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The Tiger Cub And The Calf

Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

A Tigress and a Cow used to graze in a dense jungle, and they were
both with young. They became great friends and agreed that they
would marry their children to each other. In the course of time the
tigress gave birth to a she-cub and the cow to a bull-calf. They kept
the young ones in the same place and used to go and graze together,
and then return at the same time to suckle their young. On their way
back they used to drink at a certain river, the tigress up the stream
and the cow lower down. One day it happened that the cow got first
to the river and drank at the upper drinking place, and the tigress
drank lower down. And the froth from the cow's mouth floated down the
stream and the tigress tasted it and found it nice, and this made her
think that the flesh of the cow must also be good; so she resolved to
eat the cow one day. The cow saw what was in the mind of the tigress
and she left some of her milk in a bowl, and said to her calf:
"The tigress has resolved to eat me; watch this milk and when you
see it turn red like blood, you will know that I have been killed;"
then she went off to graze with the tigress.

The two youngsters always used to play together very happily but
that day the calf would not play but kept going to look at the bowl
of milk; and the tigress cub asked the reason. The calf told her
what his mother had said; then the tigress cub said that if this
happened she would never suck from her mother again and it would
be better for them both to run away. So the two kept going to look
at the bowl of milk, and about midday they saw that it had changed
to blood and they both began to weep. Shortly after, the tigress
came back, and flies were clustered round her mouth because of the
blood on it. The tigress told her daughter to come and suck, but she
said that she would wait till the cow came and then she and the calf
could have their meal together as usual; at this the tigress frowned
terribly and the cub was frightened, so she said, "Very well, mother,
I will suck, but first go and wash your mouth; why are the flies
clustered round it?" So the tigress went off but she did not wash,
she only ate some more of the cow. While she was away, the calf and
the cub ran off to another jungle, and when the tigress came back,
she searched for them with horrid roarings and could not find them,
and if she had found them she would have killed them.

Next: The Jackal And The Chickens

Previous: The Jackal And The Crow

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