The Boy With The Stag

: Part I.
: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

Once all the men of a village went out to hunt in the hills and a

certain orphan boy wanted to go with them, and although they told him

that there was no water in the hills and he would die of thirst, he

insisted on starting. The first day they found no water, but the orphan

boy managed to endure it; but the second day he suffered so much, that

he begged the hunters to take him to water; they told him that there

was no
water and they could not take him to any. So he set off alone

in the direction in which he understood there might be water, but he

soon lost his way in the jungle; so in despair he climbed a meral

tree and picked the fruit and threw it in all directions and to his

joy he heard one fruit splash as it fell into water; so he climbed down

and sure enough close to the tree he found a pool and drank his fill.

And then he saw a fawn stuck fast in the mud at the edge of the pool,

so he fixed an arrow to his bow and crept towards it, resolved to

catch it alive if he could, but if it ran away, to shoot it. The fawn

did not move and he managed to seize it and pulling it out of the mud,

he rubbed it clean and put his bow string round its neck and took it

home. The fawn grew up into a stag and he trained it to fight and

one day he matched it to fight with a goat. The agreement was that

the owner of the winner should take both the animals; in the fight

the stag was victorious, so the boy won the goat. Then he matched his

stag with a ram and a bullock and even with a buffalo, and the stag

was always victorious and in this way he soon grew rich. Seeing him

so rich one of the villagers gave him his daughter in marriage and

took him to live in his house, and so he lived happily ever afterwards.