Folklore of the Santal Parganas | Annotated Tale

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Tiger’s Marriage, The

ONCE upon a time there lived a Raja who had one son and many daughters. One day the Raja went into the jungle to cut grass. He cut a great deal of grass and tied it up in a big bundle and then he found that he had cut so much that it was more than he could carry. As he was wondering what he should do a tiger came by that way and seeing the Raja in difficulties asked what he could do to help him. The Raja explained that he had cut a bundle of grass which was too heavy to carry. The tiger said that he would carry the grass if he were rewarded for it: the Raja asked him what reward he wanted. The tiger said that he wished for one of the Raja's daughters in marriage. The Raja reflected that he had many daughters and agreed to the proposition. Thereupon the grass was placed on the tiger's back and he carried it to the Raja's palace. Now the Raja was ashamed to give his daughter openly to the tiger so he told the tiger to wait by the water hole, and sending for one of his daughters bade her go and fetch water; the girl went to the water hole where the tiger was waiting and was carried off by the tiger. But the Raja's son missed his sister and went in search of her. After searching some time he came to a cave in the jungle and looking in he was the tiger finishing the remains of the girl whom he had killed. Then the Raja's son ran home as quickly as he could, and told the Raja what he had seen.

               The next day the tiger came openly to the Raja's palace and asked to see the Raja. He was taken to the Raja and treated politely. Then the tiger said to the Raja: "I am sorry to say that the wife whom you gave me has died, so you must give me another." [1] The Raja said he would think about the matter and invited the tiger to stay at the palace. So the tiger was given a good bed, and quickly went to sleep. In the night the Raja's son boiled some large vessels of water and poured the scalding water over the sleeping tiger and killed him. And in this way the tiger died.



[1] This is quite in accordance with Ho notions. If a man buys a wife there is an implied warranty that she is to last a reasonable time. If she dies shortly after marriage a sister or cousin has to be given to replace her.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Tiger’s Marriage, The
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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