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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The magic fiddle"

The magic fiddle

Once upon a time there lived seven brothers and a sister. The brothers were married, but their wives did not do the cooking for the family. It was done by their sister, who stopped at home to cook. The wives for this reason bore their sister-in-law much ill-will, and at length they combined together to oust her from the office of cook and general provider, so that one of themselves might obtain it. They said, "She does not go out to the fields to work, but remains quietly at home, and yet she has not the meals ready at the proper time." They then called upon their Bonga, and vowing vows unto him they secured his good-will and assistance; then they said to the Bonga, "At midday, when our sister-in-law goes to bring water, cause it thus to happen, that on seeing her pitcher, the water shall vanish, and again slowly re-appear. In this way she will be delayed. Let the water not flow into her pitcher, and you may keep the maiden as your own."

At noon when she went to bring water, it suddenly dried up before her, and she began to weep. Then after a while the water began slowly to rise. When it reached her ankles she tried to fill her pitcher, but it would not go under the water. Being frightened she began to wail and cry to her brother:

"Oh! my brother, the water reaches to my ankles,

Still, Oh! my brother, the pitcher will not dip."

The water continued to rise until it reached her knee, when she began to wail again:

"Oh! my brother, the water reaches to my knee,

Still, Oh! my brother, the pitcher will not dip."

The water continued to rise, and when it reached her waist, she cried again:

"Oh! my brother, the water reaches to my waist,

Still, Oh! my brother, the pitcher will not dip."

The water still rose, and when it reached her neck she kept on crying:

"Oh! my brother, the water reaches to my neck,

Still, Oh! my brother, the pitcher will not dip."

At length the water became so deep that she felt herself drowning, then she cried aloud:

"Oh! my brother, the water measures a man's height,

Oh!

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