Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/538

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500 Reviews.

of whom, owing to an imaginary slight, conceives a grudge against her lord, and subsequently when re-born as the favourite wife of a king, pretends to be sick, and says that she has seen in a dream a six-tusked elephant, whose ivory must be secured for her if she is to recover her strength. At last a bold hunter slays the beast, and when the queen receives the tusks she dies of a broken heart.

In No. 518 (p. 42) we have a curious snake-story. The bird-king, Garuda, enemy of the snakes, finds that his people are now unable to catch them. So he goes to an ascetic, who treacherously worms out of the snake-king the method by which his subjects have hitherto escaped. "When they attack us," he says, " why in the world do they seize us by the head ? If the foolish creatures should seize us by the tail and hold us head downwards, they could force us to disgorge the stones which we have swallowed, and so, making us a lighter weight, they could carry us off with them." The ascetic betrays the secret, and Garuda by this means overcomes the snake-king, but in pity releases him, and justice is satisfied by the result of the curse of the snake upon the ascetic, who is swallowed up by the earth to be re-born in hell.

In No. 519 (p. 48) we have a tale of the Griselda type. A king is afflicted with leprosy and retires to a forest. His faithful wife tends him, is pursued by an ogre, and rescued by the Buddha. Her husband, without reason, suspects her virtue, returns when healed of his disease to rule his kingdom, and neglects his wife. Finally he is brought to a sense of his misconduct by the remonstrances of his father, begs for her for- giveness, and restores her to honour.

In No. 531 (p. 141) we have an echo of "Beauty and the Beast." The Beast, a king's son, ill-favoured but supernaturally wise, says he will marry only that princess who exactly resembles an image which he himself has made; he makes another con- dition, that the bride is not to look on the face of her husband by daylight until she has conceived — a taboo of which other instances might be furnished. When she accidentally discovers how ugly her husband is she leaves him and returns to her father. The prince tries many means to regain her affection, but in vain.