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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Raṇavîrasiṅg"

Raṇavîrasiṅg

The very fact that he has lived up to this time unhurt in a tiger’s domain augurs well for his future prosperity.” Râmakôn had scarcely finished his speech when the idle lizard again made its chit, chit, and Râmakôn now asked his friend, Lakshmaṇakôn, for that was the other’s name, to interpret those sounds. “This has rather a sad meaning for the prince. The Mantrî(Minister) and Pradhânî(Vice minister) are coming here in a few minutes (nimishas), to consult on a secret topic. So says the lizard,” said Lakshmaṇakôn to Râmakôn, and at that very moment a light was seen at a distance. “It is the minister’s carriage. Let us be off. God only must save the prince.” So saying, they both ran away.

The feelings of the prince inside were like that of a man who was being led to the gallows. The bitterest enemy of his life, the minister himself, was coming to that very place where he was hiding. “I foolishly accused my old guardian, Raṇavîrasiṅg, and now I see his good intentions. How I am to be spared from this calamity Śaṅkara only knows.” Thus thinking, he hurriedly fled to the inmost part of the temple behind the very image, and sat down there, still like a stump, without even breathing freely, lest his breath might reveal him. He had ample time there to admire the sound knowledge of the shepherds in interpreting the lizard chirps, their simplicity, their honesty and truthfulness; for, had they been otherwise, they might at once have caught hold of the prince and made him over to the tiger minister. True to the interpretation of the second shepherd, a carriage stopped in front of the Gaṇêśa temple, and there came out of it the Mantrî and the Pradhânî. Excepting themselves and, of course, the carriage driver and, as we know, the prince behind the Gaṇêśa, there were no others there. Kharavadana and his subordinate chose that solitary place at the dead of night to hold secret consultations. The Mantrî spoke first, and one could easily perceive from his words that he was in a fit of anger.

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