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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Brâhmiṇ Girl that Married a Tiger"

The Brâhmiṇ Girl that Married a Tiger

“What is all this?” said the terrified tiger to his wife.

“Nothing,” said she, “but your brothers-in-law. They came here a watch(three hours) ago, and as soon as you have finished your meals they want to see you.”

“How can my brothers-in-law be such cowards,” thought the tiger to himself.

He then asked them to speak to him, whereon the youngest brother put the ant which he had in his hand into the ear of the ass, and as soon as the latter was bitten, it began to bawl out most horribly.

“How is it that your brothers have such a hoarse voice?” said the tiger to his wife.

He next asked them to show him their legs. Taking courage at the stupidity of the tiger on the two former occasions, the eldest brother now stretched out the palmyra tree.

“By my father, I have never seen such a leg,” said the tiger, and asked his brothers-in-law to show their bellies. The second brother now showed the tub, at which the tiger shuddered, and saying, “such a harsh voice, so stout a leg, and such a belly, truly I have never heard of such persons as these!” He ran away.

It was already dark, and the brothers, wishing to take advantage of the tiger’s terror, prepared to return home with their sister at once. They ate up what little food she had, and ordered her to start. Fortunately for her her tiger-child was asleep. So she tore it into two pieces and suspended them over the hearth, and, thus getting rid of the child, she ran off with her brothers towards home.

Before leaving she bolted the front door from inside, and went out at the back of the house. As soon as the pieces of the cub, which were hung up over the hearth, began to roast, they dripped, which made the fire hiss and sputter; and when the tiger returned at about midnight, he found the door shut and heard the hissing of the fire, which he mistook for the noise of cooking muffins.

“I see,” said he to himself, “how very cunning you are; you have bolted the door and are cooking muffins for your brothers. Let us see if we can’t get your muffins.

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