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Deccan Nursery Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Deccan Nursery Tales.
Soma then took leave to go, and started on her homeward journey.  When she reached the seashore, the wind was blowing, and the great waves came rolling in, and the spray was splashing over the rocks.  But now that she had given away all her merit to Gunvanti, she had none left by means of which she could jump across the seven seas.  She sat down forlorn by the bank of a river.  Then she got up, bathed in the water, and prayed to the god Vishnu.  Next she took one hundred and eight sand-grains in her hand, and then walked one hundred and eight times round a peepul tree by the river’s edge.  Instantly her powers returned to her, and going back to the shore, she sprang into the heavens and over the seven seas and alighted close to her own door.  There all her little daughters-in-law ran out to meet her and cried, “O Mother-in-law, Mother-in-law, we have been watching for you.  For while you were away your sons, your husband, and all your sons-in-law died.  But just as you told us to do, we did not burn their corpses, but kept them in the house.  And now they have all suddenly come back to life.”  Soma questioned the little daughters-in-law and learnt that her sons and husband and sons-in-law had all died at the very moment when she gave her merit to Gunvanti, and that they had come back to life precisely when she finished her one-hundred-and-eighth turn round the peepul tree.  And they were all so glad to have Soma back with them again, and for ever such a long time afterwards she and her family lived happily together.  And the Brahman in his joy at his son-in-law’s recovery forgave his disobedient sons, and they too all lived happily together ever afterwards.

CHAPTER XIII

Vasishta and the Four Queens

Once upon a time there was a town called Atpat.  In it there ruled a king who had four wives.  They were always quarrelling over the housework; so, in order to get some peace at home, the king himself divided the work between them.  To the first queen he gave all the dairy work, to the second queen he gave all the cooking, to the third he gave the nursery, and he ordered the fourth to look after the royal wardrobe.  At first all went well.  But in a little while the first queen said to the third queen, “Why should you have charge of the nursery?  Why should you not work in the dairy?” The second queen said to the fourth queen, “Why should I have to do all the cooking?” The third queen asked, “Why should I have always to look after the children?” And the fourth queen stamped her foot and said, “I won’t look after the king’s clothes.”  And all day long they quarrelled and screamed at each other, and the poor king was more uncomfortable than ever.  His face grew sad and careworn, and, from the time he got up to the time he went to bed, he could think of nothing but the way that his four queens were squabbling with each other.

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