The Child With The Ears Of An Ox
Category: Part I.
Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas
Once upon a time a son was born to a certain Raja and the child had
the ears of an ox. The Raja was very much ashamed and let no one
know. But the secret could not be kept from the barber who had to
perform the ceremony of shaving the child's head. However the Raja
made the barber vow not to tell anyone of what he had seen.
So the barber went away, but the secret which he might not tell had an
unfortunate effect; it made his stomach swell to an enormous size. As
the barber went along in this unhappy condition he met a Dom who asked
why his stomach was so swollen. The barber said that it was because
he had shaved the Raja's child and had seen that it had the ears of
an ox. Directly he had broken his vow and blurted out the secret,
his stomach returned to its usual size.
The Dom went his way and cut down a tree and made a drum out of the
wood, and went about playing on the drum and begging. He came to the
Raja's palace and there he drummed and sang:--
"The son of the Raja
Has the ears of an ox."
When the Raja heard this, he was very angry, and swore to punish the
barber who must have broken his vow. But the Dom assured the Raja
that he knew nothing about the matter; that it was the drum that sang
the words and not he and that he had no idea what they meant. So the
Raja was pacified and gave the Dom a present and sent him away and
the barber was not punished.
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