Folklore of the Santal Parganas | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Seven Tricks and Single Trick

SEVEN-Tricks and Single-Trick were great friends, but some one told Seven-Tricks that Single-Trick was the cleverer man of the two. Seven-Tricks pondered over this but felt sure that his very name showed that he was the cleverer; so one day he went to pay a visit to Single-Trick, and put the matter to the test When Single-Trick saw him coming, he called a pretty girl and hid her inside the house and told his wife to put the rice on to boil. Seven-Tricks arrived and was pressed to stay for the midday meal; he accepted and Single-Trick's wife brought them water to wash their hands and when they sat down, helped them to the rice.

               As they ate, Single-Trick pretended to get very angry and began to abuse his wife "You lazy slattern, why have you put no salt in the rice? I will beat you for this, I will beat you into a girl again." So saying he caught up a club and gave her a blow with it, and pushed her into the house and pretended to continue the beating inside; and then came out dragging with him the pretty girl whom he had hidden. When Seven-Tricks saw this transformation he made up his mind to steal the club, and try whether he could beat his own wife into a girl again. So when he went home he secretly took away the club, and the next day when his wife was giving him his dinner he pretended to get angry with her for not putting salt in the rice, and snatching up the club gave her a good pounding with it, and drove her into the house and then pulled her forth again; but to his dismay she did not look a day younger than before. Seven-Tricks was puzzled but could only opine that he had not beaten the woman hard enough, so he beat her till her bones cracked; but still there was no result and he had to give up in despair.

               After a time Seven-Tricks paid another visit to Single-Trick, and Single-Trick invited him to come hunting in the forest; before they started Single-Trick told his wife to go and buy a hare and keep it in the house. The two friends set off, and after a time they put up a hare; Single-Trick had brought with him his dog, which was a shocking coward and no good at hunting; when they saw the hare Single-Trick loosed the dog calling "After it, after it, drive it right home." And the coward of a dog, directly it was free, put its tail between its legs and ran straight home. "Come along home now; that is a splendid sporting dog, it is sure to have taken the hare home;" so saying Single-Trick set off back, and when they arrived he asked his wife whether the dog had brought home a hare. "Yes", said she, "I have put it in that room" and promptly produced the hare that she had bought. Seven-Tricks at once resolved to possess himself of a dog that brought the game home by itself, and the next night he came and stole it, and in the morning took it out hunting. He soon started a hare and loosed the dog after it; the dog ran straight away in the direction of the house, and Seven-Tricks followed at his leisure, and asked his wife where the dog had put the hare. "Hare," said she "there is no hare, the dog came running back alone." "Perhaps I was too slow and gave him time to eat the hare," thought Seven-Tricks; so he took it out again and when he loosed it after a hare, he ran after it as fast as he could to see what it did. Everyone laughed to see the hunter chasing his dog, instead of his game. When he got to the house of course there was no hare, and so he gave up trying to hunt.

               Another day he paid a visit to Single-Trick and Single-Trick asked him to come out fishing. Before they started Single-Trick told his wife to buy some live codgo fish and keep them ready in the house. When they came to a pool, Single-Trick at once let down his line and soon got a bite from a codgo fish; as he pulled it out he threw it, rod and all, behind him in the direction of his home and said to Seven-Tricks "Come along home, I expect that all the fish in the pool will have reached home by now," Directly they got to the house Single-Trick asked his wife whether the fish had come. "Yes", said she, "I have put them all in this basket" and brought out a basket of live codgo fish. Seven-Tricks at once made up his mind to steal the wonderful fishingrod, so he came back that evening and managed to abstract it, and next morning went fishing with it. Directly he had caught a codgo fish, he threw it over his shoulder and went off home and asked whether the fish had arrived, but he only got laughed at for his folly. Then he was convinced that Single-Trick was more than a match for him, and he would have nothing more to do with him.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Seven Tricks and Single Trick
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

Back to Top