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Told on the Pagoda Tales of Burmah by Mimosa   By: (1872-)

Book cover

First Page:

TOLD ON THE PAGODA

TALES OF BURMAH

[Illustration]

TOLD ON THE PAGODA

TALES OF BURMAH

By Mimosa

ILLUSTRATED

LONDON T. FISHER UNWIN 1895

All rights reserved.

CONTENTS

PAGE THE WOMAN, THE MAN AND THE NĀT 9 A FABLE 23 THE STOLEN TREASURE 39 THE VIGIL OF MAH MAY 63 THE PETITION TO THE KING 85 THE PRIEST'S PETITION 99 THE COMMAND OF THE KING 117

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

1. A BURMESE VILLAGE GIRL Frontispiece 2. PART OF THE PALACE OF THE KING, MANDALAY Facing p. 39 3. THE QUEEN'S MONASTERY Facing p. 63 4. THE KING'S PALACE Facing p. 85 5. THE SHWAY DAGONE PAGODA Facing p. 99

THE WOMAN, THE MAN AND THE NĀT.

In every large tree there lives a Nāt, and it is a custom very strictly adhered to that before any tree can be touched the permission of the spirit must be asked and obtained.

Now a woodman cut down a tree one day without giving the Nāt who resided in it the slightest warning, a proceeding which infuriated the spirit exceedingly, and he determined to be revenged; so, taking upon himself without delay the exact form and likeness of the woodman, he gathered up a bundle of sticks and went in advance of him to his home, in the brief warm gloom that precedes the fall of night. When he reached the hut, that was as bare as a hermit's cell, thatched with dunni leaves, and situated in one of the deepest recesses of the dense sylvan growth, he placed the wood outside and went within. An oil lamp stood on the wooden ledge of the entrance and threw a faint light on all around. The wife of the woodcutter was busy boiling the evening rice, a baby slept in its box like cradle slung from a beam in the roof; a little boy of five or six sat cutting plaintain leaves.

The Nāt greeted the woman; she answered him cheerily. Then he squatted down on a piece of matting.

The rice being ready, the wife put it out on the plaintain leaves, giving one to her supposed husband, one to the boy, and keeping the other for herself. They ate together, and when they had finished drank some water from the chatty standing near. Then they sat and smoked, and talked together of the many little trifling events which went to make up their world. The woman cleared away the remains of their meal, and took out some betel chews and commenced to roll them, while the child slept behind the purdah. About half an hour passed away thus, when lo! on the stillness broke the voice of the woodman calling to his wife that he was coming, saying that he had been delayed.

The woman heard in bewildered astonishment, then turned to the Nāt, who apparently had not heeded the call, and asked him if she dreamt.

Then rising, she peered out into the gloom, just faintly relieved by the rays of a young moon, and beheld the form of a woodcutter coming between the trees, identically the same in figure and face as her husband who was there beside her. The new comer called her by her name again, bidding her prepare something for him to eat, as he was tired and hungry.

He threw the wood down that he carried, and entered, but staggered back on seeing his counterpart squatting, quite at home, on the ground. The woman looked from one to the other, and knew not what to do or think.

There was silence for a few moments. Then he who had come last asked, when he had sufficiently recovered himself to speak

"Who is this man who bears so strange a likeness to me?"

"I am the husband of this woman," answered the Nāt calmly, not even removing his green leaf cigar from between his lips... Continue reading book >>




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