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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Good Husband and the Bad Wife"

The Good Husband and the Bad Wife

The guest was much alarmed.

“What! break the head of a guest! I at any rate shall not be deceived to-day,” thought he, and prepared to run away.

The Brâhmiṇ’s wife appeared to sympathise with his sad plight, and said:—

“Really, I do pity you. But there is one thing you can do now to save yourself. If you go out by the front door and walk down the street my husband may follow you, so you had better go out by the back door.”

To this plan the guest most thankfully agreed, and hastily ran off by the back door.

Almost immediately our hero returned from his bath, but before he could arrive his wife had cleaned up the place she had prepared for the pestle worship, and when the Brâhmiṇ, not finding his friend in the house inquired of her as to what had become of him, she said in seeming anger:—

“The greedy brute! he wanted me to give him this pestle—this very pestle which I brought forty years ago as a dowry from my mother’s house, and when I refused he ran away by the back-yard in haste.”

But her kind-hearted lord observed that he would rather lose the pestle than his guest, even though it was a part of his wife’s dowry, and more than forty years old. So he ran off with the pestle in his hand after his friend, crying out,

“Oh Brâhmiṇ! Oh Brâhmiṇ! Stop please, and take the pestle.”

But the story told by the old woman now seemed all the more true to the guest when he saw her husband running after him, and so he said,

“You and your pestle may go where you please. Never more will you catch me in your house,” and ran away.

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