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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Wanderings of Vicram Maharajah"

The Wanderings of Vicram Maharajah

In the shop, Vicrema Maharajah Parrot lived for a long time, made much of by everybody, and was happy.

It was now two years since the Vicram Maharajah had left his kingdom. About six months before, Butti, in despair of his ever returning, said goodbye to his wife and set out to seek him. Up and down through many countries had he gone, searching for his master, but without success. As good fortune would have it, however, he chanced to enter the village where the merchant lived and overhead the villagers extolling the virtues of the famed parrot that lived in the merchant's shop. No sooner did he enter the shop and see the Parrot, than he recognized Vicram. The king also saw his friend and instantly flew onto his shoulder. The vizier caught him, put him in a cage where he would be safe, and took him home. The merchant was sorry to see him go but could not complain, for he had succeeded so handsomely with the parrot.

Now was a puzzling problem to be solved. Vicram Maharajah's soul was in the parrot's body and the carpenter's son's soul in the king's body. How could the carpenter's son's soul be expelled to make way for the king to return to his own body? The carpenter's son could not return to his own body, for that had perished long before.

It happened that the pretend Maharajah and Butti each had a fighting ram. One day the vizier suggested to the pretend Maharajah, "Let us set our rams to fight today, and try the strength of yours against mine."

"Agreed," answered the pretend king, who was glad to at be addressed in a pleasant manner, and the two of them set their rams to fight. But there was much difference in the two rams; for when Butti's ram was but a lamb, and his horns were growing, Butti had tied him to a lime tree and his horns had got very strong indeed by constantly rubbing against its tender stem, and butting against it. But the carpenter's son had tied his ram, when a lamb, to a young teak tree - the trunk of which was so stout and strong that the little creature, butting against it, could make no impression on it but only damaged and loosened his own horns.

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