Indian fairy tales

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksIndian fairy tales

The Foolish Weaver

Once a weaver, who was in want of work, took service with a certain farmer as a shepherd. The farmer, knowing that the man was very slow-witted, gave him most careful instructions as to everything that he was to do. Finally he said: ‘If a wolf or any wild animal…

Indian fairy tales

The Four Brothers

In the very heart of the jungle there stood a very old tree. It was older than any other tree there and had seen many wonderful things. It was very wise, too, and knew many secrets. Every spring it put out fresh green leaves and lovely white blossoms, but one…

Indian fairy tales

The Gardener’s Cunning Wife

In a certain village there lived with his wife a poor gardener who cultivated greens in a small patch in the backyard of his house. They were in thirty little beds, half of which he would water every day. This occupied him from the fifth to the fifteenth ghaṭikâ. His…

Indian fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Gold-Giving Serpent

Now in a certain place there lived a Brahman named Haridatta. He was a farmer, but poor was the return his labour brought him. One day, at the end of the hot hours, the Brahman, overcome by the heat, lay down under the shadow of a tree to have a…

Indian fairy tales

The Good Husband and the Bad Wife

In a remote village there lived a Brâhmiṇ whose good nature and charitable disposition were proverbial. Equally proverbial also were the ill-nature and uncharitable disposition of the Brâhmaṇî—his wife. But as Paramêśvara (God) had joined them in matrimony, they had to live together as husband and wife, though their temperaments…

Indian fairy tales

The Grain of Corn

Once upon a time a farmer’s wife was winnowing corn, when a crow, flying past, swooped off with a grain from the winnowing basket and perched on a tree close by to eat it. The farmer’s wife, greatly enraged, flung a clod at the bird with so good an aim…

Indian fairy tales

The Hermit’s Daughter

Chapter I Near a town in India called Ikshumati, on a beautiful wide river, with trees belonging to a great forest near its banks, there dwelt a holy man named Mana Kanaka, who spent a great part of his life praying to God. He had lost his wife when his…

Indian fairy tales

The Honest but Rash Hunter

Second Part When the Second Minister’s watch was over, he went to inspect the guard at the royal bedchamber, and Alakesa hearing his footsteps inquired who was there. “Your servant, Bodhachandra, most royal lord,” was the reply. “Enter, Bodhachandra,” said the king; “I have somewhat to communicate to you.” Then…

Indian fairy tales

The Jackal and the Crocodile

Once upon a time, Mr. Jackal was trotting along gaily, when he caught sight of a wild plum-tree laden with fruit on the other side of a broad deep stream. He could not get across anyhow, so he just sat down on the bank, and looked at the ripe luscious…

Indian fairy tales

The Jackal and the Iguana

One moonlight night, a miserable, half-starved jackal, skulking through the village, found a worn-out pair of shoes in the gutter. They were too tough for him to eat, so, determined to make some use of them, he strung them to his ears like earrings, and, going down to the edge…

Indian fairy tales

The Jackal and the Partridge

A Jackal and a Partridge swore eternal friendship; but the Jackal was very exacting and jealous. ‘You don’t do half as much for me as I do for you,’ he used to say, ‘and yet you talk a great deal of your friendship. Now my idea of a friend is…

Indian fairy tales

The Jackal and the Pea-Hen

Once upon a time a Jackal and a Pea-hen swore eternal friendship. Every day they had their meals together, and spent hours in pleasant conversation. Now, one day, the Pea-hen had juicy plums for dinner, and the Jackal, for his part, had as juicy a young kid; so they enjoyed…

Indian fairy tales

The Jewelled Arrow

Chapter I In the city of Vardhamana in India there lived a powerful king named Vira-Bhuja, who, as was the custom in his native land, had many wives, each of whom had several sons. Of all his wives this king loved best the one named Guna-Vara, and of all his…

Indian fairy tales

The King of Crocodiles

Once upon a time a farmer went out to look at his fields by the side of the river, and found to his dismay that all his young green wheat had been trodden down, and nearly destroyed, by a number of crocodiles, which were lying lazily amid the crops like…

Indian fairy tales

The King Who Was Fried

Once upon a time, a very long time ago indeed, there lived a King who had made a vow never to eat bread or break his fast until he had given away a hundredweight of gold in charity. So, every day, before King Karan—for that was his name—had his breakfast,…

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