The Raibar And The Leopard





Once upon a time a Raibar was going backwards and forwards between

two families arranging a marriage and part of the road which he used

to travel ran through a forest.



One day as he was going to the bride's house he took a sack with

him intending to try and get the loan of some Indian corn from the

bride's relations; but as he was passing through the piece of jungle

he suddenly met a leopard; he was terribly frightened but collecting

his wits he addressed the animal thus "Leopard; I beg you not to eat

me; I am engaged on a work of great merit, I am making two men out

of one." This address amazed the leopard and he at once asked the

raibar whether he could make him into two, and promised that if

he could his life should be spared. The raibar answered readily

"Seeing that in pursuit of my profession I have made two men out of

one all over the country, of course I can make you into two leopards

if I try; all you have to do is to get into this sack and keep quiet;

if you utter a sound you will spoil the charm."



"Well," said the leopard, "I will try and see; I undertake to keep

quite quiet, and if you are successful I promise to tell the whole race

of leopards to spare the lives of raibars." So saying the leopard

jumped into the sack and allowed the man to tie him up tightly in

it. No sooner was this done than the raibar took the sack on his

head and carried it to the bank of a river and having given it two

or three hearty whacks with his stick threw it into the water. The

sack went floating down the stream and it happened that lower down a

leopardess sat watching the water and when she saw the sack coming

along she thought that it was a dead cow floating down. So when it

came near she jumped into the water and pulled it ashore.



She then proceeded to tear open the sack, when out jumped the first

leopard; he soon explained how he came to be in the sack, and declared

that the raibar's promise had been fulfilled and that she was his

destined mate. The leopardess agreed and the two set to work to tell

all the other leopards what had happened and what a kindness the

raibar had done them; and so it came to pass that to the present

day leopards never interfere with raibars when they are going about

arranging a marriage; no one ever heard of one being injured.



Meanwhile the raibar went on his way rejoicing at having rid himself

of the leopard. But the next year, while engaged on the business of

another marriage, the raibar was passing through the same jungle

when he came face to face with the very leopard that he thought he

had safely disposed of; he at once took to his heels, but the leopard

called out to him not to be afraid and to wait, as he had something

to say to him. So the raibar stopped and the leopard asked whether

he did not recognise him; the raibar stoutly denied all knowledge

of him. "Well," said the leopard "I am the leopard of whom you made

two out of one, and to show my gratitude I will give you any reward

you like; would you like a cow or a deer or any other animal? I will

kill you one and bring it to you."



When the raibar saw the turn that things had taken he thought that

he had better take advantage of it, so he asked for a good large

nilgai. The leopard told him to come to a certain tree at noon the

next day and he would find the animal there. So they separated and the

next day at noon the raibar went to the tree and found a fine nilgai

waiting for him, which he and his friends took home and ate with joy.





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