[Notes by LKG]
This story is part of the Santal Folklore unit. Story source: Folklore of the Santal Parganas by Cecil Henry Bompas (1909).
The Monkey and the Girl
There was one of the young girls who was fascinated by the monkey and promised to marry him. Some of the other children told this in the village, and the girl’s father and mother came to hear of it and were angry and the father took some of the villagers and went and shot the monkey.
Then they decided not to throw away the body, but to burn it like the corpse of a man. So they made a pyre and put the body on it and set fire to it; just then the girl came and they told her to go away, but she said that she wished to see whether they really burned him like a man.
So she stood by, and when the pyre was in full blaze, she called out “Oh look, what is happening to the stars in the sky!”
At this, everyone looked up at the sky; then she took some sand which she had in the fold of her cloth and threw it into the air, and it fell into their eyes and blinded them.
While they were rubbing the sand out of their eyes, the girl leapt on to the pyre and was burned along with the monkey and died a sati. Her father and brothers were very angry at this and said that the girl must have had a monkey’s soul, and so she was fascinated by him — and so saying, they bathed and went home.
Next: Ramai and the Animals