There lived in a certain place a Brahman, whose name was Svabhavakripana, which means “a born miser.”
He had collected a quantity of rice by begging, and after having dined off it, he filled a pot with what was left over. He hung the pot on a peg on the wall, placed his couch beneath, and looking intently at it all the night, he thought,
“Ah, that pot is indeed brimful of rice. Now, if there should be a famine, I should certainly make a hundred rupees by it. With this I shall buy a couple of goats. They will have young ones every six months, and thus I shall have a whole herd of goats.
Then, with the goats, I shall buy cows. As soon as they have calved, I shall sell the calves. Then, with the calves, I shall buy buffaloes; with the buffaloes, mares. When the mares have foaled, I shall have plenty of horses; and when I sell them, plenty of gold. With that gold I shall get a house with four wings. And then a Brahman will come to my house, and will give me his beautiful daughter, with a large dowry.
She will have a son, and I shall call him Somasarman.
When he is old enough to be danced on his father’s knee, I shall sit with a book at the back of the stable, and while I am reading, the boy will see me, jump from his mother’s lap, and run towards me to be danced on my knee. He will come too near the horse’s hoof, and, full of anger, I shall call to my wife, ‘Take the baby; take him!’ But she, distracted by some domestic work, does not hear me. Then I get up, and give her such a kick with my foot.” While he thought this, he gave a kick with his foot, and broke the pot. All the rice fell over him, and made him quite white.
Therefore, I say, “He who makes foolish plans for the future will be white all over, like the father of Somasarman.”
INDIAN Fairy Tales
SELECTED AND EDITED BY
EDITOR OF “FOLK LORE”
ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN D. BATTEN
DAVID NUTT, 270, 271 STRAND