Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/46

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34 The Voice of the Stone of Destiny.

sovereign. The two elder brothers made ready to attend the ceremony, but bade the youngest remain at home in the ashes, where his place was. However, he slipped out after them, and, for fear they would see him, crept into a pigsty that stood at the end of the town abutting on the meadow. The crown, passing over all the people present, sank down upon the pigstj-. Surprised and curious to know what this strange proceeding meant, the people ran to the pigsty, there found the trembling boy, and drawing him forth bowed the knee and saluted him as the new king, called by God to occupy the throne.^

In this Transylvanian m'drchen the crown is the instru- ment of divination. Going next to the dim and distant East we find other emblems of royalty thus represented. In the Jataka, the great book of Buddhist Birth-stories, the supposititious child of a merchant's wife of Maghada is the hero of a similar adventure. He is, however, no ordinary child but the Bodhisatta, the future Buddha in an earlier birth. He was called Banyan, from having been found under a banyan tree, where his own mother had forsaken him at his birth. Travelling with two faithful companions who had been born on the same day as himself, he came to Benares, and entering the royal park lay down upon a slab of stone with his two companions beside it. The previous night they had slept in the city under a tree at a temple. One of the youths had awakened at dawn and heard some cocks quarrelling in the branches. He listened, and learnt that whoever killed a certain one of these birds and ate of his fat would become king that very day, he who ate the middle flesh would become commander-in-chief, and he who ate the flesh about the bones would become treasurer. He killed the bird, gave the fat to Banyan, the middle flesh to his other friend, and gnawed the bones himself. Now the king of Benares was dead, and that day the festal car was going

' Ilaltrich, Deutsche Volksmiirchen aiis de/n SachscnlancU in Sicbcnbiirgen, 4th edition, Vienna, 1SS5, p. 195.