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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Soothsayer's Son"

The Soothsayer's Son

It is nothing but a sad truth that goldsmiths ought never to be trusted. Therefore never assist him as you have done to us all. And if you do, you shall feel it. I am hungry; let me go for the present.” Thus taking leave of his benefactor, the rat, too, ran away.

Gaṅgâdhara for a while thought upon the repeated advice given by the three animals about releasing the goldsmith, “What wrong would there be in my assisting him? Why should I not release him also?” So thinking to himself, Gaṅgâdhara let down the vessel again. The goldsmith caught hold of it, and demanded help. The Soothsayer’s son had no time to lose; he was himself dying of thirst. Therefore he lifted the goldsmith up, who now began his story:—“Stop for a while,” said Gaṅgâdhara, and after quenching his thirst by letting down his vessel for the fifth time, still fearing that some one might remain in the well and demand his assistance, he listened to the goldsmith, who began as follows:—“My dear friend, my protector, what a deal of nonsense these brutes have been talking to you about me; I am glad you have not followed their advice. I am just now dying of hunger. Permit me to go away. My name is Mâṇikkâśâri. I live in the East main street of Ujjaini which is twenty kâs to the south of this place, and so lies on your way when you return from Bânâras. Do not forget to come to me and receive my kind remembrances of your assistance, on your way back to your country.” So saying the goldsmith took his leave, and Gaṅgâdhara also pursued his way north after the above adventures.

He reached Bânâras, and lived there for more than ten years, spending his time in bathing, prayers, and other religious ceremonies. He quite forgot the tiger, serpent, rat, and goldsmith. After ten years of religious life, thoughts of home and of his brother rushed into his mind. “I have secured enough merit now by my religious observances. Let me return home.” Thus thought Gaṅgâdhara within himself, and immediately he was on his way back to his country.

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Dolph Heyliger
Category: United States folktales
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