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Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju
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THE SUN'S GRANDMAMMA

THERE lived in the East a hag who used to say, "The sun sleeps every night in my house, and creeps back to the east to rise again." Should the morning be cloudy and the sun invisible, she would say, "My good man (meaning the sun) is yet sleeping; he is no doubt tired with the work he had yesterday."

[111] A great many people believed her, called her the Sun's Grandmamma, and regarded her with great awe and respect From time to time, when people wished to see the particular room in which the sun slept, she would take them in, for a fee, which she said the sun took to himself, and show them the door of a room tinder lock and key, which she called the sun's chamber.

Thus she made a large sum of money, which she kept in a great chest in the room. A wag, who had found out the secret, once went to her and said, "Madam, the sun bade me tell you he will be here this evening for dinner rather late."

Then he went about the neighbourhood and told the people that the sun was also to dine at the hag's house that evening. About midnight the people were startled to see the hag's house on fire, and herself wailing loud in these terms?" Alas! my chest has been stolen and my house burnt."

The wag, who had done this, and who [112] was one of the crowd, said, "All your fees went to the sun, so there could have been nothing in the chest. The sun said he would have his dinner here, so he has evidently been consuming the house."

The people said, "Just so!"

The hag said, "Gentlemen, I did not mean what I said; I had all the money. This wag has stolen my property."

The people said, "You did not mean what you said, and you do not say what you mean! 'Tis all the same," and dispersed.

Of course the hag let no more rooms to the sun!


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