Killed by a Tiger– a Tuesday Tale

Found in Folktales from India.

A brother and sister lived in a forest alone, with no parents.

One day, they offered shelter to a stranger lost in the woods. He was struck by the sister’s beauty and made arrangements with the brother to marry her.

Some months after the marriage the sister sent word that she would soon give birth, so her brother set out on the journey that would bring him to her village.

It was a long journey, and to be safe from wild animals through the night the brother asked a tree for permission to sleep in its branches. This the tree agreed to.

That night a great tiger came to the foot of the tree and askedit to accompany him to the next village.

The headman’s wife has just had a son, and I will be killing him on his wedding day.

The tree begged off, saying he had a guest, and the tiger said there would be great punishments if the visitor revealed what he had heard.

Now, the brother was quite distraught, convinced it was his new nephew the tiger had spoken of. When he reached the village he found out it was so, but said nothing of what he had heard, only making his sister promise she would inform him so he would be present when his nephew was to marry.

After many years he received word, and returned to his sister’s village, stationing himself with his bow and ax at his nephew’s side, never leaving him for a moment.

That afternoon the young man declared he would take a walk in the fields, no matter what his uncle might say. So the faithful uncle went along, too, convinced this would be the time the tiger would attack.

He was right.

As they went walking along they both heard a roar and saw the huge, charging body. For love of his nephew the older man pushed him aside and met the tiger alone with his swinging ax.

By some miracle the brother was able to slay the beast. As the family and guests gathered, he looked at the tiger lying dead in the field and told his sister and brother-in-law what he had heard in the tree all those years before.

“Pshaw!” scoffed the nephew. “So this was the thing that promised to kill me today?” and he kicked at its great chin.

But his foot, in its soft bridegroom’s shoe, slipped and he kicked the tiger’s teeth instead. The young man began to bleed profusely, and, as they could do nothing to stop the bleeding, he died before sunset.

One thought on “Killed by a Tiger– a Tuesday Tale

  1. Sorry this is up later than usual. I spent about 3 hours at 1st-Care yesterday before they decided I have pneumonia. (Yay! I could spell it!)

    Blessedly I got a full night of sleep (baby didn’t wake till morning– first time in a *while*), which would also by why this wasn’t posted (I usually put it up while nursing ;-) ).

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