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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Magic Shoes and Staff"

The Magic Shoes and Staff

He knew at once that he had been saved from a dreadful death by a messenger from the god he had been worshipping. As he gazed at the men, the guardian faded away and he was left alone with them. Slowly the spell cast on them was broken, and they dropped their weapons, prostrated themselves, and clasped their hands in an appeal for mercy to the man they had meant to destroy. Putraka looked at them quietly and sadly. He felt no anger against them, only a great thankfulness for his escape. He spoke to the men very sternly, asking them why they wished to harm him; and the chief murderer told him who had sent them.

The knowledge that his father wished to kill him shocked and grieved the young long terribly, but he controlled himself even when he learnt the sad truth. He told the men that he forgave them, for they were not the most to blame; and he made them promise never to betray who had bribed them to kill him. He then gave them some money and told them to leave him.

13. What do you think the most beautiful incident in this account of the scene in the temple?

14. What do you suppose were the thoughts of the murderers when they left the temple after Putraka forgave them?

Chapter VIII

When Putraka was alone, he threw himself upon the ground and wept very bitterly. He felt that he could never be happy again, never trust anyone again. He had so loved his father and uncles. It had been such a joy to him to give them pleasure, and yet they hated him and wished to kill him. He wondered whether he was himself to blame for what had happened, and began to think he was not worthy to be king, if he could make such a mistake as he now feared he had made in being so generous to those who could have such hard thoughts of him as to want to take his life. Perhaps after all it would be better for his country to have another king. He did not feel as if he could go back to his palace and meet his father and uncles again. "What shall I do? What shall I do?" he cried, his sobs choking his voice.

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