Kara And Guja





Once upon a time there were two brothers named Kara and Guja who

were first class shots with the bow and arrow. In the country

where they lived, a pair of kites were doing great damage: they

had young ones in a nest in a tree and used to carry off children

to feed their nestlings until the whole country was desolated. So

the whole population went in a body to the Raja and told him that

they would have to leave the country if he could not have the kites

killed. Then the Raja made proclamation that any one who could kill

the two kites should receive a large tract of land as a reward, and

thereupon many men tried to kill them; but the kites had made their

nest of ploughs and clod-crushers so that the arrows could not hit

them, and the shooters had to give up the attempt. At last Kara and

Guja thought that they would try, so they made an ambush and waited

till the birds came to the nest to feed their young and then shot them

both through the hole in a clod-crusher into which the pole fits, and

the two kites fell down dead, at the source of the Ganges and Jumna,

and where they fell they made a great depression in the ground. Then

Kara and Guja carried the bodies to the Raja and he gave them a grant

of land; and their grateful neighbours made a large rice field of the

depression which the kites had made in the earth and this was given

to Kara and Guja as service land to their great delight.



Kara and Guja used to spend their time in the forest, living on what

they could find there; they slept in a cave and at evening would

cook their rice there or roast jungle roots. One day a tiger spied

them out as they were roasting tubers and came up to them suddenly

and said. "What are you cooking? Give me some or I will eat you." So

while they went on eating the roasted tubers, they threw the coals

from the fire to the tiger at the mouth of the cave and he crunched

them up and every now and then they threw him a bit of something good

to eat; the tiger would not go away but lay there expecting to be fed,

and Kara and Guja debated how to get rid of him. Then Guja suddenly

jumped up and dashed at the tiger and caught him by the tail and began

to twist the tail and he went on twisting until he twisted it right

off and the tiger ran roaring away. Kara and Guja roasted the tail

and ate it, and they found it so nice that they decided to hunt the

tiger and eat the rest of him. So the two brothers searched for him

everywhere and when they found him they chased him until they ran

him down and killed him; then they lit a fire and singed the hair

off and roasted the flesh and made a grand meal: but they did not

eat the paunch. Kara wanted to eat it but Guja would not let him,

so Kara carried it away on his shoulder.



Presently they sat down in the shade of a banyan tree by the side of a

road and along the road came a Raja's wedding procession; when Kara and

Guja saw this they climbed into the tree and took the tiger's paunch up

with them. The wedding party came to a halt at the foot of the tree and

some of them lay down to eat and the Raja got out of his palki and lay

down to sleep in the shade. After a time Kara got tired of holding the

tiger's paunch in his arms and whispered to Guja that he could hold it

no longer, Guja told him on no account to let it go but at last Kara

got so tired that he let it fall right on the top of the Raja; then

all the Raja's attendants raised a shout that the Raja's stomach had

burst and all ran away in a panic leaving everything they had under

the tree; but after they had gone a little distance they thought of

the goods they had left behind and how they could not continue the

journey without them, so they made their way back to the banyan tree.



But meanwhile Kara and Guja had climbed down and gathered together all

the fine clothes and everything valuable and taken them up into the

tree. And Kara took up a large drum which he found and in one end of

the drum he made a number of little holes: and he caught a number of

wild bees which had a nest in the tree and put them one by one into

the drum. When the Raja's attendants came back and saw that there

were two men in the tree, they called out: "Why have you dishonoured

our Raja? We will kill you." Kara and Guja answered "Come and see who

will do the killing." So they began to fight and the Raja's men fired

their guns at Kara and Guja till they were tired of shooting, and had

used up all their powder and shot, but they never hit them. Then Kara

and Guja called out "Now it is our turn!" And when the Raja's men saw

that Kara and Guja had nothing but a drum they said "Yes, it is your

turn." So Kara and Guja beat the drum and called "At them, my dears:

at them my dears." And the wild bees flew out of the drum and stung

the Raja's men and drove them right away. Then Kara and Guja took

all their belongings and went home and ever after were esteemed as

great Rajas because of the wealth which they had acquired.





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