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The Goala's Daughter

Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

There was once a man of the Goala caste who had an only daughter and
she grew up and was married, but had no child; and after twenty years
of married life she gave up all hope of having any. This misfortune
preyed on her mind and she fell into a melancholy. Her parents asked
her why she was always weeping and all the answer she would give was
"My sorrow is that I have never worn clothes of "Dusty cloth" and
that is a sorrow which you cannot cure." But her father and mother
determined to do what they could for their daughter and sent servants
with money into all the bazars to buy "Dusty cloth". The shopkeepers
had never heard of such an article so they bought some cloth of any
sort they could get and brought it to the Goala; when he offered it
to his daughter she thanked him and begged him not to waste his money:

"You do not understand" said she--"what I mean by "Dusty cloth." God
has not given it to me and no one else can; what I mean by 'Dusty
cloth' is the cloth of a mother made dusty by the feet of her
child." Then her father and mother understood and wept with her,
saying that they would do what man could do but this was in the hands
of God; and they sang:--

"Whatever the child of another may suffer, we care not:
But our own child, we will take into our lap, even when it is covered
with dust."

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