Folklore of the Santal Parganas | Annotated Tale

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Chote and Mote

ONCE upon a time there were two brothers Chote and Mote; they were poor but very industrious and they got tired of working as hired labourers in their own village so they decided to try their luck elsewhere. They went to a distant village and Chote took service with an oilman and Mote with a potter on a yearly agreement. Chote had to drive the oil mill in the morning and then after having his dinner to feed the mill bullock and take it out to graze. But the bullock having had a good meal of oilcake would not settle down to graze alone but kept running after all the herds of cattle it saw, and Chote had to spend his whole time running after it till he was worn out and he was very soon sorry that he had taken up such hard service; and was quite resolved not to stay on after his year was up.

               Mote was no better off; the potter overworked him, making him carry water and dig earth from morn to night and for all he did he got nothing but abuse.

               One day the brothers, met and Mote asked Chote how he was getting on. Chote answered "Oh I have got a capital place; all the morning I sit at my ease on the oil mill, then I have a good dinner and take the bullock out to graze and as it has had a good meal of oilcake it lies down without giving any trouble and I sit in the shade and enjoy myself." Then Mote said "I am pretty lucky too. I have to fetch three or four pots of water, then I have my dinner and a rest and then I have to dig earth and knead it. Still I cannot say that I have so little work as you; will you change with me for three or four days, so that I may have a rest?"

               Chote gladly agreed and each brother thought that he had got the better of the other. In the morning while Mote was driving the oil mill he was very pleased with his new job and when he had to take the bullock out to graze he took a bedstead with him to lie on. But directly the bullock got outside the village it rushed off bellowing towards some other cattle and Mote had to run after it with his bedstead on his head, and all the afternoon the bullock kept him running about till he was worn out.

               Meanwhile Chote was no better off; his unaccustomed shoulders were quite bruised with constantly carrying water. At the potter's house was a custard apple tree and it was believed that there was money buried at the foot of the tree; so as Chote was a stranger, the potter told him to water the earth by the tree to soften it, as it was to be used for pottery. Chote softened the earth and dug it and as he dug he uncovered pots of rupees; so he covered them up again and dug the earth elsewhere. And at evening he went and proposed to Mote to run away with the money. So at midnight, they went and dug it up and ran off home. As they were not pursued, they felt safe after a month or two, so they spent the money in buying land and cattle, and their cultivation prospered, and they became quickly rich.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Chote and Mote
Tale Author/Editor: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Book Title: Folklore of the Santal Parganas
Book Author/Editor: Bompas, Cecil Henry
Publisher: David Nutt
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1909
Country of Origin: India
Classification: unclassified

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