The Tiger Cub And The Calf

: Part I.
: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

A Tigress and a Cow used to graze in a dense jungle, and they were

both with young. They became great friends and agreed that they

would marry their children to each other. In the course of time the

tigress gave birth to a she-cub and the cow to a bull-calf. They kept

the young ones in the same place and used to go and graze together,

and then return at the same time to suckle their young. On their way

back they used t
drink at a certain river, the tigress up the stream

and the cow lower down. One day it happened that the cow got first

to the river and drank at the upper drinking place, and the tigress

drank lower down. And the froth from the cow's mouth floated down the

stream and the tigress tasted it and found it nice, and this made her

think that the flesh of the cow must also be good; so she resolved to

eat the cow one day. The cow saw what was in the mind of the tigress

and she left some of her milk in a bowl, and said to her calf:

"The tigress has resolved to eat me; watch this milk and when you

see it turn red like blood, you will know that I have been killed;"

then she went off to graze with the tigress.

The two youngsters always used to play together very happily but

that day the calf would not play but kept going to look at the bowl

of milk; and the tigress cub asked the reason. The calf told her

what his mother had said; then the tigress cub said that if this

happened she would never suck from her mother again and it would

be better for them both to run away. So the two kept going to look

at the bowl of milk, and about midday they saw that it had changed

to blood and they both began to weep. Shortly after, the tigress

came back, and flies were clustered round her mouth because of the

blood on it. The tigress told her daughter to come and suck, but she

said that she would wait till the cow came and then she and the calf

could have their meal together as usual; at this the tigress frowned

terribly and the cub was frightened, so she said, "Very well, mother,

I will suck, but first go and wash your mouth; why are the flies

clustered round it?" So the tigress went off but she did not wash,

she only ate some more of the cow. While she was away, the calf and

the cub ran off to another jungle, and when the tigress came back,

she searched for them with horrid roarings and could not find them,

and if she had found them she would have killed them.