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DECCAN NURSERY RHYMES

when the mendicant came she was still in bed. Her mother, Dhanvanti, rushed into her room and cried, "Daughter, daughter, get up and give the Brahman alms." The little girl jumped up in a fright and ran out and put alms before him and prostrated herself at his feet. The mendicant blessed her and said, "Observe the precepts of religion."

The little girl ran back to her mother. "Mother, Mother," she cried, "Bhatji [1] did not give me the same blessing as he gave to my sisters-in-law." Her mother said, "Go back again and give him some more alms and see what he does." The little girl ran back, put some more alms before the mendicant, and again prostrating herself asked for his blessing. Once more he said, "Observe the precepts of religion." Then Dhanvanti asked him why he gave her daughter such a strange blessing. The mendicant replied, "Because widow-hood will come upon her immediately after her marriage." Dhanvanti threw herself before the Brahman and grasped his feet and cried, weeping, "Tell me how I may escape this evil; what shall I do to save my one little

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  1. Bhatji is the name by which the mendicant Brahman is addressed.