Open main menu

Page:Deccan Nursery Tales.djvu/103

This page needs to be proofread.
PARWATI AND THE BEGGAR-MAN

quite tired out and went home, leaving her in the burning-ground. When they had gone she took her husband's corpse on to her lap. Then she prayed to the god Shiva and said:

"My parents disown me. O why was I born Both as orphan and widow to live all forlorn?"

As she prayed, she put the pulse which her mother had put into her lap grain by grain in the dead man's mouth. Then she sat there crying until midnight. Now it happened that on that very night Shiva and Parwati were in their chariot driving through the air over that very place. Parwati said suddenly to her husband, "I hear a woman crying, let us go and see what it is." The god Shiva drove his chariot down to earth. He and Parwati got out and saw the Brahman's youngest daughter crying. They asked her what the reason was, and she told them. Then Parwati pitied her and said, "Your aunt has acquired great merit by her piety and devotions. You go to her and get her to give you all her merit and so you will bring your husband back to life." The god Shiva and Parwati then mounted on their

71