Deccan Nursery Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Deccan Nursery Tales.
their bed.  She also told him that the god Shiva had turned the food into gold and jewels.  “Then when you asked me,” she went on, “I felt so frightened that I said they were presents from my father and mother and the rest of my family.  And when you made me take you to my father’s house, I prayed the god Shiva to create, if only for half an hour, a house for my father on the sandy island in the dry river-bed.  And he graciously granted my request.”  Then the husband forgave the naughty little wife.  And she became quite good and never told him any more stories.  And they both went home and lived happily ever afterwards.

CHAPTER IX

Nagoba, the Snake-King

Once upon a time there was a town called Atpat.  In it there lived a Brahman who had seven little daughters-in-law.  In the fulness of time the month of Shravan came and with it Nagpanchmi Day [12].  In honour of the festival, one little daughter-in-law went to her grandpapa’s house, another went to her great grandpapa’s house, another went to her father’s house, until at last only the youngest daughter-in-law remained behind.  Her father and mother were dead, and she had no uncles and no aunts and no little brothers or sisters.  So the poor little daughter-in-law felt very sad and sat down and cried in a corner.  Then she remembered that it was Nagpanchmi Day, and that it was a festival in honour of Nagoba, the great snake-king.  So she prayed under her breath, “Please, please, snake-king, come and pretend that you have been sent to fetch me to my father’s house!” And the great snake-king heard the prayer and felt quite sorry for the poor little daughter-in-law who was crying in the corner.  He assumed the guise of a Brahman and came to the house where the little daughter-in-law was, and said that he had been sent to fetch her to her father’s house.  Her father-in-law was very much astonished.  For he wondered why, if the new-comer really was a relative of the little daughter-in-law, he had never paid him a visit before.  At last he asked the little daughter-in-law who the new-comer was.  She did not know in the least.  But she was so overjoyed that some one should have come for her that she at once answered, “He is my mother’s brother.”  Her father-in-law believed her and sent her off in the care of Nagoba, the snake-king.  Still disguised as a Brahman, he took her to the entrance of his underground palace and there he told her who he was.  He then reassumed his true appearance, and, expanding the mighty hood behind his head, he seated the little girl on it and took her down to his splendid dwelling-house beneath the earth.  In the central hall he presented her to the snake-queen and to all the snake-princes, and told them that in no circumstances whatever were they to bite the little daughter-in-law.

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Deccan Nursery Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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