Until now I presented you with folktales I had translated myself – either from Mongolian or from German – and I intend to keep doing that, of course, but let’s try something different. The following tale is taken from a selection of Kashmir folktales which was first published in 1885.And you can’t know right now as you haven’t read it yet but this picture which is not even an illustration? Is a crazy fit! I’m so insanely excited that I found it.
ONE day two potters’ wives went to the jungle to get a special kind of soil, which their husbands wanted for making some pots. They carried their little infant children with them a-straddle on their hips. When they reached the place where this earth was to be found, they put down their children, a little boy and a little girl, to play together, while they filled their baskets. A kite and a crow noticed what was going on, and swooped down upon the children and carried them off. The kite killed the boy, but the crow flew away with the girl to the hollow trunk of a tree in a distant part of the jungle, and there dropped her. Instead of crying the child thought it was great fun, and so laughed and played with the bird; and the bird got very fond of her, and brought her nuts and fruit, and scraps of bread and meat sometimes, whenever it could get them. The little girl grew up and became very beautiful.
One day a carpenter chanced to visit that part of the jungle for cutting wood. “Salám,” said the girl to him. “I wish you would make me a spinning-wheel. I am here all alone, and I wish to do something.”
“Why are you here? Where is your home? Have you no more clothes than the rag you are wearing?” asked the carpenter. (more…)