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DECCAN NURSERY TALES

of water it would not suffice for all my kingdom." The old woman then said, "Lady, lady, Patmadhavrani, mother of sons, if you give this old beggar-woman a little rice and curds, you will gain enough merit for all your kingdom." The queen replied, "Even if I were to give you a big dinner of nothing but rice and curds, I should not gain enough merit for all my kingdom." Then the old woman got very angry and cursed the queen, saying, "You will become half a frog and half a human being, and you will stand outside your co-wife's bath-room and croak like a frog." But the queen did not mind her the least little bit, and she laughed so loud at the old woman that the noise was like two chains rattling together. Mahalaxmi went off in a great rage and entered Queen Chimadevrani's part of the palace. There she saw all the accessories of worship ready, and there was a beautiful image of Mahalaxmi leaning against the wall. The old woman cried, "Lady, lady, Chimadevrani, mother of sons, what have you in your house to-day?" "To-day," said the queen, "we are worshipping Mahalaxmi." Then the old beggar-woman said, "I am Mahalaxmi." But

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