The Boundary Bonga

: Part IV
: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

There was once a man who owned a rich swampy rice field. Every year

he used to sacrifice a pig to the boundary bonga before harvest;

but nevertheless the bonga always reaped part of the crop. One year

when the rice was ripening the man used to go and look at it every

day. One evening after dusk as he was sitting quietly at the edge of

the field he overheard the bonga and his wife talking. The bonga

said that he was goi
g to pay a visit to some friends but his wife

begged him not to go because the rice was ripe and the farmer would

be cutting it almost at once. However the bonga would not listen

to her advice and set off on his journey.

The farmer saw that there was no time to be lost and the very next

day he sacrificed the usual pig and reaped the whole of the crop. That

evening when work was over he stayed and listened to hear whether the

bonga had come back, but all was quiet. The next day he threshed

the paddy and instead of twenty bushels as usual he found that he had

got sixty bushels of rice, That evening he again went to the field

and this time he found that the bonga had returned and was having

a fine scolding from his wife, because he had let the farmer reap the

whole crop. "Take your silly pig and your silly plate of flour from the

sacrifice," screamed the bonga's wife, throwing them at her spouse,

"that is all you have got; this is all because you would go away when

I told you not to do it; how could I reap the crop with the children

to look after? If you had stayed we might have got five bandis

of rice from that field."