice, the Appuhāmi tied up for himself a packet of paddy dust, it is said.

Those two persons having gone taking the two packets, when the time for eating cooked rice in the daytime arrived they halted at one spot, and having become ready to eat cooked rice, unfastened the two packets, it is said. At the time when they unfastened the two packets, the two persons mutually saw the Padu man’s cooked rice and curry, and the Appuhāmi’s paddy dust. Having seen them, without having spoken they ate the food in their own packets, and having stayed a little time, set off and went away.

When they are going a considerable distance, a man came, bringing a tom-tom (berayak) to sell.

The Paddā having asked the price of the tom-tom from the man who brings the tom-tom to sell, said to the Appuhāmi, “Please take and give me this tom-tom.”

Then anger having gone to the Appuhāmi [he said], “Be off, dolt!16 That I should come with thee being insufficient, thou toldest me to take and give thee this tom-tom!”

“It is good, Appuhāmi. If so, I will mention the evidence that you ate paddy dust,” he said.

The Appuhāmi having become afraid, and having said, “Anē! Bola, I will take and give thee the tom-tom. Don’t tell any one about the matter of the dust eating,” took and gave the tom-tom to the Paddā.

Taking the tom-tom, when they are going a considerable distance, still [another] man brought a devil-dancer’s mask (wes-muhuna) to sell. The Paddā having asked the price [267]of the mask, said, “Appuhāmi, please take and give me this mask.”

Having said, “Be off, dolt! Having taken and given thee a tom-tom, am I to take and give thee a mask too?” the Appuhāmi scolded the Paddā.

“If so, I will mention the matter of the dust eating,” he said. Thereupon the Appuhāmi having become afraid, took and gave the mask.

Taking also the mask, when they are going a considerable distance, yet [another] man brought a pair of devil-dancer’s hawk’s bells to sell. The Paddā having asked the price of the bells also, and having said, “Appuhāmi, take and give me this pair of bells,” when the Appuhāmi said he would not, “If so, I shall mention the evidence that you ate the dust,” he said.

Thereupon, the Appuhāmi having become afraid, and having said, “Now then, having taken and given thee anything thou art telling and telling [me to give], my money is done, too,” took and gave the pair of bells.

After that, again having gone a considerable distance they descended to a great abandoned village. When they were going a considerable distance in the village they saw that there is a house. These two persons at the time when it was becoming evening went to that house. The house was a Rākshasī’s house.

The Rākshasī’s daughter having been [there] and having wept says, “Anē! Brothers,17 our mother is a Rākshasī. She is not at home now; at this time she will be coming. As soon as mother comes,18 seizing you two she will eat you. Having gone to any possible place, escape,” she said.

The Appuhāmi through fear began to tremble. The Paddā says, “Why, younger sister? This night where are we to go? By any possible method get us inside the house,” he said.

“If so, you two, not talking, having ascended to this store-loft (aṭuwa) sit down,” she said.

The Appuhāmi and the Paddā having climbed up to the store-loft, stayed [there].

After a little time the Rākshasī came. When she asked, [268]“What is the smell of human flesh?” the daughter says, “Why, mother? Night and day continually having eaten and eaten human flesh and having come, why do you ask me what is the smell of human flesh?” she said.

Thereupon the Rākshasī, not speaking, went to sleep, together with the daughter.

The Paddā sitting above in the store-loft says to the Appuhāmi, “Anē! Appuhāmi, it was in my mind to dance a little.”

Thereupon the Appuhāmi says, “Caḥ, Bola! Dolt! You are preparing to dance; I am hiding in fear. Shouldst thou go for thy dancing, the Rākshasī having killed us both will seize and eat us,” he said.

“If so, I will mention the fact that the Appuhāmi ate the dust,” he said.

The Appuhāmi then says, “If so, having taken and placed the tom-tom aside, do thou imagine that thou hast beaten the tom-tom; bringing the devil-dancer’s mask near thy face, imagine that thou hast tied it on; and imagining that thou hast tied the pair of bells on thy two legs, having taken and taken all, put them on one side,” he said.

And the Paddā, having said, “It is good,” tying on well the devil-dancer’s mask and having made it tight, and tying the pair of bells on his two legs, and tying the tom-tom at his waist, saying “Hū” with great strength, sprang down from the store-loft to the place where the Rākshasī was sleeping; and began to dance.

The Rākshasī having become afraid, asked her daughter, “What is this?”

“Why, mother, isn’t that the Rākshasas-eating Prākshasa?”19 she said.

Then the Rākshasī, having become afraid and having gone running, being unable to escape sprang into a well. The Paddā having also gone running just behind her, and having rolled into the well some great stones, killed the Rākshasī.

After that, he took in marriage even the Rākshasī’s daughter. The Appuhāmi went away to his village.

Western Province. [269]


1 In this tale the title is perhaps wrongly written Yakshayin kana Prākshayā, the Yakshas-eating Prākshayā. In variants of the latter part of the story the name is Rākshayan kana Prākshayā, Rāksayā kana Prāksayā, and Rāksīn kana Prāksayā

2 A species of cork-tree (Clough). 

3 Gāenu kollawa, lit., the female lad or youth. 

4 Perhaps a shopkeeper who sold rice, and who employed women to clean the husk (kuḍu) off paddy. 

5 The only expression found in the stories, with one exception where a Prince kisses his sister’s portrait; elsewhere “kiss” does not appear in them. It is the crown of the head which is smelt, or sniffed at with a strong inhalation; the effect seems to be quite satisfactory. 

6 Yakshayin, in this story. 

7 Sic, probably a euphemism. 

8 Rāksīn kana Prāksayā. 

9 Maṭa bāe, lit., “I cannot,” but commonly used with the meaning “I will not.” 

10 Uḍu-mahal talāwa. 

11 The form of Bola used when addressing a person of low caste. 

12 Vis unnahansē. 

13 Geḍiyā. 

14 Paddā is the Low-country name for a Durayā, a man of the Porter caste, Padu being the adjectival form. 

15 Appuhāmi is a title applied to the son of a Chief, usually in the Low-country, Bastḍā or Bastḍāra being the Kandian equivalent. 

16 Jadayā. 

17 Sahōdarayinē. 

18 Ā haeṭiyē. 

19 Rākshayan kana Prākshayā. 

[Contents]

No. 138

The Story of the Cake Tree

In a certain country there are a woman, and a youngster, and a girl, it is said. The woman is a Yaksanī.

One day the youngster said, “Mother, let us cook cakes.”

Then the Yaksanī said, “Son, for us to cook cakes, whence [can we get] the things for them?”

After that, this youngster having gone to the place where they were pounding flour, and having come back [after] placing a little flour under the corner of his finger nail, said, “Mother, mother, hold a pot,” he said.

The Yaksanī held a pot. Then he struck down the finger nail; then the pot having filled, overflowed.

Again, having gone to a place where they were expressing [oil from] coconuts, and having come [after] placing a little oil under the corner of his finger nail, “Mother, mother, hold a pot,” he said.

The Yaksanī held a pot. Then the youngster struck down the finger nail; then the pot having filled, overflowed.

After that, the youngster having gone to a place where they were warming [palm] syrup, and having come [after] placing a little syrup under the corner of his finger nail, “Mother, mother, hold a pot,” he said.

The Yaksanī held a pot. The youngster struck down the finger nail; then the pot having filled, overflowed.1

After that, the youngster said, “Mother, now then, cook cakes.” Having said it, the youngster went to school.

During the time while he was going and was there, the Yaksanī and the girl having cooked cakes, and the Yaksanī and the girl having eaten all the cakes, placed for the [270]youngster a cake that fell on the ash-heap while they were cooking; and both of them remained without speaking.

Then the youngster having been at school, came home. Having come, he asked that Yaksanī, “Mother, where are the cakes?”

Then the Yaksanī said, “Anē! Son, the cooked cakes the flour people took away, the oil people took away, the syrup people took away. The cake which fell on the ash-heap while [we were] cooking is there. There; eat even that.”

After that, when the youngster looked on the ash-heap there was a cake on it. Having taken it, and planted it in the chena jungle, he said, “When I come to-morrow, may the Cake tree (kæwun gaha), having sprouted, be [here].” Having said it he came home.

Having gone on the following day, when he looked a Cake tree had sprouted. Afterwards the youngster said, “When I come to-morrow, may flowers having blossomed be [on it].” Having said it he came home.

Afterwards having gone, when he looked flowers had blossomed. After that, the youngster said, “When I come to-morrow, may cakes having fruited be [on it].” Having said it he came home.

Having gone on the following day, when he looked there were cakes. After that, the youngster having ascended the tree, ate the cakes.

Then the Yaksanī having gone [there], sitting at the bottom of the tree said, “Son, a cake for me also.” The woman having taken a sack also, put it [there].

Afterwards the youngster threw down a cake. Then the Yaksanī falsely said, “Anē! Son, it fell into the spittle heap.” The youngster again threw one down. Then the Yaksanī said, “Anē! Son, it fell into the mucus heap.” Afterwards the youngster again threw one down. Then also the Yaksanī said, “Anē! Son, it fell into the cow-dung heap.”

Having said, “Not so; holding them with your hand and mouth jump into the sack,” she held the sack, through wanting to eat the youngster. Then the youngster, holding them with the hand and mouth, jumped into the sack. [271]

After that, the Yaksanī, tying the sack, came away. In a rice field certain men were ploughing. Having placed the sack very near there, the Yaksanī went seven gawwas (twenty-eight miles) away [for necessary reasons].

Thereupon that youngster says, “Anē! Unfasten this sack, some one who is in this rice field.” Then the men who were very near having heard it, unfastened the sack. After that, the youngster having come out, put a great many ploughed-up clods from a plot of the field into the sack, and again having tied the sack in the very way in which it was [before], and placed it there, the youngster again went to the Cake tree and ate.

Then the Yaksanī having come, and taken the sack, and gone home, and placed it [there], said to the girl, “Daughter, this one is in the sack. Unfasten this, and having cut up this one, and placed the bowl of [his] blood beneath the stile, place the flesh on the hearth [to cook].” Having said it the Yaksanī went away.

After that, the girl having unfastened the sack, when she looked the youngster was not in it; there were a great many ploughed-up clods. Afterwards the girl having thrown aside the ploughed-up clods, put the sack in the house.

The Yaksanī came back. Having come, when she looked beneath the stile there was no bowl of blood. Having gone near the hearth, when she looked there was no flesh. After that, she asked at the hand of the girl, “Daughter, why didn’t you cut up that one?”

The girl [said], “Mother, there was a sort of ploughed-up clods in the sack; having thrown them aside I put the sack in the house.”

Then the Yaksanī said, “If so, daughter, give me the sack;” and asking for the sack, and having gone near the Cake tree, when she looked the youngster was eating cakes in the tree.

Sitting down near the tree she said, “Son, a cake for me also.” Afterwards the youngster threw down a cake. Then the Yaksanī said, “Son, it fell here, into the spittle heap.” The youngster again threw one down. Then the [272]Yaksanī [said], “Son, it fell into the mucus heap.” The youngster again threw one down. Then the Yaksanī said, “Anē, Son, it fell into the cow-dung heap. Not so, son. Holding them with the hand and mouth jump into the sack.” After that, the youngster, holding them with the hand and mouth, jumped into the sack.

Thereupon, the Yaksanī, in that very manner tying the sack and taking it, went away; and again having placed it in that rice field, went to the very quarter to which she went at first.

Then the youngster said, “Unfasten this sack, some one who is in this rice field.” Having heard it, those men unfastened the sack. Then the youngster having come out, caught a great number of rat snakes; and having put them in the sack, and tied it in that very way, and placed it there, the youngster again went to the Cake tree and ate cakes.

Then the Yaksanī having come, and taken the bag also, and gone home, told the girl, “Daughter, cut up this one, and having placed the bowl of [his] blood beneath the stile, put the flesh on the hearth.” Having said it she went away.

After that, the girl having unfastened the sack, when she looked there were a great many rat snakes [in it]. The girl having waited until the time when the rat snakes went off, put the sack in the house.

Then the Yaksanī having come, when she looked if the bowl of blood was beneath the stile, it was not [there]; when she looked if the flesh was on the hearth, that also was not [there]. After that she asked at the hand of the girl, “Daughter, didn’t you cut up that one?”

Then the girl says, “Mother, in it there were a great many rat snakes. Having waited there until the time when they went off, I put the sack in the house.”

After that, the Yaksanī [said], “If so, daughter, give me that sack;” and asking for the sack, and having gone near the Cake tree, when she looked this youngster was eating cakes.

Afterwards the Yaksanī, sitting down, said, “Son, a cake for me also.” The youngster threw down a cake. Then [273]the Yaksanī said, “Anē! Son, it fell into the spittle heap.” Afterwards the youngster again threw one down. Then the Yaksanī said, “Anē! Son, it fell into the mucus heap.” The youngster again threw one down. Then the Yaksanī [said], “Anē! Son, it fell into the cow-dung heap. Not so, son. Holding them with the hand and mouth jump into the sack.” Afterwards the youngster, holding them with the hand and mouth, jumped into the sack.

After that, the Yaksanī tied the sack, and placing it on her head and having come quite home, and placed the sack in the veranda, said to the girl, “Daughter, to-day indeed that one is [here]. Cut up that one, and having placed the bowl of [his] blood beneath the stile, place the flesh on the hearth.” Having said it she went away.

Afterwards this girl having unfastened the sack, when she looked the youngster was [in it]. Having brought the bill-hook, when she was about (lit., making) to cut up the youngster, the youngster said, “Elder sister, don’t cut me up just now. Lie down here for me to comb your head.” After that, the girl lay down.

As he was combing and combing the head, this girl went to sleep. Afterwards, this youngster having cut the girl’s throat (lit., neck), placed the bowl of [her] blood beneath the stile, and having put the flesh on the hearth, the youngster, taking a rice mortar, and a pestle, and a millet [grinding] stone,—at the doorway there was a Palmira [palm] tree—ascended the Palmira tree.

While he was there the Yaksanī came, and having drunk the bowl of blood that was beneath the stile, and come near the hearth and taken the flesh that was on the hearth, began to eat.

While she was eating it, the youngster, being in the Palmira tree, says thus:—

“They themselves eat their own children.

The Palmira tree [is] at the doorway;

Jēn kiṭak kiṭa.”2

[274]

The Yaksanī having heard it and said, “Aḍē! Where is this one?” and having looked around, again eats that flesh.

Then that youngster again says,

“They themselves eat their own children.

The Palmira tree [is] at the doorway;

Jēn kiṭak kiṭa.”

Then the Yaksanī having come into the open ground in front of the house, when she looked up the tree the youngster was there. Afterwards the Yaksanī said, “Aḍē! Stop there. [I am going] to eat this one.”

As she was setting off to go up the tree that youngster let go the pestle. The Yaksanī, saying and saying, “Thou art unable to kill me,” goes upward.

After that, that youngster let go the rice mortar; then the Yaksanī fell to the ground. Then that youngster let go the millet stone; then the Yaksanī died. Only the youngster remained.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In the Kolhān tales (Bompas) appended to Folklore of the Santal Parganas (Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 464, occurs an Indian version of this peculiar story. A boy whose mother gave him two pieces of bread daily, one day left one on a rock and found next morning that a tree which bore bread as fruit had grown from it. When he was in the tree eating the fruit one day, a woman who was really a Rākshasī came up and asked for a loaf, and saying that if it fell on the ground it would become dirty, induced him to descend with it. She then put him in her bag and went off. While she was getting a drink at a pool some travellers let the boy out. He filled the bag with stones. On reaching her home the woman told her daughter she had brought a fine dinner, but the daughter found only stones in the bag. Next day the woman returned to the tree, secured the boy in the same way, brought him to her daughter, and went to collect firewood. In reply to the boy, the girl said he was to be killed by being pounded in a mortar; while she showed him how it was to be done he killed her with the pestle, put on her clothes, and cut her up. The ogress returned, cooked and ate her, and went to sleep, on which the boy struck her on the head with a large stone, killed her, and took all her property. [275]

[Contents]

The Lad and the Rākshasī. (Variant a.)

In a certain country there are a female Crow and a male Crow. While they were thus, the female Crow having thought of eating cakes, went with the male Crow to break firewood. Having gone, [after] breaking firewood the male Crow took a bundle of firewood [and came away with it].

When the female Crow was there unable to lift up her bundle of firewood, she saw that a lad who looks after cattle was going by, and having called to him, when she said, “Son, lift up the bundle of firewood and go; I will give you cakes,” the lad lifted it up and gave her it, and went away.

After that, the lad having come to eat cakes, when he asked for cakes the female Crow gave him cakes.

The lad, having gone away taking the cakes, and ascended a tree, when he was eating them a Rākshasī came. When she looked up the tree, having seen a lad eating cakes, she said, “Anē! Son, throw down cakes for me also.” So the lad threw down a cake. Having said, “It is in the dung-heap,” she told him to throw down one more. Thereupon the lad threw down one more. “That also is in the dung-heap,” she said. After all were finished in that way, the Rākshasī says to the lad, “Now then, son, tying both legs and both hands jump into this bag,” she said. Then the lad jumped.

The Rākshasī having put the lad in the bag, and [after] tying it having gone home, gave it to the Rākshasī’s daughter, and said, “Fry this, and put it away until the time when I come.” Having said [this], the Rākshasī went away somewhere or other.

After that, the Rākshasī’s daughter opened the bag, and taking out the lad, told the lad to blow up the fire on the hearth. Thereupon the lad says, “I don’t know [how],” he said.

Then when the Rākshasī’s daughter descends to the hearth to show him, the lad pushed the Rākshasī’s daughter into the oil cooking-pot that was on the hearth.

After she was fried, having taken it off and put it away, [276]taking the chillies [grinding] stone he climbed up the Palmira tree which was at the doorway.

While he is [there] the Rākshasī, having come back, says, “Wherever went my daughter? Can she have gone for firewood? Can she have gone for water?”3

Having said and said it, when she is eating, the lad sitting in the tree says,

“Of the heifer’s flesh

The heifer herself [is] the eater.

The Palmira tree at the doorway.

Ḍān̥, ḍūn̥.”

Naembigē mālu

Naembima kannā.

Dorakaḍa tal gaha.

Ḍān̥, ḍūn̥.

While he is saying it, when the Rākshasī had looked up and seen that the lad is in the tree, as she is going to climb the tree the lad threw down the chillies [grinding] stone on the Rākshasī’s body. Thereupon the Rākshasī died.

After that, the lad having descended from the tree, put the Rākshasī into a well, and went away.

Bintaenna, Ūva Province.

[Contents]

The Cake Tree. (Variant b.)

In a certain country there was a house of a Gamarāla, it is said. At that house there were seven children. Out of the seven, the elder six persons having arisen on all days just at daybreak, go to do work in the rice field. The young person for the purpose of learning goes to school.

Having joined with yet [other] children (lamō), the party of children began to go near a house at which a certain Rākshasī dwells at that village. During the time when they are going thus, the Rākshasī who saw these children, from the day on which she saw the children made ready to seize and eat them.

Although she made ready in that manner, through fear because men dwelt in the neighbourhood she did not seize the children. But the Rākshasī being unable to remain without eating the children, thought, “Seizing the children by a certain device, I must employ my daughter, and [after] [277]boiling I must eat them.” Having broken off all the leaves of a tree that was on the road on which the children go to school, and having wrapped strips of white cloth at all places on the tree, and hung cakes and plantains, etc., at all places on the tree, the Rākshasī got into the jungle and waited.

At the time when she is staying thus, the party of children who are going to school, when they approached the root of that tree having seen the tree on which the cakes and plantains had been hung, said, “Look here, Bola; a Cake Tree;” and the whole of them having ascended the tree, plucked the cakes and plantains to the extent to which they had been hung on the tree, and ate them.

That day, except that the Rākshasī had gone into the jungle, she did not come to the place where the children are eating the cakes and plantains. Why? It was through fear that many children having come to the place where she is, at the time when she is seizing them the children having become afraid, and run to that and this hand, when they have told the men they will kill her.

Having thought thus, that day after the whole of the children, plucking the cakes and plantains, went away, the Rākshasī having come from the jungle into the open, arrived at her house, and stayed [there]. On the following day also, as on the former day, at daybreak having gone taking cakes and plantains, and hung them on the tree, she got hid, and remained looking out.

That day, when she is thus, out of that troop of children going to school, the Gamarāla’s child having arisen more towards daybreak than on other days, and hurried, and eaten food, and drunk, and gone in front of the other boys, with the thought that he must pluck the cakes very quickly went that day quite alone. Having gone in that way, he ascended the Cake Tree and began to pluck them. At the time when he is thus plucking them, the Rākshasī having sprung out, quickly taking the bag also, and having come to the bottom of the tree, spoke to the Gamarāla’s boy, and says, “Aḍē! Son, pluck and give me one cake,” she said.

When the Rākshasī said thus, he plucked one and [278]gave it. The Rākshasī having thrown on the ground that bit of cake says, “Anē! Son, the cake fell on the ground. Sand being rubbed on it, I cannot eat it. Give me still one,” she said.

At the time when she said thus, he plucked one more and gave it. Having dropped that also on the ground, she says, “Anē! Having struck my hand that also fell on the ground. I cannot catch the cakes that you are plucking and giving me. I will tell you a very easy work; you do it. Plucking as many cakes as you can, jump into my bag. Jumping in that way is easier than descending [by climbing down] the tree,” she said.

When the Rākshasī told him in that manner, this foolish child, thinking, “It is an easy work the Rākshasī is telling me,” and plucking as many as possible for both hands and waist-pocket, jumped into the Rākshasī’s bag.

The Rākshasī, tying the mouth of the bag and having gone taking him without being visible to the men, arrived at her house, and having spoken to the Rākshasī’s daughter, says, “Daughter, to-day I must eat a good flavour. In the bag that I brought, placing it on my shoulder, there is a tasty meat. Boil the meat for me and give me it.” Having given it to her daughter, the Rākshasī went about another thing that should be done.

When the Rākshasī’s daughter is unfastening the bag to prepare the meat, there is a boy [in it]. When the Rākshasī’s daughter having unfastened the bag is going to take the child out, having spoken he says, “Anē! Elder sister, there are lice on your head.”

Thereupon the Rākshasī’s daughter says, “Anē! Younger brother, if so, catch them.” Having said [this] she sat down.

The Gamarāla’s son, having been for a little time turning and turning over the hairs of her head to that and this side in the manner when looking at the head, taking the axe that had been brought to kill the boy, and at once having struck the head of the Rākshasī’s daughter and killed her, and having put her in the cauldron of water which was there, and placed her on the hearth, and boiled her, and made her ready and placed her to eat when the Rākshasī is coming, [279]collecting the rice mortar, pestle, and a great many knives that were at the house, and having gone and placed them in a Palmira tree that is at the doorway,—at the time when the Rākshasī comes this one having also ascended the tree stayed [there].4

When the Rākshasī came [after] bathing, at the time when she is coming she says, “Daughter, even to-day has tasty food been prepared? Don’t do that work for the men of the village to get news of it; if so, the men of the village will kill us.” Saying this, she came into the house.

Well then, except that having boiled the meat it is there to eat, the daughter is not to be seen. While calling her on that and this hand, at the time when she is seeking her that youth, sitting on the Palmira tree, says, “Their own flesh they themselves will eat. On the Palmira tree at the doorway; ṭān, ṭūn.” Saying [this] he began to beat a tom-tom (ram̆bāna).

Then the Rākshasī having looked up when coming running to seize this one, this one threw at the Rākshasī the rice mortar and pestle that he had taken to the top of the tree, and struck her. The Rākshasī died at the bottom of the tree.

This one having descended from the tree, and gone home, and given information to the other brothers of this circumstance, came with them, and took away the goods of the Rākshasī’s that there were. Having gone away they lived in happiness.

Western Province.

[Contents]

In Kaffir Folk-Lore (Theal), p. 120, a cannibal placed in a bag a girl whom he intended to eat. When he went for water her brother took her out and put a swarm of bees in her place. These stung the cannibal when he opened the bag, and he fell into a pool, where he became a block of wood. [280]


1 These incidents are given in vol. i, p. 101. 

2 This is an instance of Peraeli-bāsa or Transposition, and the meaning is, “Go a little little [further].” Jēn may be derived from ned; the other words are ṭika ṭikak

3 Magē duwa kohe giyādō? Daraṭa giyādō? Waturaṭa giyādō? 

4 I have left this sentence as it was written, as a specimen of the village mode of expression. 

[Contents]

No. 139

The Girl, the Monk, and the Leopard

In a certain country there were a Gamarāla and a Gama-Mahagē (his wife). There was a female child of the Gamarāla’s.

After the child became suitable [for marriage] he went near the Lord or monk of the pansala1 to look at her naekata.2 The Gamarāla said to the monk, “Anē! Lord, there is a female child of mine; the child became suitable [for marriage]. You must look at the naekata,” he said to the Lord.

Thereafter, when the monk looked at the naekata, besides that it is very good for both the parents, it was said in the naekata that the man who calls her [in marriage] on that very day is to obtain a kingdom. Because of it, the monk after having placed the Gamarāla in subjection (i.e., made him promise obedience), said, “The naekata is very angry. For the two parents, and for the man who calls her [in marriage], there is anger to the degree [that they are] to die,” he said to the Gamarāla. This lie the monk said to the Gamarāla in order for the monk to call the female [in marriage] for himself.

At that time the Gamarāla, having become much troubled, asked the Lord, “What shall I do for this?”

The monk said, “Don’t kill the child outright,3 and don’t [merely] turn her out of the house. You go home [281]and make a box. After having made it, and made ready for the box [various] sorts of food and drink, put this child in the box, and having put into it the kinds of food and drink, after having closed it go to the river, and put it in.”

Thereupon, the Gamarāla having done in the manner the monk said, and having informed the monk that on such and such a day he will put the box in the river, went to the river and put the box in it.4

The monk told the pupils who were at the pansala to wait [for it]. He said, “You go and wait near the river. At the time when you are there a box will come floating down. Taking it ashore, bring it to the pansala;” the pupils went on the journey. The monk that day, for the purpose of eating the [wedding] feast amply preparing [various] sorts of food and drink, remained ready.

Two boys of that country, or two young men, had set a trap at the bank [of the river]. At the time when these two persons went to look at it, a leopard was caught in the trap. These two having become afraid, having said, “What shall we do about this?” at the time when they were talking and talking on the river bank, they saw that a box is coming floating [down the river], and the two persons spoke together [about it]. Both having agreed that the things inside the box [should be] for one person, and the box for one person, they got the box ashore.

Having opened the mouth of the box, when they looked [in it] there were a woman, and [various] kinds of food and drink. Taking them aside, they seized the leopard, and having put it in the box and shut it, they took it to the river and put it in.

Out of the two persons, one took the woman, the effects one took. The person who took the woman that very day obtained the kingdom, it has been said.

Thereafter, that box floated down to the place where the monk’s pupils stayed. Getting the box ashore, and tying [it as] a load (tadak) for a carrying pole, they took it to the pansala. The monk, taking the box, quickly placed it [282]inside the house. The monk told the pupils to stay: “To-day I must say Bana5 from a different treatise (sūtra); to-day you must respond, ‘Sādhu,’ loudly.”

After it became night the monk told the pupils, “You also lie down,” and having lit the lamp in the house, [after] shutting the door he opened the mouth of the box. Just as he was opening it, the leopard having sprung out, began to bite (lit., eat) the monk. Thereupon the monk cried out, “Apoyi! The leopard is biting me!”

The pupils began to respond, “Sādhu!” louder than on other days. At the time when the monk is shouting and shouting, the pupils loudly, loudly, began to respond, “Sādhu!” When he had been crying and crying out no long time, the monk died.

In the morning, having cooked rice gruel for the obligatory donation (hīl dāneṭa), when they were waiting, looking out for the time when the monk arose, he did not get up. Until the time when it became well into the day (bohoma dawal), they remained looking out. Still he did not [come out].

An upāsaka (lay devotee) of that village comes every day to the wihāra to offer flowers. He, too, remained looking out near the wihāra until the time when the monk comes. Thereafter the upāsakarāla having gone to the pansala, asked at the hand of the pupils, “What is the reason the Lord has not yet arisen?”

Then the pupils said, “During last night it was not the Bana which he says on other days that he said; from another sūtra he said Bana. He told us, also, to respond ‘Sādhu’ more loudly than on other days.”

At that time the upāsakarāla tapped at the door to awake the monk; he did not speak. Having struck the door loudly [the upāsakarāla] spoke to him. At that also there was not any sound.

Thereafter, the upāsakarāla having mounted on the roof and put aside the tiles, when he looked [down] the leopard sprang at him, growling. The upāsakarāla having become afraid, fell from the roof and died. [283]

Thereafter, many men having joined together and broken down the door, and killed the leopard, when they looked for the monk he was killed. So having put the leopard and the monk into one grave, they covered [them with] earth.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Orientalist, vol. ii, p. 145, Mr. N. Visuvanathapillai, Mudaliyār, relates this as a Tamil story. The girl was Princess Devallī; to save the country she was condemned to death, but her mother bribed the executioners to set her afloat in the river, in a box. A hunter who had trapped a tiger on the river bank secured the box, released the Princess, and put in the tiger. The Guru (teacher) had heard of the Queen’s stratagem, and sent a dozen of his pupils in a boat in search of the box. They brought it into a room in a deserted building, and remained in an adjoining one, being instructed to clap their hands and shout, “Hail! Long life to our Master!” when they heard the box opened. Amid this applause of the boys the tiger killed the Guru. (In The Orientalist, vol. iii, p. 269, Mr. J. P. Lewis noted that this story is from the Kathā sintāmaṇi).

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 280, a Brāhmaṇa foretold that unless a baby Princess should be sent out of the country she would destroy it utterly. The Rāja her father caused her to be placed in a box, which was launched on a river, and floated down. A merchant saw it, and got a fisherman to bring it ashore, the box to go to him and the contents to belong to the merchant. He got the Princess, reared her, and married her to his son. The rest of the tale is the legend of the Goddess Pattinī, who caused Madura to be burnt in revenge for the execution of her husband on a false charge of stealing the Queen’s bangle.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 102, an ascetic told a merchant that when his daughter got married all the family would die, and he advised him to set her adrift in a basket on the Ganges. Her father having promised to do this, the ascetic ordered his pupils to intercept the basket and bring it secretly to his monastery. A Prince who had gone to bathe found and opened the basket, married the girl by the Gāndharva rite (in which a garland of flowers is thrown round the neck), put a fierce monkey in her place, and set the basket afloat again. The boys brought it, and the ascetic placed it in a room to perform incantations alone, he said. When he opened it the monkey flew at him and tore off his nose and ears, and he became the laughing-stock of the place.

In the Kathākoça (Tawney), p. 132, an ascetic informed a merchant that the bad luck of his two daughters would bring about his destruction, [284]and advised him to set them afloat in the Ganges in a wooden box, and cause a ceremony to be performed for averting calamity. The ascetic performed the ceremony for him, and sent his pupils to bring the box. The King of that city got the box ashore, took the girls, and put two apes in their place. When the ascetic opened the box at his monastery he was killed by the apes and became a Rākshasa.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., pp. 398, 399, 410, the incident occurs of newly-born infants being placed in boxes, set afloat in a river, and rescued by a person lower down.6 At p. 445, a girl who had been married to a King was set afloat in a box, and rescued by a washerman.

In Sagas from the Far East, p. 120, there is a Kalmuk variant in which a man who desired to take the wealth of an old couple, got inside a statue of Buddha, and instructed them to give their daughter to the man who knocked at their gate in the morning. The man himself came and knocked, and married her, and he and his new wife left with all their gold and precious stones. A Khan’s son who was out hunting, taking a tiger with him, fired an arrow into a mound of sand; it struck something hard which proved to be a box which the man had placed there, containing the girl and jewels. The tiger was put in her place, and when the man carried off and opened the box in an inner room of his house it killed and ate him, and walked away next morning when the door was opened. The Prince married the girl.

In the Sinhalese history, the Mahāvansa, p. 147 (Dr. Geiger’s translation), it is stated that in order to appease the sea-gods who had caused the sea to overflow the land on the western coast of Ceylon in the first half of the second century B.C., the King of Kaelaṇiya “with all speed caused his pious and beautiful daughter named Dēvī to be placed in a golden vessel whereon was written ‘a king’s daughter,’ and to be launched upon that same sea.” She was brought ashore at the extreme south-east of Ceylon, and married by the King of Ruhuṇa or Southern Ceylon.

The original Indian story of the child who was consigned to the water in a basket or box appears to be that which is given in the Mahā Bhārata (Vaṇa Parva). According to it, an unmarried Princess, Kuntī, who bore a supernatural son to the deity Sūriya, the Sun, placed the infant in a water-tight wicker basket, and set it afloat in the adjoining river, from which it passed down to the Ganges, and then drifted down that river until it arrived near Campā, the capital of the Anga kingdom. The basket was brought ashore and opened by a car-driver who had gone to the river bank with his [285]wife. These two, being childless, adopted the infant, who afterwards became famous as Karṇa, the leading Kuru warrior in the great battle against the Pāṇḍava Princes and their allies.

The story extends backward to the legend or history of Sargon I, of Akkad (about 2,650 B.C. according to the revised chronology), who stated in an inscription that his mother, a Princess, launched him on the Euphrates in a basket of rushes made water-tight with bitumen. He was rescued and reared by a cultivator, who placed him in charge of his garden. Through the affection of the Goddess Istar he acquired the sovereignty. [286]


1 Monk’s residence. 

2 Prognostics depending on the position of the planets at the time when she reached marriageable age. These are ascertained in the case of all girls. 

3 Marā damanḍa epā. 

4 Compare No. 108. 

5 Buddhist sacred writings. To say Baṇa, is to recite or chant portions of these works. 

6 This form of the story is found also in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues, vol. iii, p. 215. 

[Contents]

No. 140

The Washerman and the Leopard

On a certain day, a man having gone to a chena which he had cut, and in which he had sown grain, as he was walking along at the edge of the fence, on this side of the corner of the stick fence a tail was visible, it is said.

Having gone near very quietly, when he looked, a leopard lying at the edge of the fence, having let its tail come inside the chena, was asleep, it is said.

Thereupon, this man on this side of the fence seized the leopard’s tail which it had put there. After he seized it he cannot kill it, he cannot let go; should he let go, the leopard will kill the man.

When the man was staying [there] thinking, “How is the expedient for this?” he saw a Washerman going along, taking a bundle of clothes. So this man called him, saying, “Washerman-uncle, come here.”

Then the Washerman having come, asked, “What is it?”

He said, “Kill the leopard.”

Then the Washerman said thus, “Anē! His face is like our uncle’s. Anē! I indeed cannot kill him.”

The man who was holding the leopard, said, “If so, I will kill him; you hold the tail.”

Then the Washerman having said, “It is good,” took hold of the tail. At the time when he was holding it, this man said, “[You] who have become uncle and have become nephew, stay there,” and came home.

Thereafter, at the time when that Washerman was letting go the leopard’s tail, the leopard killed and ate that Washerman, and went away. [287]

Subsequently, the man who owned this chena having gone [there], taking the bundle of clothes which that Washerman had taken and thrown down, came home.

North-central Province.

[Contents]

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 226, an old woman who was attacked by a bear, turned round a tree to avoid it. When the bear stretched its paws round the tree in trying to reach her, she seized and held them. A man who came up was requested by her to assist her to kill the animal and share the flesh. He accordingly also seized the paws; when he had got well hold the old woman let go and escaped, the man being afterwards mauled by the bear. [288]

[Contents]

No. 141

The Frightened Yakā

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said; there is also a boy of those two persons. In front of the house there is also a Murungā tree. A Yakā having come, remained seven years in the Murungā tree in order to “possess” the woman.

While they were in that manner, one day the man and the boy went on a journey somewhere or other. The woman that day having [previously] put away the bill-hook, brought it to the doorway, and while preparing to cut a vegetable, said, “This bill-hook is indeed good [enough] to cut a Yakā.”

The Yakā who stayed in the Murungā tree at the doorway, having heard what the woman said, became afraid, and having waited until the time when the woman goes into the house [after] cutting the vegetable, the Yakā slowly descended from the Murungā tree.

When he was going away, the woman’s husband and boy, having gone on the journey, are coming back. The Yakā met them. Then the Yakā asked at the hand of those two, “Where did you go? I stayed seven years in the Murungā tree at the doorway of your house, to ‘possess’ your wife. To-day your wife, sharpening a bill-hook, came to the doorway, and looking in my direction said, ‘This bill-hook is indeed good for cutting a Yakā.’ Because of it, I am here, going away. Don’t you go; that wicked woman will cut you. Come, and go with me; I will give you a means of subsistence. I, having now gone in front, will ‘possess’ such and such a woman of such and such a village. You two having said that you are Yaksa [289]Vedarālas,1 and having come [there], when you have told me to go I will go. Then the men having said that you are [really] Yaksa Vedarālas, will give you many things. When you have driven me from that woman, again I will ‘possess’ still [another] woman. Thus, in that manner, until the time when the articles are sufficient for you, I will ‘possess’ women. When they have become sufficient do not come [to drive me out].”

Having said [this], the Yakā went in front and “possessed” the woman. After that, the man and the boy went and drove out the Yakā. From that day, news spread in the villages that the two persons were Yaksa Vedarālas. From that place the two persons obtained articles.

The Yakā having gone, “possessed” yet a woman also. Having driven him from there, too, these two persons got articles. The Yakā “possessed” still [another] woman also. Thus, in that manner, until the very time when the things were sufficient for the two persons, the Yakā “possessed” women.

After the articles became sufficient for the two persons, one day the Yakā said to the two, “The articles are sufficient for you, are they not?” The two persons said, “They are sufficient.”

Then the Yakā said, “If so, I shall ‘possess’ the Queen of such and such a King. From there I shall not go. Don’t you come to drive me away.” Having said it, the Yakā went to that city, and “possessed” the Queen.

The two Yaksa Vedarālas came to their village, taking the articles they had obtained. Then a message came from the King for the Yaksa Vedarālas to go. The two persons not having gone, remained [at home], because of the Yakā’s having said that he would not go.

After that, the King sent a message that if they did not come he would behead the Yaksa Vedarālas. After that, the two persons, being unable to escape, went to drive out the Yakā. [290]

Having gone there, they utter and utter spells for the Yakā to go. The Yakā does not go. Anger came to the Yakā. In anger that, putting [out of consideration] his saying, “Don’t,” the two persons went and uttered spells, the Queen whom the Yakā has “possessed,” taking a rice pestle, came turning round the house after him in three circles to kill the Vedarāla.2 When she was raising the rice pestle to strike the Vedarāla, the man’s boy said, “Look there, Yakā! Our mother!”

Then, because he had been afraid [of her] formerly, when the boy said it, the Yakā, saying, “Where, Bola?” and also rolling the Queen over on the path, face upwards, and saying “Hū,” went away. The Queen came to her senses.

The King gave the two persons many articles. The Yakā did not again come to “possess” women. That man and boy having come to their village, and become very wealthy, remained without a deficiency of anything.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xvi, p. 217 (Folklore in Southern India, p. 214), in a Tamil story related by Naṭēśa Sāstrī, a Brāhmaṇa was turned by Śiva into a Brahma-Rākshasa for refusing to impart his knowledge of music to others, and he resided in a Pipal or Bō tree. A poor Brāhmaṇa of Sengalinīrpaṭṭu (Chingleput, land of the blue lotus) assisted him to escape from the wretched music of a piper by removing into another tree, and out of gratitude the demon “possessed” the Princess of Maisūr, in order that the Brāhmaṇa might obtain wealth by driving him out. Afterwards, when the demon “possessed” the Princess of Travancore, intending to remain, the Brāhmaṇa frightened him away by a threat that he would bring back the piper.

In Folk-Tales of Hindustan (Shaik Chilli), p. 6, a beggar’s wife beat him with a stick for coming home foodless, threw his turban into a tree and struck at it time after time, hitting the tree at each blow. The blows and her abuse frightened away from the tree the ghost or Bhūt of a Brāhmaṇa of the family who had committed suicide. The ghost and the man travelled along together as friends in misfortune. By their arrangement the man drove the ghost from the Minister’s daughter, but refused to officiate when it “possessed” the Sultan’s daughter, until ordered to be executed. When [291]the ghost threatened to kill him he told it he had terrible news, his wife would be there in a few minutes. The ghost left at once, and the man married the Princess and succeeded to the throne.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 298, a man’s termagant wife was thrown into a well, and there married a demon, but in fear of her he soon hid as a man, in a mosque. Becoming friendly with the former husband, who recognised him, he promised to marry the man to the King’s daughter, whom he thereupon “possessed.” When the man drove him out she was given in marriage to him, together with half the kingdom. The demon, after warning him not to interfere, then “possessed” the Minister’s daughter. After at first refusing to act, the man frightened him away by saying his former wife was coming.

In The Enchanted Parrot (Rev. B. H. Wortham), a variant is given in the stories XLVI and XLVII. The woman terrified everyone around, and a goblin who lived in a tree near her house ran away. The husband also left, became friendly with him, and was advised to go and cure the King’s daughter. He cured her, married her, and received half the kingdom. Then the goblin carried off this Princess. The man went in search of her, and frightened away the goblin by whispering that his wife was coming. [292]


1 Persons, often village doctors or soothsayers, who possess a knowledge of the incantations and procedure by means of which demons are driven away. 

2 It is stated in the Mahā Bhārata (Vaṇa Parva, ccxxix) that when a Yaksha enters a person he becomes insane. 

[Contents]

No. 142

The Story of the Seven Yakās

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. One day the man went to plough. The woman placed a ripe pine-apple underneath the bed.

On the very day she put it [there], seven Yakās having joined together and taken a hidden treasure, while six Yakās were dividing the articles one Yakā having come to the house of that man who went to plough, the Yakā remained sitting down under the bed at which is the pine-apple, in order to “possess” the woman.

Then that man having ploughed came home. Having come there, sitting down on the bed he said to the woman, “Haven’t you cooked yet? I have hunger [enough] to eat the Yakā.”

Then the woman said, “I am still cooking. If you cannot wait until the time [when I finish] there is [something] under the bed.”

The woman said it regarding the pine-apple. What of that! Because she did not explain and say [so] the Yakā thought, “It is regarding me, indeed, she said that;” and the Yakā having become afraid, very quickly having arisen said to the man, “Anē! Don’t eat me. Come along (lit., come, to go), for me to show you a place where there is a good hidden treasure.”

After that, the man having got up from the bed and called the man’s younger brother, the two persons went with the Yakā. Having gone, they went to the place where those six Yakās are dividing the articles.

Then the Yakā said to the two men, “Until the time when I bring and give you the articles, there (onna), go to [293]that tree.” After that, the two men went into the tree to which the Yakā told them to go.

Having gone there, while they are looking, six Yakās who had great beards and the Yakā who came summoning the men are apportioning the articles. Then, having seen the bearded youngsters (pollō), the elder became unconscious, and fell from the tree to the ground.

Then the younger brother, being in the tree, said, “Elder brother, after you [have] jumped down seize the great-bearded youngster himself.”

Then because there are beards of the whole six, having said to each other, “It is for me, indeed, he said this; it is for me, indeed, he said this,” one by one, in the very order (lit., manner) in which they sprang up and went, the whole six Yakās, having thrown down the articles, ran off. [Because] having been in the tree that man said thus after the man’s elder brother fell down, those Yakās having said, “He will come and kill us,” it was for that indeed the Yakās became afraid.

Well then, [the Yakā] calling the men,—the elder brother and younger brother,—and together with the men the Yakā, the very three persons, having drawn (carried) all the articles—both the Yakā’s portion and the six portions of those six who ran off—to that man’s house, after they finished the Yakā went away. Those two men shared the articles.

Finished.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

The first part of this story is a variant of part of the tale numbered 17 in vol. i. For the latter part, compare variant (b) of the story No. 137, and the notes after it. [294]

[Contents]

No. 143

The Yakā and the Tom-tom Beater

In a country, at the time when a Tom-tom Beater was going to a devil-dance (kankāriya), it became dark. While he was going along to the village in the dark, when he was near the village having the devil-dance, to the extent of two miles (haetaepma) from it, he met with [an adventure] in this manner.

In the adjoining village, a man having died they took his dead body to the burning ground; and having raised a heap of firewood, and upon it having placed the corpse and set fire to it, at the time when his relatives went away in the evening Maha Sōn Yakshayā1 came, and remained upon the burning funeral pyre. He said thus to the Tom-tom Beater, it is said, “Where art thou going?”

When he asked it [he replied], “I am going to a devil-dance.”

At the time when [the Yakā] said, “Standing there, beat the [airs of] devil-dances, and the new ones that thou knowest,” he unfastened the tom-tom, and tying it (i.e., slinging it from his neck), he beat various dances.

The Yakshayā being pleased at it, said thus, “Do thou look every day in the house in which are the looms.2 Don’t tell anyone [about] the things that I give,” he said.

Beginning from that day, having gone into the house in which are the looms, at the time when he looked, raw-rice, and pulse (mun), and ash-plantains, and betel, and areka-nuts, and various things were there. Every day those said things were there. [295]

At the time when he is bringing them, his wife said, “Whence are these?” Every day she plagued him, and being unable to escape from it he told the woman.

On the following day after the day on which he told her, at the time when he looked he had filled the looms with excrement.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. i, p. 143, Mr. W. C. Benett gave an Oudh story in which Bhawan Misr, a wrestler who had obtained gifts from a demon, lost them by revealing the secret to his wife. [296]


1 A demon who frequents cemeteries. 

2 The tom-tom beaters were formerly weavers also. 

[Contents]

No. 144

How a Tom-tom Beater got a Marriage from a Gamarāla

At a certain time there was a Gamarāla. The Gamarāla had a daughter. In the same country there was a very rich Tom-tom Beater (Naekatiyek). There was a son of the Tom-tom Beater’s. In order to make search for a marriage for him he tramped through many countries. From those countries he did not obtain one.

After that, he went to yet a country on the other side of a river. Having gone there, when he looked about there was a Gamarāla at a village [who had a marriageable daughter]. When he asked for the daughter [in marriage], he said he would not give her. Thereupon, thinking and thinking of a scheme he acted accordingly, that is, in this manner.

He caught an egret. He made a bundle of lights, and taking these he went again to the village at which the Gamarāla stayed. Having gone [there], at the time when he looked about [he saw that] there was a large betel creeper on a tree in front of the doorway of the Gamarāla’s house.

After that, having come at night and gone up the tree, and hidden himself so that he would not be seen, [after] lighting the bundle of lights he called the Gamarāla: “Village Headman! Village Headman!”

Then the Gamarāla having come running, looked upward, and seeing that the bundle of lights were burning the Gamarāla became afraid.

Thereupon the Tom-tom Beater says, “I, indeed, the Dēvatāwā of this village, am speaking. Wilt thou hearken to what I am saying?” he asked.

The Gamarāla, being afraid, said, “I will hearken.”

Then the Tom-tom Beater called the Dēvatāwā, [said], [297]

“They say that thou wilt not give thy daughter to the boy of the Tom-tom Beater of such and such a village. Why?”

The Gamarāla said, “Because our pollution rules (indul) are different I said I cannot give her,” he said.

Then the Tom-tom Beater Dēvatāwā who was in the tree [said], “Give thou thy daughter to him. On the seventh day from now he will obtain the sovereignty. If thou shouldst not give [her] I will kill thee.” Tying the bundle of lights to the leg of the egret, he said, “I am going,” and let the egret go.

Thereupon, having seen that the lights were burning on the leg of the egret [as it flew away], the Gamarāla thought that the Dēvatāwā said it.

Then the Tom-tom Beater, being invisible to everybody, descended from the tree, and went to his village.

Two or three days afterwards, he came with the wedding party to the Gamarāla’s house, for the purpose of taking away the daughter. Thereupon, having eaten the [wedding] feast, on the morning of the following day, because the giving of the Gamarāla’s daughter was demeaning he put her in a sack, and having tied it as a bundle for carrying under a pole, [the Gamarāla] gave her, placing [the pole] on the shoulders of two persons, and telling them to go. Then, lifting up the load, the party went away. Having gone thus, it having become night they stayed near a tree.

At yet [another] city, the King of the city, having seized a bear that ate human flesh, and put it in a sack, and tied it as a bundle for carrying under a pole, gave it to two persons, and told them to take it and throw it into the river.

At that time that party also came to the place where that [other] party were staying. Thereupon, without speaking they placed the two bundles in one spot. In the very same way again, without speaking they were sleeping in one place.

On the morning of the following day, at dawn, the wedding party having arisen went to the village, taking the bundle in which the bear was tied.

The people who remained here unfastened the bag in order to put the bear into the river. At that time [they [298]saw that] a Princess was there. So the party having gone taking the Princess gave her to the King. Then the King married that Queen.

The wedding party who went taking the bear bundle having gone to the house, that very day, in order that the faults (dōsa) of the bride and bridegroom might go, drove away any evil influence of the planets (baliyak).

At that time, having put the sack and the bridegroom into a house they shut and tied the door. Having tied it they conducted the service [against the evil influence of the planets] in the open.

Thereupon the bridegroom who was inside the house unfastened the sack in order to take out the bride. Then the bear having come out began to bite the man. The bridegroom said, “Don’t bite me! Don’t bite me!” When he was saying it, the men who were sending away the evil planetary influences said, “Āyibō! Āyibō!”1 The two who were in the house remained without speaking any words [after that].

Thereupon it became light. These people having gone [there] opened the door. Then the bear that ate men having sprung outside and bitten the [would-be] mother-in-law, went into the midst of the forest. The bridegroom, the bear having bitten him, died.

North-central Province.

[Contents]

In a variant of No. 59 in vol. i., the Gamarāla inquired regarding the naekata at his daughter’s reaching marriageable age. The man replied, “Through this little lass (paencī) seven men will die. Anē! O Gamarāhami, because of this little lass don’t make this country desolate,” and advised killing her. When this man was carrying her away tied in a sack, intending in reality to marry her to his son, some people who had a savage bear in a similar sack found the bundle left on the roadside temporarily, and made an exchange. The son was killed by the bear while the father danced outside, beating a tom-tom (uḍaekkiya). [299]


1 May life be long! This is the usual response made at incantations during ceremonies for removing sickness caused by demons or planets. The words are addressed to the power invoked, and must be uttered very loudly. 

[Contents]

No. 145

The Gem Yaksanī

There were a King and a Queen of a single city. The two one day went for sport in the gardens. Then, sitting on a branch there was a little bird.

At that time the Queen asked the King, “Is that little bird which is there the male or the female?” The King said, “The male.”

Then the Queen, having said, “It is not male; it is female,” made a wager. What was the wager, indeed? “Let us catch it and look. Should it be the cock I will not stay with you; I will go away somewhere or other. Should it be the hen you must give me the sovereignty,” she said. Thereupon the King said, “It is good.”

Having caught the bird they looked; when they looked the animal was the male.

Then the Queen said, “I am going now,” and she set off.

The King said, “We said it for fun, didn’t we? Are you going in that way for that little matter?”

The Queen would not [stay], “I must really go,” she said.

Thereupon the King having said, “Are you going for that? We made monkey fun.1 Owing to it where are you to go?” said much in the way of advice. Without hearkening to it the Queen went. What was [the real reason of] it? [It was] because the royal talk was Large.

When the Queen was going, the [completion of the] ten months of her pregnancy was near; as she was going in a forest she bore a child. Carrying the infant, as she was going along a path there was a river in which the water had dried up. While she was going along the river the Prince [300]began to cry. For the sake of stopping the crying she picked up a stone which was on the ground in the river; and having said, “Look here, son,” she stopped the crying, and taking that little stone [with her] came to another city.

Having come [there] and walked to all places, and looked about, and come to a house in which was a widow woman, she asked, “Mother, keeping this Prince for me, will you give me a little space to stay in, until the time when the Prince becomes big?”

Thereupon the old woman said, “It is good, daughter. I also am alone; because of it remain here.”

The Queen, having said, “It is good,” lived there, pounding paddy [at houses] throughout the streets; and up to the time when the Prince became big stayed there getting a living. By that time, seven years of the Prince’s age had passed.

While remaining [there] in this manner, one day the Prince said, “Mother, I am hungry,” and cried. When he was crying, the stone which his mother had brought that day from the river in order to stop the Prince’s [crying], had been thrown away into the open ground in front of the house (midula).

This woman, having shown him the stone, said falsely, “Look there. Take that stone which is there, and having given it at the bazaar, and eaten rice cakes, come back.”

Then the Prince, having gone running, taking that stone, begged throughout the whole of the bazaar, “Anē! Take this stone and give me rice cakes.”

The men said to that Prince, “Who gives rice cakes for quartz stones, Bola?” and scolded him at each place to which he went.

After that, the Prince, having asked at every place without [obtaining any cakes], went to the King’s palace also, at the time when the King was walking at the Audience Hall, and said, “Anē! Take this stone, and give me rice cakes; I am hungry.”

Thereupon the King, having heard the sweet speech of this young Prince, becoming pleased, said, “Where, Bola, is the stone? Bring it here for me to look at it.” [301]

The Prince took the stone, and gave it into the King’s hand. The King taking the stone in his hand, when he looked at it, it was a gem-stone. Then the King asked, “Bola, whence [came] this stone to thee?”

“This stone was in the open ground at the front of the house. Mother said to me, ‘Take it, and having eaten rice cakes, come back.’ ”

Then the King said, “I will give thee rice cakes. Go and tell thy mother to come.”

The Prince having gone running home, said, “Mother, a man said that you are to come, [so that he may] give rice cakes to me. The man, taking the stone, too, put it away.”

The Queen, walking with the Prince, said, “Which is the house?”

Having said, “There, that house,” the Prince stretched out his hand towards the royal palace.

With the thoughts, “I shall be worn away with fear, I shall be worn away. Anē! The thing that this foolish boy has done! Having said that he gave him a quartz stone, the King, in order to appoint [the punishment for] his fault, told me to come here,” she reached the royal palace.

Thereupon the King having seen her, becoming much pleased, asked, “Whence didst thou obtain this stone?”

Then the Queen began to tell him everything,—the way in which she made the bet with that King, the way in which she came away, the way in which she bore [a child], the way in which while coming, she stopped the [crying of the] Prince by picking up this stone from the river.

Then the King said, “This is a gem-stone. Putting me [out of consideration], having appointed any person you like, he cannot state the value of this. I have not got even wealth [sufficient] to give for this. Because of it, having given to thee the wealth, too, thou hast not a place to put it in. Therefore stay ye in my palace itself until the Prince, having become big, marries a Princess.”

Having made ready and given them a good room, and given them the royal victuals, he made the two remain there.

While they are staying there, having prepared two [302]bracelets for the King’s Queen, because there was not a stone more to [match] that stone for fixing in the two bracelets, he asked the Queen who gave the stone, “Canst thou find and bring a stone more, like this stone?”

The Queen said, “I cannot go. If there be still [any] in the river, or what, I do not know.”

Then the Queen’s Prince said to the King, “I can.”

The King asked, “Do you know the path to go on?”

The Prince said, “I will ask mother, and go.”

Then the King said, “What is necessary for you?”

The Prince [said], “From those that are in your stable be good enough to give me a horse which goes on hard journeys.”

Then the King gave the Prince the horse with the best qualities of all, a sword, and a bundle of cooked rice. The Prince would be about fifteen years of age.

The Prince, having mounted on the horse, asked his mother, “Mother, on which hand is the river in which you picked up the stone?”

The Queen said, “It is this hand,” and stretched out her hand. Then driving the horse to that hand he began to go.

Having gone away, and stopped at a river near that [gem] river, when he looked about, at a great rough tree [what was] like a large fire was visible. Then this Prince, in order to look at the conflagration, went near the tree. Having gone [there], when he looked a Dēvatā-daughter endowed with much beauty2 was there.

Then this Prince asked the Dēvatā-daughter, “Who art thou?”

The woman said, “I am a Yaksanī.” Then the Yaksanī asked the Prince, “Who art thou?”

The Prince said, “I am a royal Prince.”

Then this Prince became mentally inclined towards the [303]very beautiful Yaksanī; the Yaksanī also became mentally inclined towards the Prince.

The Yaksanī asked the Prince, “Where are you going, Sir?”

The Prince said, “I came to seek a gem-stone.”

Then the Yaksanī said, “We indeed remain in charge of this gem river. Should the Dēvatāwā Unnaehae come he will kill you. It is I indeed they call the Gem Goddess. I can give gems. [After] marrying me and placing me on the horse, if you should not go twelve yōjanas3 before half a paeya (of twenty-four minutes) has gone, the Gem Dēvatā Unnaehae4 will come and behead both of us, and burn us.”

The Prince being pleased at it (that is, her proposal), said, “It is good”, and placing the Princess on the back of the horse, asked, “Where are the gems?”

The Dēvatā-daughter said, “I will give them; I have them.”

Then he drove away the horse twelve yōjanas before half a paeya [had passed]. Having driven it, when he went to the city the King asked the Prince, “Have you brought the gems?”

That Yaksanī had previously5 said at the hand of the Prince that when the King asks, “Have you brought the gems?” he is to say, “I have brought [them].” Because of it, the Prince said, “I have brought the gems.”

Then the King said, “Where? Let me look at them.”

At that time the Dēvatā-daughter said, “They will be outside,” and threw down in the open space in front of the palace a gobbet6 of saliva. When the King looked it was as though a rain of gems had rained.

After that, the King, picking up the gems, went to the palace, and remained lying down without eating and drinking. The Minister having come, asked, “O Lord, what is the matter?”

Then the King said, “The Prince who gave the gem has [304]brought the Gem Princess. If I haven’t the Princess what are these Gods for? What is this sovereignty for?”

The Minister said, “Don’t you, Sir, be troubled about it; I will tell you a stratagem for it.”

The King asked, “What is the stratagem?”

The Minister said, “The stratagem indeed is in this manner:—You, Sir, be good enough to say to the Prince, ‘Dear Prince, our mother and father died. Those persons are staying in the God-world. Canst thou [go there and after] looking [at their condition] come back?’ Then the Prince through not understanding will say, ‘I can.’ Then, having summoned all them of the city and having cut an underground tunnel about a mile (haetaekma) deep (that is, in length), when you have told him to go by that way to the God-world, he will go. Then having put a stone on [the entrance to] it, and brought tusk elephants, and made them trample on it, you can take the Gem Princess.”

The King having become pleased at the word, caused the Prince to be brought, and asked, “Dear Prince, canst thou go to the God-world in three weeks’ [time, to inquire after our father and mother], and come back?” The Prince said, “I can.”

Then the King having collected together the men of the city, and said falsely that he is cutting a path to go to the God-world, began to cause a tunnel to be cut, in order to kill the Prince.

Thereupon the Prince said to the Gem Princess, “In this manner the King asked me: ‘Can you go to the God-world and come back?’ I said, ‘I can.’ ”

Then, owing to the wisdom of the Gem Princess she perceived that he is making the plan (sūttarē) to kill this Prince, and said, “Why, through foolishness did you, Sir, say you can? Since you said you can, [you must do as follows]:—Under the gem river an elder sister of ours is rearing rats. Having gone, and given her this ring of mine, be good enough to say, ‘In such and such a city your younger sister is living. She said [you are] to send there two or three thousand rats.’ Then she will send the rats. You [then] be good enough to come back, Sir.” [305]

The Prince went, and having given her the ring, and told her in that very manner, the elder sister of the Gem Princess then said, “It is good; I will send them. You, Sir, be good enough to go.” Then he came back.

That day night, having started them off, she sent three thousand rats. The rats having come before the light fell, went to the room in which was the Gem Princess. At the time when they went, she gave food and drink to the rats, and said, “Before a week has gone they will cut the tunnel which the King is cutting, a mile deep. Because of it, you must cut [a path from here leading] into that tunnel at a mile from this room in which we are staying.”

So they cut and finished both tunnels on one day. Regarding the tunnel which the rats cut, the King was unable to learn even a little bit. Without making the tunnel which the rats cut break into and become part of7 the King’s tunnel, they turned it a little across [towards it at the end].

After that, having cut the [other] tunnel and finished it, and given the Prince a horse, and given him a sword, the King said, “Look here. We have cleared the path to go to the God-world. Having gone, come back.”

Then the Prince said, “It is good.” Having said it, and gone near the Gem Princess, at the time when he was saying, “I will go, and come,”8 the Princess said, “Say to the King that you will come in a week; and go,” she said.

Then the Prince having told the King, “I shall come in a week,” went. Having driven the horse into that tunnel which the King cut, and gone along the tunnel, and come to the other tunnel [excavated by the rats], during the daytime he stays in the tunnel. At night, having come near the Gem Princess, and eaten rice, and been sleeping, again as the light falls he goes to the tunnel and remains [there].

At the time when the Prince sprang into that tunnel, men threw stones into the tunnel, and heaped them up. [306]They do not know the fact that that Prince is staying in the tunnel which the rats cut.

After that, the King came, and spoke to the Princess, “Now then, let us two be married.”

Then the Princess said, “I will not. My husband has said that he will come in a week. Because of it, until he comes I will not marry any one whatever. If he come not I will marry,” she said.

The King having heard that word [said], “It is good. After a week has gone I will marry [you].” Thinking, “The Prince having been put into the tunnel, and stones trampled down [over it], when will he come again? That Princess, the Prince not [being here], in perplexity at his death is talking nonsense,” he went away.

What does the Princess do? Having taken gem-stones to the extent of many millions (in value), she caused to be sewn a diadem-wreath (oṭunu mālāwak), and a dress. Having sewn them, at early dawn (rāe pāndara) of the day following the week, having dressed this Prince, she said, “As the light is falling, having waited behind the King’s palace be good enough to come as though returning,” and sent him [there].

Thereupon, the Prince in that manner at the time when the King arises in the morning, presented himself for the King’s cognizance (indiriyaṭa). Then the King,—after becoming afraid concerning the return of the Prince whom he had put in the tunnel in which he had placed stones, and having employed tusk elephants had trampled them down,—asked, “Prince, whence camest thou?”

Thereupon the Prince said, “O Lord, Your Majesty, your father the King and mother the Queen, also, are staying in happiness in the God-world. I went there. Having said my dress was bad (nākayi) they gave me, for wearing, a dress which, those persons having worn it, had become old,” he said.

When the King looked in the direction of his dress [he thought that] except that in the God-world [there might be] such a dress, it is of the kind which is not in this world. Because of it, it seemed to the King to be true.

The Prince said, “The party said that you also, Sir, are [307]to go. They tried not to permit me, also, to come back. Having said, ‘I will come back,’ for the purpose of what I am saying to you I returned.

“When I went in the tunnel and looked about yet [another] path [leading] there had been cleared. Having gone on that path, when I looked the God-world was quite near.”

After that, the King, having collected the citizens, began to remove the earth at that tunnel which he cut to kill the Prince.

Having heard of it, that Prince in order that the tunnel which the rats had cut should be closed, told the rats, and again made them push back the earth.

Having pushed it back, while he is staying [there], on the following day the King alone went, and having said, “[After] looking [at the God-world] I shall return,” went off.

When he is descending into the hole to go, what does this Prince do? Having thrown down those stones that had been taken out, and blocked up the tunnel so as not to allow the King to return, the King died in the tunnel.

After that, this Prince, having seized and beheaded the Minister who had told [the King] the stratagem for the purpose of killing him, summoned the whole of the citizens, and said to the people, “For the offence which the King committed against me I put the King into the tunnel, and killed him. From to-day the King of this city is I myself.”

[Thereafter] exercising the sovereignty, marrying the Gem Princess, and establishing that King’s Queen as a female servant, he remained there.

Siwurāla (ex-monk). North-central Province.

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In Sagas from the Far East, p. 97, in a Kalmuk story a painter who was jealous of a wood-carver presented to the Khan a pretended note from his dead father, requesting that the carver might be sent to the kingdom of the Gods, and stating that the painter would show the way. The painter explained that the carver must be burnt in a pyre, with much drum beating, and rise to heaven on a horse through the clouds of smoke. The carver escaped by a tunnel [308]which his wife excavated to the centre of the pyre, getting into it while the timber by which he was surrounded was burning. After a month he gave the Khan a letter from his father in heaven, ordering him to reward the carver richly, and to send the painter to decorate the temple which had been built. The painter was thus killed in the way he designed for the carver’s death.

There is a variant in the Sierra Leone country, given in Cunnie Rabbit, etc. (Cronise and Ward), p. 254. As advised by a messenger, a King who wished to kill his son told him that he should be King, and that in order to be crowned he must be tied in a mat, thrown into a deep pool, and left there three days. When the party halted on the way and left the bundle on the path for a time, the youth got a child to unfasten the package, and inserted a large stone which was afterwards duly thrown into the water. After three days the youth made his appearance wearing a crown and riding a horse. He was acclaimed as King, and he stated that he had been ordered to send his father’s messenger to be crowned in the same way. He was seized, tied up, and drowned. [309]


1 Kapi kawatakan, silly jokes. 

2 The light that he saw was caused by her brilliance. See the end of No. 204, vol. iii. In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 16, a beautiful girl is described as having “a face like a full moon, and eyes like a blue lotus; she had arms graceful as the stalk of a lotus, and a lovely full bosom; she had a neck marked with three lines like a shell, and magnificent coral lips; in short she was a second Lakshmī” (the Goddess of Prosperity). 

3 In these stories the yōjana may usually be taken to represent four gawu of four miles—that is, it would be sixteen miles. 

4 Unnaehae is nearly equivalent to Mr., and is used in names in the same way. 

5 Literally, betimes (kalin). 

6 Kaṭak, a mouth. 

7 Kaḍā waṭṭa-wannē naetuwa. Waṭṭa appears to be derived from the Sanskrit and Sinhalese vaṇṭ, part, share. 

8 The common form of adieu among Sinhalese and Tamils. 

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No. 146

The Nā, Mī, and Blue-Lotus Flowers’ Princesses

In a certain country there is a King, and the King has three children, males. On the second pōya day (the full-moon day), at the time when the moon has risen, having caused these three Princes to be brought, he asked, “Son, what is this moon good for?”

The big son said, “This moon is good for [enabling] poor people to go on journeys; it is good for trampling stacks (threshing by means of buffaloes).” The King accepted this word.

He asked at the hand of the next (ekkama) son; that son replied in that very manner.

He asked at the hand of the next son. That son said, “It is good for [enabling] the Mī-flower1 Princess, and the Nā-flower2 Princess, and the Blue-Lotus-flower Princess to perambulate on the carriage which they keep.”

Thereupon anger went to the King. Having caused the executioner to be brought, he started off the youngest Prince and the two elder Princes and the executioner, these four persons. He told him to behead the Prince.

At the time when these four were going in the midst of the jungle, there was a Banyan-tree; the four persons sat down in the shade under the Banyan-tree. The youngest Prince having collected a heap of sand and having been [hidden]3 in it, both the elder Princes and the executioner, these three persons, [not seeing him], set out to come away. [310]Having come a considerable distance [the executioner], killing a lizard (kaṭussā) and smearing the blood on the sword, came and told the King, “I beheaded him.” The King took it for the fact.

The Prince having arisen, when he looked about, his two elder brothers were not [there], and the executioner was not [there]. Because there was not a place to go to he went to sleep again under that very Banyan-tree.

Having arisen in the morning, when he looked there was no water, no food. Having climbed up the tree, he saw that water was pouring down at the margin of a rocky hill. He descended from the Banyan-tree, and went along looking constantly at the hill. Taking a little water [at it], and washing his face, at the time when he was going up the hill a bee came, and turned (flew) round his head; then he struck at the bee. A second time having come it turned round his head; a second time he struck at it. Having come even the third time, when it was turning round his head he thought, “I must look for [the hive of] this.”

On the hill there were rocks. Having come [and found the hive], sitting down at them he drew out the comb. Having drawn it out, when he looked in the hive (mīya) there was an ash-pumpkin [flower]. He took out the ash-pumpkin [flower], and when he looked in it there was a Princess.4 Having gone away, taking the Princess also, after sitting down under a Nā-tree and looking and looking around, eating and eating the honey he gave to the Princess also. This Princess in a day or two became big.

Beneath that very Nā-tree they stayed for three days. While one day sitting below the same Nā-tree, when he looked upward in the Nā-tree there was a large flower, a kind of ash-pumpkin [flower], in the Nā-tree. He went up the tree for that flower also, and plucking the flower descended. After having thrown away the petals, when he looked [inside] there was a Princess. He gave honey to the Princess, and they remained under the same Nā-tree. [311]

After four days they set out from beneath the Nā-tree. In a day or two these two Princesses were [as big as though their age was] twelve years. Having gone along in the jungle, they came out at a certain country, and went to the house of a widow-Mahagē (an old woman of good connections), and stayed there. The widow-Mahagē eats by pounding paddy at the King’s house and being given the rice-dust. She gave [some] to these three persons also; the two Princesses and the Prince were unable to eat it, they said.

At that time the widow-Mahagē having gone near the King says, “O King, Your Majesty, at the place where I live, two Princesses and a Prince having come thus, are staying.”

Thereupon the King says, “Widow-Mahagē, wilt thou tell the Prince to come to my palace?” he said. The Mahagē having come, told him.

At the time when she is telling him, the Princesses say, “Should he tell you any work, don’t say, ‘Hā’ (yes), and don’t say, ‘I cannot,’5 and don’t say, ‘I can.’ Having said, ‘After having considered I will tell you,’ come back,” the Princesses say.

To the Mī-flower Princess the chariot of the Gods is visible beyond a kalpa; to the Nā-flower Princess the chariot of the Gods is visible beyond two kalpas.

[When he went to the palace], “Prince,” the King says to the Prince, “in the morning and in the evening I want seven handkerchiefs of Blue-lotus flowers.”

He did not say “Hā”; he did not say “I cannot.” After having said, “I will consider and tell you,” he came back to the place where he is living at the widow’s house.

This Prince having come, says to the two Princesses, “The King says to me, ‘In the morning and in the evening I want seven and seven handkerchiefs of [Blue-lotus] flowers. Can you [bring them]?’ Thereupon I said, ‘After having considered I will tell you.’ ”

The Princesses say, “Prince, when you have gone to pluck the flowers you would die while in the pool, [but we [312]will save you]. In the pool there is a great Crocodile. Because the King is not clever [enough] to kill you and write (that is, contract) a marriage to us two, it is good to do thus,” they said.

Thereupon, the Prince having gone the second time near the King, this Prince says, “I can.”

After he came home taking seven handkerchiefs, both the Princesses, having called the Prince and having combed and tied up his hair (lit., head), uttered spells on his right over a handful of sand, and after giving it, say, “Having gone near the pool, throw down the handful of sand on the right. At that time the human-flesh-eating Crocodile having come will go ashore.” Having given [the spells over] a handful on the left also, they said, “Plucking seven handkerchiefs of flowers, come out, and quickly on the left throw down this handful of sand, [or] the Crocodile will come.” [He acted accordingly.]

At the time when he was coming [after] plucking the flowers, a large Blue-lotus flower having been there he plucked that flower, and having come back, gave it [to the Princesses] at the house. Then having gone to the royal palace, taking also the seven handkerchiefs of flowers, [he gave them to the King].

Quickly having come back, taking the [Blue-lotus] flower at the house into his hand, and having cast away the petals, when he looked there was a Princess.

At that time the widow-Mahagē having gone to the royal house, says, “I don’t know if this Prince is a magician;6 I don’t know if he is a person possessed of supernatural powers;7 I cannot find out what he is. Now he is there, and three Princesses are there.”

Then the King thinks, “How [am I] to take these very three beautiful Princesses?” he thinks. Again he thinks, “Should I send this Prince to the Nāga world I can take them; without it, indeed, I cannot.”

At that time the King says to the widow-Mahagē, “Say thou to the Prince that I say he is to come.” She accepted that word; having come she told the Prince. [313]

At the time when she is saying it, the Blue-lotus-flower Princess says to the Prince, “Prince, should he tell you any work, don’t say, ‘Hā’; don’t say, ‘I cannot’; don’t say, ‘I can.’ Having gone to the royal palace, when he has said it come back, saying, ‘After I have considered I will tell you.’ ”

Having gone and returned, he says to these three Princesses, “The King says thus to me, ‘How is it? Canst thou go to the Nāga world?’ he says. Thereupon I said, ‘Having considered I will tell you.’ Having said [this] I came back.”

Then these three Princesses say, “Prince, when [he thinks] you have died the King will come summoning us three to go [to become his wives].” These Princesses say to the Prince, “You go [to the King]. Having gone, say, ‘I can.’ ”

He having gone, and having returned after saying it, they thereupon summoned the Prince. Sitting near him, the Mī-flower Princess, taking a palmful of oil, after having uttered spells over it rubbed it on his head. The Nā-flower Princess also having uttered spells over oil rubbed [it on his head]. The Blue-lotus-flower Princess also having uttered spells over oil rubbed [it on his head].

The Mī-flower Princess next having uttered spells over a handful of sand, gave it into his hand. The Nā-flower Princess also having uttered spells [over sand] gave it into his hand, and told him to tie it himself at his waist. The Blue-lotus-flower Princess also having uttered spells over a handful of sand, said, “Having gone near the tunnel [leading to the Nāga world], when just going into the hole throw down the sand of the Mī-flower Princess. At the time when you are descending and going down the hole, when going to the middle of the hole throw down the sand of the Nā-flower Princess. When going to the foot of the tunnel, throw down the sand of the Blue-lotus-flower Princess.”

Having stayed at the house of the widow-Mahagē, they cut a tunnel [which met the tunnel opened by the King, so that the Prince might escape by it]. The Prince does not [314]go; the widow-Mahagē does not know [about it]. Anyone you like8 [sees it] not; they do not know [about it].

[On the appointed day] having gone into the tunnel at the King’s midula (the open space in front of the palace), at the time when he is coming to this tunnel, the King, having blocked up the King’s tunnel and having employed elephants and trampled [the earth down], and having come, says to the three Princesses, “Princesses, go ye to the royal palace.”

At that time these three say, “When our Prince has gone three months, and three pōyas (at the quarters of the moon), and three days, and three half days, should he not return we will come. You, Sir, be good enough to go.” Thereupon the King went back to the palace.

[While he was there, the Prince, who had escaped by the secret tunnel, proceeded to the palace to see him.] Having [stated that he had] gone to the Nāga world and come back, the Prince says to the King, “O King, Your Majesty’s father, the [late] King, has arrived at old age; he says to you that you also are to go.”

At that time, [as he believed this], having removed the stones and earth [that he had placed] in the tunnel down which the Prince went, the King also began to go. Having handed over the sovereignty to the Crown and the Sword [of State], and gone near the tunnel, and summoned everybody (sēroṭōma), he says, “Having handed over the sovereignty to the Crown and the Sword, I am going. When I have gone for the space (taena) of three months and three pōyas, I shall come back. Until the time when I come be careful.”

At the very time when he is descending into the tunnel, they brought elephants, and having put stones and earth in it, when they trampled them down the King died.

Three pōyas and three days and three months went by. He came not ever.

As the sovereignty was going to be lost, loading on the tusk elephant’s back the robes and the Crown and the [315]Sword, and having made notification by tom-toms, at the time when it is walking in the street the Mī-flower Princess, and Nā-flower Princess, and Blue-lotus-flower Princess say to the Prince, “To-day you, Sir, will obtain the sovereignty. Do not go anywhere.”

Thereupon the Prince says, “How do you know?”

These three say, “Now, now, you will obtain it.”

The tusk elephant having come, when it was making obeisance by kneeling he mounted on the tusk elephant, and putting on the Crown and taking the Sword in his hand, he went to the palace.

For the dead King there were five hundred Princesses. Having separated them in a different house, he allowed the five hundred to be [there]. Thereafter, after building separate houses for the Mī-flower Princess, and for the Nā-flower Princess, and for the Blue-lotus-flower Princess, he sent them to them.

At the time when he was exercising the sovereignty in that manner, the country of his parents who told [the executioner] to behead this one, became abandoned. When this King was on the floor of the upper story, while this one’s elder elder brother, taking a bundle of firewood [for sale], was going through the midst of the city, the King saw him. Having called him, and after he had thrown down the bundle of firewood having summoned him to come here, this King says, “There is not permission for yourself to come again to this city,” and he sent away this one.

At the next occasion, on the second day, at the time when the younger elder brother was coming, taking a pingo (carrying-stick) load of Jak [fruit], the King tells this one also. Calling him near he says, “Why hast thou brought Jak? Has thy city become waste, or what? Why is it?” he asks at the hand of this man who brought Jak.

At that time this one says, “Our country having become waste, there is much scarcity of food to eat, for our King and people.”

Thereupon this King says, “Canst thou come here with the three persons (his parents and other brother)?”

This one says, “Anē! O Lord; send us two, for us to [316]come with those two.” Thereupon the King, having been troubled [at the news], sent the two persons.

These two having gone, say to this one’s two parents, “Anē! Father-King, that King says that we four persons—between that city and this city there is a river—having come to the river he says we are to remain [there].” Thereupon, because there was no food for the four persons, and because they could not endure the hunger, on the second pōya day, at the time when the moon had risen they came to the river, and stayed there.

Thereupon the King, and the Mī-flower Princess, and the Nā-flower Princess, and the Blue-lotus-flower Princess, sitting on the chariot, went near the river. Having seen these four persons, and descended from the chariot, he told that party of four persons to ascend the chariot.

Then the four persons say, “Anē! We cannot mount on this. Whether you, Sir, [are going] to behead9 us, or chop us [in pieces],10 or kill us [in some other way], we do not know. We cannot mount on it.”

Making them mount by harassing them and combating [their objections],11 they came to the palace. Having come to the palace, after having given them a separate house to live in, and given them expenses for food, he said, “Don’t you be afraid; you remain [here],” this King says to these four persons.

At the time when a long period had gone by in this manner, the King thought that with the four persons he must eat food at one table. Having thought so, after three or four months he sent four men to the four persons, and having caused them to bathe, and [then] caused them to bathe in coconut milk scented with sandal-wood,12 and given to all the four persons four pairs of vestments that day,13 he told [the servants] to send food [for all] to eat at one table.

They having sent the food [and] table, and the four persons sitting down together with the Mī-flower, the Nā-flower, the Blue-lotus-flower Princesses, at the time when he tells them to eat the cooked rice the four say, “Anē! [317]We cannot eat at one table with you, Sir. How can you, Sir, a King, and we, eat [together]?” these four persons say.

The King says, “Nothing will happen through your eating at one table with me.”

At the time when, through [his] harassing them and combating [their objections],14 they are eating [after] having sat down at one table, the King asks, “Can you, or cannot you recognise me?” the King asks.

Thereupon the four persons say, “Anē! We cannot recognise you.”

At the time when they have said and said [this], three drops of milk having come from the breast of his mother fell on the King’s face.15 When they fell she began to weep.

Thereupon the King says, “Don’t cry. The thing I said became correct.”

At that time the King [his father] becoming afraid and terrified, he said, “Father-King, here, behold! the Mī-flower Princess. Here, behold! the Nā-flower Princess. Here, behold! the Blue-lotus-flower Princess,” and showed them.

Then the King says, “Are you willing to take the sovereignty of the city?” he asked at the hand of the King’s father. “I can,” he said.

To his father he gave the sovereignty. To the elder brother he gave the Ministership (aemaetkoma); he appointed the [second] Ministership for the younger elder brother. “Now then,” he said, “when we have gone you will not give us a little betel!”

In this story is [related] the manner in which a foolish King, taking the sovereignty, without considering exercised the sovereignty.

North-western Province.

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In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xviii, p. 120, in a South Indian (Tamil) story by Pandit S. M. Naṭēśa Sāstrī, a Brāhmaṇa who had [318]seven sons asked them one night what they would like to do. The elders expressed good wishes, but the youngest stated that he would like to spend the fine moonlight in a beautiful house with lovely girls. The father turned him out for saying this, and he had various adventures unlike those of this Sinhalese story.

In the same work, vol. xxvi, p. 109, in a Telugu story by G. R. Subramiah Pantulu, Divijakīrtti, King of Choḷamaṇḍala, had three sons, of each one of whom he inquired what he most desired. The first wished to be surrounded by learned men and to study the great Indian Epics and sacred books, the second wished to obtain wealth and visit sacred shrines, the third wanted to acquire a kingdom and gain a good reputation by making it prosperous. The King made over the sovereignty to the third one, giving the first one villages and the second one money to go on a pilgrimage.

In The Jātaka, No. 96 (vol. i, p. 234), the Bōdhisatta received a charmed thread and some charmed sand from Paccēka Buddhas as safe-guards on a journey. These preserved him, the sand placed on his head and the thread twisted round his brow, from an Ogress (Rākshasī) who, with others, devoured all in the palace.

In The Jātaka, No. 380 (vol. iii, p. 161) a “being of perfect merit” fell from Śakra’s heaven, and was re-born as a girl inside a lotus flower. “When the other lotuses grew old and fell, that one grew great and stood.” An ascetic opened it, found the girl inside, and reared her. Śakra created a crystal palace for her, provided her with divine clothing and food, and in the end the King of Benares married her.

In The Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 81, when a King of Udayagiri one moonlight night asked his seven sons what they would like to be doing, the first suggested leading an army into an enemy’s country, the second wished to be irrigating some land, the third wished to be ploughing, the fourth to be walking from one village to another, the fifth to be hunting, the sixth to be a cooly. The seventh son wished to be the sole Emperor of the world, reclining on a couch, attended by four wives, the daughters of Indra, Agni, Varuṇa, and Ādiśēsha (the serpent-king). His mother, hearing that he was to be executed for this wish, sent him away secretly with a bag of money. Next morning the executioners showed the blood of an animal as that of the Prince. The Prince acquired the wished-for wives, induced a King who tried to kill him, to jump into a fire from which he himself had come successfully by Agni’s aid, and became King of a magic city. In the meantime his father had been driven out of Udayagiri, and with his wife and other sons got a living by selling firewood. The young King recognised them, gave the sovereignty to his father, and himself took the post of Minister. He had further adventures afterwards.

There are several Indian accounts of girls who made their appearance [319]out of fruits or flowers, and one of a Prince, in addition to the deity in the tale numbered 153, and the sons of King Sāgara, mentioned in the note after it. In one old legend the Goddess Pattinī in one incarnation was produced from a Mango fruit, and in another from a Blue-lotus flower.

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 96, a girl was found inside a Mango fruit.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 11, a Prince and Princess who had been killed came to life afresh inside two fruits produced on a tree which grew at the spot where their livers had been thrown. At p. 81 a Princess reappeared full-grown inside a fruit in a King’s garden. At p. 138, there is an account of a Princess who issued full-grown from a Bēl fruit (Ægle marmelos). After being drowned she became a Pink-lotus flower, and when this was destroyed she reappeared as an infant inside a Bēl fruit.

In the Kolhān tales (Bompas) appended to Folklore of the Santal Parganas, p. 461, there is a story of this type regarding a Princess who was in a Bēl fruit.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 142, a tear of joy fell from the eye of a Vidyādhara maiden on a Jambu flower, and a fruit was produced; when it fell and broke open a heavenly maiden came out of it, and was reared by a hermit.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 327, a Buddhist nun, Amrapāli, related an account of her previous births during ninety-one kalpas, from mango flowers. The details of her last birth are given; she became the mother of the celebrated physician Jīvaka, the son of King Bimbisāra, and afterwards took the religious vows. Professor Chavannes states that the work in which this story occurs was translated into Chinese between A.D. 148 and 170.

In the same volume, p. 337, there is a story of the birth of two other girls from flowers, one from a Sumanā flower and the other from a Blue lotus.

In Korean Tales (Dr. H. N. Allen), p. 164, a girl who had drowned herself to appease an evil spirit who refused to allow the passage of some boats, was sent back to life in a large flower on a plant floating on the sea. A King who preserved the flower saw her when she emerged at night, and married her.

In the Mahā Bhārata (Vaṇa Parva, cxlvi ff.) Bhimasēna, one of the Pāṇḍava Princes, went in search of golden lotus flowers, and found them in a lake at the Gandhamādana mountain, belonging to Kuvēra, the God of Wealth.

In Reynard the Fox in Southern Africa (Dr. Bleek), p. 55, a girl appeared out of a calabash in which a woman had placed her daughter’s heart after it had been recovered from the body of a lion that had eaten her. The woman put with it the first milk of the cows which calved. [320]

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The Story of the She-Goat. (Variant a.)

In a certain country there are a King and a Queen, it is said. There is an only Prince of the Queen’s.

The King was stricken by a very great scarcity (sāyak). Well then, the Queen and the King and the Prince devoured (plundered) all the things and pansalas (monks’ residences) that were in the city. Having devoured them, on the day when they were finished the King said at the hand of the Queen, “To-morrow I must behead our Prince.” So the Queen, having tied a little cooked rice in a packet and given it into the hand of the Prince, said, “Go thou away to any place thou wantest.”

After that, the Prince taking the packet of cooked rice and having gone on and on, and eaten the packet of cooked rice sitting upon a rock, looked about, saying, “Where is a smoke rising?” When he looked a smoke was visible.

After that, having descended from the rock, as he was going away he met with some goats; in the party of goats there was a large she-goat. When the Prince was going near the she-goat, the she-goat expectorated.

The Prince, taking the piece of spittle and wrapping it in his handkerchief, went to the house of a widow woman. Having gone there and given the handkerchief into the hand of the widow-mother, he said, “Mother, having placed this handkerchief in the very bottommost pot,16 put it away.” After that, the woman having placed the handkerchief in the very bottommost pot, put it away.

After seven days went by, having taken out the handkerchief, at the time when he looked [in the pot] three Princesses and four young rats were there, and filled the pot. Afterwards he took the three Princesses out of the pot. Having taken them out, placing the three Princesses in that very house, the Prince, marrying them, remained there.

While he was living in that very way, news reached the King, the Prince’s father, that this Prince is living with [321](lit., near) the widow-mother. Afterwards the King came there on horse-back, together with the army. Having come, he said to the Prince, “Can you pluck and give me the Blue-lotus flower which is in the Great Sea?” Then the Prince said, “I can.”

Owing to it, the widow woman was weeping at the Prince’s saying he can. The three Princesses asked, “What, mother, are you weeping for?”

Then the widow-mother says, “Anē! Now then, my son will die when he has gone into the Great Sea.”

Then the three Princesses say, “Anē! What do you weep at that for? Bring a little sand from an untrodden place.” The widow woman brought a little sand from an untrodden place.

Afterwards, the youngest Princess, having uttered spells over the sand, and given it into the Prince’s hand, said, “Having gone into the Sea, when you put down this little sand, firm sand will become clear (i.e., will appear above the water). Having gone a little distance again, when you again put down a little sand, firm sand will become clear. Having come quite close [to the flower], when you have held the hands in a cup shape the Blue-lotus flower will come into the hands.”

Afterwards, the Prince, in that very manner having gone upon the hard sand, held his hands in a cup shape; then it came into his hands. Having taken it, when he comes back the King is still at the widow woman’s house. Afterwards the Prince gave the Blue-lotus flower into the King’s hand. Thereupon the King thought to himself, “Āḥ, Bola! by this also I was unable to kill this one.”17

There is a Bee-hive in a forest; no one can draw out [the honey combs]. The bees come further than two gawwas18 (each of four miles) [to attack would-be plunderers of the hive]. To draw out that Bee-hive the King told this Prince. The Prince said, “I can.”

Afterwards that widow-mother is weeping. Then the [322]three Princesses asked, “What is it, mother, you are weeping for?”

Then the widow-mother said, “When my son has gone to draw out [the honey-combs at] the Bee-hive, the bees having stung (lit., eaten) him he will die.”

Then the Princesses said, “What are you crying for on that account? Come back [after] breaking a branch without disease or former disease.”19 Afterwards the woman, breaking a branch without disease or former disease, came back and gave it.

After that, the youngest Princess, having uttered spells for the branch, and given it into the Prince’s hand, said, “Strike at the Bee-hive with this branch; then the bees will go. Well then, you will be able to draw the Bee-hive.”

The Prince, having taken the branch, and gone to the place where the Bee-hive is, struck the Bee-hive with the branch. The bees went away. The Prince, drawing out [the honey-comb of] the Bee-hive,20 came back and gave it to the King.

The King thought to himself, “Āḥ, Bola! after I was unable to kill this one by this also, what shall I do?”

Thinking [thus], he cut a well. Having cut it, and at the very bottom21 having left a little earth, he said to the Prince, “Having descended down this, you must take out this earth to-morrow.”

Afterwards the Prince told it at the hand of the widow-mother; then the widow-mother wept. The young rats asked, “What is it, mother, that you are weeping for?”

The widow-mother said, “When our son has gone into that well he will die.”

Then the four young rats said, “What are you weeping for at that?” From the house to the well they cut a tunnel. Having cut it, they said at the Prince’s hand, “We have cut the tunnel from this house until the time [323]when it goes to the well. When you have gone into the well, should the King close it with earth22 come along this tunnel.” Having said [this], they showed the tunnel to the Prince.

On the following day, the King having told the Prince to descend into the well, the King remained on the surface. The Prince having descended into the well, when he is about (lit., making) to try to take a little earth the King closed it with earth.

Then this Prince having come along that tunnel to the house of the widow-mother, remained [there].

Tom-tom Beater. North-western Province.

[Contents]

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgarā (Tawney), vol. i, p. 549, it is stated that in a country in which the deficiency of rain had caused a famine, “the King began to play the bandit, leaving the right path, and taking wealth from his subjects unlawfully.”

In the same work, vol. ii, p. 569, a great sandbank is described as suddenly rising up in the midst of the sea, near Ceylon.

[Contents]

The Story of a Nobleman’s Son.23 (Variant b.)

In a certain country there were three Princes, [the sons] of a nobleman. Having called the eldest Prince of the same three Princes he asks from the same Prince, “Son, what is the work thou canst do?” he asked.

Thereupon the big Prince says, “Father, having gone to a threshing-floor on the [full moon] pōya day, on the fifteenth of the light half [of the lunar month], it would be good to spread [and thresh] the stacks, if the moon be shining and shining,” he said. Thereupon he told the same Prince to go aside.

Having called the next Prince he asked, “Son, on the second pōya day, on the fifteenth of this bright half [of the lunar month], what is the best work to do? What the best journey to go on?”

The Prince says, “Father, according to me, on the second pōya day, on the fifteenth of the bright half, when they [324]have put packs on seven or eight pairs of bulls, if they drive them [on a trading journey] when the moon is shining and shining, it would be good,” he said. Thereupon the father told the Prince to go aside.

Having called the young Prince he asked, “Son, on this second pōya day, on the fifteenth of the bright half [of the lunar month], what is the best work to do? What are the best journeys to go on?”

Thereupon the young Prince says, “Father, according to me, if I should have placed the head on the Goat Queen’s waist pocket, my shoulder on the Blue-Lotus Queen’s waist pocket, my two feet on the Mī-flower Queen’s waist pocket, it would be good,” he said.

Thereupon the father says to the above-mentioned two Princes, “Cut down this wicked Prince with the sword,” he said.

At that time, because they could not kill the young Prince, the above-mentioned two Princes did not speak. Then their mother, having called the above-mentioned two Princes, says, “Having fulfilled the hopes of seven kalpas,24 [after] being hidden in the womb of one mother you [three] were born. Because of it, do not cut down your younger brother at your father’s word,” she said.

Having said [to their father], “We are going away to cut him down,” they abandoned him in the midst of a very great forest; and having killed a lizard (kaṭussā) and said they killed the Prince, smearing the blood on the sword they came back, and said, “Father, we killed the Prince,” and gave him the sword. Thereupon he became [filled] with happiness or great satisfaction.

At the time when the Prince who was left in the midst of the forest was going along in the forest wilderness for seven days, as he was going along eating and eating sugar-canes, pine-apples, sweet oranges, various ripe fruits, he saw a great mountain. Having seen an aerial root of a Banyan which swung there, seizing the aerial root he went [climbing up it] to the rock, and when he looked about he [325]saw a rock cave, and not a country furnished with villages (gama raṭak).

Thereupon, holding the aerial root of the Banyan he descended to the ground at the rock, and went away in the direction of the rock cave. Having seen a house near the rock the Prince went to the house.

A woman, called the Mal-kāra Ammā (garland-making mother), who takes messages to the King of that country, saw that the Prince was going. At the time when she asked, “Where are you going?” a flock of goats which were there saw him, and a large female goat coughed. Thereupon a piece of mucus fell down. Taking the piece of mucus, he tied it up in his waist-pocket.

Thereafter, to the garland-making mother he says, “I am going to a place where they give food and clothing.”

Then the garland-making mother says, “I have no child; come, for me to rear you,” she said. The Prince said, “It is good,” [and went to live with her].

Thereupon, having put [for him] outside [her room] cooked rice and curry, the flower mother went to inform the King. She having thus gone, the things that were in the waist-pocket of the above-mentioned Prince who came to the house, came to their time.25

After three days, the Prince having arisen, on seeing the garland-making mother says, “Mother, I will take these flowers and give them to the King,” he said.

Thereupon the garland-making mother said, “Don’t go.” Thereafter, the garland-making mother went to the city [to present the flower-garlands], and came back.

On the following day, when the above-mentioned Prince said that he must go to another place, the garland-making mother says, “Son, beginning from your young age, I reared you until the time when you are becoming as big as this. Now, to what place are you to go?” she said.

“It is so, indeed. Give me the thing that I gave you that day to put away,” he said.

Thereupon, the garland-making mother, having gone to take the thing which she had put in the lowest earthen pot [326]that was at the bottom of three or four earthen pots, when she looked saw that a Princess was in it, and being pleased took her out. Then the garland-making mother says, “This Princess is good for my son,” and she gave her in marriage to him.

Not much time afterwards, at the time when he was sleeping in that manner [which he mentioned to his father], placing his head on the waist-pocket of the above-mentioned Princess, the Ministers of the King of that country having seen it, told the tale to the King.

On the following day, on seeing the garland-making mother he said, “Your son is a very great clever person. In the midst of the Great Sea there will be a great Blue-Lotus flower. Because of [his cleverness] tell him to bring and give me it,” he said.

The garland-making mother having come away weeping and weeping, came home. Thereupon, the Goat Queen asks, “What, mother, (maeniyan wahansa), are you crying for?” she asked.

The mother says, “He said that he is to bring the Blue-Lotus flower that is in the midst of the Great Sea.”

“Without fear on that account, eat cooked rice,” she said. Having waited a little time, she asked, “Can you bring and give [me] three handfuls of sand from a place they are not trampling on?”

Having said “I can,” she brought and gave them.

The daughter-in-law, taking the three handfuls of sand, and having given them into the hand of her husband, says, “Having gone, taking those three handfuls of sand, throw down a handful; white sand will open out. Having gone upon that white sand, throw down the next handful; [the sand will then be extended]. Having thrown down the other handful of sand [the sand-bank will extend to the flower]; then taking the Queen of the Blue-Lotus flower, and plucking the flower, come back,” she said.

Having gone in the manner stated by his Queen, taking the Queen and the Blue-Lotus flower he came back. Marrying the Queen, he gave the Blue-Lotus flower into the mother’s hand. The garland-making mother having gone [327]to the royal house, and given the Blue-Lotus flower to the King, came back.

Thereupon, the Ministers having come, for the above-mentioned Prince there was one Queen before; at the time when they looked now there are two. “Now then, indeed, the King will not succeed in exercising the sovereignty,” they said.

On the following day, the garland-making mother having waited [at the palace] until the time for going, [the King] says, “Your son is a great clever person. Because of it, tell him to break [into] the Royal Bee-hive26 (Raja-mīya) that is in the jungle, and come back [with the honey-combs],” he said.

The garland-making mother having come back, when she was weeping and weeping, the above-mentioned Blue-Lotus-flower Queen asked, “What, mother, are you weeping and weeping for?”

Thereupon the garland-making mother says, “Having brought [the honey-combs of] the Royal Bee-hive that is in the jungle, [the Prince] is to give him them, the King said. Because of it, indeed, I am weeping,” she said.

“Without fear on that account, come and eat cooked rice,” she said. Then when the garland-making mother is eating cooked rice, the Blue-Lotus Queen says, “Can you bring and give me three handfuls of stones from a place they are not trampling on?” she said.

Having said “I can,” she brought and gave them.

Thereupon the Blue-Lotus Queen, having given the three handfuls of stones into the hand of her husband, says, “From these three handfuls of stones taking one handful, go and throw it into the jungle. The bees will stop while you go three gawuwas (twelve miles). Having gone there, throw down the other handful; [they will then not attack you until you go to the bee-hive]. Having gone to the bee-hive they will assemble [to attack you]. Throw the other handful at the bee-hive, the head part of the bee-hive; the bees will go to the head part (the upper part). Then, breaking [into] the bee-hive, come back [with the honey-combs], calling the Queen who is in the bee-hive,” she said. [328]

Thereupon, the Prince went, and breaking [into] the bee-hive and calling the Queen, came back, and gave [the honey-combs] into the hand of the garland-making mother. Then the garland-making mother, taking the honey and having gone to the city, gave it to the King.

At that time the King says, “Because your son is a very great clever person he does the things I am saying and saying. Because of it, tell your son to come to the city to-morrow,” he said.

Thereupon, the garland-making mother having come weeping and weeping says, “To-morrow, indeed, he is really to kill my son. He says he is to go to the city.”

Then the Queen who was in the Royal Bee-hive says, “Without fear on that account, come and eat cooked rice.” Thereafter she says [to the Prince], “The King’s message indeed I know. Having told them to cut a well, and caused you to descend into the well, it is indeed to kill you he told you to go. For it, I will inform you of a stratagem,” she said. When he asked “What is the stratagem?” she said, “Having gone near the well, without crookedness drawing a line from it, go a considerable distance. From there having gone cutting a tunnel, do thou cut it to the well, and come back,” she said.

He did in the manner his wife said. Having done the work, and gone to the city, he saw the King, and remained there.

Then the King says, “The well has been [partly] filled up. Because of it, let us go to draw out the small quantity of earth.” Having said this, that man and yet more people went.

Having gone there, and put [a ladder of] bamboos into the well, he caused that man to descend. Having waited until the time when he descended to the foot of the well, he [drew up the ladder, and] began to throw down earth. Thereupon the man, ascertaining that he is throwing down earth, breaking down that little that remained at the tunnel that had been cut [by him], went into the tunnel, and having come along it, came to his house.

Well then, the King, having filled the well, and said, “This one will be killed,” with pleasure came to the city. [329]

This above-mentioned man having thought, “This King I must kill,” made a stratagem. What was that stratagem, indeed? Cooking a box of cakes, and having gone to the city and given them to the King, he says, “Your Majesty (Devayan wahansē), having remained there at the time when you were putting me into the well, when you were closing it with earth I went to that [other] world. Having been there, I brought a box as a present (penum peṭṭiyak) for Your Majesty.”

Thereupon the King says, “We also must go to that world. Because of it, put me down a well,” he said. Then having put the King into the well they closed it with earth.

In not many days, perceiving that the King was lost, and ascertaining that there was no one for the sovereignty, they decorated the tusk elephant, and went seeking a person for the sovereignty. The tusk elephant went and kneeled to the man whom they put in the well. Thereupon, they having come [to the palace] with that man and with those three Queens, he exercised the sovereignty.

Tom-tom Beater. North-western Province.

[Contents]

In the tale numbered 243, in vol. iii, a Prince was induced to go for a lotus flower which grew in a pool guarded by a great crocodile.

In The Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 73, when a Prince was going to fetch a Golden Lotus flower that was on the far side of the Seven Seas, his wife, who understood magical arts, gave him seven pebbles, and told him that when he threw one into each ocean in turn, and said, “May the sea dry before and swell behind,” a dry path would appear, along which he could proceed in safety. When he had crossed the Seven Seas in this manner, a Rākshasa in charge of a sacred pool beyond them sent on a note which the Prince had brought, to the Crocodile King, who forwarded the lotus to the Prince and ordered a crocodile to carry him back to his own country.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 227, a King of Śrāvasti, who wished to get possession of the beautiful wife of an upāsaka, sent him, by the advice of his Ministers, to bring lotus flowers of five colours from a distant pool. All who were sent on this errand were killed by venomous snakes or demons or savage animals, but a demon whom he encountered saved the upāsaka on learning of his piety, and fetched the flowers for him. When the King heard of this he begged his forgiveness. [330]


1 Bee-hive flower. 

2 Ironwood, Mesua ferrea

3 The story is difficult to understand in several places; I have tried to express the apparent meaning. 

4 It is clear that she got her name from a flower found in the hive, which might thus be termed a Mī-mala (Mī-flower), and not from the flower of the Mī-tree (Bassia longifolia). 

5 Maṭa bāe, which often is used with the meaning, “I will not.” 

6 Wijjā-kārayek. 

7 Bhutiyan-kārayek. 

8 Kaemaeti kenek, a common expression meaning anyone whatever. 

9 Kapanṭada. 

10 Koṭanṭada. 

11 Waden poren. 

12 Han̆dun kiri-paen. 

13 Edā dawasa. 

14 Waden poren. 

15 This incident is given in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. i, p. 83. The hundred sons of a Queen attacked their father’s capital. The Queen mounted on a tower, pointed out their wickedness, and pressing her breasts milk was projected into their mouths, and they recognised her. In vol. iii, p. 12, she was on a white elephant, and had five hundred sons. 

16 Yaṭama yaṭa tāliyaṭa. 

17 The narrator has omitted to state the reason why the King was so anxious to kill the Prince—that is, in order to marry the Princesses. 

18 De gawwak tiyā mī-maessō ewidinawā. 

19 Porōga, perhaps for pura-rōga

20 This is the Raja-mīya, or Royal Bee-hive, of the Wanniyās; it has this name in the next variant. 

21 Pallēm pallēm. Pallēm may be palla, bottom + im, pl. of ima, boundary, limit. 

22 Pas waehaewwōtin. 

23 The Sinhalese title is, The Story of a Nobleman (Siṭāna kenekun̆ge kathāwa). 

24 A kalpa is a day and night of Brahmā, or 1,000 Yugas, and therefore 432 million years (see vol. i, p. 49). 

25 Waraṭa āwāya, that is, become mature. 

26 For an account of the Royal Bee-hive, see Ancient Ceylon, p. 170. 

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No. 147

The Loss that occurred to the Nobleman’s Daughter

In a certain country there is a nobleman (Siṭānō), it is said. There is a Princess of the nobleman’s, it is said. The Princess having become associated with the servant at the house, in secret they went to another country, it is said.

At the time when the two persons had been there a long time, the Princess became pregnant.1 When the ten months were coming to be fulfilled she said to the Princess’s husband, “Dear (son̆dura), let us go to seek our two parents.” At that word her husband was displeased. Afterwards, in not many days the child was born.

When they had been some time thus, a fresh child was conceived. At the time when the ten months were coming to be fulfilled for that child, she said, “Dear, it is very difficult for me. Because of it, let us go to seek our two parents,” she said.

After that procuring all [necessary] provisions, afterwards they began to go. Having gone thus, that day it became night. They stayed near a tree in the midst of the forest. Because rain was coming, having said he must construct a leaf [parturition] house (kolasun geyak) he went to cut sticks, creepers, etc. Having gone, at the time when he was cutting them sitting upon an ant-hill, the Nāga King who stayed in the ant-hill bit (daṭṭa kalā) her husband in the leg; the man died there.

At the time when that woman, placing the child near her, [331]was staying [there], pain in the body having seized the woman she bore [a child]. Then rain began to rain. That night, until it became light, how much was her trouble for sleep! After it became light in the morning she went to seek her husband. Having gone, at the time when she was going walking she saw that the man is dead.

From there, weeping and weeping, having walked [back] to the place where the children were, and having descended to the road carrying the two children, while she was going away to the very city of her two parents there was water in the river [that she must cross] on the road.

After that, having gone to that [far] bank carrying the elder child, and having made the child stay there, she came to the middle of the river [in order] to return to this bank. Then, having seen that an eagle striking the child she bore yester-night was taking it, she clapped her hands and shouted. Then the child who was on that [far] bank said, Mother is calling,” and sprang into the river. Then, of both children, one the eagle took away, one having fallen in the water died. The two children were lost, and the man was lost.

Well then, having said, “I myself must still go to seek my two parents,” at the time when she was going she met with a man of that city whom she knew. From the man this woman asked, “Is the affliction of my two parents light, or what?” she asked.

The man said, “Thy two parents’ mansion (prasāda) having broken down and fallen last night on account of the rain, and the two having died, it is the smoke, indeed, of the funeral pyre which burns the two, that is visible there,” he said.

After that, the woman lost her senses, and being without goods she began to go on still, quite like a mad person. The Dēvatāwā taking as his dwelling-place the Banyan-tree near the road, thought, “Should this woman go on this path, through that depression of spirits she will jump into the fire that burns those two persons. I must show this woman a different path.” Having said [this], he showed [her it]. [332]

The woman went on that path. Having gone, she went to a pansala. Having gone to it and become a nun she remained there until she died. (A variant agrees closely with this.)

North-western Province.

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This is part of the story of the misfortunes of Kṛiśa Gautamī, one of the chief Buddhist nuns, as they are related in the Tibetan Kah-gyur (A. von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales, Ralston, p. 216). Her father was a rich householder of Benares, by whom she was married to a young merchant. For her first confinement she returned home, afterwards rejoining her husband. For the second, she and her husband went off in a waggon in which she was confined when they had gone about half way. Her husband sat down under a tree to await the event, fell asleep, a snake bit him, and he died on the spot. When the woman got down she found he was dead. In the meantime a thief stole the oxen. She then walked on with the children till she came to a river, flooded by a sudden rain. She carried the infant across, and while returning in the water for the other saw a jackal carry off the baby. When she waved her hands to frighten the animal, the elder child, thinking she was calling him, sprang down a high bank into the river, and was killed. The mother pursued the jackal, which dropped the infant, but it was then dead. At about the same time her parents and all their household but one man were destroyed by a hurricane. She met the survivor and heard his sad story, after which she wandered to a hill village, and lived with an old woman, spinning cotton yarn. After other unfortunate experiences she became a Buddhist nun. [333]


1 Daru garbayek upannā. 

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No. 148

The Raṭēmahatmayā’s Presents

A certain cultivator having gone to his Kaekiri garden, and having seen, when he looked [through it], that a very beautiful long Kaekiri fruit was ripe, presented it to the Chief of that country.

The Raṭēmahatmayā, being pleased regarding it, presented to him a very valuable young bull.

A man who lives in that country, ascertaining this, thought, “Should I also bring some present I shall receive a present [in return] in this manner” (that is, one of much higher value); and he presented to him a valuable heifer from his herd.

Thereupon the Raṭēmahatmayā, this time being acquainted with the stratagem, presented to the man the Kaekiri fruit which the cultivator gave.

North-western Province.

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My friend Mr. C. Tucker, of Harrogate, has been good enough to show me a variant of this story in a work called Lessons of Thrift, by a member of the Save-all Club, published in 1820. It is related of King Louis XI. of France.

A peasant who had ingratiated himself by his services, when the King succeeded to the throne brought him a turnip of extraordinary size as the only present within his power. The King gave him one thousand livres in return. His landlord, a country squire, hearing of it, thought he must profit by this weakness of the King’s, and said to himself, “If this madman give a thousand livres for a turnip, what will he give me for that beautiful horse in my best stable!” He took the horse to the Court. The King was delighted, and said, “Your noble disinterested present shall be richly rewarded.” Then the King produced the turnip, with this sarcasm, “This, you know, cost me a thousand livres, and I give it you in return for your horse.”

In Keightley’s Tales and Popular Fictions, pp. 253 ff., there are two Italian variants in which a cat was bestowed by a King as a gift in return for presents of great value. [334]

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No. 149

The Prince and the Minister

At a certain city there were a King and a Queen; the Queen had a Prince and a Princess. While they were thus, the King and Queen reached a very great age. Afterwards the King says to the Minister, “When the Prince has become big give him the kingship;” having said it, he gave the [temporary] kingship to the Minister. After that, the King and Queen died.

After that, while the Minister and Prince and Princess, these three persons, are living thus, the Minister becomes changed towards the Prince. The men of that country perceived it. After that, men say to the Prince, “Should you, Sir, stay, the Minister will behead you; you go to another country,” they said.

After that, the Prince, taking the painting (portrait) of the Princess, said, “Don’t you descend from the floor of the upper story until the time when I come back.” Saying it, the Prince went to another city. The Prince went near a widow woman of that city.

The widow woman asks, “Of what village are you?” she asked.

The Prince says, “I don’t know either my village or country,” he said.

After that, the widow woman says, “You stay near me.” When she said it, the Prince having said, “It is good, mother,” remained no long time.

Afterwards, when the King of the city, having been at the palace, is going near the widow woman’s house, the King having seen that the Prince is in the open space in front of the house, the King came back to the palace laughing with pleasure, and called the Minister. After the [335]Minister came running, the King says, “To-day a pleasure has gone to me,” he said.

The Minister says, “Who is the man whom you, Sir, saw to-day in the morning? If you, Sir, see that man every day in the morning it will be good,” he said.

After that, the King says to the Minister, “Calling the widow woman and the boy, come back,” he said. Afterwards the Minister, summoning them, came.

The King says to the widow woman, “Give me the boy; I will give him food, drink, and clothing,” he said. The widow woman gave him the boy.

After that, the King having built a house for the boy, and given him food, drink, and clothing, said, “Show yourself to me in the morning at six,” he said. The Prince on the following day went at six, and stayed [there]. After that, the Prince on the following day came at seven.

Then the King says, “Why are you such a time?” he asked. The Prince says, “I went to sleep,” he said. After that, the Prince on the following day at eight went near the King.

Afterwards the King says to the Prince, “Should you not come at six to-morrow I shall behead you,” and scolded him. On the day after that the Prince did not go at all.

After that, the King, having called the servants, says, “Look ye for what [reason] that Prince did not come.”

The servants having gone, when they are peeping through the door, the Prince lying down and taking a painting, kisses it, weeps, places it on the ground, takes it again. These servants having seen it, told the King. “If so, seizing the Prince come [with him],” he said. The Minister, seizing him, came.

The King asks, “Why did you not come?” Then the Prince said, “I went to sleep.” Then the King said, “Give me your painting.”

Afterwards the Prince brought and gave it. As soon as the King looked at the painting he asked, “What [relative] of yours1 is this Princess?” The Prince said, “My younger sister.” Then the King says, “Bring the Princess for me to marry her.” [336]

Then the Minister says, “Having been keeping that woman three months, because she is a courtesan I sent her away,” he says.

The Prince said, “This Minister neither saw my younger sister, and nor was keeping her. If you were keeping her, mention the Princess’s marks.”

The Minister says to the King, “Please put this Prince in prison until the time when I come,” he said to the King. He put the Prince in prison.

Afterwards, the Minister, asking the King for the Princess’s portrait, and taking a good entertainment, having embarked, went to the city in which is the Princess. Having gone [there] he exhibits the entertainment.

The old woman who is with (lit., near) the Princess having seen it, [said] to the Princess, “There is an entertainment which was never at our city. Let us go to look at it,” she said.

After that, the Princess says, “Elder brother said, ‘Until the time when I come don’t descend from the floor of the upper story.’ Because of it I will not. You look and come back,” she said.

Afterwards, having seen the old woman the Minister asks, “Is there a Princess [here] like this picture?” Then the old woman said, “There is,” she said. The Minister said to the old woman, “[After] calling her come back,” he said.

After that, the old woman says, “The Princess’s elder brother said, ‘Until the time when I come back don’t descend from the floor of the upper story,’ he said; because of it she will not descend,” she said.

Then the Minister says, “Tell me a mark of the Princess’s.”

Then the old woman said, “There is not another mark of the Princess’s to tell you; on the right thigh there is the birth-mark (upan-lakuna),” she said to the Minister.

After the Minister went back to the palace he said to the King, “Please tell that Prince to come,” he said. The King caused the Prince to be brought. Afterwards the Minister said to the Prince, “On the right thigh of your younger sister there is the birth-mark only; no other mark,” he said. The Prince said, “Yes, [it is so].” [337]

After that, the King commanded them to hang this Prince. The Prince says to the King, “I must [first] look at younger sister, and come.” After that, the King sent the Prince with two men. The Prince having gone to the floor of the upper story, and beaten the Princess [and told her what the Minister said], the Prince came again to the city in which is the King. The Princess having been weeping and weeping went to sleep.

Afterwards the King, [in order] to hang the Prince, took him upon the scaffold. That Princess learnt that he is hanging the Prince. After that, the Princess having mounted on a horse, the King saw her come driving it along. The King [said], “Don’t hang the Prince just now.”

Afterwards, the Princess having come, and descended from the back of the horse, and tied the horse at a tree, the Princess sat on a chair near the King. The Princess asks at the hand of the King, “Why are these people [here] in this manner?”

The King says, “To-day I am hanging a Prince; because of it the people have come.”

After that, the Princess says to the King, “The Minister having been keeping me three months, taking my slipper came away. Be good enough to ask for it, and give me it.”

The King said, “Minister, if you brought it give her it.”

The Minister says, “That Princess I neither kept nor know,” the Minister said.

Afterwards, having caused the Prince to descend from the scaffold, the King [said], “Who is this of yours?” The Prince said, “My younger sister.”

Afterwards the King having caused the Minister to be brought, [told him who she was, and asked], “Why did you tell lies?”

After that the Minister says, “You, Sir, will marry the Princess; you will give the Minister’s work to the Prince. Because of that.”

After that, the King ordered them to hang the Minister.

The King married that Princess. [The Prince] having [338]gone to the Prince’s [own] palace, took the kingship from the Minister [who had been ruling temporarily]. To the Minister he gave the Minister’s work [again].

Finished.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

With regard to the order to hang the Prince, and the subsequent hanging of the Minister, there is a reference to this punishment in the next story, in which a Minister recommends that a turtle which had frightened some Princesses should be hanged. In vol. i, p. 368, a jackal remarked that a leopard which had been caught in a noose had been “hanged,” as though this were a well-known punishment. I think there is no other clear instance in these stories; but in vol. i, p. 189, a Prince found a Yaksanī trying to eat a dead body which was hanging in a tree; if this had been a case of suicide the relatives might have removed the body. Hanging the body at the four gates of the city after quartering it is mentioned in two of these tales (vol. i, pp. 86 and 89, and in No. 80, p. 20 of the present volume). Hanging is not referred to in the stories of the Low-Country Sinhalese, where one might expect to meet with it.

In the Wēvaelkaeṭiya Inscription (Epigraphia Zeylanica, vol. i, p. 250), King Mahinda IV. (A.D. 1026–1042) ordered that persons convicted of robbery with violence should be hanged. Mr. Wickremasinghe in giving a translation of this inscription added a note to the effect that he had not found this punishment mentioned elsewhere in Sinhalese literature; but in the Mahāvansa, ii, lxxv, vv. 166 and 196, and in the Rājāvaliya (translation), p. 66, there are accounts of the hanging of people. In Marshall’s Ceylon, p. 39, it is stated that “the punishment of death was usually carried into effect by hanging, or being killed by elephants.” In Davy’s work also, p. 182, it is said that “the sentence of death, in cases of murder, was carried into effect by hanging.”

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 185, a young man who was in love with a Princess received her portrait from a painter, and “spent his time in gazing on, coaxing and touching, and adorning her picture; … he seemed to see her, though she was only a painted figure, talking to him and kissing him, … and he was contented, because the whole world was for him contained in that piece of painted canvas.”

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. i, p. 183), when a Wazīr showed his young son to a Sultan, the latter was so much pleased with him that he said, “O Wazīr, thou must needs bring him daily to my presence.” [339]


1 Um̆bē kawuda, your who? a common form of expression. 

[Contents]

No. 150

The Story of King Bamba

In a certain country there is a King. There are seven Princesses (daughters) of the King. He does not allow the seven Princesses to go anywhere outside [the palace precincts], and having caused a pool to be dug in the very palace for bathing, also, the Princesses bathe [in it].

When they have bathed, there is a drain for letting out the water. A Turtle came along the drain, and having entered the pool, when it was there, one day the water having filled the pool the Princesses went. While they were having water-games, one Princess struck against the Turtle, and while she was crying out [in alarm], the other six having become afraid sprang ashore. Having sprung there and gone running, they told their father the King.

Afterwards the King and Ministers having come and opened the drain, when they looked after the water lowered there was a Turtle. The Ministers took away the Turtle. Thereupon the King said, “For the fault that it frightened my Princesses, what is the suitable punishment to inflict on this one?”

Then a Minister said, “Having fixed a noose to its neck and hung it up for thirty paeyas (twelve hours), let it go.”

Thereupon another Minister said, “The punishment is not good enough. Not in that way. Having prepared a bon-fire you ought to put this Turtle into the bon-fire.” Thereupon the Turtle laughed.

Then yet [another] Minister said, “That punishment is not good enough; I will tell you one. In the Atirawatī1 river the water is very swift; the water goes and falls into [340]the Nāga residence.2 Having taken that one you ought to put it into that.”

Then the Turtle, after having shrugged its shoulders, said, “O Lord, Your Majesty, though you should inflict all other punishments don’t inflict that punishment on me.”

Just as it was saying it, the King said, “Aḍē! Take that to that very one and put it in.” After that, the Ministers having taken the Turtle put it into the Atirawatī river.

When it was put in, the Turtle, having gone turning and turning round, fell into the Nāga residence. Well then, the shore is not a suitable place. Now then, the Turtle thinks, “Should I stay thus the Nāgayās, seizing me, will eat me. Because of it, I must go near the great Nāga King, Mahakela3 by name.”

The great Nāga King, Mahakela by name, having seen this Turtle, asked, “Whence camest thou? Who art thou?”

Then the Turtle gave answer, “O Lord, Your Majesty, they call me, indeed, the Minister, Pūrnaka by name, of King Bamba of Bamba City. Because there was no other man to come [to make] appearance (daekuma) before Your Honour (num̆ba-wahansē), His Majesty our King sent me.”

Then the Nāga King asked, “What is the business for which he sent thee?”

Then the Turtle says, “There are seven Princesses of His Majesty our King. Out of them, His Majesty our King is willing to give any Princess you want, for the Nāga residence. Because of it he sent me.”

Thereupon the Nāga King says, “It is good. If he is thus willing I will cause two persons to make the journey with thee.”

Then the Turtle says, “O Lord, Your Majesty, permission has been given to me for [only] seven days’ [absence]; because of it, I must go this very day.”

Afterwards the great Nāga King, Mahakela by name, [341]having despatched two Nāgayās, said, “Ye having gone to the world of men (nara-lowa), looking into matters there, until ye come back do no injury to anyone.”

Well then, when these two Nāgayās and the Turtle are coming along the Turtle says, “I am unable to go like Your Honours go; having lifted me up carry me a little.” After that, the two Nāgayās, lifting up the Turtle, came [with him] to this world.

Having come near the city, the Turtle said, “Now then, place me on the ground; I cannot go thus. When I have gone to the palace, the Princesses having come and said, ‘Our Minister has come,’ will ask at my hand certain articles. Because of it, I will go to that pool; until the time when I come [after] plucking a handful of flowers, you stay here.”

Having said [this], the Turtle went to the pool; after it descended [into it] those two Nāgayās are looking [out for it]. The Turtle having gone to the pool, got hid.

The two Nāgayās having gone to Bamba City, after they went near the King, the King asked, “From what country came ye?”

Then the Nāgayās said, “What is [the meaning of] that speech that Your Honour is saying? Your Honour must understand. By Your Honour a Minister [was] sent to our Nāga dwelling-place—was he not?—thereafter to tell us to come. That there are Your Honour’s seven Princesses, Your Honour’s Minister, Pūrnaka by name, went and told our King. Afterwards our King sent us two, with Your Honour’s Minister, Pūrnaka by name.”

Then King Bamba says, “Is it true that a King like me gives [in] marriage to frog-eating beasts like you?” Having said it, he scolded them with many low words.

Afterwards the two Nāgayās having gone again to the Nāga residence told the Nāga King, “King Bamba scolded us much;” having said it the two wept.

Afterwards collecting as many Nāgayās as were [there], the Nāga King having come to Bamba City, the Nāga King called Mahakela and yet [another] Nāga King twined [themselves] from the King’s head down to the two feet, and [342]raising their heads above [him] asked at the hand of King Bamba, “Wilt thou give thy Princess or not?”

King Bamba said, “To thy taking any Princess thou wantest to thy country, there is not any impediment by me.”

Afterwards the Nāga King4 having taken a good [looking] Princess, [a daughter of the King], and gone to the Nāga residence, married the Princess to a Nāgayā.

During the time when she was [there] a child [was] conceived in her womb. After it was conceived, ten months having become complete she bore a Nāgayā. That Nāgayā in not much time having become big, asked at the hand of his mother, “Mother, what is [the reason] why you alone are unable to take the appearance you want?”

Then the Princess said, “Son, how can I take the appearance I want? I am a human being (manussayek).”

The Nāgayā asks, “How, mother, was the manner in which you came to this country?”

Then his mother says, “In this manner: As many Nāgayās as were in this Nāga residence having gone and fought with our father the King, taking me came away.”

Afterwards the Nāga Prince says, “Mother, I cannot stay in this country; I must go to the world of men. For it, give me permission.” Afterwards his mother gave the Nāga Prince permission.

Well then (etin), the Nāgayā having come to the world of men began to practise asceticism in a rock cave. When no long time had gone in that manner, a Vaeddā having seen that the Nāgayā is in that rock cave, said to a snake charmer (ahi-kantayek), “I have seen a Nāgayā thus. Canst thou catch him?”

The snake charmer (ahi-kantakayā) having said “I can,” and having gone with the Vaeddā, as soon as he saw the Nāgayā the snake charmer [by magic spells] put on it inability to move.5 Having put it on, and caught the Nāgayā, [343]and at city by city successively6 having made the Cobra dance, the snake charmer obtained many presents; the snake charmer became very wealthy.

After that, the Nāgayā’s mother bore a Nāgayā again. After that Nāgayā also became big, just like the first Nāgayā asked, he asked at the hand of his mother [regarding her appearance]. Then his mother, too, told him just like she told that first Nāgayā.

Afterwards, the Nāgayā also asking permission at the hand of his mother to come to the world of men, on the very day when he came to the world of men, at the time when the snake charmer was making that first Cobra dance at the palace of King Bamba, creating a thousand hoods, the Nāgayā who was born afterwards saw him. The dancing Nāgayā also saw that that Nāgayā is coming. At his very coming he sent a poisonous smoke to the snake charmer. The poisonous smoke having struck him, the snake charmer died at that very place.

Afterwards, when the two Nāgayās were conversing, the elder Nāgayā said, “Our grandfather’s palace, indeed, is this. Because of it, indeed, to-day I danced, creating a thousand hoods. From to-day I shall not dance again.”

Well then, the two, creating divine bodies, having gone to the midst of the forest, practised asceticism.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In The Jātaka, No. 543 (vol. vi, p. 83) there is an account of a tortoise (turtle) that frightened the semi-Nāga sons of Brahmadatta, King of Benares, by raising its head out of the water of the royal pool when they were playing there. When it was netted the attendants suggested pounding it to powder in a mortar, or cooking and eating it, or baking it; and at last a Minister recommended that it should be thrown into the whirlpool of the Yamunā river. [344]The turtle begged to be spared this last fate,—the one it desired,—but the King ordered it to be thrown into the river, in which a current led it to the dwelling of the Nāgas. When the sons of the Nāga King Dhataraṭṭha found it, the turtle invented the story of its being a messenger called Cittacūḷa, sent by the King of Benares to offer his daughter to the Nāga King. Four Nāga youths returned with the turtle to fix the wedding day, the turtle concealing itself in a pool on the way, on the plea of collecting lotus flowers. When the Nāgas were treated with scorn, the Nāga King and his forces compelled the King to surrender his daughter Samuddajā, who was married to the Nāga King.

Her second semi-Nāga son out of four with only his Nāga wife’s knowledge went to fast on the earth, with a view to being re-born among the Gods. Lying as a cobra on an ant-hill he was pointed out by an outcast Brāhmaṇa, captured by means of a magical spell, taken to dance in villages, and at last brought to the King of Benares. The Nāga’s eldest brother disguised as an ascetic, with his Nāga sister, disguised as a young frog that was hidden in his hair, rescued him. The heat from three drops of poison emitted by the frog turned the snake charmer into a leper; their virulence, had it not been magically quenched, would have caused a seven years’ drought.

Snake doctors in Ceylon classify the frog as a very poisonous form of serpent. In Sagas from the Far East, p. 213, a gold frog was the daughter of the Serpent King, who may have been a Nāga.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. i, p. 188, the story resembles that given in the Jātaka tale. The King’s name was Aṅgada; he had a son and a daughter Añjanā. When the turtle was caught the Ministers advised beheading it, burning it alive, or chopping it up and making it into soup; another said these deaths were not cruel enough, and recommended casting it into the sea; it was thrown into a river. The Nāga’s parents, sister, and brother sought for it in the form of birds, and the snake charmer was sent away by Aṅgada, with presents.

In the same work, vol. iii, p. 346, a Queen bore a human son after being visited by a great serpent while half asleep. Professor Chavannes referred to other early instances of such supposed births.

In the Kolhān folk-tales (Bompas) appended to Folklore of the Santal Parganas, p. 452, there is an account of a woman who was married to a water-snake and lived with him under the water, where she bore four snake sons.

In Kaffir Folk-Lore (Theal), p. 155, a girl became the wife of Long Snake; after she ran away her sister married him. When he visited their father the house was set on fire and he was killed. On p. 55 a girl married a five-headed snake who became a man. (See p. 401 below, also). [345]


1 Aciravatī, now the Rāpti. 

2 Nān̆ga bawanaṭa; throughout the text Nāgayā is spelt Nān̆gayā

3 In the Mahāvansa, chap, xxxi, the name of the Nāga King is Mahākāla, but in the Sin. Thūpavansaya, p. 87, it is Mahakela. 

4 Nān̆ga rājayō. 

5 This power over snakes by means of spells (mantras) is mentioned in the Mahā Bhārata (Ādi Parva, cxcii). There are spells which are believed to render any animal incapable of movement. [343]See also vol. iii, Nos. 245 and 252. On one occasion, when I went after a “rogue” elephant I had with me an old tracker who claimed to know an infallible spell of this kind. After we had been charged by the animal, however, I discovered him in the upper part of an adjoining tree, his excuse being that the elephant was deaf and could not hear the words of the spell. 

6 Nuwarak nuwarak pāsā. 

[Contents]

No. 151

Concerning a Royal Princess and a Turtle

At a certain period, at the time when a King and a Minister are passing the time with great trust [in each other], the King and the Minister had a talk in this manner. The talk, indeed, was thus: To the Minister the King says, “Minister, let us two at one time contract marriage; having contracted it, and your Queen (Dēvī) having borne a daughter, should my Queen bear a son let us accomplish the wedding festival of the two children who are born first.” [This] was his speech.

Thereupon the Minister said thus, “It is good, O King; your Queen having borne a Princess, should my Queen bear a Prince, [or] my Queen having borne a Princess should your Queen bear a Prince, let us accomplish the wedding festival,” he said. At that the King having been much pleased, the two persons contracted marriage and remained passing the time in friendship.

During the time when they are [thus], the royal Queen bore a Princess endowed with much beauty. On that very day1 the Minister’s Queen also bore a Turtle. Concerning the circumstance that the Minister’s Queen bore the Turtle, the King and the Minister also remained in much grief. During the time when they were thus, the royal Queen bore yet six Princesses. At the time when she had borne [the last of them] ten years were fulfilled for the Princess whom she bore first.

Thereupon this Minister asked the King thus, “O Lord, [346]Your Majesty, for your Princess and my Turtle, for both of them, the age has now become equal. Because of it, now then, let us accomplish the wedding festival;” [thus] he spoke.

At that time, getting into his mind the notion (lit., word) that, breaking the word the King has said at first, should he subsequently say a word otherwise he will go into hostility, the King unwillingly said thus: “You go and ask my Princess about it,” he said.

Thereupon the Minister having gone near the Princess asked her.

The Princess said thus, “Anē! Appā! I cannot accomplish the festival of the marriage to that Turtle,” she said.

Thereupon the Minister, not even speaking anything about it, came out of the palace. Having come, while still a long time is going he remained without coming back.

Having so remained, after no long time went by they were ready to accomplish the wedding festival for the other six Princesses of the King’s, also. At that time the Minister having gone still [another] time, asked the King; the King told him in the very manner he said before that. Thereupon the Minister having gone asked the Princess.

Thereupon the Princess said thus: “If I am to marry the Turtle, tell the Turtle to bring a Sūriya-kāntā flower; should he bring it I will marry him,” she said.

The Minister having returned [home], it having come [to him] he told it to the Turtle. “Father, I can bring and give it,” the Turtle said.

Then the Minister would say a word thus [doubtingly] to the Turtle, “Turtle, when would you bring it indeed?”

Thereupon the Turtle, feeling (lit., bringing) shame at it in its mind, having descended into a river, went away; and having gone to the place where the Sun [God, Sūriyā], having risen, his chariot comes, and presented its head to [be crushed by] the chariot wheel, remained [there].

At that time the Sun asks thus, “O Turtle, why didst thou place thy head at this chariot wheel?” he asked.

The Turtle says thus, “Anē! O Sun [God], you, Sir, must give me a fifth part from your rays (that is, one-fifth [347]of their brilliancy). If not, unless I die here I will not go,” it said.

Thereupon the Sun having given power to the Turtle for the manner of its coming out into the light from its turtle shell, told it to come outside. Then by the authority of the Sun, the Turtle, abandoning the turtle shell, came into the light. After it came out it was created a man. Thereupon he gave him a fifth part from the Sun’s rays. After he gave it, “What do you want still?” he asked. He said he wanted a Sūriya-kāntā flower also.

Then the Sun, having shown the path to the house of the Dēvatāwā who sleeps three months [at a time], and having said, “Thou having gone, when he arises while thou art displaying games then ask thou [regarding it],” the Sun rose on this side.

Thereupon the Prince who was fettered by the disguise of the turtle, having gone near the Dēvatāwā who sleeps three months, when he was displaying games the Dēvatāwā awoke, and asked, “Because of what came you here?”

The Prince said, “We came regarding the want of a Sūriya-kāntā flower for me.”

At that time the Dēvatāwā showed him the path [leading] near the Dēvatāwā who sleeps two months. Having gone there also, he awoke him. Having awakened, he asked the Prince thus, “Regarding what matter did you awake me?” he asked. There, also, the Prince said he came about the want of a Sūriya-kāntā flower.

Thereupon the Dēvatāwā showed him the path to the house of the Dēvatāwā who sleeps one month.2 Having gone there also, when he was displaying games that Dēvatāwā also awoke. At that time he too asked regarding what want [he had come]. Thereupon he told him in the very manner he formerly said.

After that, the Dēvatāwā said thus, “Look there. When you have gone along that path there will be a pool in which the Virgin Women (Kanniyā-Striyō3) bathe. Having gone there and been hidden, as soon as the Virgin Women have descended into the pool to bathe take even those persons’ [348]wearing apparel. There will be a dēwālaya (temple) just there; having gone into the dēwālē shut the door yourself. Then the Virgin Women having come and told you to open the door, will make games, a disturbance, and the like. Do you, without opening the door through their saying those things, say thus: ‘Except that should you bring and give me a Sūri-kāntā flower I will open the door and give you these ornaments, I will not otherwise give them.’ Say [this].” While saying it he showed the Prince the path.

The Prince having gone in that very manner, and got hid, while he was there, in the very way the Dēvatāwā said, the Virgin Women came and descended into the pool to bathe.

Thereupon this Prince, taking the wearing apparel of the Virgin Women, went into the dēwālaya which was near there, and shut the door himself. At that time the Virgin Women having come played games [outside]. This Prince, not having looked in their direction even, in the very manner the Dēvatāwā told him before asked for a Sūriya-kāntā flower.

The Virgin Women said, “We will give a Sūri-kāntā flower; [be pleased] to give us our clothes.”

Thereupon the Prince while giving only [some] clothes for them to put on until the time when they give the Sūriya-kāntā flower, kept back the other wearing apparel. After that, the Virgin Women, having given oaths, begged for and got the other wearing apparel, too. [After] begging for them, they brought and gave him a Sūriya-kāntā flower.

After they gave it, the Prince came near the Dēvatāwā who told him the path. As soon as he came the Dēvatāwā asked, “What else do you want?”

“You must give me a power to beat men, even millions in number,” he said.

Thereupon the Dēvatāwā having given him a cudgel, said, “However many [there may be], even to [the extent of] an army, place this cudgel in the road, and tell it [after] beating them to come back. [After] beating however many persons [there may be] it will come.”

Taking that also, the Prince went near the other Dēvatāwā. [349]When he went, that Dēvatāwā also asked, “What else do you want?”

Thereupon the Prince said, “You must still give me a [magic] lute (vēnāwa), and a power to display the hidden things thought of.”

After that, having given him a bag called Kokka,4 he said thus, “Having placed this bag called Kokka [hanging from your shoulder], think that anything you want is to make its appearance; anything you want will appear.” Having said this he gave him it. He gave him a lute: “Being at any place you like, play (lit., rub) it; any person He5 wants will hear and come,” he said.

Taking these and having come here from there, because the Virgin Women are possessors of the power of flight through the air, in order for them to come from the sky he remembered the party, and played the lute.

Thereupon, the party came with the speed with which he played it. After they came, he gave that cudgel and the bag called Kokka, both of them, into the hand of the Virgin Women, saying, “When I want these, as soon as I play the lute you must very speedily bring and give me them;” and taking also the lute he crept into the turtle shell again, and came to his own city. What of his coming! Because he is inside the turtle shell he is still the Turtle.

Well then, having given food and drink to the Turtle, “Did you bring a Sūriya-kāntā flower?” his father the Minister joked.

Thereupon the Turtle said, “I have brought a Sūriya-kāntā flower.”

After that, “If so, bring it,” the Turtle’s father said.

After that, having gone outside the city gate, when he was playing the lute the Virgin Women brought and gave him the Sūri-kāntā flower. After they gave it, having brought it he gave it into his father’s hand. Having so given it, when he presented it to the Princess they accomplished the wedding festival of [the marriages of] six other Princes to the six younger Princesses who still remained to the King, and of the Turtle to the eldest Princess. [350]

Having accomplished it, during the time when they are thus those six Princes went hunting. Because they married and gave the eldest daughter to the Turtle, having built a house outside the palace and given it to these two, they separated [them from the others].

When this party are going near that house they ask at the hand of that eldest daughter, “Where [is he], Bola? Isn’t thy Turtle going hunting?”

Thereupon the Princess remains grieved at it. The Turtle, who had heard it, having called the Princess (dēvi), said, “Go to the royal palace, and asking for a horse and a sword for me bring them.” At that speech the Princess went and asked for them at the King’s hand. At that time the King having said, “For the Turtle what horses! what swords!” became angry at the Princess. The Princess having become grieved, told the Turtle that her father the King will not give them.

After that, having said, “Asking for an old mare and a short sword, come [with them],” he sent her yet [another] time. After that, he gave her an old mare and a short sword. Having given them, after she brought them to the Turtle’s house, to the Princess the Turtle says, “Pull creepers, and having placed me on the back of the mare, twine them [round me and the mare].”

Thereupon the Princess having pulled creepers, wrapped [them round him on the mare]. Having wrapped them, making [the mare] bound he went somewhat far; and having come out of the turtle-shell, the Prince (as he now was), taking the lute, played the lute for the Virgin Women to come. Then the Virgin Women came.

After they came, because those Princes went in white clothes on the backs of white horses, this Prince said, “You must bring and give me very speedily an excellent6 horse, and a white dress, and an excellent6 sword.” Thereupon with that speed they brought and gave them.

After they gave them, the Prince, having tied the old mare at a tree, putting on the [dress and] ornaments they brought, mounted on the back of the white horse. Having [351]gone to a very large open place, and placed (that is, hung from his shoulder) the bag called Kokka, he thought, “A great number of all quadrupeds must assemble together in my presence.” After that, all the quadrupeds that were in the midst of that forest, the whole having come, collected together.

Without those six Princes meeting with any animal whatever, they approached near the Prince who had collected these quadrupeds together. Having arrived and said, “O Lord, where is Your Majesty going in the midst of this forest?” [the Princes], having paid reverence to him, made obeisance.

Thereupon the Prince says, indeed, “I am the person who exercises sovereignty over the whole of the wild animals in the midst of this forest. Where are ye fellows going?” he asked falsely.

At that time these six Princes said thus regarding it, “O Lord, we six persons came hunting; we did not meet with any animal whatever,” they said.

Thereupon this Prince says thus, “To you six persons I will give six deer should you cut off and give [me] six [pieces] of your cloths,” he said.

Thereupon having cut and given six pieces from the six cloths which the six Princes had been wearing, killing six deer they came away.

Having allowed the party to come, this Prince descended from the back of the horse, and catching a rat and having killed it, brought it home; having come and having crept into the turtle-shell, he says thus [to his wife], “Give a half from this rat to your father the King, and cook the other piece for us two,” he said.

At that time the Princess doing thus, went and gave a half to the King. Thereupon the King having become angry at it, put her also outside the [palace] gate. The Princess, feeling (lit., bringing) vexation at it, having come weeping and weeping, the two cooked and ate the other half.

In this way, six days they went hunting. On the whole of the six days the Turtle also having gone, gave hunting-meat [352]to those six Princes, taking the jewelled rings from their fingers, ears, and the hairs of the head; all these when the seventh day was coming were finished.

What of this Prince’s acting with so much ability! That he is a Prince even yet any person you like has no knowledge.

At the time when he is thus, having gone hunting and finished, on the seventh day making ready an eating like a very great feast they remained at the royal palace with the Kings [who had come for it]. Thereupon, on that day this Turtle was minded to bathe. Having become so minded, he told [his wife] to warm and give him water; having told her to give it, he told her to tie and give him mats also, round about [as a screen].

That day the Princess had boiled and boiled paddy at the hearth in the open space in front of the house. Having warmed water and tied the mats, she gave [it to him] to bathe. Having given it, this Princess went to light the fire [afresh] at the paddy hearth. When she was going, this Prince having gone to bathe, and having come out of the turtle-shell [within the screen], went outside from the place where the mats were tied, for the purpose of lowering water over his body.

When he was going, this Princess having seen that he was a Prince, went running, and taking the turtle shell put it on the hearth at which she boiled that paddy. Thereupon the Prince having gone crying out, got only the lute that was in the turtle shell. The turtle shell burnt away.

At that time the Prince, decorating himself, went to the royal palace. After he went he began to relate the manner in which he gave hunting-meat to the six Princes. While telling it he showed the [rings from the] fingers, ears, and hair, and the pieces of cloth of the six Princes.

After he showed them, [the King], having given the sovereignty to the Prince, made the other Princes servants of the Prince. He married those six Princesses also to that very Prince.

Finished.

North-western Province. [353]

[Contents]

In The Story of Madana Kāma Rāja (Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 141, a tortoise (turtle) Prince went to the Sun in search of divine Pārijāta flowers; see vol. i, p. 71. The Queen bore the turtle and the Minister’s wife the girl. The Minister refused to agree to their marriage, but the girl told him that she had vowed to marry whoever brought the divine flowers. The Apsaras who gave him the flowers also presented him with a vīnā, or lute, playing on which would summon her. From the first sage who showed him the way and who opened his eyes at each watch he got a magic cudgel in exchange for it, from the second sage who opened his eyes after two watches a purse which supplied everything required, from the third sage who opened his eyes after three watches he received magic sandals which would transport their wearer wherever desired. After exchanging the lute for each of these articles he recovered it each time by the aid of the cudgel. Afterwards he left the articles with the Apsaras, returned as a turtle with the flowers, and was married to the Minister’s daughter. After his marriage the husbands of his sisters-in-law went hunting, the turtle followed tied on the back of a horse, got his club from a banyan tree where he had hidden it, went to the hunt on the magic sandals, and got from his brothers-in-law (who thought him Śiva) the tips of their little fingers and their rings. On regaining his Prince’s form he produced these, but the brothers-in-law were not punished. His wife broke the turtle shell when he was bathing, and in the end he succeeded to the throne.

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. iv, p. 54, in a Bengal story by Mr. G. H. Damant, a Prince went in search of a beautiful woman seen in a dream by his father. An ascetic told him of five heavenly nymphs who came to bathe in a pool at the full moon, and instructed him to take their clothes and remain concealed. After being cursed and turned to ashes he was revived by the ascetic, again carried off their clothes, and sat in Śiva’s temple. They cursed him ineffectively and then agreed that he should marry one of them. He selected the ugliest, who was the disguised beauty; she gave him a flute by means of which he could summon her at any time. The rest of the story is unlike the Sinhalese one.

In Mr. Thornhill’s Indian Fairy Tales, p. 15, a Prince went in search of his wife, an Apsaras who had left him, to a sage who slept six months at a time, and after attending on him for three months was accompanied by him to the pool in which the Apsarases bathed on the full moon night. After being once turned to ashes and revived by the sage, he again stole his wife’s shawl and escaped with it to the sage’s hut, where he was safe. The Apsarases then agreed to give up his wife if he could select her. He picked out the ugliest, and Indra afterwards turned her into a mortal.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 343, a Prince secreted the feather dress of one of four fairies who, in the form of [354]white doves, came to bathe at a pool in a palace garden. She was then unable to fly away, and he married her.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 452, a person who was in search of his master, a Prince, was advised by a hermit to carry off the clothes of one of the heavenly nymphs who came to bathe in a river. He did so, was followed by her, and the hermit agreed to return her garments on her giving information of the Prince’s whereabouts; she afterwards became the ascetic’s wife. She is termed a Vidyādharī.

In the same work, vol. ii, p. 576, a gambler by order of the God Mahākāla (Bhairava) similarly obtained a daughter of Alambushā, the Apsaras, as his wife.

In A. von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales (Ralston), p. 54, by the advice of a sage a hunter threw a magic unerring chain received from Nāgas, over a Kinnara Princess when she bathed at a pool at the full moon; and she was unable to escape. She could fly only when wearing a head-jewel.

The female Jinn who in the form of birds visited pools in order to bathe in them, and could not fly without their feather dresses, have been mentioned in vol. i, p. 311. See the Arabian Nights, vol. iii, p. 417, and vol. v, p. 68. In the second story the hero obtained in the Wāk Islands a cap of invisibility, and a copper rod which gave power over seven tribes of Jinn, and by their aid recovered his wife and sons. He got the articles by inducing two sons of a magician to race for a stone which he threw; while they were absent he put on the cap and disappeared. On his return journey he presented the articles to the two magicians who had helped him.

In the same work, vol. iv, p. 161, a man from Cairo obtained for a magician three magical articles, and received from him as a reward a pair of inexhaustible saddle-bags which provided any foods.

In Folk-Tales of Hindustan (Shaik Chilli), p. 72, a Prince who was wandering in search of his fairy wife received from an ascetic, a musician, and a youth respectively, an iron rod which could beat anyone, a guitar that entranced all, and a cap of invisibility; from a Yōgī he obtained balsam for healing burns, and slippers that transported him where desired.

In Les Avadānas (Julien), No. lxxiv, vol. ii, p. 8, each one of two demons (Piśācas) had a box which supplied everything desired, a stick that rendered him invincible, and a shoe that enabled the bearer to fly, and each one wanted to possess those of the other demon. A man who offered to divide them put on both the shoes and flew off, taking the other articles.

In Chinese Nights’ Entertainment (A. M. Fielde), p. 10, a pious man who was wrecked and cast on an island obtained food and clothing from the inhabitants, and an apparent outcast gave him a hat of invisibility, a cloak of flight, and a basket that when tapped filled [355]with gems. He left them to his three sons, and the power of the articles gradually declined.

At p. 58, a woman had a son encased in a chank shell, which he could leave at will. His bride one night hid the shell, and he remained with her for some years, until her grandmother put it out to dry. He got into it, crawled into the sea, and disappeared.

In Sagas from the Far East, p. 148, in a Kalmuk story, an inexhaustible bag was stolen from Dakinis (female evil spirits) by a man. When his brother went to get one the spirits seized him, drew out his nose to a length of five ells, and made nine knots on it.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 365, a Prince who worked as an under-gardener was selected by a Princess and married to her. The King’s sons and sons-in-law through jealousy arranged a hunting expedition, and left him only a mare that no one could ride. He reached the jungle first, shot a jackal, bear, and leopard, cut off the tail, nose, and ear respectively, and when the others, who found no game, took back these animals and showed them as their own game, he produced his trophies. It was settled that he should succeed to the throne.

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 41, the son of the youngest Queen, who was born with a removable monkey skin, three times performed the task of hitting a Princess with an iron ball in his Prince’s form, and was married to her. After saving his life when the sons of the other six Queens threw him out of a boat into the water, his wife burnt his monkey skin, and he retained his human shape.

At p. 130, the hunting incident is given, six Princes taking part in it and meeting with the Prince who, while disguised as a labourer, had been selected and married by the youngest daughter of their father-in-law. The others found no game, begged a meal from him, and were burnt with a red-hot pice on their backs, “the mark of a thief.” The Prince rode home in his own form, and afterwards exposed the six Princes who had mocked him on account of his low origin.

At p. 156, a Prince found four fakīrs quarrelling over four articles, a flying bed, an inexhaustible bag, a bowl which yielded as much water as was required, a stick and rope that would beat and tie up everyone. While they raced for arrows that he shot, he got on the bed and went off with the other things.

In Kaffir Folk-Lore (Theal), p. 170, a boy got a pair of inexhaustible horns which when spoken to supplied everything desired. They even provided him with a fine house. [356]


1 Edā dawasema, on that day’s very day. 

2 Two months, according to the MS. 

3 Sun-maidens or women (Sūriyā-kāntāwō). 

4 A mendicant’s wallet. 

5 Tamunṭa, hon. pl. of tamā, he. 

6 White, if the word written su was intended for sudu

[Contents]

No. 152

The Story of a King and a Prince

This is partly a variant of the story No. 22, in vol. i, called there “The Kulē-Bakā Flowers.” The first part is a repetition of the narrative given in that one, up to the point where the King’s sons were imprisoned at the gambling house. It then continues as follows:—

The Prince who also went afterwards having gone near a widow-mother of that very city [after] filling a bag with bits of plates, when he said, “Mother, a son of yours was lost before, is it not so?” the widow woman said “Yes.” Then the Prince while weeping falsely said, “It is I myself.”

After that, she said, weeping, “Anē! Son, where did you go all this time?”1 Having gone inviting him into the house, and given him to eat, after he finished she asked, “What is there in this bag, son?”

The Prince says falsely, “In that bag are masuran, mother,” he said.

The woman says, “What are masuran to me, son! Look at that: the heap of masuran which the King has given for my having worked.”

After that, the Prince asks, “Whose house is that, mother?”

Then the woman says, “Anē! Son, at that house an extremely wicked2 woman gambles. Should anyone go to gamble she gives him golden chairs into which she puts [magical] life, to sit upon. She has put [magical] life into the lamp also. [When gambling], the woman is sitting upon the silver chair,” she said.

After that, after the woman went to sleep, the Prince [357]having emptied the pieces of plate in the house, went to gamble [after] filling the bag with the [woman’s] masuran.

Afterwards, that gambling woman just as on other days having brought a golden chair, placed it for the Prince. Then the Prince says, “I am not accustomed to sit on golden chairs. Give me the silver chair,” he said.

The woman says, “It is not a fault to sit [on the golden chair].”

The Prince says, “Having given me that silver chair here, and put aside this lamp also, come to gamble, bringing a good lamp,” he said.

Then the woman being unable [to effect] the punishment of the Prince, gave him the silver chair, and bringing a different lamp sat down to gamble. After that the Prince won. After he won he caused those aforesaid six Princes to be brought from the place where they were put in prison, and having burnt [their] names on their haunches,3 sent them away.

After that, this Prince said he must contract marriage with that woman who gambled. The woman says, “If you are to marry me please bring the Sūran̆ganā flowers.”4

Then the Prince says, “That is not a journey for which I came here. The two eyes of my father the King have become blind. On account of it I am going to seek the Kulē-Bakā flowers. [After] finding them, on the return journey I will bring the Sūran̆ganā flowers,” he said.

Having said this, he went to ask the path going to the Kulē-Bakā garden. When he was going near the Yakās who were on guard on it, a Princess whom the Yakās had seized and carried off came up, and said to the Prince, “What came you here for?”

“Through news that you are here I came to marry you,” [he replied].

Then the Princess says, “Should the Yakās come they will eat you up,” she said.

The Prince then says, “By any possible contrivance save me,” he said. [358]

The Princess then opened the door of a rock house (cave), and having taken the Prince and put him in it, shut the door.

After that, the Yakās having come, ask, “Who came here?”

The Princess says, “Ammē! I cannot be here [to be questioned] in this way. Seek and give me a husband.”

Then the Yakshanī says, “There is no seeking and giving5 for me. If you can, seek and take one,” she said.

The Princess says, “I will find one if you will not do any harm [to him].”

The Yakshanī said, “We will do no harm to him.”

“If you swear by the censure of your deity, I will show you my husband,” she said. Afterwards she swore.

After she took the Prince into the light, she asks the Prince, “What do you eat?” The Yakshanī asks.

The Prince said, “I eat ripe Jak, Warakā (a kind of Jak fruit), Sugar-cane, Pine-apples.” The Yakshanī went and brought and gave him them. Afterwards, after the Prince ate, she said, “Where are you going?”

Then the Prince says, “Tell me the path [by which] to go to the Kulē-Bakā garden.”

Having informed him of the path, and given him also a robe [endowed] with the power of flying through the air, she told him to go. He went to the Kulē-Bakā garden, and [after] plucking the Kulē-Bakā flower that was in the pool, having come, calling the Princess, to the place where he gambled, he caused her to remain there.

The Prince, taking the Kulē-Bakā flower, was going near his father the King. At the time when he was going across a river those six Princes were [there], cooking and cooking rice. Also at that very place a rich man without his two eyes was saying and saying, “To a man who should cure my two eyes I will give goods [amounting] to a tusk elephant’s load, and also a tusk elephant.” He was saying and saying [this].

This Prince having heard it, said, “I will give you them. [Please] bring the presents you mentioned.” After he [359]brought them he rubbed6 his eyes with the Kulē-Bakā flower; after that, he succeeded in seeing the light.

Those six Princes having seen it, spoke together: “Let us beat him, and snatch away the flower.”

The Prince having heard that speech, said, “Taking this flower for yourselves, give me a little cooked rice.” Afterwards, taking the flower they gave him cooked rice. Having eaten the cooked rice the Prince came back to the place where he gambled.

After that, while through hunger for them he was going to seek the Sūran̆ganā flowers, three Princes who were coming mounted on horse-back asked this Prince, “Where are you going?”

Then the Prince says falsely, “I am going in hunger in the midst of this forest.” Then a Prince having unfastened a packet of cooked rice and given the Prince to eat, they went away.

As they were going, this Prince went after them very softly. Having gone, when he looked he saw that those three Princes, having descended from horse-back, three times turned round the dēwāla (temple), and jumped into a vessel of boiling oil [and disappeared].

Having seen it, this Prince also having turned round the dēwāla three times, jumped into the oil vessel. After he jumped in, the deity, bringing that Prince out of the oil vessel, covered him with a white cloth when he had struck [him] three blows with a white wand. After he arose, when he asked, “What is the matter for which thou camest here?” [the Prince replied], “I came in order to seek and take Sūran̆ganā flowers.”

Then the deity told him the path:—“Look there. When you are going along that path [you will meet with a pool. When she has put her cloth on the bank and is bathing], take the cloth of the woman who comes after three others to bathe in the pool, and come back [with it],” he said.

After that, he took the cloth, and came. Afterwards [360]that Princess having come running, gave him a chank shell into which she had put [magical] life, and taking the cloth went away.

When he was coming taking the chank shell, an ascetic begged for the chank shell. The Prince says, “If you will give me presents I will give you the chank shell,” he said.

After that, he gave him a wallet (olō-payiya), assuring him that the things thought of will come into existence [in it]. After he gave it, the Prince, thinking of the things he wanted (the celestial flowers), put his hand into it, and when he looked they were inside the wallet.

After that, the Prince, having become satisfied, with pleasure went away [and rejoined his two wives].

North-western Province.

[Contents]

See the Notes appended to the previous story.

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. iii, p. 150, in a legend of the origin of Patnā, by Mr. Basanta Kumar Ningi, two Rākshasas came to a boy with three articles left by their father, out of which he cheated them. One was a bag from which all kinds of jewels could be extracted when the hand was inserted. The story is stated to be from the Bṛihat Kathā. In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 13, they were the sons of the Asura Maya, and were wrestling for the things. The boy suggested that they should race for them and while they were doing so he put on the magic shoes which were included in them, and disappeared with the staff and the vessel which supplied any required food.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 378, a shipwrecked Prince arrived at a cave which was the residence of a Rākshasa who had carried off a Princess, and who kept her there. She received him well, and hid him in a strong box. When the Rākshasa returned he smelt the man, and insisted on being shown him; but the brave behaviour of the Prince pleased him, and he permitted him to live in the cave, and brought presents for the two when he returned from his expeditions in search of prey. As they still feared he might eat them, the Princess managed to ascertain from him that his life was in a queen-bee in a honey-comb which could be reached by anyone who sat on a magic stool that was in the cave, which transported the sitter where he wished. Next day, when the Rākshasa was absent, the Prince wrapped himself up, smashed the comb, crushed and killed the bee, the Rākshasa died, and they escaped on the stool. [361]


1 Metuwak kal. 

2 Wasa napuru. 

3 Gātawala nam pussā. 

4 The flowers of the Celestial Nymphs, the Apsarases. 

5 Soyanṭa diyak. 

6 Pissā. In the story No. 22 the word is wrongly translated “burnt,” owing to my confounding the Sinhalese word with pussā and pissuwā, the colloquial expressions for “burnt.” 

[Contents]

No. 153

The Story of the Gourd

The Queen of the King of Maeda Maha-Nuwara being without children, seven years went by. To obtain children she gave alms-halls (dan-sael). Having given them she obtained a child.

It was [necessary] for the King to go for a war. In sorrow for it, having called together women who assist [at child-birth], and many people, he gave them [to the Queen]. On his return journey she had not borne a child. On the very day on which he came, pains having seized her she gave birth [to a Gourd].

The women who were there, having taken the Gourd which this Queen bore, in order to throw it away at another city took the Gourd to a flower garden at the city, and put it there.

When the garland-making mother (mal-kāra ammā) went to pluck flowers, “May I also pluck flowers?” the Gourd asked.

“How will you, Gourd, pluck flowers?” she said.

“That does not matter to you; I will pluck flowers. I must go to the garland-making mother’s house,” it said.

Having gone [there], “I will plait flower chaplets (malwadan),” it said. To plait the chaplets it asked for the thread and needle. Better than the plaiting of the flower chaplets on other days it plaited the flower chaplets, and gave them.

Having seen [the beauty of] the flower chaplets [when the flower mother took them to the palace], the Princess asked, “Who plaited the flower chaplets to-day?” she asked; [she was informed that the Gourd did it]. [362]

The Gourd was minded to contract marriage with the young Queen (Princess). It asked the King of the city [to give his consent]. “If the Queen (Princess)1 is willing I am willing,” he said.

[When it asked the Princess, she said], “Having carried upstairs gold from the house of the garland-making mother, should you tie up [as a decoration] cloths [worked] with gold, in the morning I will celebrate the wedding festival.”

In the morning the Gourd went upstairs. It having gone [with the gold and hung up the cloths], the wedding festival was celebrated.

The Gourd laughs at its contracting (lit., tying) the marriage with the young Queen. Through shame at it, grief was produced in her. When she asked for a medicine for [the illness caused by] the grief, they said, “Should you eat the flesh of the Fish (mastayā) in the midst of the sea, and the fat, you will be cured.”

[The King] having constructed six ships for the six Princes [the brothers of the Princess], told them to go to bring the Fish. The Gourd also at that time said [to the Princess], “Ask [for permission] for me also to go.” [She asked her father accordingly].

Regarding that the King said, “The Gourd itself will apply medical treatment!” Having said it he gave it a broken-legged horse and a piece of broken sword.

Taking them, it went near a Bō tree, and having tied the horse at the tree, [and assumed a human shape], put on clothes [taken] from a hollow in the Bō tree, and went away from the palace. The Gourd, [now a Prince], says, “The God Śakra (Indra) is I myself.”

The six persons for whom the ships were constructed and given, went away [on the sea, in search of the Fish]. When [the Gourd Prince] told those six persons [to catch the Fish], the whole six on one side tried to take it, [but failed].

They having said, “We cannot take it,” he asked, “For me to take and give you it, what mark am I to make on you?” [They came to terms, and he caught the Fish]. Having stretched out the tongues of the six persons he cut [363]them, and they gave him their jewelled finger-rings. When they brought from the Gourd [Prince] and gave [the Princess] the flesh and fat [of the Fish] the illness was cured.

[As the six Princes claimed to have caught the Fish themselves, the Prince, who had left his clothes at the Bō tree and had again taken the form of the Gourd], caused many persons to be brought, and told them to stretch out and look at the tongues of these six persons. [It also produced their finger-rings as proof that it was the Gourd who had caught the Fish]. Having shown that the tongues of the six persons were cut, the Gourd, having employed the servants, [made them] cut open the Gourd.

[The God Śakra then rose out of it in his Prince’s form, and said,] “I am not [of] the things conceived in a womb. Because for the god Śakra that is impure, having created the Gourd I was born [in it]. As there was deficiency of merit for our father the King, I [thus] caused it to be cast away.”

(Probably he then returned to Indralōka, his divine world, but the narrator omitted to state this. There were many other omissions at which it will be seen that I have endeavoured to supply the necessary words).

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In the Mahā Bhārata (Vaṇa Parva, cvi), a wife of King Sāgara bore a gourd. The King was about to throw it away, but a celestial voice ordered him to preserve the seeds carefully, and each became a son; these were sixty thousand in number.

In Korean Tales (Dr. H. N. Allen), p. 98 ff., a number of people made their appearance out of gourds which grew on plants obtained from seeds brought by swallows. [364]


1 Devin-wahansē. 

[Contents]

No. 154

The Story of the Shell Snail

In a certain country there are a Gamarāla and a Gama-mahan̆gē (his wife), it is said. The children of those two are two sons and a daughter. The big son one day having worked a rice field, at noon came home for food. The Gama-mahan̆gē was a little late in giving the food. The son quarrelled [with her] over it. That day at night the Gama-mahan̆gē spoke to the Gamarāla that he must bring and give an assistant (a wife) to the son.

On the next day the Gamarāla having gone to seek a girl, while he was going asking and asking from village to village, in even a single place he did not meet with a girl.

Afterwards the Gamarāla having come to the village, when he was there a considerable time, again the son of the Gamarāla quarrelled with the Gama-mahan̆gē. While he was quarrelling, the Gamarāla and the Gama-mahan̆gē, both of them, said, “Don’t thou stay making and making quarrels here. Go to any place thou wantest.” Afterwards the son went somewhere or other. The other younger son is going for rice-field work.

For that elder brother who went away the younger sister had much affection. Because of it, from the day on which the elder brother went away this younger sister through grief does not eat. Having said, “Without seeing our elder brother I cannot remain,” she is weeping.

Then the younger elder brother says, “Why, younger sister? I am [here]; is that insufficient for you?”

Then the younger sister says, “Why, elder brother, are you saying thus? If two persons give me more assistance than the assistance of one person, how good it is for me!” [365]

Afterwards, that elder brother one day having gone to the rice field, at the time when he was chopping the earthen ridges (niyara) met with a Shell Snail (golu-bellek). Having brought the Snail home, and given it into the hand of the younger sister, he said, “There, younger sister! I brought for you a small round-backed elder brother. Because of it, don’t you be sorrowful now.”

Afterwards, that younger sister, taking the Snail, having wrapped it in a cloth and placed it in a box, put it away. Having put it away, three times a day having taken the Snail and looked at it, she says, “Our two parents having quarrelled with our elder brother drove him away. On account of it our little elder brother brought you and gave you to me. Owing to it [also], little round-backed elder brother, there is grief in my mind.” She having said and said [this], and every day having said thus when putting it away, one day the Gamarāla stayed listening.

Having been listening he says at the hand of the Gama-mahan̆gē, “What, Bolan, is this thing that our girl is saying? You also come and listen.” Then the Gama-mahan̆gē having come and been listening, the two persons spoke together, “It is through grief, indeed, that her elder brother is not [here]. There is no need to say anything about it.”

Well then, while the girl in that manner for a considerable time is saying and saying thus to the Shell Snail, one day when the girl is saying so again, the snail shell having burst open a Prince was born looking like a sun or a moon.

After that, the girl having thrown away the bits of shell into which the snail shell burst, bathed the Prince, and took him. Having sent milk into a finger for the Prince, he continued to drink milk from her finger. When he was there no long time a tale-bearer told the King that there was a very good [looking] Prince at the Gamarāla’s house. Afterwards the King having sent Ministers caused them to look. The Ministers having looked and having gone, told the King, “The Prince, indeed, is the royal Prince sort.”

Afterwards the King gave permission1 for summoning the [366]Prince and the mother who was rearing the Prince to come to the palace. After that, the Ministers having gone to the Gamarāla’s house brought the Prince and the Gamarāla’s girl to the palace.

Afterwards, the King taking charge of the Gamarāla’s girl and the Prince, when for the Prince the age of about twelve years was filled up, the King died. Having appointed the Prince to the sovereignty he remained ruling the kingdom with the ten kingly virtues.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

The feeding of a Prince from the finger is found in the Mahā Bhārata (Drōṇa Parva, lxii), in which Indra is represented as thus feeding Prince Māndhātṛi, who made his appearance in the world out of his father’s left side, as a consequence of the latter’s having drunk some sacrificial butter or ghī, which had the magic property of causing the birth of a son. The food thus provided was so nourishing that the infant grew to twelve cubits in as many days. In A. von Schiefner’s Tibetan Tales (Ralston), this Prince was not fed thus, but was suckled by the eighty thousand wives of his father, having been born from a tumour on the crown of the King’s head; his boyhood occupied twenty-one million (and a few hundred thousand) years.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 216, in a legend of the founding of the Vaiśālī kingdom, two children are described as being reared by a religious mendicant by means of a supply of milk which issued from his thumbs. [367]


1 The “permission” of a King is a command. 

[Contents]

No. 155

The Queen of the Rock House1

A certain Gamarāla had two daughters and two sons. During the time when they were [there], the elder sister and the younger sister go to the pansala to make flower offerings. Having gone, the younger sister when making the flower offering wishes, “May I receive wealth,” she says. The elder sister when making the flower offering wished, “May I succeed in eating the bodies of the relatives whom there are of mine.” The younger sister does not mention the form in which she wishes this wish.

When there is a little time [gone] in this manner, having spoken about a marriage for the big daughter, the wedding was [made] ready. It having taken place, they went calling her to another village. Having gone, after a little time had gone the woman began to eat the men of that city. Having eaten and eaten them, after the men of the city were finished she ate also the husband who married2 her. Belonging to him a female child was born. Keeping the child, without anyone of the city being with the woman she was alone.

Then her father came. That day night, having given him amply to eat and drink,—there was a house3 adjoining the house3 in which she is; in the direction of the house in which she is, between that house and this house the wall [368]was closed with coconut leaves,—in the house she allowed her father who came, to sleep at night. Having given it she said, “Father, at this village is much small-pox. The men of this village and my husband were lost [by it]. Having been lost, [while] so much time was passing you did not remember me. It happened that you did not want me; you have wanted only younger sister. It is good. What am I to do?” Having said [this] she wept a weeping.4

Thereupon the old man says, “No, daughter, I have been ill. Because of it, indeed, I did not succeed in coming,” he said.

In that manner having said false words, having been weeping and weeping, she told him to sleep in the house beyond the house in which she is, and having spread mats gave them. Having given them she said, “Father, don’t you be afraid; I also, so long a time, remained alone, indeed, with this child,” she said.

This woman also, having come away, lay down.5 Having been lying down, after her father went to sleep this woman brought a stick, and having beaten and killed him, during that night ate that man also.

Owing to that man’s being missing, his son came. Him, also, in that very way she ate. His younger brother also came; him, also, she ate in that manner.

Owing to the three persons, the persons who went, not coming, both [the father’s] wife and younger daughter went. When they went, says this woman, “Anē! Mother, the men of this city, and father who came from there also, and both younger brothers and all, died. Keeping this girl, I am alone in this village. From anyone of you, at any time whatever, there will not be assistance [for me]. I said you will come; since yesterday I have been expecting you,” and weeping she went in front of her mother and younger sister. [369]

Having gone and talked, she allowed the two persons to sit in another house. Having allowed them to sit in it, she made ready and gave food and drink, and having allowed those two persons to lie down, she told them to go to sleep. She also having gone lay down.

What though she allowed this mother and daughter to sleep! In the mind of that younger sister of hers is that formerly wished word when making the flower offering. Owing to that circumstance she remained during that day and night without sleep. Her mother, snoring and snoring, was sleeping well.

Having heard the snoring, this human-flesh-eating woman, taking also the men-killing party, came in order to kill and eat these two persons. When [they were] coming there, that girl cried out, “Elder sister, a dog came,” she cried.

Then this girl having gone into the house, and having been in the house, at the time of her coming half closing the door, said, “Ci, Ci, dog!” and came crying out. In this way [the elder sister] came two or three times. What of her coming! She was unable to eat them.6

In this manner the girl having been awake, at the watch when it becomes light came calling her mother, and they began to run away. At the time when they were going this human-flesh-eating Rākshasī awoke. Having awoke, when she looked she got to know that these two persons have gone. Ascertaining it, that woman, learning that they had done this very trick, began to run [after them]. At the time when she was going running she met with these two persons. When meeting with them that girl cried out. While [she was] coming, when the big woman looked [back], having seen that this one is running [after them] she became stone there.

That girl began to run [off alone]. That Rākshasī having eaten the point of the stone which her mother had become, when she looked that girl was running off. Because she was unable to eat the stone she bounded on the girl’s path. [370]When she was going bounding [on it], at the root of an In̆di (wild date) tree the door of a rock house opened. After that, this Princess crept into the rock house [and the door closed again]. After that, the Rākshasī who became a demon went away.

Then, when a King, the Ministers, and gentlemen (mahāttayō) came walking, [the King] said a four-line verse. When he was saying it, this Princess who was in the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree also said a four-line verse. Then anger having come to the King, he said, “There! Who is the person who said that four-line verse? Look and seek,” he said.

Thereupon, when the party sought and looked, anyone you like was not there. The party having gone back, and come to the King, told him, “O Lord, Your Majesty, we sought and looked everywhere; we indeed are unable to find her,” they said.

After that, the King said yet a four-line verse. To that also the Princess, being in the rock, said a four-line verse. At that time, also, he told the Ministers to seek; on that occasion, too, they could not find her. On that occasion, also, having come to the King, they said, “O Lord, Your Majesty, we this time also looked; we indeed are unable to find her,” they said.

After that, the King having gone near the spot where she said the four-line verse, said yet also a four-line verse. When [he was] saying it, having been very near under the ground she said a four-line verse. Then the King asks, “Did a Yakā, or a Yaksanī, or a Deity, or a Dēvatāwā (Godling) say that four-line verse? You must inform me to-day,” the King said.

Then the Princess who is in the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree, said, “I am not a Yakā, and not a Deity, and not a Dēvatāwā; I am a human being. Who speaks outside there I cannot ascertain. Because of it you must tell me who it is,” the Princess who is in the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree said.

Then the King says, “I am not a Yakā. Me indeed they call the King of this city,” the King said. [371]

“If so, is the truth the contrary, is the truth the contrary?” three times she asked.

The King also assured her of his kingly state. After that the stone door of the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree opened. After it opened, having seen that the Queen was there, possessing a figure endowed with much beauty, to the degree that he was unable to look [at her], the King was minded to marry her. Having been so minded, placing her on the back of the tusk elephant he went to the city at which he stayed.

Having gone [there, and married her], when a little time was going a child was conceived (uppannāya) in the Queen’s womb. When it was conceived, because the city in which she stayed was a solitary city (tani nuwara) in that country there was no midwife-mother. Because of it, when going through the middle of the jungle in order to proceed to yet [another] city, [she and the King arrived at an abandoned city].

Having arrived, this King walked around the city, and when he looked about, from one house, only, he saw that smoke goes. Having seen it he went to the house, and when he looked a woman and the woman’s little girl were [there]. After that, this woman saw that the King is going. Having seen him she asked at the King’s hand, “Lord, where is Your Majesty going?” she asked.

Then the King said, “The Queen of the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree having married me, she is with a child. For it there being no midwife, I came to seek one,” the King said.

Then the Rākshasa-goblin7 got into her mind, “What of my younger sister’s being hidden that day indeed! To-day I shall eat her.” Thinking [this], this woman-Rākshasī said, “Maharaja, I well know midwifery. Regarding that indeed, why will you go to another place and become wearied?” she said.

The King having said, “It is good,” on hearing her word went summoning her.

On the very day she went, in the night pains seized the [372]Queen of the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree. She went to the place where they were seizing her. When she went that Queen got to know that she came in order to eat her. Although ascertaining it she did not mention it to the King.

Well then, [the Rākshasī] having come, during the night she bore [a child]. After she bore [the child] that Rākshasī ate all the after-birth (waedū-mas) that was there. The Queen did not tell that also to the King.

Well then, having finished (nimāḍu welā) at the parturition house (waedū-ge[yi]n), during that night [the Queen] went to sleep. After she went to sleep, lifting up the child and the Queen with the bed on which they were sleeping, this Rākshasī during the night began to go away. When going this Queen awoke. Having awoke, when going under trees she broke and broke dead sticks, and put them into the bed for weight to be caused (bara-gaehenḍa). On her placing them [there], when the bed is being made heavy the Rākshasī says, “It is good; make it heavy. What of my being unable to eat you, you having crept into the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree!” Saying and saying, “To-day indeed I shall eat you,” disputing and disputing with her she went along.

When she was going thus, a banyan branch had bent down to the path; on the banyan branch this Queen hung. This Rākshasī went on, carrying simply the bed. Having gone, having put the bed on the ground, when she looked the Queen was not on the bed.

Afterwards she came bounding again very near this banyan tree. This one ascertained that unless [the Queen] goes near the banyan tree, she is unable to go by another place. Ascertaining it, and having gone on and on among the branches and among the leaves in the tree, saying and saying, “I will eat thee, I will eat thee,” she began to walk about. Although she is walking about that Queen is not visible through the power of the resolution of the Gods.

Then, on the morning of the following day, when [the King] looked this Queen is not [present]. Afterwards the King, together with the Ministers, for the purpose of seeking [373]the Queen having entered the jungle forest wilderness, when going away to seek her, in the midst of the forest, near a leafy banyan tree they heard a sound of a human voice, “I will eat thee, I will eat thee.”

When they look what affair this is, the King’s Queen and the child are in the tree. That Rākshasī having said [to herself] that this King will cut her down, ran off through fear.

The King asked the royal Queen, “By what means came you here?” he asked.

Then the Queen said, “The midwife-mother came lifting my child and me with the bed, in order to eat me.”

After that, the King having taken the Queen and gone, and having sent her to the palace, made a bonfire (lit., fire-heap) in the midst of the wilderness, and set fire to it. Having set fire to it, when the smoke was going that Rākshasī having walked [there] asked, “Regarding what circumstance is [this done]?” she asked.

When she was asking the King said, “The Queen of the rock house at the root of the In̆di tree having died, we are making the tomb for her relics (dā sohon),” he said.

As soon as he says it,8 having said, “Anē! If I did not eat a little flesh from my younger sister to-day, what am I living for?” she sprang into the blazing heap; having sprung [into it] she died. The King after that, together with the Queen, remained in happiness.

Because through fear on the day when the stone door at the root of the In̆di tree opened, she sprang into the house, and having been there was married to the King, she kept the name, “The Queen of the Rock House at the root of the In̆di tree.”

North-western Province.

[Contents]

This story contains references to several notions that are still preserved in the villages, such as the fulfilment of wishes, either silent or expressed aloud, when presenting offerings at the wihāras, the protection of human beings by the personal intervention of guardian deities, and the existence of internal apartments in certain [374]rock masses. A high rounded hill of gneiss is pointed out at Nīrammulla, in the North-western Province,9 inside which King Vīra-Bāhu is stated to have constructed a palace; and many flat rocks which emit a hollow sound when trodden on are supposed to contain such an apartment or “house” as that mentioned in this tale. The belief that a human being may become a demon before death is, I think, not now held; but in the Jātaka story No. 321 (vol. iii, p. 48) a wicked boy became a prēta “while still alive.”

Examples of the wishes made on presenting religious offerings are to be seen in the Jātaka stories Nos. 514, 527, and 531. In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. ii, p. 137, it is stated, “Thus, when one pronounces a wish in the name of acts productive of goodness that one has effected, the realisation depends solely on the heart and good fortune; whatever may be the mark at which one aims there is no one who does not attain it.”

In Tales of the Sun (Mrs. H. Kingscote and Pandit Naṭēśa Sāstrī), p. 220, a girl who was being carried off by robbers while on her cot, escaped like the Queen in this story.

In Tales of the Punjab (Mrs. F. A. Steel), p. 227, the same incident is found, the person who escaped being the wife of a barber, whom thieves were carrying off. In this case she did not first increase the load on the bed by branches or fruits. (See also vol. i, p. 357.)

In Indian Fairy Tales (M. Stokes), p. 140, a Prince who was going in search of a magic Bēl fruit was instructed by a fakīr how to take it, and was warned that if he looked back while returning, he and his horse would be turned into stone. This occurred, and nothing was then done to them by the fairies and demons who were chasing them. Afterwards the fakīr found them, cut his little finger from the tip to the palm, smeared the blood from it on the Prince’s forehead and on the horse, prayed to God, and they became alive again.

In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 210, the son of a Brāhmaṇa smashed with a lighted piece of wood the skull of a person who was being burnt in a funeral pyre in a cemetery. Some of the brain flew out and entered his open mouth, and he immediately became a Rākshasa.

In the same work, vol. ii, p. 578, an Apsaras who was the wife of a gambler was by a curse of Indra’s turned into an image (apparently a wooden or stone relief) on a pillar in a temple. The Jewish legend of Lot’s wife shows that the notion of such transformations, especially when a person disobeyed an injunction not to look back, was of very ancient date.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., pp. 191 ff., four Princes were changed into stones by a Jōgī, or Hindu ascetic. In a footnote, p. 192, Mr. Knowles gives references to such metamorphoses [375]elsewhere, among them being the turning of a hunter into stone10 owing to a curse by Damayantī. Mr. Knowles states that many stones in Kashmīr are believed to be the petrified bodies of men who have been cursed. I do not remember seeing or hearing of any instances of such petrifaction in Ceylon, but we may gather from the story just given and that numbered 136 that such a belief is held there.

In the same work, pp. 401–403, there is an account of two Princes who went in search of a wonderful bird, and were changed into stone when they turned back in alarm. Their younger brother was more successful, and got a pot of magic water, which when sprinkled on his brothers and on many other stones lying on the ground, caused them to resume their human state.

In Folk-Tales from an Eastern Forest (W. Skeat), p. 67, it is remarked that the Malays believe that there were once numerous gigantic spirits who could transform people whom they addressed by name into wood or stone.

In the Preface to The Kathākoça, p. xiii, Mr. Tawney quoted Dr. Bühler’s words regarding the Jain belief in animism,—that souls are to be found “in apparently lifeless masses, in stone, in clods of earth, in drops of water, in fire and in wind”—and mentions that as far as he knew, the Jains stand alone in this belief. Nevertheless, in the cases of Ahalyā and Rambhā, and the Apsaras of the Kathā Sarit Sāgara,—who, while she was in the form of an image or relief, shed tears on seeing her husband,—as well as in the examples in the other folk-tales,11 the notion appears to be that the soul or spirit continued to exist in the petrified body, which was ready to return to its original state as soon as some necessary occurrence took place, whether a sprinkling of charmed water which neutralised the former spell, or the termination of a period fixed by a curse, or otherwise. We can perhaps see further evidence of the existence of the same belief in India and Ceylon in the stone statues of guardian deities, such as Bhairava, Nāgas, Yakshas, and Rākshasas, carved at religious edifices; they, as well as the figures in the Euphrates Valley and Egypt, appear to have been thought to act as protectors because, although formed of stone, a soul existed in them, that is, so far as evil spirits were concerned they were living stones, and not mere scarecrows.

In Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. iii, p. 219, [376]there is an account of the death and burial of a Prince aged fifteen, whose soul remained in his body afterwards. When a pine tree which had been planted over the grave sent down a root that reached his heart, the soul became alarmed, climbed up the root, and lodged among the leaves of the tree. It had other adventures.

In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. i, p. 145), a lady described her arrival at a city in which the King and Queen and all the inhabitants had been transformed by Allah into black stones, with the sole exception of the King’s only son, a devout Muhammadan.

In vol. vi of the same work, p. 121, a man arrived at a great city in which all the inhabitants, with the exception of the royal Princess, had been changed into stone at the prayer of a Muhammadan Prophet. In both these instances the petrified persons were not revived.

See also the Notes after the last story in vol. iii.

In Kaffir Folk-Lore (Theal), p. 36, a rock opened at a boy’s request, and he and his sister lived in it, leaving and returning at will. At p. 83, some boys when chased by cannibals took refuge in a rock which “a little man” turned into a hut; to the cannibals it was still a rock.

With regard to the remarks on the last page, two Sinhalese histories, the Rājāvaliya and Pūjāvaliya, give a legend which indicates a belief that even the statues of guardian animals possessed souls. It is recorded of King Mitta-Sēna (A.D. 435–436) that on one occasion when the state elephant was not ready for him when he had been worshipping the Tooth-relic of Buddha, “the King became angry and asked whether the great elephant image could not take him on its back. The elephant, made of tile [brick] and mortar, approached the King, made him to sit on his back, took the King to the city, placed him in the palace, and went away” (Rāj., Guṇasēkara’s translation, p. 54).

It is probable that the figures of guardian animals or deities carved only in relief, or even represented in paintings, may have been thought to possess souls of their own—that is, to act protectively as sentient beings.

It is merely a step forward to the idea in the Quatrain of wise old Omar Khayyām:—

“I saw a busy potter by the way

Kneading with might and main a lump of clay;

And lo! the clay cried, ‘Use me tenderly,

I was a man myself but yesterday!’ ”

[377]


1 The Sinhalese title is, “Concerning a Woman’s becoming a Rākshī (Rākshasī).” 

2 Lit., tied the marriage. The little fingers or thumbs of the bride and bridegroom were tied together by a thread during the ceremony. 

3 A room. The word meaning “room” is rarely used in these stories, the usual expression, kāmara, being a Portuguese word. 

4 In The Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. ii, p. 140), it is stated of a man that he “fell to weeping a weeping.” 

5 Budiyā gattā. In village talk, the same expression is used for sleeping and lying down, the context alone showing which meaning is intended. The villagers rarely lie down except when about to sleep, or when ill. On p. 415, line 5, the same expression occurs. 

6 In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. i, p. 43, it is stated of Rākshasas, Yakshas, and Piśācas, “They never attack chaste men, heroes, and men awake.” 

7 Rāksappretī. 

8 Kiyana wahama. 

9 The hill on the left side in Fig. 46, Ancient Ceylon

10 Ashes, according to the Kathā Sarit Sāgara, vol. i, p. 564. To this may be added the transformation of Ahalyā into stone by her husband, the hermit Gautama, for her intimacy with Indra, and the Ṛishi Viśvāmitra’s turning the Apsaras Rambhā into stone for disturbing his devotions (Mahā Bhārata, Anuśāsana Parva). 

11 See especially the note to No. 136 of this vol. 

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No. 155a

The Story of the Elder Sister and Younger Brother

At a certain village there was a Gamarāla. While a woman contracting (lit., tying) marriage with him was [there], a female child and a male child were born. After they two were born the woman died.

After that, for the man they again brought a woman. Because the woman1 did not take notice of the children, the children think, “There is no advantage to us in staying here; let us leave the country and go.” Having said [this] they began to go.

While they were thus going they entered a forest jungle, and at the time when they were proceeding in it the flowers of a Kīna tree2 having blossomed and faded, the elder sister picked up flowers that had fallen, and took them and smelt them.

Having said, “These flowers are not good,” the younger brother went up the tree and plucked flowers. At the time when he was descending the younger brother disappeared (naeti-wunā). The elder sister through grief at it remained at the bottom of the tree.

While a King of the city was going hunting, having seen that the woman is staying under the tree, the King came near and spoke [to her]. Thereupon the woman did not speak; but the King, holding her by the hand,3 went summoning her to the city [and married her]. [378]

While staying at the city, the woman having become pregnant a child was born. The King told her to fix a name for the child. Then also (ēt) the woman did not speak.

While the two persons were staying thus for a little time, again a child was born. The King told the woman to fix a name for that child also. Then also this woman did not speak. “Why don’t you speak?” the King asked. Then also she did not speak.

On yet a day, the King went hunting with the Ministers, and having gone walking and come near the city, told the Ministers to go. The Ministers having gone there, say at the hand of that woman, “A bear bit (lit., ate) the King to-day.”

When they are saying it falsely, the Queen, taking the two children, and having descended from the palace to the path, and fallen on the ground, sitting down says to the two Princes, “Sun-rays Prince, Moon-rays Prince, weep ye for your father; I am weeping for my younger brother.”

The King having secretly come again near the palace, remained listening. Having seen it, the Queen, taking the two Princes, got into (etul-wunāya) the palace. The King having come to the palace and entered it, said, “Why did you not speak for so much time?”

Then the Queen says, “After our mother was summoned and came to our father, after I and a younger brother were born our mother died. Then they brought a step-mother. Because that mother disregards4 younger brother and me, younger brother and I left the country, and having entered a forest jungle, when we were coming the flowers of a Kīna tree had blossomed and fallen. Taking the faded flowers I smelt them. Thereupon younger brother said, ‘Don’t smell the faded flowers; I will pluck and give [you] flowers.’ Having said [this] and gone up the tree, at the time when [after] plucking the flowers he was descending, younger brother disappeared. Owing to grief at that I remained unable to speak.”

Afterwards the King, taking axe and saw and calling people, having gone near the Kīna tree, and cut and sawn [379]the tree, when he looked [inside it] the younger brother who was lost was [there]. Then the King, calling the younger brother, came to the city, and showed him to the elder sister. The elder sister arrived at happiness again.

North-western Province.

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The story provides no explanation of the cause of the brother’s imprisonment inside the trunk of the tree. Apparently the deity—presumably a Yakā—who resided in the tree punished him in this manner for plucking the flowers, yet the King cut down the tree with impunity. At the present day, the Sinhalese villagers would not venture to injure or pluck flowers from a tree infested by a Yakā. Many years ago all refused to fell a Kum̆buk tree of this kind which it was necessary to remove from an embankment I was restoring; but some of my Tamil coolies had not the same scruples when encouraged by extra pay, to counterbalance the risk. Probably they would have been less venturesome in their own country.

The notion that a person may exist inside a tree trunk in a state of suspended animation is found in other folk-tales. In No. 47, vol. i, a Nāga Princess became a tree; in an Indian variant on p. 269, the tree was a girl imprisoned thus by Rākshasas. (See the notes after No. 155, and also p. 245 of this volume.) [380]


1 Lit., by the woman. 

2 Calophyllum sp., a tall forest tree. 

3 Lit., near the hand, ata lan̆gin; in other cases the expression is sometimes ata gāwin, with the same meaning. 

4 Ālessan-karana = ālissam-k., with dat. 

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No. 156

The Queen and the Beggar

At a city there exists a Beggar, begging, and continuing to eat [thus]. There is a travellers’ shed near the pool at which the Queen of that city bathes. The Beggar having come [after] begging and begging, eats at that travellers’ shed.

When the Queen was coming [after] bathing in the water, the Beggar went in front of her. Having said, “Why did a Beggar like thee come, and come in contact with me?”1 she spat three times.

He having felt (lit., thought) much shame, went to the house of the washerman who cleans the cloths of the city. He remained doing work for him for wages. The washerman asked, “Why are you working for wages?”

“[In order] one day to get the crown and [royal] suit of clothes2 I am working for wages,—at the time when the King (raju) is coming to the chamber,” [he said].

At the time when [the King] was coming to the chamber in which is the Queen, he stopped, investigating [matters]. Before the King came, [the Beggar], putting on the royal ornaments [and clothes], went. The guards finished the auspicious wish;3 after that he went into the chamber.

The Queen having come and given the auspicious wish, [381]he forbade the adjuration.4 When forbidding it, having said, “What [sort of] woman art thou also!” he spat in her face. This one having spat went away.

After that the King came. The guards thought, “To-day the King went here; what came he again for?” After he went to the chamber the Queen did not give him the auspicious wish. The King inquired why she did that.

Having said, “Now, on one occasion (gamanaka), as I am bad you spat in my face; have I now become good?” she asked.

After that, the King [on hearing her account] sitting down there, wrote two bars of a four-line stanza (siwpada de padayak):—

“The angry tone displayed, the King is desolating;

The courier bold who charmed my love, long bound, is flying.

Speak not so harshly, here with frowns me eyeing;

He will not long rejoice, I pride that day abating.”5

Having given these two bars of a four-line stanza to the Ministers,6 he said he will give many offices to persons who explain them.7

North-western Province. [382]


1 That is, meet me face to face; this would be an unfavourable omen. 

2 Æn̆dun kuṭṭama. Kuṭṭama being a pair, the reference appears to be to the jacket and cloth. 

3 Some formal auspicious wish, such as, “May you be victorious, O King,” or more simply, “Victory, O Great King.” The word in the text is āsiriwāda, the Tamil āsīrvātam, and Skt. āsīrvāda

4 Ānaṭa ana-dunnā. 

5

Koda nada pānā e tibi huro naṭa denu we

Madara dapanā kal baedi wiri duta yanu we.

Me tada bada katā no karan me maṭa raewanu we

Mama oda edā baessa mu dura no pinu we.

I offer the translation of these lines with considerable doubt. I have assumed that huro = surō, hon. pl. of surā; madara = ma ādara; duta = dūta; and pinu = piṇu. The courier or messenger would be Kāma, the god of love. Perhaps oda and edā ought to be transposed; the line would then end, “I that day’s pride abating.” 

6 Æmaeta-inḍa. 

7 Harigas kenakunḍa, lit., to persons who fit them (to the facts). 

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No. 157

The Frog in the Queen’s Nose

In a certain country there are a woman and a man, it is said. The woman has also a paramour. One day the man went to a rice field to plough. At that time, this woman having quickly cooked milk-rice, made it ready to give to her paramour to eat.

While that man (her husband) was ploughing, the yoke broke; after that, the man came home. Having seen that the man was coming, she quickly put the pot of milk-rice under the bed in the maḍuwa (open shed). That man as soon as he came sat upon the bed; then the man was burnt [by the hot rice under him]. Thereupon the man looked under the bed. When he was looking he saw the pot of milk-rice. Afterwards, having taken the milk-rice the man ate it.

At that time, when the Queen of the King of the country was smelling a flower, a little young frog that was in the flower had gone into her nose, seven days before. Up to that very time, six men came, saying that they can take out the frog; they came at the rate of a man a day. Having come there, when he is unable to take it out they cut the man’s neck. At that rate they beheaded the six men who came.

That day the King caused the proclamation tom-toms to be beaten:—“To the person who should take out the young frog that is in the Queen’s nose, I will give a district from the kingdom, and goods [amounting] to a tusk elephant’s load.”

Then this woman having heard it, went running, and said, “My husband can,” and stopped the proclamation [383]tom-toms.1 She stopped them because the man of the house ate the milk-rice without her succeeding in giving it to the paramour, with the motive that having killed this man she should take the paramour to live [there].

Having stopped the proclamation tom-toms, and come near her husband, she said, “I stopped the proclamation tom-toms now. You go, and having taken out that young frog which is in the Queen’s nose, come back.”

Then this man through fear of death lamented, and said, “Now six men have been beheaded, men who thoroughly know medical treatment. I not knowing anything of this, when I have gone there they will seize me at once and behead me. What is this you did?”

Thereupon, through anger about the milk-rice she said, “There is no staying talking and talking in that way. Go quickly.” As she was saying the words, the messenger whom the King sent arrived there to take the man to the palace.

Well then, having [thus] quickly driven away the man, the woman speedily cooked milk-rice again, and having sent to the paramour to come, and given him to eat, made the man stop at that very house.

Then the woman says to the paramour, “Thus, in that manner the gallows-bird2 of our house by this time will be killed. Now then, you remain [here] without fear.” The paramour having said, “It is good,” stayed there.

Well then, when the messenger brought that man to the palace, he said to the King: “Maharaja, Your Majesty, this man can take out the frog.”

While he was there, having become ready for death, the King, having been sitting at the place where the Queen is, says to this man, “Hā, it is good. Now then, don’t stop [there] looking. If thou canst, apply medical treatment for [384]this and take thou out the young frog. If thou canst not, be ready for death.”

Thereupon that man, having become more afraid also than he was, began to relate the things that happened to the man:—

“When to plough I went away, snapped the wooden yoke in twain;
When the yoke in pieces broke, slowly home I come again;
When I to the house returned, I upon the bed remain;
When upon the bed I lay, felt my rear a burning pain;
When my hinder part I burned, ’neath the bed I search amain;
When beneath the bed I look, hidden milk-rice there had lain.
As I ate that rice, I ween these afflictions on me rain.
Having this affliction seen, jump out, O Froggy-pawn!”3

Having said [this] he ended. The Queen, from the time when he began to tell this story being without a place for passing down the breath, when this story was becoming ended, because that breath had been shut back gave a snort6 (huh gālā), and when she was sending the breath from her nose, the young frog quite of itself fell to the ground.

Well then, having given this man a district from the kingdom, and goods [amounting] to a tusk elephant’s load, they made him stay at the palace itself. That woman became bound to that paramour.

North-western Province.

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In the Arabian Nights (Lady Burton’s ed., vol. iii, p. 360), an Arab doctor was taken before a King, who ordered him to cure his sick daughter. He was told by the attendants that all who failed were put to death. He discovered that her malady was a religious one, and cured her. [385]


1 In The Kathākoça (Tawney), p. 29, when a king sent a crier with a drum to invite assistance in a certain affair of difficulty, a man stopped the proclamation by touching the drum. 

2 Kaḍappuliyā, apparently derived from the Tamil words kaḍam, grave-yard, and pil̤ei, to escape. The Tamil word would be kaḍappil̤eiyār, he (hon) who escaped from the grave-yard. Compare veḍippulayā (for veḍippil̤eiyār), one who escaped from shooting (The Veddas, by Dr. and Mrs. C. G. Seligmann, p. 196). 

3

Hānḍa giya kala wiya-gaha4 kaeḍunē,
Wiya-gaha kaeḍu kala gedaraṭa eminē,5
Gedaraṭa ā kala aen̆da uḍa siṭinē,
Æn̆da uḍa siṭi kala konda-piṭa dāewē,
Konda-piṭa dāe kala aen̆da yaṭa balanē,
Æn̆da yaṭa baelu kala kiri-bata tibunē.
Kiri-bata kālayi mē duka waedunē.
Mē duka balalā paenapan Gembirittō!

 

4 Lit., Yoke-tree, like our “axle-tree.” 

5 ? Hemin en[n]ē. 

6 In trying to laugh at the man’s doggerel, according to the narrator. 

[Contents]

No. 158

Concerning a Bear and the Queen

At a certain city there were a sister and two brothers. These three one day went to eat Dam̆ba [fruits]. Having gone thus, the two brothers went up the Dam̆ba tree,1 the sister remained on the ground.

At that time a Bear having come, went off, taking the woman. Having thus gone, placing her in a rock cave he provided subsistence for her. Thereupon the two brothers, being unable to find her, went home.

During the time while the Princess was in the rock cave she was rearing a cock. On yet [another] day the two Princes in order to make search for the Princess went into the midst of the forest. Then having heard the crowing of the cock which the Princess was rearing, they went to that place. At that time the Bear was not there; on account of food it went into the midst of the forest.

Then [the brothers] having met with the sister, they spoke to her. The Princess said, “The time when the Bear comes is near. Because of that return to the village, and come to-morrow morning to go with me.” So both of them went to the village.

After that, the Bear having come, at the words which he had heard walked away growling and growling with anger. Thereafter the two brothers came, and returned with the Princess to the village. Two children had been born to the Bear; with those two also they went.

Thereupon the Bear having come to the rock cave, and perceived when he looked that the Princess and children were not [there], came [after them] of his own accord. [386]When he came, he saw by the light the Queen and two children. Those two sprang off and went away.

The Bear asked the Queen, “What are you going for?”

“A cleverer Bear than you told me to come. Because of that I am going,” she said.

The Bear having said, “Where is there a cleverer Bear than I? Show me him,” went [with her].

Then the Queen, having gone near a well, showed the reflection of the Bear that was at the bottom of the water. At that time the Bear which was on the ground sprang into the well in order to bite the Bear that was in the well. Having sprung in he died.

Then the two brothers, and the Princess, and the two children went home and stayed there.

North-central Province.

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In Le Pantcha-Tantra of the Abbé Dubois, the animals had made an agreement with a savage lion that one of them should be given to it each day. When the jackal’s turn came he determined to find some way of destroying their enemy. Seeing his own reflection in a well, he went to the lion and informed him that another lion was concealed in a well, and waiting for an opportunity to kill him. When the lion demanded to be shown him, the jackal led him to the well; showed him his own reflection, and the lion sprang at it. The jackal then summoned the other animals, which rolled large stones into the well and killed the lion.

In the Hitōpadēśa there is a similar story, the two animals being a lion and a stag which said another lion had delayed it.

In Indian Fables (Rāmaswāmi Raju), p. 82, the animals were a tiger and hare.

In Folk-lore of the Telugus (G. R. Subramiah Pantulu), p. 15, they were a lion and fox (jackal) which stated that another lion had carried off a fox that it was bringing as the lion’s food.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 4, they were a tiger and a hare which laid the blame on another tiger for his being late, saying it claimed the country.

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 172, they were a lion and a jackal and his wife who stated that they had been delayed by another lion.

In The Enchanted Parrot (Rev. B. H. Wortham) this story is No. XXXI. The animals were a lion and a hare which said he had been kept a prisoner by a rival lion. This is the form of the tale in the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 32. [387]

In Folk-Tales from Tibet (O’Connor), p. 51, they were also a lion and a hare which recommended the lion to eat a large and fierce animal that lived in a pond, in place of itself.

In Fables and Folk-Tales from an Eastern Forest (W. Skeat), p. 28, they were a tiger and a mouse-deer which said it had been stopped by an old tiger with a flying-squirrel sitting on its muzzle, and so had been unable to bring it an animal for food. The squirrel which accompanied the mouse-deer sat on the tiger’s muzzle and the deer on its hind-quarters when it went to drive the other away. The tiger then sprang at its reflection in the river, and was drowned. [388]


1 Jambu, the Rose-apple, Jambosa vulgaris

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No. 159

The Leopard and the Princess

In a certain country there are seven Princes, it is said. Younger than all seven there is their younger sister. For the seven Princes seven Princesses have been brought; a Prince having been brought for the younger sister, is settled there.

While they are thus, the younger sister has pregnancy longings (doladuk). One day, while the younger sister and her elder brothers were going to their houses, having seen the whole seven Princesses eating Dam̆ba [fruits] the younger sister also stayed there to eat them, and asked at the hand of the eldest sister-in-law, “Sister-in-law, a Dam̆ba fruit for me also.”

Then the sister-in-law said, “There will not be Dam̆ba here to give.”

She asked at the hand of the next sister-in-law. That sister-in-law also replied in the same way. Thus, in that manner having asked at the hand of the whole seven, not even one person gave it.

Afterwards, the younger sister having cooked and eaten, went alone to pluck Dam̆ba, and having ascended the Dam̆ba tree, while she was eating Dam̆ba it became night.

A Leopard having come near the Dam̆ba tree [said], “[How] if you should throw down a Dam̆ba branch with your golden little hand?”

After that, the Princess threw down a Dam̆ba branch. The Leopard having eaten [the fruit on] it, said again, “[How] if you should throw down a Dam̆ba branch with your golden little hand?”

Again she threw one down. Then the Leopard said, “Holding fast, fast, [how] if you should slowly slowly descend?” [389]

Then through fear the Princess is there without descending.

The Leopard another time said, “Holding fast, fast, [how] if you should slowly slowly descend?”

The Princess descended. Then the Leopard, placing the Princess on his back, went to his rock cave. While living in that manner the Princess bore a child. The Leopard and Princess stayed there very trustfully. The Leopard had much goods. The paddy store-rooms had been filled, the millet store-rooms had been filled, the menēri store-rooms had been filled, there are many cattle.

When they had been living there many days, the Leopard said, “I am about to go on a journey to-morrow; I shall be unable to return for two or three days. You, shutting the rock cave, must be [here]. Until the time when I come do not go outside.” On the following day the Leopard went away.

Well then, while the Princess was alone in the rock cave, the elder brothers of the Princess having come hunting, a great rain rained. The Princes having been [sheltering] near a tree, when they were walking along in the rain they met with the rock cave, and saw also their younger sister.

“What art thou here for? We sought and sought so much time, and could not find thee. Here thou art! What was the manner in which thou camest here?” they asked at the hand of their younger sister.

Then the younger sister said, “I asked for Dam̆ba at the hand of sisters-in-law. The whole seven did not give it. On account of that I came to eat Dam̆ba, and while I was alone in the Dam̆ba tree the Leopard came.

“Afterwards he told me to throw down a Dam̆ba branch; I threw down two Dam̆ba branches. Saying and saying [it was only] until the time when the Leopard was going, I stayed in the tree.

“While I was there it became night. Then the Leopard told me to descend. I stayed [there] without descending. The Leopard told me twice to descend. Afterwards I descended. The Leopard, putting me on his back, came here. From that day I am living here.” [390]

Then the Princes asked, “Where is the Leopard?”

The Princess said, “This morning he went somewhere or other; he said he will not come for a day or two.”

After that, the Princes said, “No matter for that one; let us go away home. We will take the things that are here.”

The Princess said, “I will not.” What of her saying, “I will not!” The Princes, having taken all the [household] things that were there, said to the Princess, “Let us go.”

Afterwards the Princess through anger cut that child, and hung it aloft, near the hearth. She placed the small pot on the hearth, and taking a [piece of] muslin, all along the path tore and tore and threw down pieces, until the time when they went to the house. Having gone there, without eating she is crying and crying.

Then the Leopard came near the rock cave, and saw that the child having been cut had been hung up; and having seen, also, that the Princess was not there, came away.

Having come all along the path on which the muslin has been torn and thrown down, and having come up to the house [in a human form]; he saw that the Princess is there. While the Leopard is in the open space in front of the house, the Princess saw that the Leopard is [there]; and having come laughing, and given water to the Leopard to wash his face, and given sitting accommodation, and betel to eat, she is cooking in order to give the Leopard to eat.

Then the Princes placed an earthen pot of water on the hearth, to become heated. After it became heated, they cut a hole very deeply, and put sticks on it, and above that leaves, and above that earth; and having taken the pot of water and placed it there, they came near the Leopard, and said to the Leopard, “Let us go, brother-in-law, to bathe.”

The Leopard said, “I cannot bathe, brother-in-law. As I was coming I bathed; I cannot bathe another time.”

While the Leopard was saying he could not, having gone calling the Leopard they told him to place his feet at the place where those sticks and leaves and earth have been put; and having told him to bend, they poured that pot of boiling water on the Leopard’s body. That one having fallen into the hole that was cut deep, died. Those seven [391]Princes having thrown in earth and filled it up, came away and ate cooked rice.

That younger sister, having cooked and finished, seeks the Leopard. While she is seeking him the sisters-in-law say, “Sister-in-law, you eat that cooked rice. Elder brother is eating cooked rice here.”

The Princess is [there] without eating. While she is there the sisters-in-law say again, “Sister-in-law, eat; elder brother is eating cooked rice here. He will not come there, having become angry that you have come [away].”

After that, the Princess came to look [for him]. Having looked at the whole seven houses without finding the Leopard, she went to the place where he bathed, and when she looked [saw that] earth was [newly] cut and placed there.

Having seen it, thinking, “Here indeed having murdered him, this earth has been cut and placed [over him],” she went into the house, and did not eat; and having been weeping and weeping, and been two or three days without food, the Princess died through very grief at the loss of the Leopard.

The eight Princes and the seven Princesses, taking the Leopard’s goods and the Princess’s goods, remained there.

North-western Province.

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In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xiv, p. 135 ff. (Folklore in Southern India, p. 116), in a Tamil story by Naṭēśa Sāstrī, a girl who had married and gone off with a tiger disguised in the form of a Brāhmaṇa youth, escaped when her three brothers, in response to her request sent by a crow, came to rescue her. She first tore in two the tiger cub she had borne, and hung the pieces to roast over the fire. The tiger followed in the form of a youth, was well received, and food was cooked. On the pretext of giving him the customary oil bath (of Southern India) before dining, the brothers put sticks across the well, and laid mats over them. When the tiger-youth sat there for the bath he fell into the well, which they filled with stones, etc. The girl raised a pillar (apparently of mud) over the well, with a tulasī (basil) plant at the top; and during the rest of her life she smeared the pillar in the morning and evening with cow-dung, and watered the plant.

In the Kolhān folk-tales (Bompas), appended to Folklore of the Santal Parganas, p. 454, a tiger which assisted a Raja by carrying [392]a load of grass for him, received in marriage one of the Raja’s daughters as a recompense. He ate her, and when he went to ask for another in her place, saying she had died, boiling water was poured over him while he was asleep, and he was killed. At p. 470, a Raja married a she-bear which took the place of his bride in her palankin; apparently the bear had a human form.

In Folk-Tales of Kashmir (Knowles), 2nd ed., p. 57, the concealed pit-fall into which people fell is found. It was dug in one of the rooms of a merchant’s house. A King, his son, and his wife the Queen were entrapped; but the King’s daughter-in-law suspected some trick, refused to enter the house, and rescued them.

There is a variant in the coast districts on the north bank of the River Congo, in West Africa. In Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort (Dennett), p. 49, a girl who had run away from home on account of her sisters’ bad treatment of her, was married to a man who was a murderer. She wanted to return to her mother, made a flying basket, and escaped in it, carrying off his ornaments and slaves. Her husband saw the basket going through the air, and followed it. The girl’s relations received him well, dug a deep hole and covered it with sticks and a mat, and prepared a great quantity of boiling water. Then they called the girl and her husband to sit there, placing the man over the hole. He fell into it, the water and burning wood were thrown over him, and he died.

This Sinhalese story contains the only instance I have met with in Ceylon of a belief in power of the lower animals to take the form of men, with the exception of tales in which they have a removable skin or shell which hides a human form. In China the fox is thought to have the power of taking a human shape at will, and in Cinq Cents Contes et Apologues (Chavannes), vol. i, p. 76, one of these animals became a man in order to obtain a bag of roasted grain to present to an aged Brāhmaṇa. In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (collected by Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 442, a man who had learnt witchcraft turned himself into a tiger in order to eat a calf. He gave his wife a piece of root first, and told her that when she applied it to his nose he would become a man again. Such changes as that occur in the Indian story numbered 266 in vol. iii, and its Sinhalese variants, in which the animals can then resume their human form.

It is a common belief in Africa that some animals have this power (having the souls of men in them), and also that human beings can transform themselves into the lower animals, usually dangerous ones. In Reynard the Fox in Southern Africa (Dr. Bleek), p. 57, in a Hottentot story a woman became a lion at her husband’s request, in order to catch a zebra for their food. In The Fetish Folk of West Africa (Milligan), p. 226, it is stated that “there is a man in the Gaboon of whom the whole community believes that he frequently changes himself into a leopard in order to steal sheep and to devour a whole sheep at a meal.” [393]

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No. 160

The Story of the Foolish Leopard

In a certain country, at the season when a Gamarāla and his son are causing cattle to graze, having constructed a fold in a good manner the Gamarāla encloses the cattle in the fold.

One day, the Gamarāla’s son having driven in the cattle, while he was blocking up the gap (entrance) of the fold the Gamarāla said, it is said, “Aḍē! Close the gap well; leopards and other animals (koṭiyō-boṭiyō1) will come.”

When he was there, a big Leopard which was near having heard this speech that he is making, thinks, “The Leopard indeed is I; what is the Boṭiyā?” In fear, with various ideas [about it], he got inside the fold; but having thought that the Boṭiyā will come now, he went into the midst of the calves, and in the middle of them, his happiness being ended, he remained.

In the meantime, a thief having got inside the fold, came lifting and lifting up the calves [to ascertain which was the heaviest]. Having come near the Leopard, when he lifted it up he placed the Leopard on his shoulder [in order to carry it away], because it was very heavy. The Leopard thinks, “This one, indeed, is the Boṭiyā.” Having thought, “Should I [try to] escape he will kill me,” it was motionless. And the thief because he went quickly in the night [with it], for that reason thought that the calf was very good. At the time when he turned and looked at it he perceived [394]that it was a Leopard, and he considered in what manner he could escape.

Having seen a hill near there, near an abandoned pansala (the residence of a Buddhist monk), the man threw it down from the hill, and got inside the pansala. When he shut the door, anger having come to the Leopard by reason of the harm done to him [owing to his fall], at the time when he was near the door [trying to enter in order to kill the man], a Jackal asked the Leopard, “Why is this?”

When he told the Jackal the reason, the Jackal thought he would like to eat the Leopard’s flesh, [and therefore said], “I will tell you, Sir, a stratagem for opening the door. Should you put that tail of yours, Sir, through that hole the door will open.”

At the time when he said [this], the Leopard having thought that by this skilful act the door will open, put his tail through. Thereupon the thief twisted the tail round the post that was near the door.

At the time when he was holding it, the Jackal went to the rice field near there in which men were working. While the Jackal was crying and crying out to the men, “Please come near, please come near,” they went near the pansala. Having seen the Leopard, and beaten and killed the Leopard, they took away the skin, it is said.

Then the Jackal with much delight ate the Leopard’s flesh, it is said.

North-western Province.

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This story is a variant of No. 70 in vol. i.

In The Orientalist, vol. iv, p. 30, Mr. W. Goonetilleke gave a nearly similar story. The fold was one in which goats and sheep were enclosed. The man carried off the leopard which was concealed among them, and on discovering his mistake threw it down into a stream as he was crossing an ēdaṇḍa, or foot-bridge made of a tree trunk. He then ran off and got hid in a corn-store, where the jackal told him to twist the tail round a post, as related in vol. i, p. 368.

In The Indian Antiquary, vol. xiv, p. 77 (Tales of the Sun, p. 93), in a Tamil story given by Naṭēśa Sāstrī, a shepherd, when he left his flock temporarily, fixed his stick at the place with his rug over it, and told it to keep watch, or some thief or bhūta or kūta might try to [395]steal one. A bhūta, or evil spirit, which had come for this purpose, overheard this, and being afraid of the unknown animal called a kūta, lay down amid the flock. Two men who came to steal a goat selected the bhūta, and carried it off as being the fattest. Thinking these were the kūtas, the bhūta tried to escape, and eventually melted away. The later incidents do not resemble those of this Sinhalese story. [396]


1 There is not a word boṭiyā, pl. boṭiyō, in Sinhalese, except when thus added to koṭiyā with the meaning given by me; compare prāksayā in No. 137. 

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No. 161

The Story of the Ḍabukkā1

In a certain country there were a man’s eight asses. One of them having been lost one day, while he was going seeking and looking for it [he saw] in the night that there was a house near a great jungle. In the house he heard a talk. After that he halted, and when he is listening to ascertain what is this talk which he hears, a woman says, “Anē! O Gods, during this night I indeed am not afraid of either an elephant, or a bear, or a leopard, or a Yakā; I am only afraid of the Ḍabukkā,” she said.

The Leopard listening very near there said [to himself], “What is the Ḍabukkā of which she is afraid, which is greater than the elephant, and the bear, and the leopard, and the Yakā?” Having become afraid in his mind he stood on one side, and remained looking [out for it].

Then the man who being without that ass sought for it, saw the Leopard [in the semi-darkness], and having said, “Is it the ass?” went running and mounted on the back of the Leopard. Saying, “O ass of the strumpet’s son, why were you hidden last night?” he began to beat the Leopard. Having thought “Aḍē! It is this indeed they call the Ḍabukkā,” through fear it began to run away.

As it was becoming light, that man, perceiving that it was the Leopard, jumped off its back, and having gone running crept inside a hollow in a tree.

The Leopard having gone running on and fallen, a Jackal, seeing that it was panting, asked, “Friend, what are you staying there for as though you have been frightened?” [397]

“Friend, during the whole of yester-night the Ḍabukkā, having mounted on my back, drove me about, beating and beating me enough to kill me.”

Then the Jackal says, “Though you were afraid of it I indeed am not afraid. Show me it. Let us go for me to eat up that one,” he said.

The Leopard says, “I will not go first,” he said.

The Jackal said, “Pull out a creeper, and tying it at your waist tie [the other end] on my neck,” he said.

When they had tied the creeper, after the Jackal went in front near the tree in which that man stayed, the Leopard said, “There. It is in the hollow in that tree, indeed,” he said.

The Jackal snarled. Then when the man struck the Jackal in the midst of the mouth his teeth were broken. After that, [both of them], the Jackal howling and howling, having run off and gone away, when they were out of breath a Bear came and asked “Friends, what are you panting for to that extent?”

The Leopard says, “Yester-night the Ḍabukkā killed me. The Jackal having gone to eat it, when he howled and snarled it broke two [of his] teeth,” he said.

Then the Bear said, “What of your being unable [to kill it]! Let us go, for me to eat up that one.”

The whole three went, the Bear being in front and close to it the Jackal; the Leopard went behind them. Having gone, they showed the Bear the place where the man was. The Bear having put its head inside the hollow in the tree, roared. Then the man seized the hair of its head fast with his hand. When it was drawing its head back the hair came out. Then the whole three, speaking and speaking, ran away, with their teeth chattering and their tails between their legs.

Afterwards the man having descended from the tree to the ground, came to his village with a party of men.

North-western Province.

[Contents]

In Indian Fairy Tales (Thornhill), p. 227, a tiger heard an old woman say, “I do not fear the tiger; what I fear is the dripping; when the rain falls the dripping comes through the thatch and [398]troubles me.” The tiger lay still, dreading the coming of the terrible Dripping. A washerman whose ass had strayed came there, and thinking he had found it struck it with his stick and drove it to the village pound, where he fastened it by the leg, the tiger believing he must be the Dripping. In the morning it begged for mercy, and was allowed to go on promising to leave the district and not eat men.

In Old Deccan Days (M. Frere), p. 206, the same story is repeated, the ass being one belonging to a potter who seized the tiger, beat and kicked it, rode it home, tied it to a post, and went to bed. Next day everyone came to see it, and the Rāja gave the man great rewards, and made him a General.

In Indian Nights’ Entertainment (Swynnerton), p. 211, when a weaver who had been ordered to kill a tiger was entering his house he saw it outside. Saying loudly that he was going to kill the tiger, he added that he did not care for the wet or the tiger, but only for the dripping of the rain from the roof. The tiger was afraid, and slunk into an outhouse, the door of which the weaver immediately shut and locked. Next morning he reported that he had captured it with his hands, without the use of weapons.

In a Malinka story of Senegambia in Contes Soudanais (C. Monteil), p. 137, a hare, while its partner, a hyæna, collected firewood, hid the flesh of a cow that they had killed, in a hollow baobab tree, the entrance being too small to admit the hyæna. The latter returned with an ostrich and saw the hare there. The ostrich came forward to seize it, but when its head was inside the hare slipped a noose over it and half-choked it. In its struggles the ostrich laid an egg, which the hyæna immediately devoured. The hare then induced it to believe that when they were half choked in the same way hyænas laid much better eggs. The hyæna accordingly inserted its head, and was noosed and strangled. [399]


1 The meaning of the word ḍabukkā is said to be waehi-poda, drop of rain, or drizzle. 

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No. 162

The Leopard and the Calf

In a certain country, while cattle are coming along eating and eating food, a Leopard having been hidden and been there looking out seized a small Calf out of them, and at first ate an ear.

Then the Calf says, “I am insufficient for food for you. When I have become big you can eat me, therefore let me go,” he said to the Leopard. At that time the Leopard having said, “It is good,” allowed the Calf to go.

In a little time, having seen that the Calf has become big the Leopard came to eat him. Thereupon the Bull (the grown-up calf) says to the Leopard, “You cannot eat me in that way. Go to the jungle, and breaking a large creeper1 come [back with it],” he said.

Then when the Leopard brought a creeper the Bull said to the Leopard, “Tie an end round your waist2 and the other end tie on my neck,” he said.

The Bull having dropped heated dung while the Leopard was doing thus, began to run in all directions [after they were tied together]. When he is running thus the Leopard says to the Bull [as he was jolted about],

Bālē—dī—no—kāe—koṭa

Mā—ata—mōḍakan—koṭa

Gassa—gassa—no—duwa

Periya—kan—koṭā

While young—not—having—eaten thee

On my—part—I—did—foolishly.

Jolting,—jolting—me,—don’t—run,

O thou—great—short—earèd—one.

[400]

The Leopard having been much wounded in this way, died.

The Bull went near his master’s son; he unfastened the Bull.

North-western Province.

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In Tales of the Punjab (Mrs. F. A. Steel), p. 70, a lamb escaped from several animals that wanted to eat it by telling them to wait until it grew fatter. In the end it was eaten by a jackal.

In Folk-Tales from Tibet (O’Connor), p. 43, a wolf that was about to eat a young wild ass was persuaded by it to wait a few months until it became fatter. When the time came for meeting it, the wolf was joined by a fox and a hare, to which it promised to give a share of the meat. The hare’s suggestion that to avoid the loss of the blood the ass should be strangled was adopted, the fox borrowed a rope from a shepherd, the hare put slip-knots over the necks of each of the animals, and holding the end of the rope itself gave the word for all to pull. When they did so the wolf and fox were strangled, and the ass escaped. [401]


1 In a variant it is termed a Kaburussā creeper, perhaps the same as the Habalossā creeper in No. 94. 

2 In the variant both ends were tied on the animals’ necks. 

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No. 163

The Ash-Pumpkin Fruit Prince

At a certain time at a certain village there were a husband and a wife. During the time when they were [there] the two together went to a chena. Having gone, [after] plucking an Ash-pumpkin they brought it and placed it in a large pot under seven earthen cooking pots.

When not much time had gone, the seven earthen cooking pots were shaken. Then this party having opened the mouths of the cooking pots, when they looked a Python had filled up the large pot.

After that, the party plaited seven beds.1 Having plaited them, they caused the Python to sleep on the seven beds.

Next, having gone to a place where seven daughters were, they asked for an assistant (a wife) for that Python. Having asked, they brought the eldest sister. Having brought her, when they opened the house door the woman having seen this Python and being afraid, said, “Anē! The way in which fathers have sought and given me in marriage!” and just as it became light the girl went home.

In that manner they brought the six women. All six being afraid of this Python went away.

They brought the youngest girl of the seven. [She] having come there, when two or three months had gone they opened the house door. After that, the girl having seen the Python and being afraid, said in distress, “Anē! [402]The danger that my parents have made for me, having given me in dīga [marriage] to a Python! There is no place for me to lie down.”

Thereupon the Python having made room on one out of the seven beds, remained on six.

On the following day she spoke in the same manner. Then the Python, having made room on two out of the seven beds, remained on five. On the following day in the evening she spoke in the same manner; then the Python, having made room on three out of the seven beds, was on four. On the following day in the evening she spoke in the same manner; then the Python, having made room on four out of the seven beds, was on three. On the following day evening she said the same; then the Python, having made room on five out of the seven beds, was on two. On the following day evening she said the same; then the Python, having made room on six out of the seven beds, was on one.

On the seventh day morning the Python came to the veranda. At that time, the mother-in-law of the woman who had come in dīga [marriage] to the Python, said to the woman, “Daughter, lower a little paddy from the corn store,2 and having winnowed, boil it.”

Then the woman (girl), for the sake of causing the Python to speak, applied (dunnā, presented) the forked pole [for raising the conical roof] on the outer side of the eaves.3

Then the Python says, “In our country our mother said that on the other side (lit., hand) is the way.”

Thereupon the woman, having applied the forked pole on the inner side, and raised the (conical) roof, and lowered paddy, put it on the outer side of the winnowing tray, and began to winnow it.

Then the Python says, “It is not in that way. In our country our mother said on the other side is the way.” So the woman put it on the inner side of the winnowing tray, and winnowed the paddy.

Having winnowed it, still for the sake of causing the [403]Python to speak she put the paddy on the outer side of the large cooking pot, and prepared (lit., made) to boil it.

Thereupon the Python says, “It is not in that way. In our country our mother said on the other side is the way.” So the woman, having put it inside the large cooking pot, boiled the paddy.

Still for the sake of causing the Python to speak having [taken out the paddy, and] placed it on the outer side of the mat, she prepared to spread out the paddy to dry.

Thereupon the Python says, “It is not in that way. In our country our mother said on the other side is the way.” So the woman, having put it on the inner side of the mat, spread out the paddy to dry.

The woman, also for the sake of causing the Python to speak, having [taken it up after it was dried, and] placed it on the outer side (end) of the paddy mortar, prepared to pound the paddy.

Thereupon the Python says, “It is not in that way. In our country our mother said at the other side (end) is the way.” So having put it on the inside, and pounded the paddy [to remove the skin], she winnowed it. (It was now cleaned rice, ready for cooking.)

Then a Bana (reading of the Buddhist Scriptures) having been appointed at the pansala near that village, all are going to the Bana. This woman says, “Owing to the fate which my parents have made for me there is also no hearing Bana [for me].”

Thereupon the Python says, “Haven’t you bracelets and rings to put on as ornaments? Haven’t you dresses? Wearing them and adorning [yourself] in a good manner, go with our parents,” he said.

Then the woman says, “Other good caste (raṭē) women go, sending the men first.4 It does not matter that I must go alone!”

Thereupon, still the Python says, “I am staying at home. Go with my parents,” he said.

Then while the woman was going with her mother-in-law’s party to hear Bana, the Python, having got hid, remained [404]at the road on which she intended to go. At that time the Python having taken off his Python jacket and having placed it on the clothes-line in the enclosure (malu ānē), went to hear the Bana [in the form of a Prince].

Thereupon, this woman having seen her husband who was going to the pansala, came home, and having taken the Python jacket which was placed on the clothes-line in the enclosure and put it [in the fire] on the hearth, the woman, too, went back to hear the Bana. Thereafter, the Python Prince having returned, when he looked for the Python jacket it had been put on the hearth [and burnt]. Thereupon he remained as a husband for that woman.

After that, when not much time had gone, telling her, and having prepared, they went to the house of his mother-in-law and father-in-law. Thereupon the six women who were brought at first for the Python, having said, “Anē! Our husband is coming,” came in front [of him].

Then this younger woman, having said, “At first having said ye do not want him, how does the Prince who has come become yours now? He belongs only to me,” began to quarrel [with them].

Then of those six women the eldest woman having longed for this Python Prince, said, “Father, seek for a Python for me, and give me it,” and remained without eating and without drinking.

Thereupon, the man being unable to get rid [of the importunity] of that eldest daughter, calling men and having gone, and having set nets, when they were driving (elawana-koṭa) the middle of the forest a Python was caught in the net.

Having brought the Python, the father of the woman, having asked her and said he brought it as her husband, put it in the house (room) of the woman, and said, “There. Take charge of it.”

Thereupon the woman having gone into the house, [after] shutting the door unfastened the sack in which was the Python. Then the Python seized the woman, and twisting around her, making fold after fold, began to eat her. [405]

At that time, the father of the woman [hearing sounds] like throwing down coconuts in the corn store, like pouring water into the water jar, said two or three times, “Don’t kill my daughter, Aḍē!” Then the Python, having completely swallowed the woman, remained [as though] unconscious.

On the following day, in the morning, the woman’s parents having come and said, “Daughter, open the door,” called her two or three times. Having called her, when they looked [for a reply] she did not speak.

Because of that, having broken [through] the wall near the door bolt, and opened the door, when they looked, the Python, having swallowed the woman,5 remained [as though] unconscious. Thereupon, they drove away and sent off the Python.

North-central Province.

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In the Kathā Sarit Sāgara (Tawney), vol. ii, p. 595, a dependant of King Vikramāditya became a python on eating a gourd which he found in a garden. He was restored to his former shape by means of a sternutatory which was made from the extract obtained from a plant.

In Chinese Nights’ Entertainment (A. M. Fielde), p. 45, a man promised to give one of his three daughters in marriage to a serpent that seized him. The two elder ones refused; the youngest agreed to marry it. She lived with the snake in a palace. On her return one day with water from a distant spring after the well dried up she found the serpent dying of thirst, and plunged it in the water. The spell which bound it being thus neutralised it became a handsome man, with whom she continued to dwell happily.

In Folklore of the Santal Parganas (collected by Rev. Dr. Bodding), p. 255, a herd-boy who saw a girl throw off a dog skin that she wore, and bathe, afterwards insisted on marrying this dog. Each night she removed the skin and went out, until on one occasion he threw the skin into the fire, after which she retained her human form. A friend of his determined to imitate him, and married a [406]bitch with the usual ceremonies; but on the way home she was so savage that he let her go, and he was laughed at so much that he hanged himself.

At p. 227 there is an account of a caterpillar boy who at night took off his outer skin and went to dance. The Princess who had selected and married him burnt his skin one night, and he retained his Prince’s form afterwards. [407]


1 Beds are often made by a number of split canes laid longitudinally and fastened at the ends of the frame, with transverse canes interlaced through them. Coir strings (of coconut fibre) are also used. A grass mat is laid over the canes or strings. 

2 See the description of the circular corn store, opened by raising the roof, in the Introduction, vol. i, p. 10. 

3 Waru hantiya, end of the stack-like roof. 

4 That is, they all go together, the men preceding the women. 

5 I never heard of an instance of a python’s swallowing a human being in Ceylon. Cases are known of their seizing dogs and deer; one which was brought to me had just killed the largest he-goat of a flock; it was eighteen feet long. In the story No. 72 in vol. i, a python is stated to have seized a boy who had rescued a jackal which it had caught. 

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No. 164

The Kabaragoyā and the Widow

In a certain country, to the house of a widow woman a Kabaragoyā1 continually comes. While time is going, the Kabaragoyā, trusting the old woman, having come to the house dwells there.

After much time went by, the Kabaragoyā being like a son told the widow woman to find and give him a woman (wife).

At that time, “Son, look at the manner of our house; besides that, to a Kabaragoyā who will give a Kabaragoyi (female Kabaragoyā)?” the widow asked.

And the Kabaragoyā having heard that speech, that very day night entreated that his house should be like a royal palace. On the following day morning, at the time when he looked the house was particoloured (wisituruwa) like a royal palace.

The Kabaragoyā that day also told her to seek and give him a woman. And the widow after that went to seek a woman in marriage for the Kabaragoyā.

There were seven Princesses of the King of that country who had come of age. The widow having gone near (karā) the King (raju), when she told him the matter he told her to take a person who was willing. And the widow having gone near the royal daughters, asked, “There is an only Kabaragoyā of mine; is anyone willing to be married to it?”

Six out of the seven royal daughters having said, “Are we also female Kabaragoyās to go with Kabaragoyās?” scolded and struck her; the young royal Princess who was the last, said, “Mother, I will go.” [408]

At that time having come summoning the royal Princess, she married and gave her to the Kabaragoyā.

After a little time went thus, for the purpose of the occasion of a certain feast the King2 sent a letter to the Kabaragoyā and his royal daughter, [inviting them to it]. Thereupon the royal Princess having said, “Anē! How shall I go with this Kabaragoyā, without shame?” While she is grieving, the Kabaragoyā went to a certain rock cave, and having taken off and put there the Kabaragoyā jacket, and decorated himself [in the form of a Prince], with royal ornaments, returned. At that time the royal daughter also, much pleased, went to the royal palace.

After that, this Prince, wearing royal ornaments, remained in the appearance of a Prince.

Ūva Province.

[Contents]

In Kaffir Folk-Tales (Theal), p. 38, a girl chose a crocodile as her husband. When at his request she licked his face he cast off the crocodile skin, and became a man. In a note (p. 209) the author states that he had been bewitched by his enemies. [409]


1 A large amphibious lizard (Hydrosaurus salvator). 

2 Lit., by the King. 

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No. 165

The Frog Jacket

In a certain country, at a house there was a very wealthy nobleman (siṭāna), but he had no children. Having seen that the men of the country are giving their children in dīga [marriage] he was much grieved.

While he is thus, one day at the time when he went to the rice field, having said, “Father,” a certain female Frog fell weeping at the edge of his foot; and the nobleman having brought this female Frog home, nourished it.

One day, having started on a journey, and tied up a bundle of cooked rice, and in the midst of it having put several rings, at the time when he was going along the path taking the bundle of cooked rice it became night while [he was] near a house, and he went there for the resting-place.

At that house there was a young man. In the evening having unfastened the bundle of cooked rice, at the time when he was eating the rice he met with the rings, and having said, “Anē! My daughter’s rings have fallen into the bundle of cooked rice,” he showed them to the house people.

Thereupon the house persons asked, “Is there a daughter?”

“Yes, an only daughter of mine,” he said.

“There is an only male child of mine, also. Will you give your daughter to him?” the house-wife asked.

The nobleman having said, “It is good,” [after] fixing a day came away.

On the appointed day, to look at the young woman the young man and his two parents came. At the time when they asked the nobleman, “Where is the daughter?” he said, “To-day she went with her grandfather.” [410]

Having said, “If so, on such and such a day we will come to summon her to go,” they went away.

On that day, at the time when the young man and his two parents came he showed them his female Frog. After that, the young man’s two parents were not satisfied, but the young man being satisfied, summoning the female Frog they went away.

After a little time went by, they were to go to a [wedding] festival house. While the young man was in sorrow thinking of it, this female Frog took off her frog jacket [and thereupon became a young woman]. After that they went to the festival house. During the time afterwards, these two according to the usual custom dwelt excellently [together].

Ūva Province. [411]

[Contents]

No. 166

The Four-faced King and the Turtle

At a certain city there was a King with four faces. The King thought he must take the city called Ibbāwa.1 For ten million lakhs (a billion) of turtles who are in that Ibbāwa city, the Chief is the Turtle King.

To kill the Turtle King and seize the city this Four-faced King went, taking many troops, and taking his sword. Having gone there, after having surrounded Ibbāwa city, and set guards (raekalā), he sent a letter to the Turtle King: “What is it? Wilt thou give thy city to us? If not, wilt thou fight?”

Thereupon the Turtle King says, “For thy having thy four faces we are not afraid. What of thy four faces! We are dwelling with iron dishes both above and below us. Shouldst thou shoot at us and strike us, no harm will befall us.”

Afterwards the Four-faced King, having said, “Hā! If so, let us fight,” began to fight.

The Turtle King says to the other turtles, “Do ye decorate yourselves to go to b