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The Two Brothers Jhorea And Jhore

Source: Santal Folk Tales

There were two brothers, whose parents died, leaving them orphans
when very young. The name of the elder was Jhorea, and of the younger
Jhore. On the death of their parents, the two brothers went to seek
employment, which they found in a certain village, far from where
their home had been. The elder, Jhorea, was engaged as a farm servant,
and the younger, Jhore, as village goat-herd.

After some time, it so happened that one day the brothers had no rice
for their dinner, and Jhorea said to his brother, "Go to the owners of
the goats you herd, and ask them for the hire they promised you. One
will give you a pai, another a pawa, and a third a paila, and so
on, according to the number of animals they have in your charge;
some will give you more and others less, bring what you get, and
cook some for dinner." The boy went as he was ordered, and entering
the first house he came to, said, "Give me a pai." They said: "What
do you want with a pai?" "Never mind what I want with it, give it,"
he replied. So they gave him a pai. Then he went to another house
and said, "Give me a pawa." "What do you want with a pawa?" they
said. "Never you mind, give it to me," and they gave him a pawa. He
then went to a third house and asked for a paila. "What do you want
with a paila?" they enquired. "Never you mind, give it to me," he
replied. Instead of bringing rice he brought the wooden measures, and
breaking them into small pieces, put them into the pot to cook. The
elder brother was ploughing, and being very hungry, he kept calling
out, "Cook the rice quickly, cook the rice quickly." His brother being
impatient, he stirred the contents of the pot with all his might, at
the same time exclaiming, "What can be the matter brother? it is very
hard." The elder brother came to see what was wrong, and on looking
into the pot saw only pieces of wood. He became very angry, and said,
"I sent you to bring rice, why did you bring measures?" To which he
replied, "You told me to ask a pai from one, a pawa from another,
and a paila from a third, and I did so."

The elder then said to the younger, "You go and plough, and if the
plough catch in a root on the right hand, cut the root on the left
hand, and if it catch in a root on the left side, cut the root on
the right side, and in the meantime I will cook." He went and began
to plough, and in a short time the plough caught in a root on the
right, and not understanding the directions given to him, he struck
the left hand bullock a blow on the leg with his axe. The bullock
limped along a short distance. When the plough caught in a root on
the left, he smote the bullock on the right, wounding it as he had
done the other. Both of the bullocks then lay down, and although he
beat them they did not get up. He therefore called to his brother,
"These bullocks have lain down, and will not get up, what shall I
do?" "Beat them," was the reply. Again he beat them, but with no
better result. The elder brother then came, and found that the oxen
had been maimed, and were unable to stand, at which he became greatly
alarmed, and said, "Why did you maim the oxen? The owners will beat
us to death to-day." He then gave him some parched grain to eat,
and sent him to look after his goats. The sun being hot, the goats
were lying in the shade chewing their cud. He sat down near them,
and began to eat the parched grain. Seeing the goats moving their
jaws as if eating, he said, "These goats are eating nothing, they
are lying there mocking me," and becoming enraged, he killed them
all with his axe. Then going to his brother, he said, "Oh! brother,
I have killed all the goats." His brother asked, "Why did you kill
them?" He replied, "While I was watching them and eating the parched
grain which you gave me, I saw them chewing, and as they were eating
nothing I knew they were mocking me, and so I killed them all." The
elder brother became greatly alarmed, and calling to the younger to
come, they quickly ate their dinner, and then went to where the goats
were lying dead. From among them they chose the fattest, and carried
it off to the jungle, where they flayed, and cut it into pieces.

Jhore then said, "I shall take the stomach as my share," but his
brother said, "No, let us take the flesh." Jhore, however, would not
agree to that, and at length his brother said, "Well you take the
stomach, I shall take the flesh." So each took what he fancied most,
and they set off. After travelling a long distance, they came to a
large tree growing on the side of the road, into which they climbed
for safety. After they had been some time on the tree, a raja on his
way to be married, lay down to rest in its shade, and when he and
his attendants had fallen asleep, Jhore let the goat's stomach fall
down on the raja. The raja having his rest thus rudely disturbed,
sprang to his feet, and calling out, awoke his servants, who seeing
the goat's stomach, and not knowing what had happened, thought the
raja himself had burst. They fled in terror followed by the raja,
and did not halt till they were many miles away from the scene of
the raja's discomfiture.

After waiting a little while, the brothers descended, and began to
help themselves to the raja's property. Jhore said, "I shall take the
drum." His brother said, "No, let us take the brass vessels and the
clothes." Jhore, however, insisted, and after considerable wrangling,
his brother said, "Well, take the drum if you will have it, I shall
take the brass vessels and the clothes." So each took what pleased
him best, and then they went away and hid in the jungle.

While walking about in the jungle, they collected bees, wasps, and
other stinging insects, and put them into the drum. Having filled the
drum, they emerged from the forest at a place where a washerman was
washing clothes. Jhore tore all his clothes into strips, and scattered
them about. The washerman went and told the raja that two persons
had come out from the jungle, and had destroyed all his clothes. On
hearing this, the raja said to his servants, "Come, and let us fight
with these two men." So arming themselves with guns, they went to the
tank where Jhorea and Jhore were sitting, and began to shoot at them,
but the bullets did them no harm. When their ammunition was exhausted,
they said, "Will you still fight?" The brothers answered, "Yes, we
will fight." So they began to fire their guns, and beat their drum,
and the bees and wasps issued from it like a rope, and began to sting
the raja and his soldiers, who to save themselves, lay down and rolled
on the ground. The raja, in anguish from the stings of the bees,
exclaimed, "I will give you my daughter, and half of my kingdom,
if you will call off the bees." Hearing this they beat the drum,
and calling to the bees and wasps, ordered them all to enter the drum
again, and the raja and his people went to their homes. The brothers
however, could not agree as to who should marry the princess. One said,
"You marry her." The other said, "No, you marry her." The younger at
length said to the elder, "You are the elder, you should take her,
as it is not fitting that you should beg. If I were to marry her,
I could no longer go about begging." So the elder brother married
the princess, and became the raja's son-in-law.

The two settled down there, and cultivated all kinds of crops. One
day the elder brother sent his younger brother to bring a certain
kind of grain. Taking a sickle and a rope to tie his sheaves with, he
went to the field. Arrived there, he found that the grain was covered
with insects. So he set fire to it, and while it was burning he kept
calling out, "Whoever desires to feast on roasted insects, let him
come here." When his brother knew what he had done, he reprimanded
him severely.

Some time afterwards, when the black rice was ripe, he again
ordered him to go and reap some, so getting a sickle, and rope to
bind his sheaves with, he went to the rice field. On looking about
to see where he would begin, he discovered that each stalk of rice
was covered with flies. "There is nothing here but flies. How can I
reap this?" Saying this, he set fire to the growing rice and burnt
it all to the ground. His brother, when he knew what had happened,
was very much displeased and threatened to beat him.

On another day he was sent to cut jari [1] to make ropes, so taking
his sickle, he set off to the field of jari. As soon as he began
to cut the stalks, the seeds rattled in the pods, hearing which he
stopped and called out, "Who is calling me?" After listening awhile
and hearing nothing he began again, and the same noise issuing from
the plant he was cutting, he said, "These plants are remonstrating
with me for cutting them." So being offended, he set fire to and
burnt down the whole crop of jari.

On being informed of his brother's action, Jhorea seized a stick,
and ran after him to beat him, but could not overtake him. In the
direction Jhore was running, there were some men flaying an ox, and
Jhorea called to them to lay hold of his brother. They could not,
however, accomplish this, but as he passed, they threw the stomach
of the ox at him, which he caught in his arms and carried away with
him. Finding a drain that was open at both ends, he crept in at one
end, and passed out at the other, but left the ox's stomach behind
him. His brother soon arrived at the drain, and thinking he was still
there, tried to drive him out by pushing in a stick, the sharp point
of which perforated the ox's stomach. On withdrawing the stick, and
seeing the contents of the ox's stomach adhering to it, he thought he
had pierced and killed his brother, but he having passed out at the
other end had run swiftly home, and hid himself among the rafters of
the house. Jhorea returned home weeping, and immediately began to make
the preparations necessary for Jhore's funeral ceremonies. He caused
a sumptuous feast to be got ready, and invited all his relations and
friends. When they were all assembled, he went into the house to offer
Jhore his portion. Presenting it, he said: "Oh! my brother Jhore, I
offer this to you, take it, and eat it." Jhore, from among the rafters
said, "Give it to me brother, and I shall eat it." His brother, not
expecting an answer, was alarmed, and fled to his friends without,
exclaiming, "Do the spirits of dead men speak? Jhore's speaks."

It now being dark, Jhore descended from his perch, and taking up the
food which had been cooked for his funeral feast, left the house
by another door. Passing on to the high way, he kept calling out,
"Travellers by the road, or dwellers in the jungle, if you require
food, come here." Some thieves hearing him, said, "Come, let us go and
ask some." So going to him they said, "Give us some too, Jhore." But
he replied, "It is for me alone." On their asking a second time,
he give it to them. After they had eaten it all, they said to him,
"Come, let us go a thieving." So they went to a house, and while the
thieves were searching for money, Jhore went and picked up small pieces
of pottery, and tied them up in his cloth. When they met afterwards,
seeing Jhore's bundle of what appeared like rupees, they said,
"You were not with us, where did you get the money?" Opening his
parcel, he shewed them the pieces of pottery, seeing which they said,
"We will not have you as our comrade." He replied, "Then return the
food which you ate." As they could not comply, they agreed to take
him with them. Jhore then said, "Where shall we go now?" They replied,
"To steal cloth." So they went to a house, and while the robbers were
searching for cloth, Jhore began to pull the clothes from off the
sleeping inmates. This awoke them, and starting up, they began to call
loudly for help. The thieves made off, and Jhore with them. Seeing
Jhore had spoiled their game, they said to him, "We will not allow
you to go with us again." He said, "Then give me back the food you
ate." Not being able to do so, they said, "Well, we will allow you
to accompany us this once." Jhore then said, "What shall we steal
now?" The thieves answered, "We shall now go to steal horses." So
they went to a stable, and each of the thieves helped himself to a
horse; but Jhore going behind the house, found a large tiger which he
saddled and mounted. The thieves also mounted each on the horse he
had stolen. As they rode along, Jhore's tiger sometimes went first,
and sometimes the thieves' horses. When the thieves were in front,
Jhore's tiger bit and scratched their horses, so they said to him,
"You ride first, we shall follow." But Jhore said, "No, my horse is a
Hindu horse, he cannot run in front, your horses are Santal horses,
they run well and straight, so you ride ahead." When day began to
dawn, Jhore's tiger evinced a tendency to leave the road and take to
the jungle, but Jhore holding him in, exclaimed, "Ha! ha! my Hindu
steed, ha! ha! my Hindu steed." When it was fully light, the tiger
ran into the jungle, and Jhore got caught in the branch of a tree,
and continued dangling there for some days.

It so happened that one morning a demon passing that way spied Jhore
dangling from the tree, and seizing him, put him in a bag and carried
him away. Being thirsty, he laid the bag down, and went to a spring
to drink. While he was absent, Jhore got out of the bag, and putting
a stone in instead, ran away. The demon having quenched his thirst,
returned, and lifting the bag carried it home. His daughter came to
welcome him, and he said to her, "Jhore is in the bag, cook him,
and we shall have a feast." He then went to invite his friends to
share it with him. When the demon's daughter had opened the bag,
she found the stone, and was angry, because her father had deceived
her. In a short time her father returned, bringing a large number of
jackals with him. He said to her, "Have you cooked Jhore?" She replied,
"Tush! tush! you brought me a stone."

The demon was highly incensed at having been outwitted, and exclaimed,
"I will track Jhore till I find him, and this time I shall bring him
home without laying him down." He then left, and before long found
Jhore swinging in the same branch as before. Catching hold of him, he
put him into a bag, the mouth of which he tied. This time he brought
him home without once laying him down. Calling to his daughter,
he said, "Cook Jhore, while I go to invite my friends." She untied
the bag, and took Jhore out, and seeing his long hair, she said,
"How is it that your hair has grown so long?" "I pounded it in the
dhenki," he replied, "Will you pound mine, so that it may become long
like yours," said the demon's daughter. Jhore replied, "I shall do so
with pleasure, put your head in the dhenki, and I shall pound it." So
she put in her head, and he pounded it so that he killed her. He then
possessed himself of all her jewellery, and dressing in her clothes,
cooked her body.

When the demon returned, accompanied by his friends, he said,
"Well! daughter, have you cooked Jhore?" Jhore replied, "Yes, I have
cooked him." On hearing this, the demon and the jackals who had come
with him, were delighted, and setting to, they devoured the body of
the demon's daughter.

After some days, the demon went to visit a friend, and Jhore divesting
himself of the demon girl's clothes, went to where the demon had at
first found him, and began to swing as before. Presently a tigress
approached him and said, "Oh! brother, the hair of my cubs has
grown very long, I wish you to shave them to-day." Jhore replied,
"Oh! sister, boil some water, and then go to the spring to bring
more." The tigress having boiled the water, went to the spring. While
she was away, Jhore poured the boiling water over the two cubs,
and scalded them to death. He made them grin by fixing the lips
apart, and propped them up at the door of the tigress' house. On her
return as she drew near, she saw her cubs, as she fancied, laughing,
and said to herself. "They are delighted because their uncle has
shaved them." Setting down her water pot, she went to look at them,
and found them dead. Just then the demon came up, and she asked him,
"Whom are you seeking to-day uncle?" He replied "I am seeking Jhore,
he has caused me to eat my own daughter. Whom are you seeking?" The
tigress replied, "I also am seeking Jhore; he has scalded my cubs
to death."

The two then went in search of Jhore. They found him in a lonely part
of the forest preparing birdlime, and said to him, "What are you doing,
Jhore?" He replied, "I look high up, and then I look deep down." They
said, "Teach us to do it too." He answered, "Only I can do it." They
asked him a second time, and received the same reply. On their begging
him a third time to teach them, he said, "Well, I shall do it." He
then put some of the birdlime into their eyes, and fixed their eyelids
together, so that they could not open them. While they were washing
their eyes, he ran away. As soon as they had rid themselves of the
birdlime, they followed him and found him distilling oil from the
fruit of the marking-nut tree. They said to him, "What are you doing,
Jhore?" He replied, "I look deep down, and then high up." They said,
"Teach us also." He replied, "Only I can do it." They asked him again,
and he said, "Well I will do it." He then poured some of the oil he
had distilled into their eyes. It burned them so, that they became

Jhore was next seen seated in a fig-tree eating the fruit. Some cattle
merchants, passing under the tree with a large herd of cattle, saw him
eating the figs, and asked him what it was he was eating. He replied,
"Beat the bullock that is going last, and you shall find it." So
they beat the bullock till it fell down. In the meantime, the herd
had gone on ahead, and Jhore running after them drove them to his
own house. His brother seeing the large herd of cattle, asked to whom
they belonged. Jhore replied, "They are Jhore's property." Jhorea then
said, "I killed my brother Jhore, what Jhore is it?" He made answer,
"Your brother Jhore whom you thought you had killed." Jhorea was
delighted to find his brother alive, and said to him, "Let us live
together after this." So they lived peacefully together ever after.

Next: The Boy And His Stepmother

Previous: The Magic Lamp

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