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affirmative the third brother said :-" Well in that case she is mine by right for it was I who painted and adorned the wooden figure that I found there." The second brother pressed his own claim on the ground that the credit of covering up a wooden figure with clay belonged to him; while the eldest brother asserted his own right as the maker of the original carved figure. There thus arose a violent quarrel amongst the four brothers over this strange and fascinating woman. At last the matter was referred to a pancho (a meeting of the elders of the community), who pronounced in favour of the eldest brother, and the other brothers accepted the decision. From that day the Hos have observed the Hero festival which is in vogue even at the present day.


Once upon a time a tiger while roving in the jungles was pinned down under a falling tree and was unable to extricate himself. While he was in this predicament a predicament a man happened to pass by and the tiger thus addressed him :-"Oh my friend, lend me a helping hand and get me out of this scrape. Never for a moment suppose that I will do you any harm." The man said :-"It is impossible to accept your assurance. You are the natural enemy of mankind. How can I trust you?" The tiger swore on his word of honour to abstain from doing any harm to the man who, beguiled by the tiger's soft speeches, rescued him by forcing up the tree which held him fast as in a vice. The tiger stretched his limbs and thus addressed the man :"Now will I make a meal of you." The man observed that it was passing strange that the tiger should so soon go back on his plighted word. Said the tiger:-"I am feeling the pangs of hunger. Necessity has no law and I cannot help devouring you." The man prayed that the matter might at least be referred in the first instance to a third party. This was conceded by the tiger and both of them proceeded together to find some one to whom the matter could be referred. They came across a bullock and the man told him the whole story and awaited his decision. "You men," said the bullock, "are a horribly bad lot. You torture

Let me go in and

us by twisting our tail and prodding us mercilessly with the pain (a goad) in order to exact the utmost work from us while we are young and when we get old you turn us out of doors and refuse to give us any food. My decision is in favour of the tiger." The tiger said:" The matter is now settled. Let me now eat you up." The man said':-" Don't be impatient. Let us refer the matter to a more reasonable arbitrator." To this the tiger agreed and they went on to another place where they met a fox. The fox affected to be in a great hurry. He said:- "I cannot attend to your business now. I have just come home hot and tired after an arduous journey undertaken at the instance of the King who had commissioned me to deliver an important message abroad. have a drink of water and then I will see what I can do for you." After making this speech the fox got into his hole. He came out again after a little time and heard the man's story and then said:" The whole story is an obvious fabrication." The man asserted that his story was true to fact and he referred the fox to the tiger who only corroborated what he had stated. Said the fox :-"I am sure both of you are making a fool of lt is an impossible story. You must show me the tree connected with this miraculous occurrence." Then they all went to the place where the tree was lying. On seeing the tree the fox indulged in an incredulous guffaw and observed :-"Let me see you reconstruct the strange situation if you can." Thereupon the man raised the tree by main force and the tiger allowed himself to be pressed down under its weight. Said the fox to the tiger :--"Now let me see you shake yourself free." The tiger tried but could not move. The fox then said to the man" Fetch a good big stick and belabour him with it." Then the man secured a cudgel and put the poor tiger to death.*


23.-A rox'S ARTFUL DODge.

In a certain forest there lived a serpent, of enormous size, which preyed upon human beings and animals of all kinds. It

*Cf. Story No. 14 in Vol. II, Part III, p, 289 of this Journal and also stories No. 20 ante and 23 post.

so happened that a great forest-fire arose and threatened to engulf the serpent's lair. The serpent was in a state of consternation and could find no means of extricating himself from the perilous situation. A beggar happened to pass by the place with a wicker wallet slung over his shoulder. The snake saw the man and appealed to him for succour. Said the mendicant:"How can I befriend one who is man's avowed enemy? Were I to save you your first act will perhaps be to swallow your benefactor." On this the snake swore hard and took many solemn oaths and appealed so abjectly as to melt the beggar's heart. The man made a long arm and placed his bag in front of the snake's hole. The snake promptly jumped into the bag and was rescued from the fire. As soon as he found himself out of danger the snake proceeded to devour the beggar calling him a fool for having saved his enemy. As if to add insult to injury he said :--" Don't you know that it is only natural for me to prey on men? Herein no injustice is involved. It is but a fulfilment of Nature's law." The poor beggar began to lament piteously and he roundly charged the snake with ingratitude. At last it was agreed that the matter should be referred to arbitration. So they went on together in order to find some one who could settle the point one way or the other. They at last met an old ox and told him about the facts of the matter and asked him to pronounce his decision. The ox thus addressed the snake :--" Man is forsooth an ungrateful creature. Just see, I ploughed his lands for him and toiled and moiled for him while I was young, but now that I am stricken in years he refuses to give me food and has turned me out of doors. It is well that you should swallow up this beggar." The man would not accept the verdict and demanded an unbiassed tribunal. The snake agreed and the two went on their way until they met an ewe and acquainted her with the facts. The ewe said to the snake :--" It is well that you

should eat up the man. Look at man's perfidy. I gave birth to many a lamb but the greedy fellow killed them all and ate them, and now that I have become old and weak he will not

give me any fodder and I have been turned adrift to eke out a miserable existence as best I can." The man said "No, I cannot accept her verdict. She is too full of prejudice against man to return a true award. Let us place the matter before an unbiassed arbitrator. So they continued their journey until they met a fox. The fox was duly acquainted with the facts and then he said in a grave and solemn tone:

"It is impossible for one to arbitrate as I cannot accept the facts which you have placed before me. It is an impossible story that you have stated. How can I believe that so big a snake found room in so tiny a wallet? I would reserve my verdict until I have seen the miracle accomplished in my presence." Upon this the snake quite unsuspectingly re-entered the bag, and uttered a cry to assure the fox that he was really inside. The fox now gave a significant hint to the mendicant who, acting on the hint, promptly secured the flap of the wallet with a piece of string and killed the snake. Thus the fox by his adroitness managed to save the man's life.*


A Mundă had occasion to pay a visit to the Pir Mānki, and he was attended, as usual by his Dakua. The Munda saluted' the Manki and when the Dakua, who was inexperienced in these matters, saw this he inferred that the Manki was superior in rank to the Muṇḍā. To make sure, he asked the Munda if the Manki was indeed his superior, and when he was re-assured on the point he expressed a desire to become the Manki's Dakua. His wish was gratified. One day the Manki went on a visit to the King and the Dakua as is usual on such occasions, accompa* Cf. Story No. 14 in Vol. II, Part III, p. 289 of this Journal and also stories Nos. 20 and 22 ante.

+ Under the revenue system in force in the Kolhan there are 73 local divisions, each comprising a group of villages. Each of these divisions has a Mãnki or divisiona head-man who is responsible for the collection of revenue and exercises the powers of a Police Sub-Inspector. Each Manki has under him Mundãs or village headmen exercising revenue and Police powers in each village. Mãnkis and Mundās have under them Dakaas who act as revenue messengers and Police constables.

nied the Manki. The Manki made his obeisance to the King, and on seeing him do so the Dakua took it that the King must be superior in rank to the Manki. He questioned the Manki on the point and when he came to know for certain that the King's rank was superior to the Manki's he wanted to become the King's Dakua. His request was granted. One day the King went into the jungles to hunt and on seeing a fox he nodded to that animal. Seeing that the Dakua fancied that the fox must be superior to the King and he asked the King if that was so. The King said :—" Yes, indeed, the fox is my superior." The Dakua told the king that he would in that case prefer the service of the fox. His request was again granted and he became the fox's Dakua. The fox soon began to regard the Dakua as an incubus as the latter constantly followed him about and hardly gave him a chance of enjoying a quiet meal. The fox hit upon a plan in order to get rid of the man. He gave his Dakua an ox and said :-" You have served me faithfully. This is your reward. Take it home with you. You need not dance attendance on me any longer." While on his way home, the man passed a night in a certain village and put up in the house of a Teli (an oil-manufacturer), and tied the ox to the wooden oilmill. At day-break the Teli gave out that his mill had brought forth an ox over-night. The Dakua pleaded in vain that it was his own ox and that he had kept it tied to the mill-post. As his claim was stoutly contested by the Teli there was nothing for him but to lay the matter before the King. The King heard both the claimants and failing to decide the claim asked the Dakua to produce the fox to testify to his ownership of the disputed ox. The Dakua went and told the fox all about his trouble and asked him to appear before the King and give his testimony. Said the fox" Very well go ahead and tell the King to have all the dogs in his palace tied up securely. I will appear before his majesty in due course." On receiving this message the King ordered all the dogs to be secured with ropes, and then the fox came and lay down in front of the royal court and nodded off into a doze. The King spoke aloud and asked him as to what

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