Survey of the Incidents in Modern Indian Folk-Tales, A


EVERY tale must consist of two parts, the theme and its working up, for no story can be generally acceptable and so live until the bare bones of its plot are duly clothed with a padding of incident. Again, neither plot nor padding has any chance of survival in the struggle for existence alone, being essential to each other. Incidents, however interesting in themselves, are a mere confused jumble unless held acceptably together by a reasonable plot, and a plot unaccompanied by suitable incidents is a skeleton without flesh—a dead thing with which no one cares to have any concern. Therefore in examining a tale one meets with two distinct features more or less inseparably mixed up according to the skill of the narrator, but still distinct in history and origin, and capable of complete separation; for it is obvious that the padding of plot A, or at any rate parts of it, can be made to fit into plot B, and that this habitually occurs in actual practice no one who has any acquaintance with story-tellers will be inclined to deny. It is well known that wherever these congregate certain of them have a greater reputation than others, and the real meaning of this is that these individuals possess a greater natural aptitude than the rest for interchanging plot and padding, for serving up the same old dishes with fresh relishes as it were. To carry the argument further, it is clear that in any given tale, plot and incidents may well have a perfectly separable history, or rather the plot may have one history and the parts of the padding as many distinct histories as there are incidents.

Writing under correction and away from books, it would seem that the investigators of folk-tales have hitherto mainly confined themselves to the comparison of the themes or general machinery of the stories, and have only noticed the various incidents in a casual kind of way—have, in fact, assumed too much that the same theme is always worked out in the same manner. Now let us think out how a bright-witted village boy, famous for his tales, and rather tired of constantly repeating them, but still anxious to please his audience and proud of his skill, will proceed, remembering that in him is no spark of that scientific fervour that would preserve the tale intact for the sake of its history and analogies. He has stored away in his memory many a theme and many an incident, he has an imagination sufficiently brilliant to see where certain stock incidents that he wots of will come in effectively, and he has—what really gives him his superiority—the skill to attract the attention of his hearers to the various portions of his plot, as he develops it by means of ever-varying incidents, each suited to its place. The consequence is that as a matter of fact he does not always tack on the same incidents to the same plot every time he narrates it, and he is encouraged in varying the machinery of his narratives by the reputation that his skill in doing this gives him of having an inexhaustible repertory. The moral of this is that if one only compares tales as a whole one is investigating but half the subject, and, as will be shown below, the least important half.

It should be remembered that the narrator of folk-tales never writes—memory is his only guide aided by what imagination he possesses, and that the power of sustained mental effort is not to be expected in the uncultured. Now in framing the plot of a tale imagination comes prominently into play, and helped on by memory there is no sustained mental effort, but unless the incidents which imagination allows to crowd in on to the theme as it is developed are shaped almost entirely according to memory, the mental efforts of the story-teller become both sustained and severe. Consequently it will be found that the plots of folk-tales as actually told by village crones and children are much more liable to variation from the standard than are the incidents with which they are enriched and rendered acceptable. Consequently, also, since the incidents are more apt to retain their stock forms than the plots, they make up the most important portion of a tale from the investigator's point of view. However, as it would not do to ignore for this reason the comparison of themes, an analysis of the tales on the Folklore Society's plan has been added to this work, as well as a survey of the incidents occurring in it and in modern Indian folklore generally. One more point is worthy of remark here: a mere incident in a long tale is often the theme of a shorter one with incidents of its own, so that a tale may have incidents and sub-incidents, but for the practical purposes of investigation no distinction need be made between them.

Probably the best method of investigating the incidents of Indian folk-tales would be the historical plan of comparing those occurring in all the known collections of fixed eras: e.g. suppose separate compared collections were made of those now current, of those current in the middle ages, the Purânas, the Plays, and so on, of those current in earlier times as in the MahâbhârataRâmâyana, etc., and, lastly, of those in the earliest known Indian literature as the Jâtakas; would not thus be established data on which a conclusive history of the various notions could be based, and by which the first appearance of each would be detected? Of course, very great care would have to be exercised in ascertaining the true era to which any particular collection under investigation really belonged, especially when the oriental habits of imitating MSS. and of interpolation be considered. In all likelihood, as the life of a tale in any given form is a long one, four or five such eras would be sufficient for all practical purposes, and the object of the present survey is to make a commencement at collecting together under their various heads the incidents of the folk-tales told in our own times. It does not aim at being anything more than a commencement, and makes no pretensions to completeness, as only such books have been examined as profess to be collections of folk-tales, and no attempt has been made to collate the many tales scattered up and down modern books of travel and oriental research. However, it will be seen that what books have been examined have afforded data enough to enable a tentative grouping of the incidents under appropriate heads and subheads. Of course, before the method of investigation above shadowed forth can be systematically taken up, the question of what heads and sub-heads are the most appropriate for grouping will have to be definitely settled. The books now under examination are Wide-awake Stories, 1884 (W.A.S.), Indian Fairy Tales, 1880 (I.F.T.), Old Deccan Days, 3rd ed., 1881 (O.D.D.), Folktales of Bengal, 1883 (F.T.B.), Legends of the Punjâb, vol. i. 1883-84 (L.P.), and the tales from Bengal by the late Mr. Damant in the Indian Antiquary, 1872-78 (I.A.). It is to be regretted that Mr. Swynnerton's Râjâ Rasâlu, though advertised, is not in time to be included in the category. In this collection of books are found about 200 tales, all Aryan, and covering an immense tract of country, as it consists of tales told in Kashmîr and the Punjâb, in Oudh and the North-West Provinces, in Bengal and in Bombay. Our European readers should bear in mind the immense distances which separate these different parts of India, and their complete isolation from each other until quite recent times. It is barely forty years ago, and easily within the memory of living persons, since a Kashmîri meditating a journey even into the neighbouring Panjâb had the funeral ceremonies of his race performed over him, so small was his chance of returning home again. We are apt to look upon India, with the help especially of native 'reformers,' who speechify to us sheer nonsense about 'united India' and the 'Indian nation,' as one country, but to the natives Bombay, Bengal Proper, Oudh, the Punjâb, and even parts of these, are as different 'countries,' as France and England, and as Norway and Germany are to us Europeans. So that in comparing the tales of these collections we are investigating the common heritage of peoples who have now very little sympathy one with the other, and are obtaining a fair notion of what modern Indian Aryan folk-tales, as a whole, really are.

The incidents have been divided into four classes:—(I.) into those connected with the Actors; (II.) with the Progress of the tale; (III.) with the Means necessary to ensure the progress of the tale; and (IV.) Miscellaneous incidents. Each class is divided into major and minor heads and sub-heads. Thus, in Class I., Actors, the major heads are— (1) the stepmother, (2) saints and holy personages, (3) witches, (4) ogres, (5) calumniated persons, (6) substituted persons, (7) the son of seven mothers, (8) the sleeping beauty, (9) the egg hero, (10) minor actors, (11) the hero's companions, and (12) special points in the personal appearance of the heroine. Class II., Progress, is thus divided— (1) seeking fortune, (2) dreams, (3) the life-index, (4) tricks, (5) living in animals' bellies. In Class III. the major heads are— (1) deus ex machinâ(2) devices for summoning the absent, (3) forbidden things, (4) story-telling to explain the situation, (5) proofs of identity, (6) temporary death, (7) enchantments, (8) metamorphosis, (9) disguises, (10) invisibility, (11) the inexhaustible pot, (12) the snake-jewel(mani), (13) Solomon's judgment, (14) miraculous vehicle. Class IV., Miscellaneous, has the following divisions— (1)Miscellaneous points, (2) points in marriages, (3) modes of vengeance, (4) numbers. So that the four classes of incidents are divisible into 35 major heads.

But it is not until these 35 major heads are further divided into their minor and sub-heads, that the drift of the argument becomes clearly visible. Thus—

Class I., Actors: major head—(1) The stepmother, minor heads—(a) ill-treats her step-children; sub-heads—(i) sons, (ii) daughters, (iii) children: (b) miscellaneous: (c) falls in love with her stepson. (2) Saints and holy personages: (a)faqîrs; (b) celebrated miracles; (i) of Sakhî Sarwar, (ii) of Guggâ, (iii) of Nâmdev, (iv) of Dhannâ, the Bhagat (3) Witches: (a) powers: (b) appearance: (c) doings. (4) Ogres: (a) their attributes; (i) eating human flesh, (ii) power of metamorphosis, (iii) miscellaneous: (b) their doings; (i) ogress marries hero, (ii) ogre has possession of sleeping beauty, (iii) befriend human beings, (iv) do domestic service, (v) bring malicious charges, (vi) other malicious actions: (c) their death: (d) human beings suspected of being ogres; (i) consequences: (e) ogre varied as jinn. (5) Calumniated persons (a) persons who suffer: (b) special calumniators: (c) calumniated wife; (i) ill-treated daughter, (ii) Potiphar's wife. (6) Substituted persons: (a) persons who suffer: (b) persons or articles substituted: (c) miscellaneous exchanges. (7) The son of seven mothers. (8) (aSleeping beauty: (b) beauty: (c) sleeping hero. (9) (aEgg hero: (b) fruit hero. (10) Minor actors: (a) chief constable and his son: (b) fairies: (c) fates: (d) demons: (e) ghosts; (i) malignant female, (ii) friendly, (iii) malignant, (iv) attributes: (f) mannikin: (g) magicians: (h) vampires: (i) serpents (11) Companions of the hero: (a) human; (i) attributes: (b) non-human. (12) Special points in the personal appearance of the heroine: (a) complexion; (i) fair, (ii) white: (b) hair; (i) golden, (ii) black, (iii) very abundant: (c) eyes; (i) blue, (ii) brown, (iii) black.

Class II., Progress: (1) Seeking fortune: (a) (i) hero alone, (ii) metamorphosed: (b) hero and companions: (c) by companies: (d) variants (2) Dreams: (a) warning: (b) prophetic: (c) effects. (3) The life-index: (a) a bird: (b) an insect: (c) a plant: (d) a necklace: (e) other objects: (f) survival in a custom. (4) Tricks: (a) humorous; (i) bounce, (ii) biter bit, (iii) success by mere accident: (b) malicious; (i) of witch to kill hero, (ii) of heroine's enemies, (iii) pretended illness, (iv) impossible task, (v) letter to murder bearer, (vi) cheating, (vii) lies, (viii) miscellaneous: (c) to escape enemy: (d) to punish enemy. (5) (aLiving in animals' bellies: (b) extraordinary voracity: (c) extraordinary strength.

Class III., Means: (1) Deus ex machinâ: (a) a god; (i) a spirit: (b) a talking animal; (i) showing the way to fortune, (ii) warning of danger, (iii) other objects, (iv) explaining the situation, (v) aiding in reward for services rendered, (vi) the thorn in the tiger's foot, (vii) the thorn in the serpent's throat, (viii) punishing for refusal to help, (ix) aiding out of mere friendship: (c) a talking plant: (d) talking inanimate objects: (e) understanding animals' speech: (f) hair; (i) its miraculous powers: (g) a ship. (2) Devices for summoning the absent: (a) enchanted articles; (i) supernatural objects: (b) street crying; (i) answering a proclamation: (c) unintelligible request: (d) other devices. (3) Forbidden things: (a) cupboard; (i) room: (b) direction: (c) looking behind: (d) breach of silence. (4) Story-telling to explain the situation: (a) animals as narrators: (b) rectification of mistakes. (5) (aProofs of identity: (i) of hero, (ii) of heroine, (iii) of other persons: (b) signs of the coming hero. (6) Temporary death: (a) persons most affected: (b) long sleep: (c) methods of killing; (i) Lord of Death: (d) methods of restoration to life; (i) by effigy, (ii) by granting extension of life, (iii) by working through others, (iv) by miscellaneous means, (v) miraculous cures generally: (e) revivifying and healing powers of blood; (i) drops of blood becoming rubies: (f) restoration of beauty; (i) of eyesight. (7) Enchantments: (a) things; (i) palace: (b) creatures. (8) Metamorphosis: (a) of the dead; (i) metempsychosis, (ii) into inanimate objects: (b) of the deity; (i) avatâras or incarnations, (ii) into inanimate objects: (c) of superhuman personages; (i) ogres, (ii) angels, (iii) jinns, (iv) vampires, (v) mannikin, (vi) fairies, (vii) ghosts, (viii) Lord of Death, (ix) demons: (d) of living things; (i) one into another, (ii) into inanimate things: (e) of inanimate things, (i) one into another: (f) temporary metamorphosis; (i) change of skin, (ii) beauty and the beast, (iii) variants. (9) Disguises: (a) of hero: (b) of hero's companions: (c) of heroine: (d) of heroine's enemies: (e) of superhuman beings; (i) ogress (10) Invisibility: (a) invisible cap; (i) ring: (b) by other means: (c) natural invisibility. (11) Inexhaustible pot: (a) box: (b) melon: (c) basket: (d) shells: (e) leaf or platter: (f) branch: (g) bag: (h)bowl: (i)cow: (j)rice: (k) ring: (l)conch: (m)mat. (12) Snake-jewel: (a) in heroine: (b) moon and star hero. (13) Solomon's judgment. (14) Miraculous vehicle: (a) animals: (b) inanimate objects: (c) flying through the air: (d) charms.

Class IV., Miscellaneous: (1) Miscellaneous points: (a) the cat's nine lives: (b) alchemy: (c) dropping jewels: (d) being one-eyed: (e) symbolism: (f) the king chosen by the sacred elephant: (g) deserted city; (i) palace, (ii) land, (iii) garden: (h) choice: (i) riverside waif: (j) little slipper: (k) gambling extraordinary: (l) the evil eye: (m) human sacrifice: (n) wolf children: (o) bargain with animals: (p) delicate heroine; (i) five-flower princess, (ii) one-flower princess, (iii) delicate hero: (q) nostrum for procuring sons; (i) children granted by saints: (r) ordeal; (i) to prove chastity, (ii) to prove truth. (2) Points in marriages:(a) without ceremony: (b) postponement: (c) extraordinary: (d) condition of impossible task, (i) general impossibilities: (e) public choice or swayamvara. (3) Modes of vengeance: (a) on hero's enemies: (b) on heroine's enemies: (c) on murderers: (d) miscellaneous punishments. (4) Numbers: (a) one; (i) only children: (b) two: (c) three; (i) third, (ii) three days: (d) four: (e) five: (f) six; (i) half twelve: (g) seven; (ii) seventh: (h) nine: (i) twelve; (i) twelve years: (j) eighteen: (i) multiple of twelve: (k) twenty-four; (i) multiple of twelve: (l) miscellaneous; (i) nineteen, (ii) thirteen, (iii) eight, (iv) twenty-two, (v) twenty-one, (vi) fourteen, twice seven, (vii) thirty-six, (viii) sixteen, (ix) thirty-two: (m) large numbers; (i) one hundred and one, (ii) one thousand and one: (n) miscellaneous large numbers; (i) one thousand, (ii) one hundred and sixty, (iii) seventy, (iv) sixty, (v) three hundred and sixty, (vi) one hundred, (vii) fifty-two, (viii) eighty-four: (o) fractions—aliquot parts of five; (i) one and a quarter, (ii) two and a half, (iii) one and a half.

The above sub heads and minor heads number 304, so that the incidents in the collections under review may be divided in 4 classes with 35 major heads and 304 minor and sub-heads. It is not improbable that the incidents in folk-tales generally will fall under one or other of these, so that they very likely will not require much adding to as research proceeds. In the following pages the details on which the above grouping is based are given categorically, and every statement referred chapter and verse to the place whence they came.



(aIll-treats her stepchildren: (1) Sons: kills her stepson and gives his body as a dish to his father; hates her stepson older than herself (2) Daughters: gives up her stepdaughter to be married to the voracious fish, i.e. apparently to death; substitutes her own daughter for stepdaughter. (3) Children: pays a soldier to kill her stepchildren; demands their lives to cure her of imaginary disease. (O.D.D. 3, 197, 219, 220, 223.—I.F.T. 7-10.—F.T.B. 97.—W.A.S. 138.—I.A. IV., 261.)

(bMiscellaneous: is younger than elder stepson's wife, and so hates her. (F.T.B. 96.)

(cFalls in love with her stepson: and then ill-treats him. (L.P. 2.)


(aFaqîrs: are fed before breaking fast; grant sons to the barren; are magicians; can restore to life; can transform; grant sons and daughters; restore hands and feet that have been cut off; restore sight; have second sight; can destroy life; can turn a parched-up garden into a green one; can make fruit fresh at the wrong season; turn blood into water; are proved by miracles, handling a red-hot nail, turning sugar into ashes, ashes into sugar, clay bricks into gold, bringing the dead to life; eat human flesh: if the body of one be eaten by followers they will all obtain his powers. (I.F.T. 68, 227, 92 ff.—W.A.S. 282 ff., 290, 248, 267, 281, 47, 98, 247.—O.D.D. 8, 9, 15, 554.—I.A. I., 118, 171; IV., 57.—F.T.B. 1, 117, 187.—L.P. 3, 2, 74, 76, 77, 79, 97, 139, 142, 222, 233, 504.)

(bCelebrated miracles: (1) Of Sakhî Sarwar: restoring a dead child to life, restoring a dead horse to life, curing a camel's broken leg, making a blind man see, restoring a eunuch to full manhood, curing leprosy. (L.P. 81, 85, 213, 214, 215, 222, 223.) (2) Of Gurû Guggâ: speaking from his mother's womb. (L.P. 153, 157.) (3) Of Nâmdev: restoring a dead cow to life. (L.P. 80.) (4) Of Dhannâ the Bhagat: making the god come out of the stone (idol). (L.P. 80, 87 ff.)


(aPowers: can find anything on earth; can open the sky; can patch up the sky; possess second sight; can restore to life; can set fire to water; can turn stone into wax; can separate lovers; turns hero into a sheep, monkey. (W.A.S. 61 ff., 109.—L.P. 258, 259.—I.A. I., 117, 118.)

(bAppearance: old woman in trouble (see also metamorphosis); white hind with golden horns, is a queen. (W.A.S. 62, 100, 84.)

(cDoings: undertakes to find (and succeeds by tricks [variant, fails]) heroine for her enemy, gets possession of hero's life-index and kills him; demands the eyes of her lover's seven wives as the price of marriage, and when obtained gives them to her mother as a garland; attempts to destroy hero by letter of destruction. (W.A.S. 62 ff., 100 ff., 202 ff.—L.P. 259 ff.)


(aTheir attributes— (1) Eating flesh: ogress gorges animals raw; eats up her own husband and co-wife; eats up all the servants and animals, eats living things wholesale; requires a hundred times more food than human beings, gorges on live animals at night; to guard heroine swallows up her suitors; ogre eats carrion; feeds on human flesh; is of a gigantic size. (F.T.B. 72, 79, 120, 272.—O.D.D. 27, 198.—I.F.T. 5, 51, 99, 175.—W.A.S. 171.—I.A. I., 171; IV., 55.) (2) Power of metamorphosis: ogre changes to an old woman with a shining robe; to a vampire, etc.; jinn changes to a dove, hawk, eagle to watch heroine; ogress becomes a lovely girl; a wounded deer; a goat. (O.D.D. 27, 40.—I.F.T. 175.—W.A.S. 13 ff., 173.—F.T.B. 190, 193, 270.—I.A. I., 170.) (3) Miscellaneous: ogre's breath is a great rushing wind; can lengthen their arms 80 miles; possess great wealth; can fly through the air, know human beings by smell. (I.F.T. 185, 50.—F.T.B. 274, 67, 270, 76, 83.—O.D.D. 199, 58, 198.—W.A.S. 59, 58, 172.—I.A. IV., 50, 58.)

(bTheir doings— (1) Ogress marries hero: lives with him and her human co-wife, has children, but destroys them in the end, marries hero's father, temporarily marries hero and his friends. (F.T.B. 67 ff., 118, 270.—I.F.T. 51, 175.—I.A. I., 70; IV., 56.) (2) Ogre has possession of sleeping beauty; jinn has possession of egg-heroine; ogress befriends sleeping beauty. (W.A.S.60, 170.—F.T.B. 82.—I.F.T. 54.—I.A. I., 116.) (3) Befriends human beings: because they are called aunt and uncle. (I.F.T. 54 ff.—F.T.B. 249, 250.—O.D.D. 40.) (4) Do domestic service: ogress is a maid. (F.T.B. 79.) (5) Bring malicious charges:ogress charges human co-wives with being cannibals. (I.F.T. 175-176, 51.) (6) Other malignant actions: ogress is a witch and deceives heroine by tricks; has her seven human co-wives blinded; tries to destroy her stepson by tricks; tries to drag hero into the glittering well; ogress gambles with hero and first wins his companions, his hawk, and himself, but subsequently loses her dog, her hawk, and hero to hero's brother; [variant told in Legends of the Panjâb]. (F.T.B. , 88, 118, 190-194.—I.F.T. 53, 190.) Tale: ogre eats up one inhabitant of the city daily with a cake and a goat (variant, a basket of bread and a buffalo), hero offers himself in place of an old woman who has befriended him, fights and kills ogre; variant tale, ogress eats up a victim daily placed in a temple for her by night, taking one of each family in turn, heroes stand proxy for family that shelter them and kill her, a woodcutter sets up a false claim to the feat, but heroes triumphantly prove they did it; variant, ogress swallows one of seven companions every night. (W.A.S. 143-144 ff., 306 ff., 258 ff.—F.T.B. 74 ff.—I.F.T. 178, 65, 269.—L.P. 17 ff.—I.A. I., 170.)

(cTheir death: killed by hero; ogress killed by her own son; by her stepson; by spilling charmed water over them. (O.D.D.63.—W.A.S. 70.—F.T.B. 73, 277.—I.F.T. 62.)

(dHuman beings suspected of being ogres: heroine when in fish's stomach, heroine. (1) Consequences: heroine killed; deserted by husband and friends; driven from her home and whipped and murdered. (I.F.T. 75, 78, 5.—F.T.B. 276.—W.A.S.175.)

(eOgre varied as Jinn: with all the characteristics of an ogre. (W.A.S. 170 ff.)


(aPersons who suffer from calumny: hero, heroine, wife, nurse, sister-in-law, co-wives, husband, stepson. (F.T.B. 79, 179.—L.P. 1.—O.D.D. 55 ff., 86 ff., 220 ff.—I.F.T. 51.—W.A.S. 143, 247, 296.)

(bSpecial calumniators: ogress, a woodcutter, a scavenger, jealous sister-in-law, co-wife, wife, stepmother, brothers. (I.F.T.51.—F.T.B. 79, 179.—W.A.S. 143, 247, 296.—L.P. 21, 149.—I.A. IX., 5.)

(cCalumniated wife; tale: a gardener's daughter playing with seven (variant, three) poor girls is seen and married by the king, has a son with a moon on his forehead and stars on his hands (variant, also a daughter); king goes away and tells her to beat a magic drum to call him, she does so too often out of joke, and so when she is in real danger he won't come to help her, her enemies then substitute a stone (variant, puppies) for her wonderful child and she is degraded and made into a servant, but finally is restored to her place by her child. Variant tale: has to ring a bell, does so too often, has a hundred boys and one girl, they are thrown to rats by her enemies and exchanged for stones, she is imprisoned and finally restored by her daughter, who marries hero. Tale: heroine's child is killed and her mouth sprinkled with its blood by her co-wives and she is then charged with being an ogress, whipped and turned out of the palace, heroine is charged with adultery with the saint that granted her a son, wife turned away with her son (hero), because soothsayer has said father will die if he ever sees his son. (I.F.T. 119 ff.—O.D.D. 53 ff.—F.T.B. 236 ff.—W.A.S. 175.—L.P. 149.—I.A. IV., 54.) (1) Variant: ill-treated daughter. Tale:seventh daughter of king displeases him and is sent into the desert, where she is miraculously supplied with food and marries hero eventually. Variant tale: in the desert procures rice and strews it on the ground, peacocks come to eat it and she makes her fortune out of fans made of their feathers, and finally saves her father, the merchant, when he fails in business, and marries hero. (2) Varied as the tale of Potiphar's wife. (I.F.T. 164 ff., 193 ff.—F.T.B. 124 ff.—W.A.S. 247, 299.—L.P. 1.)


(aPersons who suffer by substitution: children, wives, hero's companions, hero's enemy. (O.D.D. 55, 223 ff.—F.T.B. 35 ff., 196, 242.—I.F.T. 3, 80, 121.)

(bPersons or articles substituted: stones, pups for children, wife's sister, a ghost, a common woman, an old woman, the wife's servant for life, a fool for the companion, hero for hero's enemy. (O.D.D. 55, 223 ff.—F.T.B. 242, 35 ff., 296.—I.F.T. 3, 80, 121, 143, 166.—W.A.S. 287.)

(cMiscellaneous exchanges: the queen changes her own dead baby for the heroine's, chief constable does. (O.D.D. 143.—F.T.B. 105.)


(aTale: the king's seven queens are blinded by the enmity of the enemy and rival, and then imprisoned; they have one son each, and eat their children from starvation, except the seventh, who refuses; this child supports the seven blind queens in various ways and becomes thus 'the son of seven mothers'; he then recovers their eyes, finds them wealth, and kills their enemy. Variant: is the son of the seventh queen, the rest being barren, and so is heir to all the queens, and is thus 'the son of seven mothers'; all their husbands are lost, and he seeks and after many adventures finds and restores them. Variant: is the son of discarded queen only. (W.A.S. 98 ff.—I.F.T. 52 ff., 178 ff.—O.D.D. 8 ff.—F.T.B. 117 ff.—I.A. I., 170 ff.)


(aTales: is in an enchanted palace in an ogre's power, is awakened by a golden stick and put to sleep by a silver one, is befriended by an ogress and found eventually and carried off by hero. Variants of details: is in an enchanted palace under the waters and uses the snake-jewel to view the world; is awakened and put to sleep by sticks at her head and feet; palace is at the bottom of a well. (F.T.B. 251 ff., 21 ff., 81 ff.—I.F.T. , 186 ff., 54 ff.—W.A.S. 85 ff.—I.A. I., 116.) Variants of tale: found beheaded in an enchanted palace in the power of an ogre, her head is in a golden basket in a tree overhanging a stream, dripping drops of blood transformed into rubies, which float down stream, she is brought to life merely by joining the head to the body, the ogre beheads her daily when he goes out from jealousy, she is found and carried off by hero: found beheaded in an enchanted palace in a whirlpool, the drops of blood floating away as rubies, she is brought to life by a golden rod (W.A.S.56 ff.—F.T.B. 224 ff.)

(bVariants of idea: beauty is found in a palace under the waters swinging under a silver jewelled tree, is under the power of a serpent, gives heroine a golden flute to play when she is in trouble and ring to find ogres' land: is found by hero reading a holy book in a palace made out of her own body: farmer's daughter marries a crocodile and is found in her palace under the waters by her father, the way thither being by means of an enchanted brick which parted the waters. (O.D.D. 35 ff.—W.A.S.120 ff.)

(cSleeping hero: is found in a palace made of his own body: is found killed in effigy by heroine in a palace in a deserted jungle: is found by heroine in the hundredth enchanted palace and awakened by a kiss—mere variant of sleeping beauty.(I.F.T. 165 ff., 166.—W.A.S. 30.—I.A. I., 219.)


(aHeroine: comes out of an egg deposited in a cupboard, marries hero, has two boys and dies; heroine is found in an egg: a bulbul lays an egg beside a pepper plant with single pepper on it, jinn keeps the egg and from it comes the heroine with the pepper for a charmed amulet round her neck. (F.T.B. 73-76.—I.F.T. 81.—W.A.S. 169 ff.)

(bVariants; fruit: hero's dead children found in the magic fruit which grew out of their bodies; heroine found in a belfruit;heroine born in an egg-plant, becomes the child of a poor Brâhman, gets into her enemy's power and is killed by her, and finally becomes a sleeping beauty; heroine and her maids sleep in a pomegranate each, the fruit is plucked by hero metamorphosed into a parrot and heroine is restored to ordinary life for him. Tale: snake-stone ruby is put into a box for twelve years and turns into hero. (I.F.T. 11, 143-146, 81.—W.A.S. 79-85, 303.—O.D.D. 95-101.)


(aChief constable and his son: the son is hero's friend and guardian from danger, opposes hero's taking away heroine: falls in love with heroine and wants to take her from the hero: replaces heroine's sleeping infant by his own dead one, claims heroine. (I.F.T. 212 ff.—W.A.S. 12, 33.—F.T.B. 104, 105.)

(bFairies: the king of the fairies (Indra); the fairy's skin is white, but her clothes, etc., are all red; fairy dolls are found in the sun-jewel box. (I.F.T. 1, 168, 169.)

(cFates: the home of the fates is a land of stones, each of which is a fate; fate marries hero's sister's daughter. (I.F.T. 64.—F.T.B. 9 ff.)

(dDemons: devastate deserted city (see ghostogre, and mannikin.) (W.A.S. 48.)

(eGhosts: (1) Malignant female ghost, devastates deserted city, has an enormous appetite, in appearance an old woman awful and forbidding with black wrinkled skin and feet turned backward. (2) Friendly ghosts: befriend a poor Brâhman by threshing his corn and procuring him a feast, befriend a barber by bringing him money and filling his granary. (3) Malignant ghosts: destroy human beings. (4) Attributes of ghosts: activity, power to lengthen limbs (see ogres), insensibility to pain, speaking through the nose, can enter a bag, accompanied by a blast of cold air, wander at midnight. (W.A.S. 52, 53 ff.—F.T.B.182 ff., 198 ff., 203 ff., 258 ff., 260, 263.)

(fMannikin: is one span high and has a beard a span and a quarter long, is of prodigious strength and can fly through the air, has an enormous appetite, helps hero and heroine, devastates the deserted city, is killed by hero. (W.A.S. 7 ff., 49 ff., 52.)

(gMagicians: restore hero's companion to life. (W.A.S. 141.—L.P. 504.)

(hVampire: is hero and heroine's enemy, befriends hero and heroine for future evil purpose. (W.A.S. 12 ff.)

(iSerpents: first kill and then restore to life hero's companion, show hero how to get serpent out of his throat, destroy a family leaving only sleeping beauty, kill and restore to life hero, also heroine's bullocks, also heroine, aids hero, must resume their shape at night if they travel, possess power of metamorphosis, can fly through the air, is guardian of a tree, can scorch and burn by their breath, can put on wings; a palace of glass surrounded by a ditch, and a wall of needles sprinkled with salt and water will keep them out. Tale: serpent issuing from queen's nostril as thin as a thread, kills the king (elected daily) every night, is killed by hero. (W.A.S. 139 ff., 193 ff.—O.D.D. 121.—F.T.B. 21, 18 ff., 100.—L.P. 47 ff., 154-155, 177, 179 ff., 180, 181, 183, 189, 416, 481, 487 ff., 488, 495, 498, 502, 520 ff.)


(aHuman: his two wives, his three friends, viz. sons of the prime minister, chief constable, and richest merchant (varied as barber); his three friends—knifegrinder, blacksmith, carpenter; his half-brother by ogress stepmother; his three friends—a goldsmith, a carpenter and his parrot; one friend: of heroine, two girls. (O.D.D. 24, 95.—F.T.B. 261, 69.—W.A.S. 48, 254.—L.P. 7.—I.A. I., 285; III., 9.)

(bTheir attributes: born on the same day at the same hour as hero, is his faithful friend through all his difficulties. Tale: hero being enraged with him desires him to be killed and demands his eyes as proof of his death, but the companion is saved by a stratagem, and eventually interprets a dream for the hero. Tale: saves hero successively from a falling tree, a falling doorway, and a serpent, but is turned into a stone for eight years for licking the blood of the serpent from heroine's breast, and is eventually restored to life by hero's child. Variant: hero's friend saves him from riding on a dangerous elephant, from passing under a ruinous gateway, eating the head of a poisonous fish, a serpent bite while asleep, and is himself turned into a marble statue by hero by mistake and brought to life by the blood of hero's infant. Varied as hero's servant who is turned out for licking the blood from his master's wife's breast whom he has saved from a serpent. Tale: the three companions save him from temporary death and restore him to his wife, ogre half-brother kills his own mother (ogress) in order to save hero: hero's younger brother saves him from ogress: heroine's two girl-companions never leave her, sleeping with her in pomegranates. (O.D.D. 66, 68-70, 75 ff., 95.—W.A.S. 65 ff.—F.T.B. 69-73, 192 ff., 93 ff.—L.P. 9 ff., 63.—I.A. I., 285.)

(cNon-human: eaglets, old war-horse, cat and dog, dog, hawk, parrot, mainâ, a cat, a dog, a parrot, and a snake. Tale: hero leaves mainâ and parrot as guard over his wife in his absence, when his enemy seduces her the mainâ remonstrates and is killed, but the parrot manages to escape and lets hero know what she has been doing. (O.D.D. 14, 70, 80.—F.T.B. 189, 192.—L.P. 9 ff., 63.—W.A.S. 197.)


(aComplexion of heroine: (1) Fair: fair as a rosy pomegranate, fair as a lotus. (O.D.D. 23, 201, 205, 95, 102.—W.A.S. 3.—F.T.B. 21, 44, 282.—I.F.T. 62) (2) White: white as a marble. Variant: complexion of red fairy is white, but her clothes, etc., are all red. (W.A.S. 100.—O.D.D. 102.—F.T.B. 168.)

(bHair of Heroine: (1) Golden: of pure gold, of gold with teeth of gold, of red gold but eyelashes black; varied as hero's golden, as sleeping beauty's golden. (W.A.S. 33, 60, 100, 201 ff.—I.F.T. 43, 62, 98, 1, 54, 93, 50.—O.D.D. 35.) (2) Black: jet black; varied as ogress princess's black. (O.D.D. 95, 206, 40.—F.T.B. 282.—I.F.T. 73.) (3) Very abundant: falls to her ankles. (F.T.B. 82.—W.A.S. 76.)

(cEyes of Heroine: (1) Blue. (I.F.T. 62, 98.) (2) Brown. (I.F.T. 73.) (3) Black. (I.F.T. 96.)



(a) A very common motif in the tales; (1) By hero alone. (W.A.S. 196, 251.—O.D.D. 10, 62, 126, 132.—I.F.T. 63.—F.T.B. 65, 182) (2) By hero metamorphosed into a parrot. (O.D.D. 102.)

(bBy hero and companions: with heroine, with three companions, with two wives, with one companion and old war-horse, with one companion. (W.A.S. 13, 47.—O.D.D. 24, 70.—I.A. I., 171, 344.)

(cBy companies: seven men start together, two heroes together. (I.F.T. 173.—W.A.S. 138.—F.T.B. 17, 261.—I.A. I., 218.)

(dVariants of idea: hero starts to seek heroine, heroines run away owing to ill-treatment at home, hero starts to find 'touchstone' (variant of the impossible task trick). (I.F.T. 154.—O.D.D. 197.—I.A. II., 357) Variant as tale: heroine goes to seek Mahâdev (God) with two companions, crosses river of fire alone and finds Mahâdev as a faqîr who grants her desires, viz. a son; hero goes to seek Râm. (O.D.D. 229, 253.—W.A.S. 215 ff.)


(aWarning dreams: the king's seven queens are warned of his danger if he hunt in the north by each having a dream to the same effect, heroine's dream warns her of her danger, shows heroine the real character of her husband, doe has a dream that her husband the buck will be killed by a hunter. (W.A.S. 98.—O.D.D. 266.—I.A. IX, 7.—L.P. 462.)

(bProphetic dreams: heroine's husband dreams he has become a faqîr, does so afterwards; king dreams of a miraculous tree and hero finds it; hero dreams of a glass palace containing a princess white as marble, finds it; hero dreams that he is directed by a god to cross over a hedge of seven bayonets to the inside of his temple, does so miraculously; heroine dreams of her future husband the hero, will marry no one else, finally marries him; direct hero to wealth; hero dreams of his future bride; king sees a tree with silver stem, golden branches, diamond leaves, pearly fruits, and peacocks playing in it, this sends him blind, and he dreams that until he can see them in reality, he will not recover sight, his dame goes for them; king dreams of sleeping beauty, from whose mouth a flower of flame issues and recedes as she breathes, hero goes to find her. (O.D.D. 25, 33, 68, 97-98, 119.—I.A. IX, 5; I., 115; IV., 55.—L.P. 233.)

(cEffect of dreams: hero by guidance of dreams learns infinite wisdom; a poor woodcutter's dreams that he is a rich man get him into great trouble; hero's dreams of success in hunting lead him to go where he comes to great grief; dreamer goes blind. (O.D.D. 99.—L.P. 419 ff. I.A. I., 115.)


Outside a person's life is an object which faithfully reflects the conditions of his life: this life-index is always very difficult of access.

(aLife-index is a bird; kept in a cage on the head of a snake on the top of a tree, guarded by wild beasts and ogres; when the bird is killed the ogre it indicated dies; when the bird dies ogre whose life it indicated dies; of hero's ogress stepmother is a green parrot in a cage under six pitchers of water in the centre of a circle of palm-trees in a thick forest in a far country guarded by 1000 ogres; when the parrot dies the magician whose life it indicated dies; is a cockatoo, when it dies the ogress it indicated dies; is a mainâ in its nest in a tree across the seas, when killed so as not a drop of its blood is spilt the ogre it indicated dies. (I.F.T. 58 ff., 62, 187-188.—F.T.B. 121 ff.—O.D.D. 13 ff.—I.A. I., 171.)

(bIs an insect: a bumble bee in the crop of a mainâ on the topmost twig of a solitary tree guarded by a savage horse and dog, when the bee is killed the indicated ogre dies; two bees on the top of crystal pillar in deep water, to be dived for and killed without losing a drop of blood, when these are killed over ashes indicated ogre dies; male and female bee in a wooden box in a deep water to be crushed to death by hero without losing a drop of blood, when hero kills them indicated ogres die. (F.T.B. 85 ff., 253.—W.A.S. 59-60.—I.A. I., 117.)

(cIs a plant: a barley plant given by hero to his three friends, when it droops he is ill, when it snaps in half he is dead; a tree planted by hero on his departure indicates his fortunes: a flower while gathered heroine lives, while torn up by the roots she is dead, a lemon containing the hero's mother's eyes. (F.T.B. 189 ff., 192.—I.F.T. 41, 145.—W.A.S. 52 ff., 64.—I.A. I., 116, 171.)

(dIs a necklace: in a box in a bee in a red and green fish, while worn by another heroine is dead, when recovered she lives; golden necklace in a wooden box in a fish's heart, when worn by another heroine dies, when recovered she lives; a golden necklace, as above, indicating heroine's life; a sandalwood necklace, as above, indicating hero's life. (W.A.S. 83-87.—F.T.B. 2 ff.—O.D.D. 240 ff., 233 ff.)

(eOther objects: falsely said to be in the seven sons of heroine's enemy, in the milk of hero's wife put into a pot and given him, when it turns red his father is dead, when blood-red his mother is killed and his own life in danger, in the hero's sword, when heated he has fever, when the rivet of the handle comes out his head falls off, when rivet fastened in his head joins his body, and when it is reburnished he lives again; is a bull which feeds on ikop, and if sacrificed will prolong king's life; is a lamp under a tree in the mountains and will restore magician's life. (W.A.S. 82, 62 ff.—F.T.B. 71 ff.—I.A. VI., 222.—L.P.503.)

(fSurvival in a custom: hero is handed over his bride on the day she is born, and with her is given him a young mango tree, which flowers in twelve years; when it flowers she is to be his wife. (L.P. 50.—W.A.S. 280.)


(aHumorous: heroine's mother puts her daughter's rat-husband on to a red-hot stool and so gets rid of him. Tale: lambikin tricks jackal, vulture, tiger, wolf, dog, and eagle by pretending that he is not fat enough to be eaten yet, gets fattened but gets into drumikin, and so escapes all except jackal, who finds him out and eats him up; sparrow circumvents the crow by sending it to clean itself before it can share the sparrow's dinner; jackal serves the generous Brâhman by inducing the tiger to get into the cage from which the Brâhman had released him, and then locking him into it; jackal tells a tiger the best way to eat a man is to get into a bag and have the man thrown in to him, tiger does so and is shut up and killed; jackal to save himself tells tiger that another also wants to eat him, and then shows him his reflection in a well, tiger jumps down to get at his rival and is killed; jackal finds a pair of shoes, puts them on his ears, and proclaims himself a great personage, all animals do homage except the iguana, who jeers at him, jackal pursues and catches him by the tail near his hole, but is induced by a trick to let him go, and so iguana escapes; hero keeps the dresses of girls bathing and so secures a wife; hero shoots an arrow in a certain direction for three mendicants to race for, while they are running he carries off their miraculous property; a conceited husband with awkward habits is set to find a 'cleverer man than himself, ' and so got rid of; hero washes off heroine's disguise by throwing water over her; heroine's sister drops pearls along the road, and so lets heroine find her; jackal tricks a princess into marrying his friend the poor weaver; old hen-sparrow induces her jealous co-wife to go into a scalding dyer's vat to dye herself into gay colours, then when the cock picks her up in his beak to carry her home jeers at him, so that he opens his beak to abuse her and so drops and kills the co-wife; partridge has to induce jackal to laugh and cry, get him his dinner, and save his life, so she sets two men fighting, sets a hunter and dogs on him, sets women chasing her, while jackal eats their food, and finally prevents a crocodile from drowning him. Tale: the minister has been boasting of his wife's chastity, so king sends him away on duty and goes to his wife's house, gets admittance by a stratagem, apologises, but leaves his signet ring, the minister finds and thinks his wife unchaste until the king explains; cat to get hero's enchanted ring from witch's mouth gets heroine to scatter rice about, which brings rats, so the cat catches one and puts its tail up the witch's nose while she sleeps, she sneezes out the ring; crow, after trying many ways to induce a man to cut a grain of corn out of a tree, sets a cat to catch a rat which sets the whole train of events in motion till he gets his grain; to recover touchstone from robber, bag of sham touchstone is deposited with him, and he gives back the real one; hero, who has been cheated by the market people, exacts heavy tolls as the queen's wife's brother. Tale: the faithful wife deceives her lovers by inducing them to visit her all together, she then locks them up to escape from each other and goes away, and lets them discover themselves [found in Alif Laila]. Tale: idiot son is saved by his mother thus: having committed murder and thrown the body down the well, she throws in a sheep, and so when he confesses the murder he is acquitted, because he pulls out the sheep in place of the body. Variant: he steals royal camel carrying gold, his mother hides the gold but scatters comfits about the house, so the idiot confesses the theft 'on the day that it rained comfits, ' and is not believed. Tale: jackal saves his foot from alligator by saying he has caught something else, escapes him by inducing him to show his bubbles above the stream, by inducing him to roll about under a heap of figs, by inducing him to call out from his house. Tale: barber's clever wife induces thieves to plough up her field by wandering about it in search for treasure she says her grandfather buried there, the harvest money she puts away, induces thieves to think it is in a pot containing droppings from goats which they eat as sweets, cuts off their noses as they appear at her window, induces them to climb into a bees' nest at night as the bag containing her gold, finally frightens them when they carry her off into thinking she is a ghost, and bites off the leader's tongue by telling him that is the way to kiss a fairy, which she makes him believe she is. Tale: four friends unjustly treated by the king turn thieves, king's son tries to catch them, and they trick him into being shaved and turned naked into the streets, magician tries and they cut his hand, king tries and they tie him to a bull's tail and turn him adrift into the jungle. Tale: successful roguery to the end of life, barber's son who begins by selling his friend and ends by becoming a rich man. (1Bounce: farmer's wife frightens a tiger by mere bounce, idiot hero accidentally frightens fairies into helping him by saying he will eat 'five' (i.e. cakes), but which they take to mean fairies, hero saves himself from tigers by saying aloud that the king had sent him to catch tigers wholesale, hero bounces ghost by showing him his own face in the glass and telling him he has bagged many like him, their companions frighten and subdue demons by mere bounce, a blind and a deaf man first frighten an ogre and then try and cheat each other by mere bounce. (I.A. IX., 2 ff; I., 286, 345; II., 358-359; III., 10, 342; IV., 57.—I.F.T. 617, 27 ff., 34-35 ff., 201, 202, 208 ff.—F.T.B. 258, 226 ff.—O.D.D.156 ff., 216 ff., 272, 273, 282 ff., 158-159, 184-185.—W.A.S. 69 ff., 111 ff., 134 ff., 118 ff., 25-26, 153 ff., 184 ff., 206, 209 ff., 234 ff., 243 ff.—L.P. 38 ff., 247 ff.) (2) Biter bit: tale: jackal persuades a barber that his fruit is ripening and eats it up, but the barber puts a sharp knife near the fruit and meanwhile the jackal is badly cut; jackal tricks an old woman into bringing a pot of water as butter by covering it up as butter is usually covered, then begins to eat a bullock's carcass but the skin shrivels and imprisons him; while inside he persuades the neighbouring yokels that he is a saint, so they feed him, and eventually wet the hide which enables him to escape, but is next bounced by a small kid, he then gets caught in a net but escapes by persuading an old woman to let him to drink. Tale: jackal induces a camel to swim him across a river on his back, but cheats the camel of his food when across, so on the way back the camel drops him in the river. Tale: pea-hen induces her friend the jackal to bury bones in order to breed young kids and then laughs at him, whereon he gets so angry that he eats her up. Tale:shopkeeper sets a farmer to find Râm to get rich, the farmer finds Râm and is told to blow a conch in a peculiar way, the shopkeeper worms part of the secret out of him, makes him promise to give him double of what he wishes for, at last the farmer wishes he had lost one eye, so shopkeeper goes blind, tumbles into a well, and is drowned. Tale: long series of tricks played by a farmer's wife on six thieves. (I.A. III., II.—O.D.D. 163 ff., 178 ff.—W.A.S. 207 ff., 215 ff., 293 ff.) (3) Success by mere accident: potter defeats a tiger and then an army; tailor defeats a mosquito, then an elephant, then a tiger, and then an army, and so becomes a great man; old hen-sparrow sitting under a crow's nest on a wet day is gaily dyed with the drippings from a coloured cloth in the crow's nest. (O.D.D. 190 ff.—W.A.S. 89 ff., 157).

(bMalicious: (1) Of witch to catch heroine: pretends to cry on account of hero's danger and so gets into her good graces, and pretends then to want to wash heroine's hair in a boat on the river near the palace, and so floats her down stream into her enemy's power; ogress sets heroine various tasks to detain her until ogre's return; induces her to set a line of rice by which she may be found after her departure. (2) Of witch to kill hero: gets heroine to worm his life-index out of him. (3) Of heroine's enemies: her enemy tells her he is her long-lost uncle and his son is to marry her, and so carries her off; pushes her into a river; ogress pretends to be her aunt; so does witch. (4) Pretended illness trick: heroine's enemy's illness can only be cured by the application of heroine's life-index (an egg-plant); stepmother's illness curable only by application of hero and heroine's livers; by death of heroine; by hero's performing impossible tasks; stepmother can only be cured by her stepchildren's life-index (a shaddock) and then by their blood. (5) Impossible task trick: witch sends hero to get the wonderful cow, then his mother's eyes, then the million-fold rice: hero is sent to procure tigress's milk, eagle's feathers, ogre's night-growing rice, water from dangerous glittering well: hero sent to fetch foam of the sea, rice from Ceylon, milk from Ceylon: (W.A.S. 63 ff., 64, 74 ff., 79, 103 ff., 202 ff., 295.—L.P. 262-263.—I.F.T. 10, 55 ff., 147, 181 ff.—F.T.B. 120 ff., 248 ff., 88.—O.D.D. 223, 6, 81-82.—I.A. I., 171; IV., 261). (6) Letter containing instructions to kill bearer: borne by hero and written on a potsherd, it is read and altered by his wife, who thus circumvents her husband's enemy; borne by hero and sent by ogress's mother: borne by hero and sent by various enemies; borne by fool and delivered by wrong person, who is killed instead. (W.A.S. 103 ff.—F.T.B. 120.—I.F.T. 53 ff., 184 ff.—I.A. XI., 85; III. 321.) (7) Cheating: jeweller sees that hero has a bangle like the one he has lost, and so raises hue and cry that he is the thief, the bangle not being the same one. (O.D.D. 264.) (8) Lies: wicked queen parts hero and his companion by ingenious lying; heroine tries to save herself by direct lies. (O.D.D.68.—L.P. 285 ff.) (9) Miscellaneous: sham hero is detected by eating coarse food which hero would not have eaten; pretended death by parrot to avoid being killed; (metamorphosed) parrot saves his own life by saying his value alive is very great and so induces a merchant to buy him; hero's enemies induce him to go hunting in the wilds to kill him; hero attempts to seduce heroine by pretending to be her husband; snake-woman detected by giving her salt food which forces her out at night and thus to resume her real shape; hero induces snake-woman to bake bread at an oven and tips her in; robber prays publicly and worships vehemently, so hero thinks him a safe man and gives him 'touchstone' to keep; serpent lights a thousand lamps like magician's life-index to prevent magician's followers from finding it and restoring him to life; deceptive invitation to a feast in order to kill guests. (O.D.D. 103, 106, 113, 107.—L.P. 200 ff., 269 ff., 504, 512.—W.A.S. 193, 194.—I.A. II., 358.)

(cTo escape enemy: heroine kills his old mother by inducing her to let her pound her head in a mortar to make the hair grow; by living away from home; by allowing her enemy to carry her off, apparently asleep on a bed, while she has a bill-hook under the clothes with which she kills him and his companions; heroine sends her son to recover her life-index, a necklace, from her enemy, the child cries for it and then runs off to his mother with it. (W.A.S. 76, 77, 78, 87.)

(dTo punish enemy: heroine builds a palace exactly like hero's father's, invites him there, and then tells him all that hero's enemy has done; heroine tips ogre into a well. (W.A.S. 110.—O.D.D. 199.)


(a) Hero lives four days and four nights in the alligator's belly; heroine stays twelve years in monster fish's belly while crow, jackal, and snake go down into it to see what is there; hero lives successively, for a year, in a dog's, a cow's and a horse's belly and is vomited up at will. (I.F.T. 66, 75 ff., 124 ff.) Variant: serpent lives in hero's throat. (O.D.D. 118 ff.)

(bVariant of idea; extraordinary voracity, tale: a frog eats a rat's dinner, then the rat, then the baker and his bread, then a man with lemons and oranges, then a horse with its groom, finally a barber cuts him open and they all escape alive. Tale: a monster fish is carrying heroine alive, and at his own request snake cuts him open in order to be relieved of her. Tale:heroine's suitors have all been swallowed alive by an ogre, so saints cut them out alive. Tale: a man eats four cwts. of bhang, meets a man who eats six, they fight, but are eventually brushed away by the queen as straws. (I.F.T. 24-26, 76, 100.—W.A.S.226-227.—I.A. II., 271.)

(cVoracity varied as extraordinary strength, tale: heroine packs 160 camels, their food, a farmer and his fields, crops, oxen, and house, a whole town, and everything she met, puts them in a melon rind, floats them down a river on to a sandbank, where they upset and populate the place. (I.F.T. 108 ff.—W.A.S. 223 ff.—I.A. , II., 271.)



(a) (1) Very rarely a god. (L.P. 359 ff.—I.A. IX., 1, 2.—F.T.B. 51.—O.D.D. 97.) (2) Sometimes a spirit: ghosts in a well show hero to fortune. (I.A. III., 9.)

(bOrdinary form: a talking animal: (1) Showing the way to fortune: tigress shows hero, parrot and mainâ show hero, camel, alligator, and tigress show hero from gratitude for services rendered, a parrot. Tale: two birds whose eggs will only hatch by application of a touchstone fish for one, catch fish and take out stone, as hero is seeking for one for his father they give it him. (W.A.S. 6, 139.—I.F.T. , 63 ff. —F.T.B. , 209 ff.—L.P. 233 ff.—I.A. II., 358; IV., 261.) (2) Warning of danger: crow, peacock, and jackal warn heroine; owls warn hero and heroine through his companion; (metamorphosed) parrot warns his parrot friends and shows them how to escape; birds warn hero's friend of hero's danger: calves warn hero's son that he is going to marry his own mother by mistake. (W.A.S. 74-75.—O.D.D. 74-75, 105.—F.T.B. 41 ff., 106.) (3) Other objects:doves show hero how to recover dead heroine in the magic palace made of her own body; bird (metamorphosed mother) asks after her children and husband and brings herself to their notice; alligator promises to take charge of hero's dead son; parrot leads hero to seek heroine; jackal shows heroine how to revive temporarily dead hero; parrot interprets hero's dream and shows him how to meet heroine; birds show heroine how to cure hero of his pain; parrot does so. (I.F.T. 6, 13, 14, 71, 153.—O.D.D. 131, 139.—F.T.B. 135, 218, 19.—W.A.S. 176.) (4) Explaining the situation: parrot and mainâ explain to hero the heroine's misfortunes; two birds do. (I.F.T. 149 ff.—W.A.S. 176.) (5) Aiding in reward for services rendered: ants help hero; tigers help hero; tiger by giving him a cub to guard him; cat by giving him a kitten; eagles by giving an eaglet; eagles show hero how to find the ogre's life-index; serpent saves heroine's life by improvising what she said she promised and was unable to procure; rat helps heroine and her children; seven-headed serpent befriends heroine and shows her how to restore her fish husband to his human form; serpents show heroine how to get the serpent out of hero's throat, and discover to him treasures hidden by one of themselves; parrot befriends poor fowler; bull aids heroine; miraculous birds aid hero, show heroine how to cure hero; serpent aids hero; parrot shows him the serpent in his shoe; shows heroine how to find her lover and vice versâ;hedgehog helps hero for being saved from drowning, also cricket; birds show hero how to get the tree that will restore his father's sight. (I.F.T. 153, 161, 156, 162, 180, 182.—O.D.D. 14, 21, 55-56, 220, 121.—F.T.B. 210, 281, 135, 219.—W.A.S.198, 205, 271, 276.—L.P. 11, 12, 29, 41 ff., 42, 48 ff.—I.A. I., 116, 118; IV., 261.) (6) Common variant of the idea: the thorn in the tiger's foot. (7) Varied farther as a thorn in a serpent's throat. (I.F.T. 17, 64, 165.—O.D.D. 21.—F.T.B. 218, 219.) (8) The converse: punishment for refusal to render help. (W.A.S. 181 ff.) (9) Aiding out of mere friendship: parrot helps hero. (L.P. 272 ff., 354 ff.—W.A.S. 205.)

(cCommon form: a talking plant: mango tree shows hero how the magic bird can be cut out of it; heroine is blessed and aided by a plantain, cotton tree, and sweet basil; heroine is rewarded by a plum tree, a pîpal tree for services rendered; heroine's sister is punished for refusing help. (I.F.T. 202.—F.T.B. 281.—W.A.S. 179-180, 181-183.)

(dOther talking inanimate objects: the bed's legs warn the king of danger; heroine is rewarded by a fire and a stream for services rendered; heroine's sister is punished for refusing help. (I.F.T. 204 ff.—W.A.S. 79-180, 181-183.)

(eUnderstanding non-human language: goldsmith's wife hears jackal say that there is a diamond ring on the dead man's hand; hears snake say where the gold and precious stones are; fool understands what the cocks and hens say and shows king how to judge between in their disputes. (F.T.B. 150, 152.—I.A. III., 520.)

(fHair, a common form: a hair of the mannikin's beard when burnt protects hero and heroine from the ogre; cricket's hair burnt protects hero. (W.A.S. 32, 34, 271.—L.P. 42-43.) Variant: the golden hairs of the heroine floating down stream are a source of wealth to the poor; puts her into the power of her enemy: a single hair tied to a shell floats down the river and is found by her husband's brother, by her enemy. (I.F.T. 62.—W.A.S. 60 ff., 201 ff.—F.T.B. 87.) (1) Miraculous powers of the hair: always used to help hero or heroine: hero being obliged to cut down a tree with a wax hatchet as a condition of marriage to heroine, borrows a hair and stretches it along the edge and so succeeds; the ogress's hair sets the forest on fire; heroine's when torn burns up her enemies; burning a hair for protection. (I.F.T. 163.—W.A.S. 13, 14, 271.—O.D.D. 63, 269.—L.P. 42-43.)

(gSometimes a ship: a ship takes hero and heroine home; his wicked brothers throw him overboard, but heroine saves him by her forethought in providing mattresses (and a gourd) (and a pillow) to float him; hero is taken off in a boat. (I.F.T. 47.—F.T.B. 269, 275.—I.A. II., 358; IV. 262-263.)


(aBy enchanted articles: a fan, a bell, a flower, a pin in a bird's beak, a drum, a horse, flowers floating on the water, a flute, a ring. (1) Varied as supernatural objects: tale: swans that only eat pearls fly about crying out the praises of their feeder (hero), jealous king hears and imprisons them, but releases female who flies off to hero, who comes and releases the pair. (F.T.B. 132, 238 ff., 136.—I.F.T. 4, 14, 120 ff., 125, 196, 145 ff., 169.—W.A.S. 206, 283 ff.)

(bBy street crying: heroine gets to hero (variant, hero gets to his enemy) by announcing that she will play any one at dice; by crying milk in the streets; heroine finds her mother by crying plums in the streets; hero's companion finds heroine by crying wood in the streets at a fabulous price; hero's friend gets to heroine by proclaiming himself able to cure diseases. (1) Varied as answering a proclamation: of impossible task. (F.T.B. 277.—O.D.D. 267.—W.A.S. 25, 66, 199, 296.—L.P. 49 ff., 188.—I.A. IX., 3; III., 9.)

(cBy an unintelligible request: hero sent by heroine to find the sun-jewel box; heroine sends for Sabr (patience, that being the hero's name). (I.F.T. 167, 195.—F.T.B. 131 ff.)

(dOther devices: hero sings to attract heroine; hero's enemy (stepmother) mixes mud with his father's food under pretence of asking for fire and so gets to know him, eventually marries him; the pigeons of hero fly into his enemy's window, and so introduce him; a feast to the poor instituted to attract hero who is wandering about as a faqîr [common device in the Alif Laila]; hero's parrot with others eats up heroine's garden, which brings her out to see, whereon they all fly away except him, he pecks her cheek, and is so caught, when caught he explains about hero; hero models his father's palace in mud and so attracts heroine; by making a bouquet in the home fashion attracts the king his brother; a deer chased by hero's enemy leads him to hero's wife; hero does a lot of mischief to his father's people to get audience. (I.F.T. 127 ff.—O.D.D. 44, 2, 3.—F.T.B.W.A.S. 148, 150, 252.—L.P. 52, 235.)


(aForbidden cupboard, contains skulls of vampire's victims. (1) Varied as forbidden room, containing sleeping beauty. (I.F.T. 186.—W.A.S. 14.)

(bIdea varied as forbidden direction in hunting: the north, the fourth side, the west; under any circumstances, the north; the south corner, the eastern corner, the western corner. (F.T.B. 190.—W.A.S. 85, 98, 27.—I.F.T. 153.—I.A. I., 117, 118.)

(cLooking behind forbidden: punished by being turned into stone; death; by destruction of the object looked at. (lVaried asdestruction to ashes for not fulfilling all the points of a charm. (I.F.T. 140 ff.—W.A.S. 109, 302.—I.A. IV, 57.)

(dBreach of silence: as to miraculous events punished by death, by flood, by disappearance of the subject. (I.F.T. 67, 90.—W.A.S. 309.)


Commonly brought in to explain and elucidate the difficulties of the tale when the deus ex machinâ is not employed, thus the murder by mistake of goldsmith's wife in place of ogress is explained in F.T.B. 150 ff., and hero is recognised by his relating his story (I.F.T. 191 ff.) The idea frequently occurs. (O.D.D. 90, 139, 145 ff., 231 ff.—I.A. IX., 8, IV., 59, 263.)

(aAnimals are employed as narrators: doves, birds, pigeons, serpents. (I.F.T. 5, 149.—W.A.S. 295.)

(bMistakes rectified by story-telling: case of horse that prevented king from drinking what was poison, but the king thought to be water, and was killed by him [occurs in the Legends of the Panjâb]; of parrot that was killed by mistake for presenting king with poisoned fruit. (F.T.B. 154, 157.)


(a) (1) Identity of hero proved by a gold ring, by his reciting correctly the story of heroine, the story of his early life, by wound in his leg inflicted by heroine, by necklace, ring, and kerchief given on wedding day, by his signet ring. (2) Of heroineby a bangle, by possession of hero's ring, by her handiwork, by a wound in her leg (and stomach), by possession of hero's old cap, by her golden hair. (3) Of other persons: of hero's brothers by the scar of red-hot money, of hero's mother by her wearing his bride's jewel. (O.D.D. 11, 265, 269.—F.T.B. 92, 136.—I.F.T. 45, 131, 134, 199, 214, 223, 230.—W.A.S. 151, 205.—I.A.IX., 3; III., 10; IV., 59.—L.P. 290.)

(bSigns of the coming hero: his heel-ropes will bind and sword kill his enemies of their own accord, his arrow will pierce seven frying-pans placed one behind the other, shooting two golden cups from off a tall standard, the falling of miraculous mangoes into his skirt. (L.P. 19, 23, 24.—W.A.S. 261 ff.)


Temporary death: body does not decay and comes to life at night, is restored to life in various ways, mostly miraculous. Tale:sages will not allow hero to be killed by lightning as fate had decreed, so fate bargains with them to strike his little finger, so that he might only be insensible for a while. (O.D.D. 231, 246, 270.—F.T.B. 9, 85.—I.A. I., 219.)

(aPersons most affected: hero, heroine, sleeping beauty. (O.D.D. 265 ff., 83 ff., 136 ff.—F.T.B. 82, 253.—W.A.S. 57, 86, 140.—L.P. 362, 47.)

(bVariants of idea: long sleep or loss of power; faqîr sleeps for six months and wakes for six months; jinn for twelve years; heroine is thrown into a comatose state for an indefinite period from a scratch of ogre's nail, revives on removal of nail; it takes the winged horse six months to recover virtue when it is lost. (I.F.T. 139.—O.D.D. 83 ff.—F.T.B. 214 ff.—W.A.S. 170.)

(cMethods of killing: mendicant kills heroine by throwing a powder in her face: lord of death metamorphosed as bullock offers to swim travellers over a river, drops them in the middle; as a young girl sets two brothers at variance by making love to both till they kill each other: a flash from heroine's eyes kills a deer; hero is destroyed in effigy by having pins stuck through it, when pins are taken out he revives. (I.F.T. 77, 165 ff.—W.A.S. 220, 222.—L.P. 446.) (1) Idea varied as the 'Lord of Death.' (W.A.S. 219 ff.)

(dMethods of restoration to life: (1) By effigy: ashes of the heroine are collected, cleaned, and mixed with clay and water, then made into her effigy and revivified; bones of a deer (and a man) collected are vivified by faqîr, of a tiger by hero and his companions, of the entire population, human and animal, of a deserted city by hero and companions; ashes of hero restored to life by application of life-giving herb. (I.F.T. 78.—W.A.S. 109, 283.—F.T.B. 266, 267, 277.—L.P. 492.) (2) By granting extension of life: hero granted twenty years' extension on condition of wearing a talisman. (I.F.T. 117-118.) (3) By causing others to do it: magician obliges serpents to restore hero's companion to life, hedgehog who befriends hero does. (W.A.S.141-142.—L.P. 47.) (4) Miscellaneous methods: killing two birds at one blow restores heroine to life, by simple prayer, if knife that killed is dropped the victim is restored, by charms. (W.A.S. 177, 269.—I.A. I., 119.—L.P. 472, 474.) (5) Miraculous cures generally: hero by using dung of enchanted birds, serpent bite by the use of fresh nîm leaves, bathing in a sacred stream cures blindness and leprosy, a drop of sacred water brings to life, a sacrifice of a man of ghi and cat's milk cures of possession. (F.T.B. 135, 219.—L.P. 484, 155, 214, 215, 358, 415, 456.—W.A.S. 247, 248, 295.—I.A. III., 9.)

(eVariants of idea: revivifying and healing powers of blood: the blood of heroine's little finger restores hero's head to his decapitated body, from mendicant's little finger restores hero to life from his stone state, the blood of hero's infant restores the marble statue to life, the blood of (life-index) mainâ if spilt will create 100 ogres, of bees will create 1000 ogres. (1) Varied:blood from hero's little finger (also mere touch) brings a fair wind. Extension of this idea: the drops of blood become rubies:from head of sleeping beauty. (I.F.T. 84, 187, 141.—W.A.S. 109, 55-56, 147.—F.T.B. 85, 93 ff., 224-225.—I.A. IV., 262.—L.P. 362, 447, 472.)

(fRestoration of beauty: religious mendicant restores heroine's beauty by setting her on fire; by bathing in enchanted tank once. (1) Varied as restoration to eyesight: restoration after metamorphosis by water. (I.F.T. 76, 77.—O.D.D. 62.—F.T.B.283, 182, 123.)


(aEnchanted things: shaddock grows out of the mother's grave to feed her daughters starved by their stepmother, a pool is covered with cream for their food, box contains a supernatural mannikin, wand protects hero from danger as long as it is held, eye-salve brings what is far near, horn when blown stops a famine, rice grows only at night, necklace retreats into the wall when hung up, plates breed maggots in the food placed on them, echoing chamber tells all that is going on about it, the emerald city and mountain both find heroine and abduct her, emerald necklace always tells the truth when any one near speaks a lie, jôgi's ointment-box annihilates distance, dice made from dead men's bones that never lose, conch that brings wealth, wand calls up the absent, box contains the fan which will call up absent hero, fruit goes out of reach when hero wants to pluck. (O.D.D. 4, 5, 62.—F.T.B. 88, 89.—L.P. 41.—I.F.T. 184, 229, 197, 226, 232.—W.A.S. 6, 31 ff., 36 ff., 174, 190, 216, 270.) (1) Enchanted palace: usually belongs to ogre (see Sleeping Beauty); is improvised for heroine by grateful serpent; contains a silver jewelled tree, under which dwells (sleeping) beauty; leads hero to heroine; under the waters occupied by the king of the crocodiles; is under the waters of a tank. (O.D.D. 21 ff., 38.—W.A.S. 123 ff., 6.—F.T.B. 20, 81.)

(bEnchanted creatures: fish jumps back into the water after being cooked; pigeons fly away after being cooked; hero enchants animals in the wilds by music; hero by enchantment is made to forget and desert his wife and child; cow gives milk all day without bearing young, and her dung is golden. (I.F.T. 71, 227, 228.—W.A.S. 129.—O.D.D. 143 ff.—F.T.B. 112.—L.P.176.)


(aMetamorphosis of the dead: (1) Metempsychosis of the dead into the living: dead heroine princess becomes gardener's daughter, and as gardener's daughter marries her own husband the hero; dead hero's anklebone becomes himself, but reverts to the form of an anklebone when chased. In the future life heroine and mother become rich people, hero's father and mother poor wretches, heroine's unborn children fish, and hero is roasted eternally in a large pot by an ogre. (I.F.T. 4, 114 ff.—W.A.S.124, 130.) Hero's dead wife becomes a bird; dead saint becomes a Brâhman. (I.F.T. 13.—L.P. 68.) (2) Into inanimate objects:dead dog-mother of human children becomes golden bejewelled image of dog; hero's dead children become a tree with two large flowers and fruits which cannot be plucked by hero's enemy but are easily plucked by hero; the various parts of heroine's dead body lying in the desert are formed into four palaces, a tank with a palace in the midst and doves flying about; dead heroine's eyes become a parrot and a starling, her heart a tank, her body a palace and garden, her arms and legs its pillars, her head its domes, herself into sleeping beauty whom hero finds; dead heroine becomes a lotus flower which cannot be caught except by hero, a tree bearing a fruit which contains herself and which cannot be plucked except by hero; drowned heroine becomes a sunflower which is burnt by her enemy, the ashes then become a mango tree with one fruit only, this falls into a poor milkwoman's can and turns into heroine; hero's friend becomes on being killed a tree with silver trunk, golden branches, diamond leaves, pearly fruit with peacocks playing in the branches. (O.D.D. 86-88.—I.F.T. 5, 10-11, 148 ff., 145, 146.—W.A.S. 175.—I.A. I., 19.)

(bMetamorphosis of deities: (1) Avatâras, incarnations: deity into a boar which destroys hero's garden; Ganesa becomes an old woman and catches hero on the point of falling on the hedge of bayonets; goddesses become fortune-tellers to save hero; Râma becomes a wayfarer to help hero. (2) Into inanimate objects: goddess becomes a ball by being rubbed in the hands. (I.F.T. 68, 89.—O.D.D. 98, 261.—W.A.S. 216.)

(cMetamorphosis of superhuman personages: (1) Ogres: ogress becomes a goat at night only; a beautiful girl; an old woman. (I.F.T. 173, 175, 51.—O.D.D. 27.—I.A. 170.) (2) Angels: angel becomes a religious mendicant. (3) Jinns: becomes a hawk, dove, and eagle to watch heroine. (I.F.T. 74, 77.—W.A.S. 173.) (4) Vampires: vampire becomes a Brâhman, and afterwards rain, a dove, a rose falling from heaven, a mouse to escape mannikin. (W.A.S. 13-15.) (5) Mannikins: mannikin becomes storm-wind, a hawk, a musician, and a cat to catch vampire; a huge demon. (W.A.S. 15, 49 ff.) (6) Fairies: fairy princess is a pigeon while in the air, and becomes one to escape her enemy. (W.A.S. 30, 33.) (7) Ghosts: hideous female malignant ghost becomes a beautiful girl but with feet turned backwards; ghost becomes a Brâhman; a Brâhman's wife; an insect which enters a phial and bottled up in it for ever. (W.A.S. 54.—F.T.B. 183 ff., 197, 185-186.) (8) Lord of death: tale:changes into a scorpion, snake, bullock, ox, beautiful girl, old man. (W.A.S. 219 ff.) (9) Demons: into a merchant. (I.A. I., 345.)

(dMetamorphosis of living things: (lone into another: golden deer becomes mannikin demon, white hind becomes white witch who marries hero's father, crocodile becomes hero prince; hero's mother becomes a black dog, hero becomes a parrot, hero's enemy becomes hero, but only knowing half the spell, is unable to retransform himself into any other human shape, finally becomes a ram and is killed; with the object of gaining better fortune mouse becomes cat, dog, ape, wild bore, elephant, girl who becomes a queen the happiest of mortals, but she falls into a well and is killed; heroine's hundred sons changed by ogre into crows; hero becomes a fly to escape enemies; princess becomes a kite to attract hero's attention; hero becomes a sheep, monkey, horse, for going in forbidden direction; hero, a kingfisher and a parrot to do impossible task; serpent becomes a Brâhman to attract heroine, goes back again to serpent to kill hero, to Brâhman to cure her and to serpent to bring hero to her; female Nâg becomes a serpent to save herself from her too importunate lover and returns to her ordinary form to marry him, serpent becomes a fish to kill hero, also a Brâhman. (W.A.S. 29, 100, 125.—O.D.D. 9, 101, 102, 117, 58.—F.T.B. 139 ff.—I.F.T. 56, 141.—L.P. 5, 180, 181, 183 ff., 416, 498, 499.—I.A. I., 117, 118, 171.) (2) Into inanimate things:magician's victims become stones and trees; heroine's hundred boys become a hundred mangoes and her girl a rose bush, saved from the malice of their enemies by a flood and restored to their own shapes in a strange land; hero's companion changed into stone, and restored by hero's child; a thousand wooden parrots made by hero become alive; serpent becomes a plum in order to kill hero, a golden staff to kill magician; heroine's mother becomes a golden stool. (O.D.D. 10, 57 ff., 75-78, 117.—L.P. 488, 502.—W.A.S. 301.)

(eMetamorphosis of inanimate things: all hero's property becomes stone and charcoal as a punishment, heroine's hut becomes a gorgeous palace. (I.F.T. 226.—W.A.S. 302.)

(fTemporary metamorphosis: (1) change of skin [compare such instances as occur above and 'beauty and the beast' idea in Europe]. Tale: heroine becomes an old woman by putting on skin of a dead old beggar woman, she is given shelter as an old woman, but in the early morning she bathes in tank and takes off the skin, while she has it off she is a young girl; king's son detects her by her habit of plucking the royal lotuses in the tank, marries her as an old woman, burns the skin and thus prevents her from becoming old any more. (O.D.D. 167 ff.) (2) Variant: hero as a jackal marries Brâhman's daughter, is a jackal as long as he has the skin on, is human when it is off; monkey-son of the seventh queen can change his monkey's skin and become human and vice versâ at will. (O.D.D. 203 ff.) Variant of idea: tale: hero is a fish, becomes a favourite of the queen, who determines to give him a wife, marries heroine, who restores him to his human shape by spells; heroine becomes a white dog and can regain her human form only when she can manage to frighten hero; hero's horse can be turned into a donkey by twisting his right ear and vice versâ by twisting the left ear; snake-woman must resume her serpent form if she travel at night. (O.D.D. 203 ff., 167 ff., 218 ff.—I.F.T. 42 ff., 30 ff., 131.—W.A.S. 93.)


(aOf hero: as a beggar to meet heroine, a religious mendicant to seek fortune, with companion as two old beggars to escape imprisonment, as a mendicant, with heroine as a pair of mendicants, as a madman to test virtue of his intended wife, as a religious mendicant in seeking broken-hearted his injured wife, as a prince to meet heroine, as a gardener's daughter to outwit magician, a female servant to be with heroine. (O.D.D. 119, 24, 72, II.—L.P. 332 ff.—I.F.T. 226, 235, 2, 125.—W.A.S. 149.—I.A. IX., 6.)

(bOf hero's companions: hero's brother as a lunatic to save hero. (F.T.B. 35 ff.)

(cOf heroine: as old village woman to escape robbers, an old woman selling milk to find hero, old beggar woman to escape detection, as a female barber to procure hero's life-index (a necklace) from hero's enemy, as a cowherdess to marry hero (her own husband) now a merchant and stranger, as a male religious mendicant to save her husband and to find hero, as lost hero. Tale: becomes a chief minister, marries seven wives, recovers lost hero, remarries him with all the seven wives. (W.A.S. 76.—O.D.D. 267, 199, 25 ff.—F.T.B. 14 ff., 134.—I.F.T. 222, 198 ff.)

(dOf heroine's enemies: chief constable's son as a mendicant to catch heroine, robber as a pedlar to entrap heroine. (I.F.T.214.—W.A.S. 73.)

(eOf superhuman beings: ogress as an old woman; of saint's emissary (a god) as a Brâhman; of dead saint as a Sayyid. (O.D.D. 58.—L.P. 76, 77.)


(aInvisible cap, called the yech cap, renders wearer invisible. (W.A.S. 37 ff.) (1) Varied as invisible ring, which renders wearer invisible. (O.D.D. 39 ff.)

(bInvisibility by other means: holding a feather straight, blowing away enchanted sand. (I.F.T. 59, 139.)

(cNatural invisibility: fairies invisible to adults but not to children. (O.D.D. 237.)


(aInexhaustible pot: tale: given to Brâhman in reward for prayer filled with comfits, is stolen by innkeeper, but he procures another filled with demons and chastises innkeeper. Procures a third filled with sweets with which he makes money and chastises his enemies. (F.T.B. 55-62.) Variant: tale: given by fairies to idiot hero to give him any dish he wants, is stolen by cooks. Idiot takes substituted pot to his mother who punishes him as a liar. He then gets an inexhaustible box filled with clothes which is also stolen as before. Eventually he gets a rope and stick which beat the cooks when wanted and so he recovers pot and box. (I.F.T. 32-34.)

(bVariant: tale: inexhaustible melons given to Brâhman filled with jewels, who, not knowing their value, sells them. Then procures inexhaustible pot of food, which the king seizes. Eventually he recovers value of melons and pot by means of stick and rope which bind and beat the enemies. (O.D.D. 169-174 ff.)

(cVaried further into inexhaustible basket: given by a saint filled with pearls and gold, renewable whenever finished.

(dInexhaustible shell from a Brâhmanî bull's neck filled with ornaments.

(eInexhaustible leaf (platted) filled with food of all sorts.

(fInexhaustible cotton-branch filled with clothes.

(gInexhaustible bag and stone bowl.

(hInexhaustible cow.

(iInexhaustible rice.

(jInexhaustible ring which produces what is asked for at once.

(kInexhaustible conch which brings wealth whenever blown.

(lInexhaustible coat that produces gold coins. (F.T.B. 282-283. I.F.T. 156 ff.—W.A.S. 106, 108, 199 ff., 216 ff., 286 ff.)


Typical tale: jewel in serpent's crest is equal in value to the treasure of seven kings, can be hidden only by cow-dung being thrown on it (or horse-dung), possession of jewel slays the serpent. Typical tale: jewel in serpent's crest lights the way into and out of enchanted palace beneath the waters, is possessed by sleeping beauty who on loss of it cannot return to the palace beneath the waters and loses hero till it is recovered for her. (F.T.B. 19 ff.—W.A.S. 140 ff.) Variants: diamond in serpent's mouth leads the way to the enchanted palace beneath the lake containing silver jewelled tree. (O.D.D. 33 ff.)

(aVariants of idea: jewel on the head of heroine: has similar properties, hero's body shines dazzlingly, heroine shines as a star, the shining anklets on heroine perform wonders, heroine's face lights up the night, the snake-stone is a ruby found in the ground. (O.D.D. 88 ff., 136, 140, 255.—I.F.T. 158 ff.—W.A.S. 304.)

(bVariant: moon and star hero: hero has a moon on his forehead, Indra the king of heaven has a sun on his head and moons on his hands and stars on his face, hero born of a snake-stone (ruby) has a red star on his forehead, seventh queen gives birth to a boy with a moon on his forehead and stars on his hands, heroine has a moon on her forehead and a star on her chin, hero and heroine have the sun on their heads, moons on their hands, and stars on their faces. (F.T.B. 236 ff., 242.—I.F.T. 1 ff., 119, 2.—W.A.S. 310.)


Variant of the idea: tiger judges between cat and dog as to their prowess, matter settled by cat running away; hero as (metamorphosed) parrot proves that the woman claiming the woodcutter's supposed wealth was never at the place where she said it had been given her by asking her to open a sealed bottle. (I.F.T. 13, 17.—O.D.D. 111, 112.) Variant tale: boys judge between ghost (in the form of a Brâhman) and a Brâhman as to the ownership of a house, the ghost being the false claimant. The judge decides that whichever of them shall enter a phial shall be adjudged the owner, the ghost immediately becomes an insect and enters phial and is thus proved to be a ghost and no Brâhman. (F.T.B. 185-186.) [A variant of this tale is told of one of the Hindû kings of Kashmîr in the Râjâtaranginî] Shepherds judge between sham merchant (demon) and the real merchant by inducing demon to go into a hollow reed. (I.A. I., 345.)


(aAnimals: horses, golden deer, birds, eaglets, parrots, snakes, seven-headed serpent, monster fish, alligator, winged horses, wind-winged camel; varied as pony that jumps a river three miles broad, horse that jumps a sea surrounded by high spiked walls. (O.D.D. 14, 132, 142, 151, 30, 32.—F.T.B. 17, 73, 135, 214, 249.—I.F.T. 45, 53, 63, 75, 76.—W.A.S. 28.—L.P. 192, 238-291.)

(bInanimate objects: boat, paper boat, bed, palanquin (but in this case a balloon), enchanted club and rope, sword. (F.T.B.88, 121.—I.F.T. 156 ff., 162, 187.—W.A.S. 66.—I.A. IV., 55.)

(cIdea varied as mere power to fly through the air: hero's horse when his work in the tale is done, mannikin to help hero, to bring about meeting of hero and heroine and to protect both against their enemies, ogre to save his own life, saint to save hero. (F.T.B. 121, 217.—I.F.T. 45.—W.A.S. 8-12, 59.—L.P. 358, 495, 520 ff.—I.A. IV., 58.)

(dAs possession of a charm: the jôgi's ointment-box makes possessor traverse the earth at lightning speed. (W.A.S. 190.)



(aCat's nine lives: story illustrating. (I.F.T. 18 ff.)

(bAlchemy: making gold out of a stone, wealth by magic, heroine rubs balls of flour on her body which roll off in balls of gold, the stone from the ashes of the snake-woman will make gold. Varied as enchanted ring. (I.F.T. 59, 13.—F.T.B. 55 ff., 235.—W.A.S. 195, 200.)

(cDropping jewels: hero drops rubies when he laughs and pearls when he weeps, pearls and precious stones drop from heroine as she walks or speaks, whoever eats enchanted fish will drop jewels when he laughs and pearls when he weeps, when heroine laughs she fills a basket with flowers, when she weeps she fills a platter with pearls. (I.F.T. 13.—O.D.D. 239.—F.T.B. 97.—L.P. 233.)

(dBeing one-eyed: sign of a wicked disposition: hero's enemy is one-eyed, king of the tigers is, chief constable is, demon is. (I.F.T. 3, 36.—W.A.S. 12, 295.)

(eSymbolism: heroine puts a rose to her teeth to let hero know that her father's name is Dant (tooth), then behind her ear that her country is Karnâtak (ear, Carnatic), then at her feet that her own name is Pânvpati (foot). (I.F.T. 7.)

(fKing chosen by sacred elephant: hero is chosen. (W.A.S. 141.—F.T.B. 100.—I.A. III., 11; IV., 261.)

(gDeserted city: devastated by ogres, by ghosts, by demons, by a mannikin. Variants: (1) deserted palace of the ogre, of jinn; (2) deserted land; (3) blighted garden flourishing at the touch of the hero. (W.A.S. 49, 48, 52, 143, 169.—F.T.B. 65, 115, 74 ff., 169.—I.F.T. 178.—O.D.D. 197.)

(hChoice: hero has the choice of riches, power, beauty, long life, health, happiness, and anything else he fancies, he chooses power of metamorphosis. (O.D.D. 100.)

(iRiverside waif: heroine is put into a golden box as a baby and floated down stream, is found by a fisherman and adopted by a childless banker, hero is tossed ashore and befriended by washermen. (O.D.D. 256 ff.—I.A. IV., 263.)

(jLittle slipper: heroine's golden slipper will fit no one else, is found by hero. (O.D.D. 240.)

(kGambling extraordinary: hero loses first his companions (hawk and dog) and then himself to an ogress on a throw of dice, subsequently hero's brother wins them back; hero and his friends lose themselves to heroine; hero loses first his arms, then his horse, the third stake being his head, he then wins them back and finally wins last game, being his enemy's head. (F.T.B. 193-194, 277.—L.P. 48 ff.—W.A.S. 277 ff.)

(lEvil-eye: tale: is the cause of general misfortune to hero and heroine, hero turned woodcutter works so well that the others drive him away, heroine cooks and weaves so well that she is turned out by the village women and carried off by boatmen, hero beats them at gambling and is thrown overboard. (F.T.B. 110 ff.)

(mHuman sacrifice: for a fair wind. (W.A.S. 147.)

(nWolf-children: variant tale: a dog-mother has two girls instead of pups, but the queen has two pups in place of children. To avoid her girls being changed the dog hides them. They are subsequently found by two princes and married to them. The dog-mother seeks them. The elder daughter recognises and treats her kindly, but the younger ill-treats her till she dies. The elder then hides the corpse which turns into a golden bejewelled image of a dog. The elder girl is, as a reward, saved from death subsequently by a serpent, but the younger is killed. (O.D.D. 17, 22.) Variant tale: eagles carry off heroine and rear her. She subsequently meets hero and marries him, but is drowned by an enemy. She is however restored to life and to her human mother. (O.D.D. 84-90.)

(oBargains with animals: based on the supposition that they can talk, and so a variant consequent on the notion of the deus ex machinâ. Moral tale: ungrateful mouse seizes barber's razor for cutting his tail in taking out thorns; lends the razor to a grasscutter who breaks it, and the mouse takes his blanket instead, lends his blanket to a thresher to bind his sugar-canes, the blanket becomes torn and the mouse takes the canes; lends the canes to a confectioner to sweeten his wares, all of them being used he takes the confections; lends them to feed the king's cows and takes the cows; lends the cows for the king's feast on his daughter's wedding, takes the bride, lends his wife to rope-dancers as a performer, she is killed and so he takes all their wives, and finally is killed himself by a trick. Moral: overreaching ambition. (I.F.T. 101, 107.) Humorous tale: a rat gives a dry root to a man who wants to light his fire for cooking on a wet day, gets some dough in return; gives the dough to a potter for food, who gives him a pigskin in return; gives the pigskin to a neatherd to milk his buffalo into, gets the buffalo given him as a joke; meets a bridal party, offers them the buffalo for food, they take and eat it and run away to avoid the consequences and the rat takes possession of the bride, but finally loses her by a trick. (W.A.S. 18-23.) Humorous tale: a bearbargains to cut a quantity of wood for the hero in return for a savoury dish, cuts the wood, but finds that hero has eaten the food, so he takes the dish in revenge, and gets at hero's plums which he puts into the dish, at this point heroine sneezes which frightens the bear who drops the dish which hero and heroine pick up plums and all. (W.A.S. 40 ff.)

(pDelicate heroine: (1) ordinary form: five flower princess: heroine weighs five flowers only. (W.A.S. 10 ff.—O.D.D. 129 ff.) (2) Varied as one flower (I.F.T. 1.) (3) Variant: delicate heroine weighs only one flower; Indra, the king of heaven, weighs but one flower. (I.F.T. 2.)

(qNostrums for procuring sons: pomegranate flower (and fruit) given to eat, mango fruit to eat, a drug to take, throwing a stick at mangoes and eating what falls, eating fruit (lîchîs). Varied as used to procure egg-heroine (q.v.), barley-corn to eat, grain of rice to eat, two flowers, bathing in a sacred well. Variant: half a mango produces half a son. (F.T.B. 1, 117, 187, 9.—I.F.T. 41, 91, 139.—W.A.S. 47, 249.—L.P. 2, 3, 139, 290, 291.—I.A. I., 219.) (1) Children granted by saints and holy persons:twin sons granted on condition that one is given up when adult to mendicant granting him. Varied as a son restored to life so claimed, twin sons granted to the wrong queen by error, but the queen is to die at their birth for tricking the saint, and they are only to live twelve years; the right queen is granted one son of extraordinary power. (F.T.B. 168.—I.F.T. 41, 91, 93, 98.—W.A.S. 47, 98, 249.—L.P. 3, 2, 77, 139, 142.)

(rOrdeal: (1) To prove chastity hero and heroine have to spin a single thread of yarn (which has no cohesion) and to draw up with it water from a well in an unbaked pitcher; heroine has to throw with dice a special number, bathe in boiling oil; softening of a stone. (L.P. 39, 312, 315.—I.A. VI., 224.) (2) To prove truth: making a bamboo sprout. (I.A. VI., 224.)


(aMarriage without ceremony: hero to sleeping beauty, hero to egg-heroine, hero to robber's daughter, by mere exchange of garlands between hero and heroine. (W.A.S. 70, 173.—F.T.B. 11, 22, 86.—I.F.T. 61.—I.A. II., 358.)

(bEnforced marriage postponed for a season: by sleeping beauty to give her husband time to recover her, for one year, for six months, for six months to give winged horse time to rescue her, for twelve years to enable hero to find his mother, princess's marriage postponed for a year to give hero time to explain himself, for three years to enable heroine to avoid hero's enemy. (W.A.S. 64, 146, 204.—F.T.B. 29, 90, 217.—O.D.D. 44, 10.—I.A. I., 119; IV., 263.)

(cMarriage extraordinary: hero to ogress, hero to his own mother in ignorance. (F.T.B. 67, 106.—I.A. IV., 56, 58.)

(dOn condition of impossible task: to crush the oil in 80 lbs. of mustard seed, to kill demon, to beat a drum in heaven, to cut down a tree with wax hatchet, to tame a vicious pony, jump over lofty spiked walls, to find silver tree with leaves of gold and flowers of pearl, to jump river round heroine's palace three times on old war-horse, to separate millet seed from sand, to solve inexplicable riddles. (1) Expansion of idea: general impossibilities: heroine is to marry a dead man, heroine is to get possession of unmatched robe. (I.F.T. 160 ff.—O.D.D. 30, 32, 33, 73, 29, 229 ff.—L.P. 42, 43, 240.)

(ePublic choice of a husband: Swayamvara. (O.D.D. 29, 31, 33, 70, 95, 119, 240.—W.A.S. 104, 148, 172.—I.F.T. 163, 42 ff.—L.P. 240.—I.A. II., 263.)


(aOn hero's enemies: cutting to pieces and burying in the desert, burning in a wooden house and sending (female's) ashes to her mother as a present, burnt to ashes in a tower, killed and thrown into the desert, buried (female) to her head in a pit and shot to death with arrows, burying alive standing with thorns heaped around the body, burial alive and ploughing up the grave, simply put to death, boiling alive in caldrons. (I.F.T. 6, 11, 61, 192.—F.T.B. 16, 92, 107.—W.A.S. 110, 152.—L.P. 517.)

(bOn heroine's enemies: burning to death, imprisonment such as their calumnies had caused, hanging, imprisonment for life, tearing out the heart, killed by her husband's own hands, dashed to pieces, burial in a pit with scorpions and snakes, walking over the grave. (O.D.D. 65, 93, 238, 249, 269.—I.F.T. 137, 152.—W.A.S. 67, 88, 89.)

(cOn murderers: burnt alive. (I.F.T. 207.)

(dMiscellaneous punishments: hero has to sell himself to a sexton and his wife to a merchant as slaves to pay a debt, hero induces his unchaste wife by a trick to eat her lover's heart, the queen who has tricked the saint into granting her twins in place of sister dies in childbirth, heroine is set to scare crows. (I.F.T. 69 ff.—L.P. 65, 142, 292.)


(aOne: priest says he eats one demon a day; one whip to winged horse is enough, more destroys his virtue; one dip in enchanted tank restores beauty. (1) Hero is only son of a widow, of a king, a merchant, only son, heroine is only daughter. (O.D.D. 277.—W.A.S. 5, 47.—F.T.B. 283-284, 214, 93.—O.D.D. 23, 239.)

(bTwo: hero has two wives, heroine has two companions, hero wanders two years as a parrot, jeweller has to make up twothousand rupees, worth of ornaments for the princess, king has two sons, two companions seek fortune, king gives every one what they want for two hours. (O.D.D. 24, 95, 116.—L.P. 25.—W.A.S. 196.—I.A. I., 345, II., 357.)

(cThree: mendicant's disciple has three tasks set him, hero does three penances, mendicant laughs sardonically three times, Krishna has three wives, three women start to find Mahâdev, three companions outwit the demon, priest has a wife and threechildren, miraculous pony jumps a river three miles broad three times, horse jumps the high spiked wall of princess's sea-like bath three times, heroine and her companions sleep in three pomegranates, three pebbles restore metamorphosed fish to his human form. (1) Third son of king is hero, hero's three friends are chief actors in the tale, hero seeks fortune with threerupees, with three companions, tiger gives Brâhman leave to examine three things as to his rights, heroine has three sons, three vows are binding, hero trebles his capital miraculously, hero is given three lâkhs of rupees. (2) Hero sits as a stranger beside the king three days, heroine starves for three days, discarded body on metamorphosis lasts only three days, human co-wife discloses discovery of ogress co-wife on the third day, serpents go without water three days. (F.T.B. 71, 147, 261.—W.A.S. 5, 48, 116.—L.P. 65, 75, 126, 204, 223, 253, 423 ff.—I.F.T. 87, 115, 191.—O.D.D. 260, 252, 273 ff., 277, 30, 32, 80, 95, 104, 220.—I.A. IV., 263.)

(dFour: hero's companions search four years for him, Brâhman has four children. Varied as hero's father, life on earth is described as of four days only, hero seeks fortune with four gold pieces and four companions, four companions start to seek fortune, hero has four wives. (O.D.D. 147.—F.T.B. 53, 221.—L.P. 303.—W.A.S. 196-197.—I.A. I., 285; IV., 59.)

(eFive: idiot meets five fairies, snake which kills eaglets is cut into five pieces, heroine weighs five flowers, the five arms, heroine's robe is of five colours, five girls live on the milk of five sacred cows, hero's enemy has five sons, ghost has five mansof gold, queen dies after five years. (I.F.T. 32 ff., 182.—O.D.D. 130.—L.P. 222, 342, 430.—I.A. II., 358; III., 10; IV., 260.)

(fSix: hero plays in the desert six times, and six times six variations, hero eats six mans of ganjâ daily, farmer tricks sixthieves. (1) As half-twelve: mendicant sleeps and wakes alternately for six months, heroine seeks her sister six months, marriage is postponed six months, hero has six months in which to find the 'touchstone.' (I.F.T. 139.—O.D.D. 203.—L.P. 176.—I.A. II., 271, 357; III., 11.—W.A.S. 204.)

(gSeven: a kite has seven chicks, makes a feast of seven dishes, hero has seven wives and seven children, seven country girls play together, enchanted box contains seven fairies, seven companions seek fortune, king has seven queens, seven thieves come to steal the king's daughter seven fairies visit hero, hero's father has seven daughters, seven princes marry seven forlorn princesses, eagle's house has seven doors, heroine's abode is guarded by seven hedges of bayonets, and again by seven ditches and seven hedges of spears. Varied as tower of Ganesa's temple is so guarded, heroine's abode is across seven seas, Brâhman has seven daughters, seven-headed serpent helps heroine, hair of heroine is seven cubits long, prince is bathed seven times with seven jars of water and seven jars of milk, seven victims required to complete a human sacrifice, palace garden is sevenmiles square, heroine is locked up in seven prisons, lambikin is seven days fattening, heroine's enemy has seven sons, sevenhundred ogres guard the miraculous flower, the wounded deer is hurled seven paces by the force of an arrow, seven thieves die of grief for each other, ogre kills off the old woman's seven sons, hero's arrow pierces seven frying-pans and seven ogres placed one behind the other, heroine's home is across seven rivers, hero has to cross seven rivers to reach heroine, when hero shoots a deer it falls seven paces towards him, heroine has seven companions, the seven lives in Hell, the seven climes of the world, heroine has to throw the seven to prove her virtue (the five and two), seven mangoes (five and two) produce sevensons, hero's wealth reaches seven karorsseven thieves attack the barber's clever wife, heroine is seventh daughter, seventhhedge cannot be crossed (varied as killing hero), seventh queen goes across seven oceans, seventh court of deserted palace contains the ogresses, seventh daughter is heroine, seventh queen is mother of hero, seventh son is hero, seventh daughter is the cleverest of all, seventh wife protects her sister-in-law, seventh queen has a monkey son, seventh son sets out to find heroine, has miraculous powers. (2) Being seventh: Hero's life-index is in a parrot under six pitchers. (3) Hero is seven days and seven nights on the back of the golden deer flying through the air, tiger watches hero seven days, hero is given seven days to arrange his marriage in. (I.F.T. 42 ff., 138, 21, 51, 119, 127, 169, 173, 175, 206.—I.A. I., 170, III., 342.—O.D.D. 237, 1, 7, 13, 79, 95, 96, 130, 131, 170, 136, 166, 220.—F.T.B. 87, 135, 194, 214, 270, 248, 124 ff., 7 ff., 236 ff.—W.A.S. 28, 29, 37, 70, 80-83, 95, 241, 290, 294 ff., 295.—L.P. 14, 17, 19, 51, 142, 171, 179, 181, 190, 204, 209, 237, 313, 336.)

(hNine: hero is to carry enchanted box nine miles, life-index is in the nine-lâkh necklace, garden, kerchief, the nine quarters of the world, hero is given nine lâkhs of rupees, the nine Nâgs, hero eats nine mans of ganjâ daily and fasts nine days. (W.A.S. 6, 83.—L.P. 209, 235, 287, 426, 438, 488.—I.A. I., 271.)

(iTwelve: (1) idiot thinks he has been dead twelve years, camel has wandered twelve years, alligator has been ill twelveyears, tiger has had a thorn twelve years in his foot, hero is impoverished for twelve years, heroine wanders for twelve years, hero serves a mendicant for twelve years, hero does penance for twelve years, saint grants twelve years further life, mendicant sleeps and wakes alternately for twelve years (varied as demon, jinn), famine lasts twelve years, heroine searches twelve years for Mahâdeo, marriage is postponed twelve years, dog-mother seeks her human children twelve years, heroine lives in disguise for twelve years, heroine is reared by eagles for twelve years, hero must not see his father and mother for twelveyears after birth, is shut up in a cellar for twelve years, heroine's life-index (a mango tree) flowers after twelve years, barren heroine has a son after twelve years, the twins of the queen who has tricked the saint into granting them live only twelveyears, the ace and twelve if thrown are to decide against heroine in the ordeal by dice of her virtue, maiden of twelve years must fetch water from golden well to cure leprosy. (2) Singer's voice can be heard a distance of twelve days off, hero has twelve children, priest's family eat twelve demons a day, hero has a box made which requires twelve men to open, wedding of hero (disguised heroine with ogress princess) lasts twelve days, marriage tents of heroine are twelve miles in circumference, hero has twelve children (five boys and seven girls), king has twelve wives, eagles leave twelve months' provisions when they go to find heroine's ring, melon to cure ogress must be twelve cubits long, serpent has destroyed everything within twelvemiles of his lair, hero travels twelve miles per stage, hero is twelve months in his mother's womb. (I.F.T. 32, 35, 63, 64, 68, 74, 86, 87 ff., 98, 155, 167, 226.—O.D.D. 252, 258, 277, 10, 18, 26, 34, 41, 44-45, 47, 50, 80, 122.—F.T.B. 120.—W.A.S. 35, 64, 170, 305.—L.P. 3, 8, 12, 50, 74, 157, 313, 428, 438.—I.A. I., 119.)

(jEighteen: as multiple of twelve: eighteen thousand demons watch the wonderful cow, eighteen million demons guard the million-fold rice. (W.A.S. 106, 108.)

(kTwenty-four: as multiple of twelve: enchanted palace is twenty-four miles square, heroine must travel twenty-four miles without looking back, salary of heroine in disguise is twenty-four lâkhs of rupees, heroine remains unmarried twenty-fouryears, serpent has destroyed everything within twenty-four miles of his lair. (O.D.D. 21, 22, 26, 70.—L.P. 9.)

(lMiscellaneous: nineteen lines of houses are burnt down by heroine, thirteenth queen is heroine, melon to cure ogress has a stone thirteen cubits long, heroine lives across thirteen rivers, the jôgi has waited twenty-two years to see the heroine, eightcharms cure of serpent-bite, hero's companion is turned into stone for eight years, heroine starts off with twenty-one gold pieces, hero is born on the eighth day of Bhâdon, marriage is to be postponed only eight days, the eight families of Nâgs, heroine lives fourteen years in gardener's hut, heroine's home is fourteen (twice seven) hundred miles away, hero takes with him twenty-two hundred nobles, ogres eat twenty-two mans of rice and twenty-two buffaloes, hero plays thirty-six times in the desert to enchant the animals, music plays in thirty-six places at a marriage, heroine wears sixteen ornaments and thirty-twojewels, thirty-six bands accompany king in procession, serpent can change into fifty-two forms. (O.D.D. 269, 53, 77, 145.—F.T.B. 120, 214.—L.P. 31, 76, 155, 161, 176, 237, 300, 324, 342, 350, 426, 438, 515.—I.A. 1., 117.)

(mLarge numbers: (1)one hundred and one: miraculous egg-plant has one hundred and one fruits on it, meaning that whoever marries the gardener's daughter will have one hundred and one children. (2) One thousand and one: hero's metamorphosed companions and himself number one thousand and one. (3) Miscellaneous large numbers: oven to kill serpent in consists of one hundred kinds of metal, wrestler eats one hundred and sixty mans of flour at a sitting, drags along one hundred and sixty carts, wrestler's daughter's wallet contains one hundred and sixty camels, buck has three hundred and sixty wives (does), one thousand crows circumvent hero and his companions, hero makes one thousand wooden parrots which come to life miraculously, hero has one hundred and sixty wives, hero wanders seventy years as a mendicant, heroine found in the hundredth enchanted palace, heroine has sixty maids, hero sports with seventy maidens, he announces himself by beating seventy gongs, sixty steps lead to hero's palace, the prayers of three hundred and sixty saints restore a flock of dead goats to life, hero seduces three hundred and sixty princesses, parrot has three hundred and sixty feathers. (O.D.D. 50, 51, 104, 105, 129.—I.F.T. 85, 91.—W.A.S. 29, 193, 223, 224, 226.—L.P. 20, 44, 63, 79, 241, 233, 466, 495.)

(nFractions; aliquot parts of five: (1) one and a quarter: one and a quarter lâkhs of rupees are voted to a shrine, the gates of heroine's palace opened one and a quarter watches after sunrise, hero's accounts reach one and a quarter lâkhs, hero's ring is worth one and a quarter lâkhs, the stone over heroine's cellar (and over golden well) is one and a quarter hundred mans, king gives away one and a quarter mans of gold daily to the faqîrs, heroine prays one and a quarter watches before she begins her charming. (2) Two and half: hero gives two and half karors of rupees to his minister to buy the enchanted horses with, two and a half families only remain alive after vengeance on the Nâgs. (L.P. 212, 250, 253, 255, 282, 428, 447, 472, 518.—W.A.S. 281.)

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Survey of the Incidents in Modern Indian Folk-Tales, A
Tale Author/Editor: Temple, R. C.
Book Title: Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Book Author/Editor: Steel, Flora Annie Webster
Publisher: Macmillan and Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1917
Country of Origin: India

Back to Top