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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Hermit's Daughter"

The Hermit's Daughter

"Never before have I seen such perfect beauty."

"Her mother," replied Mana Kanaka, "was indeed what you say; and her soul was as beautiful as the body in which it dwelt all too short a time."

"I would have your daughter for my wife," said the king; "and if you will give her to me, she shall have no wish ungratified. She shall have servants to wait on her and other young girls to be her companions; beautiful clothes to wear, the best of food to eat, horses and carriages as many as she will, and no work to do with her own hands."

5. If you had been Kadali-Garbha, what would you have said when you heard all these promises?

6. Of all the things the king said she should have, which would you have liked best?

Chapter IV

What Kadali-Garbha did was to cling closely to her father, hiding her face on his arm and whispering, "I will not leave you: do not send me away from you, dear father."

Mana Kanaka stroked her hair, and said in a gentle voice:

"But, dear child, your father is old, and must leave you soon. It is a great honour for his little girl to be chosen by the king for his bride. Do not be afraid, but look at him and see how handsome he is and how kind he looks."

Then Kadali-Garbha looked at the king, who smiled at her and looked so charming that her fear began to leave her. She still clung to her father, but no longer hid her face; and Mana Kanaka begged Kadali-Garbha to let him send her away, so that he might talk with the king alone about the wish he had expressed to marry her. The king consented to this, and Kadali-Garbha gladly ran away. But when she reached the door of her home, she looked back, and knew in her heart that she already loved the king and did not want him to go away.

It did not take long for the matter of the marriage to be settled. For Mana Kanaka, sad though he was to lose his dear only child, was glad that she should be a queen, and have some one to take care of her when he was gone. After this first visit to the little house in the forest the king came every day to see Kadali-Garbha, bringing all kinds of presents for her.

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