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Page:Deccan Nursery Tales.djvu/164

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maidens and the wood-nymphs offered to the god rice, betel-nut, incense, flowers, and the leaves of the bel tree. The ugly little daughter-in-law did just as they did. And when she had finished she cried out, "O God Shiva, please, please vouchsafe my prayer also, and make my father-in-law and my mother-in-law, my brothers-in-law and my sisters-in-law like me as much as they now dislike me." That evening she went home and fasted, and all the scraps which they threw to her from the king's table she gave to her favourite cow. And then she sat by herself and prayed to the god Shiva. The following Monday she once more ran out of the palace and out of the town and into the woods as fast as her fat little legs would carry her. There she met again the serpent-maidens of Patâla and the bevy of wood-nymphs and went with them to the temple of Shiva in the distant heart of the forest. The first time the serpent-maidens and the wood-nymphs had given her the incense and the flowers, the rice and the betel-nut, and the leaves of the bel tree, with which to perform her worship. But they had told her that the next time she must bring