« PreviousContinue »
When they arrived near the chltivated fields on the outskirts of her village she said :—“Run away, my brothers. My parents and relations are coming. They may kill you." " Thereupon
” the two tigers ran off for their lives. When she came home her sister-in-law took her up sharply about her long delay in returning home from the jungles. She said in reply that she had been earning her wages honestly by singing songs to the tigers. Said her sister-in-law :-' Is it they who have given yoù all these valuable gifts—the c!oth you are wearing and the anklets and bracelets ?” On being reassured on that score the woman said : “Do tell me what song you sang to the tigers so that I may learn it and earn my wages just as you have been doing.” Then the young woman taught her to sing the song"Bo’tedo itulad, etc.” The wicked woman then went into the jungles and met the great tiger who asked her :-"What is it you are looking for, my grand-child ?” She said :-"I have come to entertain
brothers with songs and thus to earn my wages.” Then as in the case of the young bride, the tigers made her cook the dinner and then the great tiger called on her to sing her songs after the repast for the entertainment of her brothers. She then began to sing the song :-"Bo’tedo itulad, etc.” The great tiger stopped her saying :--“ No my grandchild you must not sing that song, for it will offend your brothers. Let us have a better song.” As she knew no other gong she repeated the same one with the result that the tigers were furious with rage. They tore off her scalp and covering her head up with a brass kutra* (a large cup) they sent her back home. The young bride was first deceived by her sister-in-law and she thus had her revenge.
26.-THE STORY OF A POTTER'S CHILD. The story goes that a potter's wife, who was an expectant mother, went into a forest for the purpose of bringing in leaves, and was delivered of a son before she could return home. She
This is dérivéd from the Hindi katora. The word bela is also commonly Disod for katoras,
abandoned the infant in the jungles and returned home. The child was found by a tigress who said to her mate :-—"Look here, my dear; I have found a human infant.” The tiger came and saw the child and proposed to eat it up. “No,” said the tigress,
we will not eat it. Let us take it home and rear it”. So they took over the child to their lair, and the tiger nursed it and brought it up. As the child grew into a little boy he was duly weaned and his feline foster-mother roasted meat for him to eat, and when he was a bit older be asked the tiger to make for him a bow and some arrows to shoot with. His wish was duly gratified and he went about every day with his bow and wooden Jarts and killel birds and rabbits which he brought home to his foster-parents. Said the tigress one day to her mate: “You wanted to kill the little child when I found it. You now see how useful he is to us and how he provides us with game for our daily food.” The tiger acknowledged the wisdom and a Imired the foresight of his consort. Now, when the boy came of age he went anl said to the tiger :-"Father, I must have arrows shol with iron so that I may shoot big game." The tiger and his consort went out in search of a blacksmith and met one who was making charcoal in the jungle. The man ran off terror-stricken on seeing them, but they spoke to him gently and reassured him. They gave him an order for a good numbur of arrows with iron shafts and it was arranged that he would deliver the arrows by a certain date. If he failed to perform the contract it would be worse for him. The blacksmith realized the seriousness of the job and he went home and sought the help of his craftsmen and managed to execute the commission in good time. The young potter was now able to shoot all kinds of big game and when his bag consisted of such large animals as bison, wild buffaloes or sambar which he could not carry home he went and informed his foster-parents who duly brought the game home. The time came when the feline couple thought that their ward should get married ; and one day they set out in search of a bride. They came to a certain King's Bandh (an artificial lake) where the royal princesses were at
their bath. The tiger picked out the eldest young lady who was very pretty and said to his consort :-" That one is to be our daughter-in-law (Kimin). Take her off.” Therefore the tigress seized the princess and carried her off, while the people who were about the place shouted themselves hoarse and bewailed the sad fate of the royal lady. The princess became the wife of the young potter. The royal lady was not quite happy in her strange surroundings; she was dainty of appetite and she could not endure the monotonous courses of roast meat. One day she told her husband that her usual meal at home consisted of rice, pulse and vegetables. The young man communicated her wishes to his foster-parents who proceeded to attack people on their way to and from the weekly háts (fairs) and robbed them of rice, dal (pulses) and vegetables. The princess cooked the rice, dal and vegetables and soon developed a better appetite than her husband's. Thus they lived happily together for some time. At last a sinister idea crossed the tiger's mind and he thus expressed himself to his consort :“We have now got two human beings in our possession. It would be well to invite all our kinsfolk and enjoy a hearty dinner on human flesh.” Without waiting for an
answer the tiger bounded off to invite his kinsfolk. In the meantime the tigress went to the yonng couple and forewarned them about their impending doom. The princess bewailed her lot but her husband inspired her with hope and courage. Under her husband's advice she climbed high up a tree while le perched himself on a lower branch. Soon after one hundred ferocious tigers arrived and encircled the tree but the young potter, who was a crack shot, promptly disposed of them with his deadly shafts. Then there came a fresh band of one hundred tigers and they too met with the same fate. Having in this manner exterminated the entire brood of tigers the potter asked his wife to find her way to her village, for he had no knowledge of the world outside the forests. The princess indicated a tall kadam tree which stood in her father's court-yard as a landmark which would guide them to the King's palace. They arrived at the Bandh when the princess found her younger sisters at their bath. One of the young ladies went and informed her father about the arriyal of the long-lost princess with her husband. The young couple were provided with clothes and a barber was sent to help them in their toilet. The princess went home aheal with her sisters. While cropping the young potter's hair the barber cut his throat and threw him into the Bandh and put on the clothes which had been sent for him. The barber was thus mistaken for the potter and was taken into the palace as the royal son-in-law, and had a rattling good time. One day the royal prince expressed a desire to go ahunting and his sister (the potter's wife) told him to take with him her brother-in-law whose skill in archery was marvellous. The young prince accordingly took his brother-in-law with him and placing the latter at a favourable coign of vantage ordered all the beaters to drive all the game in that direction. As the wild animals came up the barber made no attempt to shoot them but he besmeared the arrow-heads with dung and said :-"Look here; the arrow entered the animal's head between the eyes and came out at the other end as the dung on the arrow-head proves. These animals bear a charmed life. We must therefore be content with an empty bag.” Thus did the barber deceive the king's son. The fact was that he could not bend the
. bow, let alone, shoot with accuracy. After some time the King ordered that all the fish in his Bandh should be caught up. The order was duly carried out. A poor shepherd went to the Bandh and found a large-sized fish which he brought home to his old mother. He asked his mother to cook the fish while he took the King's cattle back to the cattle-pen. When the old woman proceeded to cut up the fish she heard a voice which said :-"Use the knife gently so that you may not burt me”. She fancied that there was some one at the back of her house who had spoken to her, so she got up and went round to the back-yard but found no one there. She took up the fish again and was about to use the knife when she heard the same voice again, and she gave up the task in despair. When her son came home he asked her if the fish had been cooked and he was informed that it had not
even been cut up for the cooking-pot. He then took up the fish in order to slice it up and he too heard the same strange message. After holding a consultation with his mother the shepherd used his knife cautiously and as a result a male child was found in the belly of the fish. The strange child was carefully preserved and was brought up on goat's milk. The boy grew up and one day the shephered approached the King and said :-" Sire, the herds have become too large for me and I must have some one to assist me in tending them. With your royal permission I will get my maternal uncle's son to help me in tending the palace cattle”. So saying he went and fetched, not his maternal uncle's son, but the boy who had been so strangely recovered from the fish’s belly. While looking after the cattle the shepherd's assistant killed many birds every day and brought them home. The King's men noticed this and said to the shepherd :“How is it that you have become such a crack shot?” The shepherd replied :-"The credit is due to my young cousin and not to me.
His aim is indeed unerring." There stood, as has been already said, a tall kad am tree in the court-yard of the royal palace, and a single fruit hung from one of its topmost branches. The King issued a proclamation to say that anyone who could knock off the fruit with an ironshafted arrow at the first shot would become his son-in-law and receive half the kingdom as dower. Princes and men of bigh degree flocked in from far and near and made the attempt, but all failed signally. At last the shepherd's assistant stepped forward to make the attempt and he dropped the fruit with his first shot. The King proceeded to fulfil his promise. The princess who had been fraudulently taken possession of by the crafty barber beheld the young archer and said "This indeed
is my real husband ; and not this fellow who is a barber and who cannot even bend my husband's bow.” The fraud having been detected the King ordered the barber to measure the depth of the well which stood in the royal court-yard, and as the man was stooping forward, craning his neck into the well he was pushed into it and killed. The young man who was the potter's son, was