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Tiger Move

Retold by Ajay Dasgupta; Illustration by Shinod AP

The tree apologised for being unable to go with the tiger as he had a guest in his house. He requested the tiger to inform him about the boy's destiny on his way back. Ethoa realised that the village mentioned by the tiger was the name of his sister's village. He grew anxious: did his sister give birth to a boy?

Towards dawn, the tiger and other wild animals returned, they informed the tree that the boy would die by the "tiger-move" and that too at the time of his marriage. They also informed the Mahul tree that the boy had been born to a lady named Noh.

Now Ethoa was sure it was indeed his sister. Next day, Ethoa raced to his sister's house and participated in the naming ceremony of the child. Before leaving the village, Ethoa cautioned Noh that she must consult him before finalising the marriage of the boy.

Time passed. Months, and then years rolled by. The boy grew up to be a handsome young man and his family organised the auspicious day and time for his marriage after selecting a bride.

Ethoa rushed to his sister's house. He cautioned his nephew not to venture out anywhere without informing him. The whole night he kept vigil outside the room where his nephew slept. Early next morning, when the nephew went out into the open fields unmindful of the anxious calls of his maternal uncle, a tiger that lay hidden in the fields pounced upon him.

In no time however, Ethoa the brave warrior, came to his nephew's rescue, and hacked the animal to death. He then narrated the whole story to his nephew, brother-in-law and his weeping sister.

Just then his nephew shouted at the dead tiger: "So this creature would have eaten me up!" Saying so he kicked the tiger's open mouth even as his uncle was begging him not to. And, as he kicked, his foot got stuck against a rapier-sharp tiger's tooth and began to bleed profusely.

The bleeding wouldn't stop no matter what his parents and uncle did. Soon the boy died of excessive bleeding.

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Tiger Move [Folktales for kids]
Retold by Ajay Dasgupta; Illustration by Shinod AP


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