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Twenty Two Goblins

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By: (6th Century)

These 22 stories are told by the Goblin to the King Vikram. King Vikram faces many difficulties in bringing the vetala to the tantric. Each time Vikram tries to capture the vetala, it tells a story that ends with a riddle. If Vikram cannot answer the question correctly, the vampire consents to remain in captivity. If the king answers the question correctly, the vampire would escape and return to his tree. In some variations, the king is required to speak if he knows the answer, else his head will burst.

This work is taken form baital pachisi and One of its oldest recensions is found incorporated in the Kathā-Sarit-Sāgara ("Ocean of the Streams of Story"), a work in Sanskrit compiled in the 11th century by Somadeva. (Wikipedia)

First Page:


Translated from the Sanskrit by Arthur William Ryder



Goblin story

1. The Prince's Elopement. Whose fault was the resulting death of his parents in law?

2. The Three Lovers who brought the Dead Girl to Life. Whose wife should she be?

3. The Parrot and the Thrush. Which are worse, men or women?

4. King Shudraka and Hero's Family. Which of the five deserves the most honour?

5. The Brave Man, the Wise Man, and the Clever Man. To which should the girl be given?

6. The Girl who transposed the Heads of her Husband and Brother. Which combination of head and body is her husband?

7. The Mutual Services of King Fierce lion and Prince Good. Which is the more deserving?

8. The Specialist in Food, the Specialist in Women, and the Specialist in Cotton. Which is the cleverest?

9. The Four Scientific Suitors. To which should the girl be given?

10. The Three Delicate Wives of King Virtue banner. Which is the most delicate?

11. The King who won a Fairy as his Wife... Continue reading book >>

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