Indian fairy tales

Indian fairy tales

The Snake-Woman and King Ali Mardan

Once upon a time King Ali Mardan went out a-hunting, and as he hunted in the forest above the beautiful Dal lake, which stretches clear and placid between the mountains and the royal town of Srinagar, he came suddenly on a maiden, lovely as a flower, who, seated beneath a…

Indian fairy tales

The Son of Seven Mothers

Once upon a time there lived a King who had seven wives, but no children. This was a great grief to him, especially when he remembered that on his death there would be no heir to inherit the kingdom. Now, one day, a poor old fakîr or religious devotee, came…

Indian fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Son of Seven Queens

Once upon a time there lived a King who had seven Queens, but no children. This was a great grief to him, especially when he remembered that on his death there would be no heir to inherit the kingdom. Now it happened one day that a poor old fakir came…

Indian fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Soothsayer’s Son

A soothsayer when on his deathbed wrote out the horoscope of his second son, whose name was Gangazara, and bequeathed it to him as his only property, leaving the whole of his estate to his eldest son. The second son thought over the horoscope, and said to himself: “Alas! am…

Indian fairy tales

The Sparrow and the Crow

A sparrow and a crow once agreed to have khichrî for dinner. So the Sparrow brought rice, and the Crow brought lentils, and the Sparrow was cook, and when the khichrî was ready, the Crow stood by to claim his share. ‘Who ever heard of any one sitting down to dinner so…

Indian fairy tales

The Story of Appayya

In a remote village there lived a poor Brâhmaṇ and his wife. Though several years of their wedded life had passed, they unfortunately had no children, and so, being very eager for a child, and having no hope of one by his first wife, the poor Brâhmaṇ made up his…

Indian fairy tales

The Story of Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl

Chapter I This is the story of four creatures, none of whom loved each other, who lived in the same banyan tree in a forest in India. Banyan trees are very beautiful and very useful, and get their name from the fact that “banians,” as merchants are called in India,…

Indian fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

The Talkative Tortoise

The future Buddha was once born in a minister’s family, when Brahma- datta was reigning in Benares; and when he grew up, he became the king’s adviser in things temporal and spiritual. Now this king was very talkative; while he was speaking, others had no opportunity for a word. And…

Indian fairy tales

The Talking Turtle

A great many years ago there was a king who talked too much. His name was Badahur, and from his beautiful palace he ruled many millions of people. There was also a turtle who was even fonder of talking than the King, and he lived in a pond in the…

Indian fairy tales

The Three Calamities

From that time these four young men became the confidential advisers of king Alakesa in all important affairs of state, and, as night is the house of sins, they in turn kept a regular watch in the city of Alakapuri, each patrolling the streets during three hours of the night.…

Indian fairy tales

The Three Deaf Men

When any awkward blunder occurs from a person acting under a mistaken notion, there is a common proverb in Tamil to the effect that the matter ended like the story of the three deaf men—(Muchcheviḍan kadaiyây muḍindadu). The following is the story told to explain the allusion:— In a remote…

Indian fairy tales

The Two Brothers

Once upon a time there lived a King who had two young sons; they were good boys, and sat in school learning all that kings’ sons ought to know. But while they were still learning, the Queen their mother died, and their father the King shortly after married again. Of…

Indian fairy tales

The Wise Jackal

Once there were two princesses whose father, the Rajah, was too busy with affairs of state to look after them. They were lonely and neglected, for they had a stepmother who treated them very cruelly. They lived in a beautiful palace, but nothing was done to make them happy or…

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