| Indian Fables|
|by P. V. Ramaswami Raju|
|An appealing collection of more than a hundred Indian fables that are delightful as well as short, pithy, and ingenious. Each fable has its separate moral in prose or rhyme; these are often epigrams of the shrewdest kind, full of wit and subtlety. Most of these fables are likely to be new to the majority of readers. In the characters of animals the same rules are observed as in Western fables. As the symbol of strength, the lion (or, in one or two instances, the tiger) is king, the fox is the symbol of cunning, the bear of inert power, the wolf of ferocity, the owl of assumed wisdom, and so forth. Ages 7-10 |
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."
 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
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
 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
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