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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Raṇavîrasiṅg"

Raṇavîrasiṅg

Now there reigns a tyrant over our kingdom. I have been lingering here with the hope that the son of Śivâchâr would one day come to the throne and relieve our sufferings. Now that such hope is altogether gone, I have made up my mind to leave this nasty city, and go to some good place where there reigns a king who can appreciate our yôgyatâ (merit).” Of these words Sundara overheard every syllable, and these supplied the fuel to the fire of shame and anger that was already burning in his mind. “Let me try to win back my kingdom. If I succeed, I shall save other lives. If I die, I alone die. May Paramêśvara help me.” So saying he walked out of the town, and passed the east gate. The night was as dark as could be, for it was a new moon night. Clouds were gathering in the sky, and there were some symptoms of rain.

There was a Gaṇêśa temple on the way. As it was already drizzling, the prince went inside till the rain should cease. No sooner had he entered it than he saw two men, who by their conversation appeared to be shepherds, coming towards that same temple. They seemed to have been watching their flocks near an adjacent field, and had come to shelter themselves from the rain in the temple. Sundara when he saw them, trembled for his life, and crept in. The shepherds sat down on the verandah, and taking out their bags began to chew betel-nuts. An idle lizard began to chirp in a corner. To break the silence, one said to the other, “Well, Râmakôn, I have heard that you are a great soothsayer and interpreter of bird sounds and lizard speeches. Let me know what these chirps of the lizard that we heard just now mean. Tell me.” Râmakôn replied, “This is news which I would never have revealed at any other time. But as no fourth person is likely to be here at this time on a rainy night, let me tell you that the prince of the town is now lingering here in this temple. So the lizard says. Hence I said, ‘no fourth person.’ I am glad that no evil hand has yet been tempted, though such a high price has been set upon his head.

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