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XI

PARWATI AND THE BRAHMAN

ONCE upon a time there was a town called Atpat. In it there lived a poor Brahman. When the month of Bhadrapad came round, every household bought little images of Parwati, and the women began to walk about the streets and sound gongs. When the poor Brahman's children saw this they went home and said to their mother, "Mummy, Mummy, please buy us little images of Parwati like the other little boys and girls have." But their mother said, "What is the use of my buying images of Parwati? If I do we shall have to make offerings, and there is absolutely nothing in the house. You run to papa and tell him to go into the bazaar and buy grain. If he buys grain I'll buy you images of Parwati." The children got up and ran to their father and cried out, "Papa, Papa,

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