The Tiger's Bride





One day a woman went to cut thatching grass and she cut such a quantity

that when she tied it up, the bundle was too big for her to lift on

to her head; so she stood and called for some one to help her, but

no one was within hearing and no one came. She called and called and

at last began to promise that she would give her daughter in marriage

to any one who would help her.



After she had called out this a few times, a tiger suddenly appeared

and asked what she wanted; she explained her difficulty and the tiger

undertook to lift the load on to her head, if she would really give

him her daughter in marriage. She promised and with the help of the

tiger took up the bundle and went home.



Two or three days after, the tiger presented himself at her house and

was duly married to the daughter. After the wedding the couple started

for the tiger's home; all the way the unhappy bride wept and sang:--





"How far off is our home, big head?"





"You can just see the mouth of the cave" answered the tiger and in a

short time they came to a large cave. Then the tiger told her to set

to work and cook a feast while he went off and invited his friends

to come and share it. But the bride when left alone caught a cat and

killed it and hung it over the fire, so that its blood dropped slowly

into the pan and made a fizzling noise, as if cooking were going on;

and then she ran off to her mother's house and climbed a tree which

grew near it and began to sing:--





"You married me to a ti-ti-tiger:

You threw me to a bear:

Take back the necklace you gave me

Take back the bracelet and the diamonds and the coral."





Meanwhile the tiger returned with his friends and sat down outside the

cave and told his wife to be quick with the cooking of the cakes for he

heard the hissing over the fire and thought that she was cooking. At

last as she did not come out, he got tired of waiting and went in to

fetch her: then he saw that she had disappeared and had to go and tell

his friends. They were very angry at being cheated out of a feast,

and fell upon the tiger and beat him, till he ran away and was seen

no more: but his bride was left to flit from tree to tree singing:--





"You married me to a ti-ti-tiger:

You threw me to a bear:

Take back the necklace you gave me

Take back the bracelet and the diamonds and the coral."





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