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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "Vidâmundan Kodâmundan - Mr. Won't Give and Mr. Won't Leave"

Vidâmundan Kodâmundan - Mr. Won't Give and Mr. Won't Leave

In a certain town there lived a clever old Brâhmaṇ, named Won’t-Give(Vidâmundan). He used to go out daily and to beg in all the houses round, under the pretence that he had to feed several Brâhmaṇs in his own house. Good people, that believed in his words, used to give him much rice and curry stuffs, with which he would come home, and explain to his wife how he had deceived such and such a gentleman by the imposition of feeding in charity many persons at home. But if any hungry Brâhmaṇ, who had heard of his empty boast of feeding Brâhmaṇs at home, came to him, he was sent away with some excuse or other. In this way Mr. Won’t-Give brought home a basketful of rice and other necessaries every day, of which he only used a small portion for himself and his wife, and converted the remainder into money. And thus, by imposition and tricks, he managed to live well for several years.

In an adjoining village there lived another very clever Brâhmaṇ, named Won’t-Leave(Kodâmundan). Whenever he found any man reluctant and unwilling to give him anything that he begged of him, he would persist in bothering him until he had wrung from him a dole. This Mr. Won’t-Leave, hearing of the charity of Mr. Won’t-Give, and his benevolent feeding of Brâhmaṇs, came to see him one day, and requested him to give him a meal. Mr. Won’t-Give told him that for that day ten Brâhmaṇs had already been settled, and that if he came the next day he would have his meal without fail. Mr. Won’t-Leave agreed to this, and left him for that day. Mr. Won’t-Give had, of course, told him the very lie he was accustomed to tell all that occasionally begged meals of him.

Now Mr. Won’t-Leave was not so stupid as to be thus imposed upon. He stood before Mr. Won’t-Give’s door precisely at the appointed ghaṭikâ (hour) the next day, and reminded the master of the house of his promise. Mr. Won’t-Give had never before been taken at his word, and determined to send away the impertinent guest by some stronger excuse than the first, and so he spoke to him thus:—

“Sir, I am very sorry to say that my wife fell ill last night of a strong fever, from which she has not yet recovered.

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