Chando and His Wife
A Santhal Pargana Tale
translated by Cecil Henry Bompas
Once upon a time Chando went to the hills to fashion a plough out of
a log of wood; and his wife was left at home alone, Chando was so long
in coming back that his wife grew impatient; so she made some mosquitos
and sent them to worry him and drive him home. But Chando made some
dragon-flies and they ate up the mosquitos and he went on with his
work. His wife made various other animals and sent them out, but Chando
destroyed them all. At last she made a tiger and sent it to frighten
him home; but Chando took up a handful of chips from the log he was
cutting and threw them at the tiger and they turned into wild dogs and
chased the tiger away. Ever since that no tiger will face wild
Then Chando’s wife shut up a locust in an iron pot and when
Chando at last came home she asked him “Why have you been so
long? Who is to give food and drink to all the living
creatures if you don’t attend to business.” Chando answered
that he had fed them all.
“No you have not, you have not fed the locust!”
“But I have” said Chando.
Then she took the lid off the iron pot and showed him the locust
eating grass inside; and Chando had nothing to say.