The Reproof

: Part I.
: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

A poor man once went to visit his daughter's father-in-law who was very

rich. The rich man was proud of his wealth and looked down on poverty;

so he made no special entertainment for his visitor and only gave him

rice and dal for his dinner. When they went out to bathe he stood

on the bank of the tank and began to boast. "I made this tank; all the

land over there belongs to me; all those buffaloes and cattle you see,

long to me; I have so many that I have to keep two men to milk them."

The visitor said nothing at the time but that afternoon as host and

guest sat smoking together they saw a beggar standing in front of

the house. The sun was very powerful and the ground was so hot that

the beggar kept shifting from one foot to another as he stood out

in the sun. Then the poor visitor spoke up and said "It is strange

that when you made such a nice house you made the roof without

eaves." "Where are your eyes? Cannot you see the eaves?" asked the

host in astonishment. The other answered "I see that you have made

a house as high as a hill but if it had any eaves, surely that poor

beggar there would not be standing out in the sun; and this morning

you must have been mistaken in saying that that tank was yours for

otherwise you would have given me fish for dinner; and I think that

they were only rocks and tufts of grass which you pointed out to me

as your flocks and herds for otherwise you would have offered me some

milk or curds." And the rich man was ashamed and had no answer to make.