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forms lie at the root of the great epic poems of all the Aryan nations, some of them are specimens of ready wit, repartee, and humour on ordinary matters, which surpass anything to be found in the Arabian Nights,' and may be fairly compared with the Greek battle of the “Frogs and the Mice.' Like the latter, the best of these stories have beasts for the actors. Miss Frere remarks that in them the jackal usually overcomes every difficulty, and proves a bright moral example of the success of wit against brute force, the triumph of mind over matter.' In Tit for Tat the honesty of the camel is more than a match for the cunning of the jackal, who, having invited him to carry him across a stream, feasts on crabs and fish-bones by the riverside, and then by his yelping and howling brings the villagers down on the camel while he is quietly eating the sugar - canes. The poor brute is severely handled, but when the jackal is again on his back in the stream, the camel, upbraiding him for his conduct, asks him why he had made such a noise
6" I don't know,” said the jackal. “It is a custom I have. I always like to sing a little after dinner.”
· The camel waded on through the river. The water reached up to his knees,—then above them-up, up, up, higher and higher, until he was obliged to swim. Then turning to the jackal, he said, “I feel very anxious to roll.” “Oh, pray don't. Why do you wish to do so ?” asked the jackal. “I don't know," answered the camel. " It is a custom I have. I always like to have a little roll after dinner.” So saying, he rolled over in the water, shaking the jackal off as he did so. And the jackal was drowned, but the camel swam safely ashore.'
The camel deserved bis triumph. The alligator, who is an evil beast, does not get off so easily. A
jackal, putting his paw into the water to catch up a crab, finds it seized by an alligator, who stupidly lets it go when the jackal cries out in a cheerful voice, · Clever Alligator, to catch hold of a bulrush root instead of
my paw ! Seeing himself outwitted, he resolves to be wiser next time. Next day the jackal, fearing that the alligator may be hidden beneath the water, calls out Whenever I go to look for my dinner, I see the nice little crabs peeping up through the mud; then I catch and eat them. I wish I could
one now.' The alligator at once shows the top of his snout, thinking that it would be mistaken for a crab, and immediately the jackal, bidding him farewell, goes to fish elsewhere. The next day the jackal again stands on the bank, and cries out that he can see not a single crab, adding that generally, even
" when they are under water, one can see them going bubble, bubble, bubble, and all the little bubbles go pop! pop! pop!' The alligator, trying to make crab’s bubbles and churning the water for yards round, is foiled the third time, and determines to lie in wait for his prey on land. A heap of figs is his place of ambush. The jackal is tempted, but cautiously exclaims that the figs cannot be good because the wind does not stir them.
The alligator, trying to imitate the effects of the breeze, is again betrayed, and makes up his mind to carry the war into his enemy's den. The jackal, returning from a foraging expedition, calls out at the entrance, “Little house, pretty house, my sweet little house, why do you not give an answer when I call? If I come and all is safe and right, you always call out to me.
Is anything wrong that you do not speak? The alligator, cooing not quite so gently
as a dove, answers, "Sweet little jackal.' With infinite readiness the creature replies, Thank you, my dear little house, I am coming in a minute, but first I must get firewood to cook my dinner;' and while the alligator waits to snap up the jackal when he enters the den, he is smothered by the fire, as the conqueror sings his triumphal song outside.
In the Valiant Chattee- Maker' we have a story clearly of the same parentage with the Valiant Little Tailor' in Grimm's 'Kinder- und Haus-Märchen;' but the Hindoo tale seems decidedly the cleverer of the two. In both ere accident tends to the exaltation of the hero; but in the German story, the tailor merely strikes down seven flies with a cloth, and exulting at his feat, resolves to go forth into the world, with the words "Seven at one blow' written on his belt, and the awful inscription imposes on everyone whom he comes across. He is in short a mere boaster; but the Deccan chattee-maker really does wonders, although he has no thought of doing them, and remains as meek and humble as he was before. Somewhat flustered with toddy, he sees by a flash of lightning a beast crouching under the wall of a hut for shelter from the rain, and mistakes it for his donkey, which had strayed. It is a tiger; but the brute has been already frightened by noises within the hut, caused by the constant moving of furniture from one place to another, and the loud complaints of a woman who exclaims against the perpetual dripping,' which must end by bringing the roof down. Assailed with furious blows by the angry chattee-maker, the tiger thinks that he must be in the gripe of the perpetual dripping, and makes no resistance while his rider with vehement kicks and cuffs
forces him home, where he ties his head and feet firmly to a post, and then goes to bed.
Next morning, when the chattee-maker's wife got up and looked out of window, what should she see but a great big tiger tied up in front of their house to the post to which they usually fastened their donkey: she was very much surprised, and running to her husband, awoke him, saying, “Do you know what animal you fetched home last night?” “Yes; the donkey, to be sure,” he answered. "Come and see,” said she; and she showed him the great tiger fastened to the post. The chattee - maker at this was no less astonished than his wife, and felt himself all over to find if the tiger had not wounded him: but no, there he was safe and sound, and there was the tiger tied to the post just as he had fastened it up the night before.
The news soon found its way to the palace, and the rajah with all his court came to see the tiger and his captor. The beast was recognised as
one which had long been the terror of all the country round, and the chattee - maker was made the commander of ten thousand horse. Just at this time came tidings that an overwhelming enemy was about to cross the borders, and not a general could be found to face them. "Why not make the chattee-maker commander-in-chief ?' they suggested. The appointment was made, but the chattee-maker begged leave first to go alone and reconnoitre. He had thus at the least gained breathing-time, for as he confessed to his wife the office of commanderin-chief was by no means an easy one for a man who had never been on a horse in his life. But while he was thinking of mounting a particularly quiet pony, a magnificent charger, sent from the rajah, galloped up and stood at his door. There was no help for it but to have himself tied on, after he had at length succeeded in mounting. "Wife, wife, you forgot to tie my
hands,' cried the chattee-maker, as the horse, puzzled to know what he had on his back, began kicking and plunging, and then set off across the country. Never mind, was the reply, hold on by the mane;' and away went the chattee-maker on a ride. as memorable as that of John Gilpin. Right towards the enemy's camp flew the horse, and the rider liked the prospect as little as Gilpin liked the idea of a leap over turnpike gate. In his desperation he seized a young banyan-tree as he passed, hoping that the ropes might break and thus he might come to the grouud. But the tree gave way instead of the ropes, and trunk in hand away he went, striking into the enemy, who now saw him coming, a terror not less than that with which Polyphemos filled the comrades of Odysseus. They could fight, they said, against men like themselves, but not against giants who tore up trees as they rode. At once they ily, leaving everything behind them; and when the tired horse at length reaches the camp and stands still, the ropes break and his rider falls to the ground. The chattee-maker finds in the king's tent a letter of abject submission, and with this prize he returns home, leading the horse which he dares not remount. On reaching home he bids his wife send the horse and the letter to the rajah. He will see by the horse looking so tired what a long ride I've had; and if he is sent on beforehand, I shall not be obliged to ride him up to the palace door to-morrow morning, as I otherwise should, and that would be very tiresome, for most likely I should tumble off.' Still higher dignities and more abundant wealth were of course bestowed on a man who showed himself as modest as he was brave.