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Story No. 621

The Fool and His Dinner

Book Name:

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Tradition: India

A man once went to visit his mother-in-law and for dinner they gave him rice with a relish made of young bamboo shoots. The man liked it extremely and thought that it was meat, but he saw no pieces of meat; so he asked his mother-in-law what it was made of; and behind him was a door made of bamboos: so the mother-in-law said, “I have cooked that which is behind you;” and he looked round and saw the door; so he resolved to carry off the door, as it made such good eating, and in the middle of the night he took it off the hinges and ran away with it. In the morning the door was missed and the mother-in-law guessed what had happened and had a hearty laugh.

Meanwhile the man went home with the door and chopped it up and gave the pieces to his wife to cook; the wife said that it was useless to cook dry chips but he insisted and said that her mother had made a beautiful dish of them. So they were cooked and the man sat down to eat; but they were all hard and tasteless; then he scolded his wife and she told him to cook them himself if he was not pleased; so he cooked some himself and the result was the same; and his wife laughed at him and when the villagers heard of it they nicknamed him “Silly”, and used to call the name after him when they met him.



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