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- -2 P.:"

Himacha/,Pradesh Folk Tales ~-

MAGIC TREE In the lawer reaches of ths Shlvallk 1 hills lies a broad valley carved out by the mighty river sutlaj. Mountain slopes climb up and away from the river, spreading green qs they go. Here and there stands small villages. They , grow paddy and wheat And the village was so beautiful. The st ory begins In this vi llage. Naldera by name. But this village was ,- - - - so fortunate that right In the middle 1 of the village stood a magic Mulberry 1 tree. Right from the onset of spring , to the beginning of winter the tree 1 1 laden with fruits - rich dark, reddish and purple in colour and bursted with juice. A handful of It was as satisfying as a full meal. Many villagers lived on it. Old people who ate the fruit felt rejuvenated.

The fame of tree spread and thousands of people flocked to the village .At night they spread a sheet under the tree and morning they found heaped with fresh ,juicy Mulberries . In time a fair was held at Neldera to honour the magic tree . People even brought offerings and prayed to the tree .

This story reached the king. Keen to test the truth of the story, raja went to Neldera with his retinue. He saw that that tree bending under the weight of fruits. The fair was on . People were singing and enjoying. It was a scene of great happiness and plenty ,something raja had never seen before. But instead of being happy he was filled with envy . " How is that I have no such tree in my garden "??.He fumed ."


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I shall not allow the tree to stand. And out of jealousy he rode back to home. Back in his own domain he summoned 6 strong men and ordered "On the first moonless night, go to the village of Naldera hack down the Mulberry tree


i;i wtth hLVl,I.Self he wel-1-t: to bei;i ."B-1,{t he col,{Lol11vt sleep. tte tvie 1/\,tgvtt tosst~ fttfuLLr, ti/\, be~ Just before tvte ~ttwl/\, vte feLL tl/\,t:o> , c;tl/\, ul/\,ettskj sLul'¾ber ttM ~tt~ a ~rettll¾ . A strtt~e l'¾tll/\, tt-p-pettre~ before vttl'¾ tll/\,~ sttL~ •o R.t~ 1 ttl'¾ the s-ptn.t of tt l'¾ercvtttl/\,t wvto Ol/\,C,e LLve~ LI/\, NttL~era. Du.rt~ l'¾!1 LLft OIi\, ettrtvt I was ~Lsvto1A,tst to tvte core . 1 chettte~ ll¾tj custol'¾ers. whel/\, 1 ~Le~ QI/\,~ reacvte~ the LttM L,,Of s-ptrtts, go~ ~ecrea~e~ that I l'¾USt restore aLL I vtttve stoLel/\,. -11/\J , ~ vtow ? M!::j souL was toL~ to el/\,ter the MuLberr!:1 tree so tvtttt !:jett~ tt-fter kjettr, I wouL~ bear a bull¾-per harvest. , ' ~

I have borne fruit for many years now . In another year people wood have been repaid to the last cowrie and I shall be free . So I beg u not to cut the tree. When the year is over it will die by itself. The king agreed and man went away. But when he was awake he thought that Oo cutting trees was really bad ? what would happen if we cut the trees ? After some years the tree died. in memory of the tree they tied small squares of coloured cloth to the trees as an offering and nobody ever dreamt of felling trees for their personal gain .









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