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Story No. 622

The Stingy Daughter

Book Name:

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Tradition: India

Once a man went to visit his married daughter: he intended to arrive in time for dinner; so though he passed some edible herbs on the way he did not stop to eat them.

When he arrived he was duly welcomed and after some conversation he told his daughter that he must return the same day; she said “All right, but wait till it gets hot.” (The father understood this to be a metaphorical way of saying “Wait till the dinner is cooked.”) But the daughter was determined not to cook the rice while her father was there: so they sat talking and when the sun was high the daughter went into the yard and felt the ground with her foot and finding it scorching she said “Now father, it is time for you to be going: it has got hot” Then the old man understood that she was not going to give him his dinner. So he took his stick and got up to go.

Now the son-in-law was a great hunter and that day he had killed and brought home a peacock; as he was leaving, the father said “My daughter, if your husband ever brings home a peacock I advise you to cook it with mowah oil cake; that makes it taste very nice.” So directly her father had gone, the woman set to work and cooked the peacock with mowah oil cake; but when her husband and children began to eat it they found it horribly bitter and she herself tasted it and found it uneatable; then she told them that her father had made fun of her and made her spoil all the meat. Her husband asked whether she had cooked rice for her father; and when she said “No” he said that this was the way in which he had punished her; he had had nothing to eat and so he had prevented their having any either; she should entertain all visitors and especially her father. So they threw away the meat and had no dinner.



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