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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Deccan Nursery Tales.
the attendants who wait on Durga, the Goddess of Death, or else her children would be snatched from her again.  And they told her to pray her hardest, for her prayer had to travel down to the depths of Hell.  So the Brahman woman prayed her hardest to the sixty-four Yoginis, and then she prostrated herself before the serpent-maidens from Patala, and the wood-nymphs, and their train of demon Asuras.  And then she took the little one-year-old boy on her hip, and the newly-born baby boy in her arms, and she walked with her other five sons to the village.  When the villagers saw her coming they ran and said to the Brahman, “Bhatji, Bhatji, your daughter-in-law is coming back home.”  And the Brahman became very angry and vowed that he would drive her away again.  So he watched for her coming.  But first of all he saw walking towards his house a little boy of six, and then a little boy of five, and then a little boy of four, and then two other little boys of three and two.  Last of all he saw his daughter-in-law with a one-year-old boy on her hip and a newly-born baby in her arms.  He rose and fetched a cauldron of water and two handfuls of rice from his house.  And he waved his hands filled with rice round the heads of his daughter-in-law and of all her children, and last of all he washed their feet.  In this way he welcomed back to his house his grandchildren and their mother.  And he made her tell him all her story; and she, and her children, and the Brahman spent the rest of their lives in great peace and perfect happiness.

CHAPTER XX

The Golden Temple

Once upon a time there was a town called Atpat.  In it there reigned a king who had four daughters-in-law.  He loved three of them very dearly, but the fourth, who was an ugly little girl, he did not like at all.  To the three daughters-in-law he gave nice food and fine clothes.  But to the ugly little daughter-in-law he gave nothing but scraps from his table and thick, coarse clothes to wear.  He would not even let her sleep inside the house, but made her sleep in the stable and look after the cows.  The poor ugly daughter-in-law grew so unhappy that, when the first Monday in Shravan [26] came, she ran out of the palace, and out of the town, and then away as fast as her fat little legs would carry her.  At last she went and hid herself in the woods.  Now it so happened that that very day a band of serpent-maidens [27] had come up from Patala.  After wandering through the forest and bathing in the running streams, they had joined a bevy of wood-nymphs and were coming in her direction.  At first she was too terrified to say a single word.  But at last she asked, “Ladies, ladies, where are you going?” “To the temple of Shiva,” they replied, “to worship the god.  For by doing that, one wins the love of one’s husband, one obtains children, and one comes by the wish of one’s heart.”  When the ugly daughter-in-law heard that by doing what the serpent-maidens and the wood-nymphs

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