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Ramai And Somai

Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

Once two poor men named Ramai and Somai came to a village and took
some waste land from the headman, and ploughed it and sowed millet;
and their plough was only drawn by cows and their ploughshare was
very small, what is called a "stumpy share;" and when they had sowed
a little the rains came on; and Somai gave up cultivation and took
to fishing and for a time he made very good profits by catching and
selling fish; and he did not trouble even to reap the millet he had
sown; he laughed at Ramai who was toiling away clearing more land
and sowing maize and rice. He used to go and look at him and tell
him that he would never get a crop while he had nothing better than a
"stumpy" plough; it would probably break to pieces one day and then he
would be helpless; he had much better take to fishing which gave quick
and easy returns. Ramai made no answer, but when the rains were over
there was no more fishing to be done; and Somai was left to starve
and had to go from village to village begging. But Ramai reaped his
millet and lived on that till his maize was ripe and then his maize
supported him until his rice was ripe and he always had plenty to eat;
and to show his despite for Somai, after he had had a good dinner,
he would come out in front of his house and call out "What of the
stumpy share now?" Every day after eating he would come out and say
"At first I worked hard and suffered hunger but now I am eating in
happiness; and you were happy then but now you are starving."

Next: The Two Brothers

Previous: The Father-in-law's Visit

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