Folk-Lore/Volume 31/The Six Simpletons and Other Stories
|←Folk-Lore in the Old Testament|| Folk-Lore, Volume XXXI (1920)
The Six Simpletons and Other Stories
by James Drummond Anderson
The Six Simpletons and Other Stories.
(Folk-lore, vol. xxxi. p. 77.)
Sir George Grierson’s note on the travels of “The Prince that Didn’t Exist,” reminds me of another familiar tale found in regions far distant from one another. Miss Sītā Devī has recently published, in the Bengali language, a delightful little volume of folk-tales entitled Nireṭ Gurur Kahinī, composed chiefly of the misfortunes which befel a simpleton Brāhman called Nireṭ and his five disciples, as silly as himself, known by the significant names of Ākāṭ, Hābā, Hādā, Bokā and Ahmak. This legend Miss Sītā has borrowed from The Adventures of the Gooroo Noodle, by Benjamin Barrington, I.C.S., itself copied from the eighteenth century version of the Rev. P. Vesci, in the Tamil language, published under the title of Guru Para mārttan. Now it happens that about 1886 I was told this same story in the Boḍo or Kachārī language in Assam by a Kachārī friend of mine called Samson, with some variations. No doubt the story is found all over India, but that it should be common to Hindu Trichinopoli and to the non-Hindu Kachārī dwārs is surprising.