Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
MAHALAXMI AND THE TWO QUEENS

to do." But she promised that she would obey him in everything. So just as he had told the Queen Patmadhavrani, he told Queen Chimadevrani all the rites which he had seen the serpent-maidens from Patâla and the wood-nymphs perform. Everything went on just the same for a whole year. But the next year on the 8th of Ashwin a very strange thing happened. The goddess Mahalaxmi disguised herself as an old beggar-woman and came to Atpat. First she went to the part of the palace where Queen Patmadhavrani lived. But no one there was paying the least honour to the goddess Mahalaxmi, although it was the 8th of Ashwin, and therefore specially sacred to her. Mahalaxmi was dreadfully put out at this, and when she saw Queen Patmadhavrani she said, "Lady, lady, Patmadhavrani, mother of sons, what have you in your house to-day?" The queen replied, "I have nothing in my house to-day." The old woman went on, "Lady, lady, Patmadhavrani, mother of sons, if you give this beggar-woman a little water, you will acquire merit sufficient for all your kingdom." But the queen replied, "Even if I were to give you a copper cauldron

47