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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/205

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Miscellanea. i8i

A Folktale from Kumaon.

While travelling in Kumaon, in the Himalaya mountains, some time ago, I came to a stage bungalow near the village of Bans, and some little boys came to the bungalow. I asked them to tell some stories, and the first one that was related resembled so much, in its main details, the story of " The Big Claus and the Little Claus " in Hans Andersen's fairy tales, that I took it down. One great difference between them is that in Hans Andersen there are only two brothers, while in the story there are eight. But the seven so figure together and act in a body that they have practically no separate individual existence. The creaking hide and the river, &c., &c., are the same, and, making allowance for differences in local colouring, the two seem to have a very striking similarity. I am not a member of the Folk-Lore Society, but taking an interest in the study of folklore, I venture to send the story to you, and hope it may be interesting as an item of evidence, however trifling, in support of the theory that the folktales of Europe and India could be traced to a common origin.

Pandit Bhagwan Das Sarma. Chhatarpur State, Central India.

Once in a town lived eight brothers. The youngest of them looked a silly sort of fellow, and his brothers thought him a fool. Their father died, and they divided the patrimony among them- selves, and gave the youngest much less than his due. He bought a bull-buffalo, while they bought cow-buffaloes. Every night he carried the buffalo on his shoulders to his brothers' field and grazed him there. In the morning, when the brothers came to the field, they found the plants eaten. But as there were no marks of an animal's feet in the field they could not detect the poacher. One day the animal drank too much water, and became so heavy that he could not carry it. He left him in the field, and allowed him to graze there at large. The brothers had watered the field that very day, and the soil was so moist that the feet of the buffalo left deep marks in the field. When they went there next morning they saw the plants eaten, and the deep marks of the buffalo's feet. Straightway they ran to their youngest brother, and showered blows on his poor buffalo till it died. He begged