Deccan Nursery Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Deccan Nursery Tales.
one way to help them.  You must worship the seven sages who have their home in the Great Bear.” [20] And he told the Brahman’s son the ceremonies which he should observe, and how he should worship the seven sages continually every month of Bhadrapad, or September, for seven years.  The Brahman’s son obeyed the rishi, and at the end of the seven years a fiery chariot came down from heaven.  The bullock suddenly became a handsome man, and the dog became a handsome woman.  They both seated themselves in the chariot and were carried off to live with the sages who have their home for ever in the Great Bear.

CHAPTER XVII

The King and the Water-Goddesses

Once upon a time there was a town called Atpat.  Over it there ruled a king.  One day he founded a new village, and close by he built a village tank.  But no matter how hard he tried he could not get it filled with water.  So he prayed to the water-goddesses to help him, and the water-goddesses were pleased and said, “O King, O King, sacrifice to us the eldest son of your daughter-in-law, and the tank will fill with water.”  The king heard it and went home very troubled.  He was ready to sacrifice his grandson; for though he loved the boy, yet he knew that the life of one was less than the welfare of many.  But he knew that his daughter-in-law would never agree.  At last he thought of a trick.  He went up to her and said, “Daughter-in-law, it is a long time since you went to see your parents.  You had better go and pay them a visit and leave your eldest boy behind.  I shall look after him here.”  The daughter-in-law consented and went to visit her parents, leaving her son behind.  The king waited for a favourable day and then bathed and anointed his grandson.  He gave a feast in his honour and covered his body with costly jewelry.  He then took him into the middle of the pond and made him lie down on a bed and told him not to stir.  The water-goddesses were pleased, and a great mass of water suddenly rushed into the tank, and it was filled right up to the brink.  After a time the daughter-in-law came back from her father’s house and brought her brother with her.  They asked where her son was, but they could get no information.  Whenever they asked the king, he did nothing but say how the water had come into the tank, and what a beautiful tank it was, and how happy it would make all the villagers.  At last the daughter-in-law guessed what had happened, and when the seventh day of the bright half of the month of Shravan, or August, came round, she and her brother went to the edge of the tank and began to worship the water-goddesses.  She took a cucumber leaf, and on it she placed some curds and rice.  Next she mixed with them some butter and a farthing’s worth of betel-nut.  Then she told her brother to pray, “O Goddess, Mother of All, if any one of our family is drowned in the tank please give him back to us.”  He did so and then threw the

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Deccan Nursery Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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