Tales of the Punjab
Publisher: eKitap Projesi
MANY of the tales in this collection appeared either in the Indian Antiquary, the Calcutta Review, or the Legends of the Punjab. They were then in the form of literal translations, in many cases uncouth or even unpresentable to ears polite, in all scarcely intelligible to the untravelled English reader; for it must be remembered that, with the exception of the Adventures of Raja Rasâlu, all these stories are strictly folk-tales passing current among a people who can neither read nor write, and whose diction is full of colloquialisms, and, if we choose to call them so, vulgarisms. It would be manifestly unfair, for instance, to compare the literary standard of such tales with that of the Arabian Nights, the Tales of a Parrot, or similar works. The manner in which these stories were collected is in itself sufficient to show how misleading it would be, if, with the intention of giving the conventional Eastern flavour to the text, it were to be manipulated into a flowery dignity; and as a description of the procedure will serve the double purpose of credential and excuse, the authors give it,—premising that all the stories but three have been collected by Mrs. F. A. Steel during winter tours through the various districts of which her husband has been Chief Magistrate. - SIR BUZZ - THE RAT'S WEDDING - THE FAITHFUL PRINCE - THE BEAR'S BAD BARGAIN - PRINCE LIONHEART AND HIS THREE FRIENDS - THE LAMBIKIN - BOPOLUCHI - PRINCESS AUBERGINE - VALIANT VICKY, THE BRAVE WEAVER - THE SON OF SEVEN MOTHERS - THE SPARROW AND THE CROW - THE TIGER, THE BRAHMAN, AND THE JACKAL - THE KING OF THE CROCODILES - LITTLE ANKLEBONE - THE CLOSE ALLIANCE - THE TWO BROTHERS - THE JACKAL AND THE IGUANA - THE DEATH AND BURIAL OF POOR HEN-SPARROW - PRINCESS PEPPERINA - PEASIE AND BEANSIE - THE JACKAL AND THE PARTRIDGE - THE SNAKE-WOMAN AND KING ALI MARDAN - THE WONDERFUL RING - THE JACKAL AND THE PEA-HEN - THE GRAIN OF CORN - THE FARMER AND THE MONEY-LENDER - THE LORD OF DEATH - THE WRESTLERS - THE LEGEND OF GWASHBRARI, THE GLACIER-HEARTED QUEEN - THE BARBER'S CLEVER WIFE - THE JACKAL AND THE CROCODILE - HOW RAJA RASALU WAS BORN - HOW RAJA RASALU WENT OUT INTO THE WORLD - HOW RAJA RASALU'S FRIENDS FORSOOK HIM - HOW RAJA RASALU KILLED THE GIANTS - HOW RAJA RASALU BECAME A JOGI - HOW RAJA RASALU JOURNEYED TO THE CITY OF - KING SARKAP - HOW RAJA RASALU SWUNG THE SEVENTY FAIR MAIDENS, DAUGHTERS OF THE KING - HOW RAJA RASALU PLAYED CHAUPUR WITH KING SARKAP - THE KING WHO WAS FRIED - PRINCE HALF-A-SON - THE MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WHO WORSHIPPED THE SUN - THE RUBY PRINCE Then comes the need for patience, since in all probability the first story is one you have heard a hundred times, or else some pointless and disconnected jumble. At the conclusion of either, however, the teller must be profusely complimented, in the hopes of eliciting something more valuable. But it is possible to waste many hours, and in the end find yourself possessed of nothing save some feeble variant of a well-known legend, or, what is worse, a compilation of oddments which have lingered in a faulty memory from half a dozen distinct stories. After a time, however, the attentive collector is rewarded by finding that a coherent whole is growing up in his or her mind out of the shreds and patches heard here and there, and it is delight indeed when your own dim suspicion that this part of the puzzle fits into that is confirmed by finding the two incidents preserved side by side in the mouth of some perfectly unconscious witness.