Page:Deccan Nursery Tales.djvu/129

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THE LAMPS IN THE KING'S PALACE

in his town of Atpat come and settle on its branches. One lamp after another told what was happening in its house—when there had been a dinner party, what there had been to eat, who had been invited, how they themselves had been cared for, and what honours they had received on Divali Day. After all the other lamps had told their story, the big lamp from the king's palace began, "Brother lamps, I do not know how to tell you. For none among you is so wretched as I am. In former years I was the most fortunate of all the lamps in Atpat. No other lamp had such honours paid it as I had, and this year I have to drag out my days in unspeakable misery." All the other lamps tried to comfort it, and asked it how it was that ill-fortune had overtaken it. "O brother lamps, how can I tell you?" repeated

the big lamp. "I am the chief among the lamps that shine in the palace of the King of Atpat. One day the king's little daughter-in-law ate some sweetmeats and to save herself blamed the mice. To revenge themselves, they in turn brought a false charge against her by putting her bodice on the bed of one of the king's guests. So she was disgraced and

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