The stories contained in this little book are only a small part of a large collection of Indian folk-tales, made by Mr. Crooke in the course of the Ethnological Survey of the North-West Provinces and Oudh. Some were recorded by the collector from the lips of the jungle-folk of Mirzápur; others by his native assistant, Pandit Rámgharíb Chaubé. Besides these, a large number were received from all parts of the Provinces in response to a circular issued by Mr. J. C. Nesfield, the Director of Public Instruction, to all teachers of village schools. The present selection is confined to the Beast Stories, which are particularly interesting as being mostly indigenous and little affected by so-called Aryan influence.
So there was nothing for it: the Doctor took his knives, and made a hole in the King, and pulled out the Thrush. Strange to say, the pieces of the Thrush had all joined together again, and away she flew; but her beautiful clothes were all gone. However, it was a lesson she never forgot; and after that, she slept soft in her nest of cotton, and never again tried to ape her betters. As for the King, he died; and a good riddance too. His son became king in his stead; and all life long he remembered his father's miserable death, and kept all his promises to men, and beasts, and birds.
The Rabbit and the Monkey
ONCE upon a time, there lived in the mountains a Rabbit and a Monkey, who were great friends. One day, as they sat by the roadside hobnobbing together, who should come by but a man with a bamboo pole over his shoulder, and at each end of the pole was a bundle hung to a string; and there were plantains in one bundle, and sugar in the other.
Said the Monkey to the Rabbit,