The Brahman's Clothes

: Part I.
: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

There was once a Brahman who had two wives; like many Brahmans he lived

by begging and was very clever at wheedling money out of people. One

day the fancy took him to go to the market place dressed only in

a small loin cloth such as the poorest labourers wear and see how

people treated him. So he set out but on the road and in the market

place and in the village no one salaamed to him or made way to him

and when he beg
ed no one gave him alms. He soon got tired of this

and hastened home and putting on his best pagri and coat and dhoti

went back to the market place. This time every one who met him on the

road salaamed low to him and made way for him and every shopkeeper

to whom he went gave him alms: and the people in the village who had

refused before gladly made offerings to him. The Brahman went home

smiling to himself and took off his clothes and put them in a heap

and prostrated himself before them three or four times, saying each

time. "O source of wealth: O source of wealth! it is clothes that

are honoured in this world and nothing else."