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DECCAN NURSERY TALES

themselves found so thrilling in their own childhood. Indian nursery tales, it is true, have a more religious tinge than those of Europe, but they are none the less appreciated on that account. The first six stories in this little book purport to explain the connexion between the heavenly bodies and the days of the week. So each day of the week has its separate tale. And all through Shravan or August, probably because it is the wettest month in the year, Deccan mothers tell afresh every week-day that day's story. And little Deccan children listen to the tales as they fall due with the same unvarying attention. For in nurseries, Indian as well as English, tales are loved the better when no longer new, and where the end is well known to, and therefore the better understood by, the tiny round-eyed listeners.

Now this is the tale which is told every Sunday[1] in Shravan: Once upon a time there

  1. In India days of the week have the same mysterious connexion with the astral bodies that they have in Europe. Aditwar or Raviwar is sun's day (Sunday); Somwar is moon's day (Monday); Mangalwar is Mars' day (mardi); Budhwar is Mercury's day (mercredi); Brihaspatiwar is the day of Diespiter or Jupiter (jeudi); Shukrawar is Venus' day (vendredi); Shaniwar is Saturn's day (Saturday).

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