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The Story Of Two Princesses

Source: Santal Folk Tales

A certain raja had two daughters, who were in the habit of amusing
themselves out side of the palace walls. One day they saw a crow
flying towards them with a ripe Terel [21] fruit in his beak. They then
said to each other, "What fruit is it? It looks nice and sweet." The
crow let the fruit fall in front of them. They ran and picked it
up, and ate it. It tasted deliciously sweet. Then they said, "From
whence did the crow bring such a good fruit?" Then they remembered
the direction from which they had seen it coming, and said, "If we
go this way we shall find it." So they went, but it was only after
they had travelled a great distance from home that they found the
Terel tree with the ripe luscious fruit.

The elder of the two girls climbed up into the tree, and shook down
a large quantity of the fruit. They then feasted to their heart's
content. Presently they began to feel thirsty, and the elder said to
the younger, "You remain here while I go to drink, and I will also
bring you water in a leaf cup." Having said this she went away to
the tank, and her sister remained under the Terel tree. The day was
extremely hot, and they were very thirsty.

The elder having quenched her thirst was returning carrying water for
her sister in a cup made of the leaves of a Terel tree, when a bhut
came flying along, and fell into the cup of water. Presently she became
aware that there was a hole in the bottom of her cup through which
all the water had run out. What could she do now? There was no help
for it but to return to the tank, make another leaf cup, and filling
it with water return to her sister. As she was returning with the cup
full of water the bhut again came flying up, and entering the water
passed through the leaf, making a hole by which all the water escaped.

Again she made a leaf cup, and having filled it with water was
returning when the bhut again came, and destroyed her cup, and caused
her to lose the water. In this way she was detained till very late.

A raja who happened to be in the vicinity saw a beautiful girl carrying
water in a leaf cup, and a bhut come and make a hole in the cup, so
that it soon became empty. Having seen this several times repeated,
he drew near, and feasted his eyes on her beauty. Then he carried
her away to his palace, where they were joined in wedlock, and the
princess, now the rani, cooked the food for herself and her husband.

The younger princess remained near the Terel tree, and although she
had given up hope of again meeting her sister, still she continued
to wait. At length a herd of Hanuman monkeys came to feed upon the
Terel fruit. When the girl saw them coming she was terrified and crept
into the hollow of the tree. The monkeys with the exception of an old
frail one, climbed into the tree and began to eat the fruit. The old
monkey remained below and picked up the fruit shells which the others
threw down.

The old monkey having noticed the girl hiding in the hollow of the
tree called to the others, "Throw me down some. If you do not I shall
not share the Setke chopot I have found." The monkeys in the tree
said, "Do not give him any. He is deceiving us. When his hunger is
satisfied he will run and leave us." So no fruit was thrown down to
him, and he was forced to be content with the shells. The monkeys in
the tree having fared sumptuously, left. The old monkey waited till
they were out of sight, and then entered the hollow of the tree,
where the girl was, and ate her up. He then went to the tank to
drink, and afterwards went in the direction of the raja's garden,
on reaching which he lay down and died. One of the gardeners finding
him dead threw him on the dunghill.

From the place where the monkey decayed a gourd sprang, and grew, and
bore a fruit which ripened. One day a jugi, when on his rounds begging,
saw this fruit and plucking it took it away with him. Out of the shell
he made a banjo, which when played upon emitted wonderful music. The
words which seemed to proceed from the banjo were as follows:

Ripe terels, ripe terels, Oh! Sister mine.
Went in search of water, Oh! Sister mine.
Raja and Rani they became.
Seven hundred monkeys old,
Ate me up, ate me up. Oh! Sister mine.

The jugi was greatly pleased with the music of his new banjo, and
determined to take it with him when he went a begging. So one day
he set out with his banjo the music of which so pleased the people
that they gave him large gifts of money and clothes. In course of
time he arrived at the palace where the elder sister was now rani,
and, being admitted, began to play on his banjo. The instrument again
produced most wonderful music. It seemed to wail as follows:

Ripe terels, ripe terels, Oh! Sister mine.
Went in search of water, Oh! Sister mine.
Raja and Rani they became.
Seven hundred monkeys old,
Ate me up, ate me up. Oh! Sister mine.

Having listened to the music the rani said, "It is wonderfully
sweet," and she fancied she heard her sister's voice in every
note. She thought it possible that it was she who sang in the banjo,
and she desired to obtain possession of it. So she invited the jugi
to pass the night in the palace, saying, I would hear more of this
entrancing music." The jugi listened to the words of the rani and
agreed to remain till morning. So the rani made much of him with the
intention of at length obtaining possession of his banjo. She caused
a goat to be killed, and she cooked a splendid supper for the jugi,
who finding the food so toothsome ate heartily. Wine was not withheld,

and the jugi being in a festive frame of mind drank deeply, so that he
soon lay as one dead. The rani took the banjo, and placed another in
its stead. She then threw filth over the unconscious jugi and retired
to her own apartment.

The jugi on awaking before sunrise found himself in a pitiable
plight. He felt so thoroughly disgusted with himself that, hastily
picking up his staff, cloth, and banjo, he fled with the utmost
possible speed from the palace. When dawn broke he saw that the banjo
he had was not his own, and although he felt keenly its loss he was
too much ashamed of the condition he had been in to go back to seek it.

The rani hid the jugi's banjo in her own room, because she knew her
sister to be in it. Whenever the raja and rani went out to walk the
girl left the banjo and having bathed and dressed her hair, cooked
the family meal, and then returned to the banjo. This happened so
often that at last, it came to the knowledge of the raja that a fairy
lived in the banjo, and when the way was clear used to come out and
prepare food for the rani and himself. So he determined to lie in wait
for the fairy cook. He then sent the rani somewhere on an errand,
and hid himself in a corner of the room from whence he could see
the banjo. In a short time the princess emerged from the banjo, and
began to dress her hair, and anoint herself with oil, after which she
cooked rice. She divided the food into three portions, one of which
she ate. As she was about to re-enter the banjo the raja sprang out
and caught hold of her. She exclaimed, "Chi! Chi! you may be a Hadi,
or you may be a Dom." The raja replied, "Chi! Chi! whether I be a Dom,
or a Hadi, from to-day you and I are one."

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