Deccan Nursery Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Deccan Nursery Tales.
son-in-law more and more.  But for him, as she thought, the little girl would never have married and would not have stolen the lid of the sacred casket.  One day the wife met her son-in-law on the road, and she gave him such a fearful slap in the face that he instantly fell on the ground and became a corpse again.  His mother-in-law then-snatched from him the lid of the casket, which he happened to have in his hand, and ran away home.  There he lay until the little girl, his wife, began to search for him.  When she found him she prayed to the goddess, and by her aid and by means of the merit which she had acquired by worshipping the lid of the casket while she had it, she restored her husband to life.  But the twin and his wife went on becoming poorer and poorer.  And at last they went back to his brother’s house and asked him why it was that the younger twin was always losing his wealth as fast as he gained it.  The elder brother listened to the whole story and then he said, “I do not wonder at it.  First you lost the lid of the casket, then, in order to get it back, your wife killed a Brahman.  Your only chance now is to worship Parwati harder than ever, and perhaps in the end you may recover your good estate.”  So the younger brother went home and worshipped Parwati with greater vigour than ever.  And at last she relented and gave him her blessing.  He recovered his wealth and came by all that his heart desired.  And he and his wife lived happily ever afterwards.

CHAPTER XIX

The Brahman Wife and Her Seven Sons

Once upon a time there was a town called Atpat.  In it there lived a poor Brahman who used always to perform Shradh or memorial ceremonies to his father on the last day of the month of Shravan.  When performing these ceremonies he always invited other Brahmans to dine.  But it so happened that on every last day of the month of Shravan, [22] from the day of his father’s death onwards, his daughter-in-law gave birth to a little boy.  And just as the Brahmans had begun to enjoy their dinner, the child would die.  So all the Shradh ceremonies had to cease, and the poor Brahmans had to be sent away feeling most dreadfully hungry.  This happened regularly for six years.  But, when the seventh little boy was born only to die just as his guests were beginning to enjoy their dinner, the poor Brahman lost all patience.  He took the newly-born child and placed it in his daughter-in-law’s lap and then drove her out of the house and into the jungle.  The poor woman walked along until she came to a great, dark forest.  In it she met the wife of a hobgoblin, [23] who asked, “Lady, Lady, whose wife are you, and why do you come here?  Run away as quickly as you can.  For, if my husband the hobgoblin sees you, he will tear you to pieces and gobble you up.”  The poor woman said she was the daughter-in-law of a Brahman, and explained how every year she had given birth to a son on the

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Deccan Nursery Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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