Collectanea. 4 1 7
Folk Tales from MALAnAR.
1. The Pupils of the Guru.— There was a Guru, or spiritual adviser, who had five silly pupils. When he became too old to travel about with them they clubbed together and raised five pagodas ^ to buy him a horse. Two of them were sent to purchase the animal, and as they were passing a field of pumpkins they asked a man working there what they were. " Mares' eggs," said he. So they bought a pumpkin for three pagodas, planning to make the Guru hatch it out, and tlius save two pagodas. Soon after, the man who was carrying it slipped and the pumpkin was smashed in pieces, and part of it rolled into a bush close by, whence out jumped a hare. " Well," said one worthy to the other, "it is just as well it ran away wliile it was so young. What would have ha])pened if it had grown to be a big horse." [A satire on Brahmans common throughout India.]
2. The Revival of the Brahman Girl. — Three Brahman youths loved a girl of their caste, but she died. Then one of them, after she was cremated, rolled in her ashes; the second took some of her remains into the Ganges ; the third kept a piece of her bones. The last went on his travels, and, coming to the house of a Brah- man, asked for food. It so happened that there was plenty of water and rice, but no firewood. So the host took his little son, chopped him in pieces, and used him as firewood to cook the meal. After dinner the father collected all the ashes, and bringing out a book recited a charm, when the boy jumped up alive and well. Seeing the virtues of the charm, the youth stole the book and went off to the place where the girl had died. He recited the charm and brought her to life. Then a dispute arose between the three youths who was to have her. A caste council was held to decide the dispute. It was held that he who had taken her ashes to the Ganges could not have her, because he had performed her obsequies, and was therefore her son. He who had given her life could not have her because he was to her as a father. So she fell to the third, who had only rolled in her ashes.
^ A coin worth about 3^ rupees. 2 D