Indian Fairy Tales
By Joseph Jacobs

Presented by

Public Domain Books

The Broken Pot

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.”


Preface  •  The Lion and the Crane  •  How the Raja’s Son Won the Princess Labam  •  The Lambikin  •  Punchkin  •  The Broken Pot  •  The Magic Fiddle  •  The Cruel Crane Outwitted  •  Loving Laili  •  The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal  •  The Soothsayer’s Son  •  Harisaman  •  The Charmed Ring  •  The Talkative Tortoise  •  A Lac of Rupees For a Bit of Advice  •  The Gold-Giving Serpent  •  The Son of Seven Queens  •  A Lesson For Kings  •  Pride Goeth Before a Fall  •  Raja Rasalu  •  The Ass in the Lion’s Skin  •  The Farmer and the Money-Lender  •  The Boy Who Had a Moon On His Forehead and a Star On His Chin  •  The Prince and the Fakir  •  Why the Fish Laughed  •  The Demon With the Matted Hair  •  The Ivory City and Its Fairy Princess  •  How Sun, Moon, and Wind Went Out to Dinner  •  How the Wicked Sons Were Duped  •  The Pigeon and the Crow  •  Notes and References