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Panwpatti Rani
by [?]

In a country a big fair was held, to which came a great many people and Rájás from all the countries round. Among them was a Rájá who brought his daughter with him. Opposite their tent another tent was pitched, in which lived a Rájá’s son. He was very beautiful; so was the little Rání, the other Rájá’s daughter.

Now, the Rájá’s son and the Rájá’s daughter did not even know each other’s names, but they looked at each other a great deal, and each thought the other very beautiful. “How lovely the Rájá’s daughter is!” thought the prince. “How beautiful the Rájá’s son is!” thought the princess.

They lived opposite each other for a whole month, and all that time they never spoke to each other nor did they speak of each other to any one. But they thought of each other a great deal.

When the month was over, the little Rání’s father said he would go back to his own country. The Rájá’s son sat in his tent and watched the servants getting ready the little Rání’s palanquin. As soon as the princess herself was dressed and ready for the journey, she came out of her tent, and took a rose in her hand. She first put the rose to her teeth; then she stuck it behind her ear; and lastly, she laid it at her feet. All this time the Rájá’s son sat in his tent and looked at her. Then she got into her palanquin and was carried away.

The Rájá’s son was now very sad. “How lovely the princess is!” he thought. “And I do not know her name, or her father’s name, or the name of her country. So how can I ever find her? I shall never see her again.” He was very sorrowful, and determined he would go home to his country. When he got home he laid himself down on his bed, and night and day he lay there. He would not eat, or drink, or bathe, or change his clothes. This made his father and mother very unhappy. They went to him often, and asked him, “What is the matter with you? Are you ill?” “I want nothing,” he would answer. “I don’t want any doctor, or any medicine.” Not one word did he say to them, or to any one else, about the lovely little Rání.

The son of the Rájá’s kotwál[1] was the prince’s great friend. The two had always gone to school together, and had there read in the same book; they had always bathed, eaten, and played together. So when the prince had been at home for two days, and yet had not been to school or seen his friend, the kotwál’s son grew very anxious. “Why does the prince not come to school?” he said to himself. “He has been here for two days, and yet I have not seen him. I will go and find out if anything is the matter. Perhaps he is ill.”

He went, therefore, to see the prince, who was lying very miserable on his bed. “Why do you not come to school? Are you ill?” asked his friend. “Oh, it is nothing,” said the prince. “Tell me what is the matter,” said the kotwál’s son; but the Rájá’s son would not answer. “Have you told any one what is the matter with you?” said the kotwál’s son. “No,” answered the prince. “Then tell me,” said his friend; “tell me the truth: what is it that troubles you?”

“Well,” said the prince, “at the fair there was a Rájá who had a most beautiful daughter. They lived in a tent opposite mine, and I used to see her every day. She is so beautiful! But I do not know her name, or her father’s name, or her country’s name; so how can I ever find her?” “I will take you to her,” said his friend; “only get up and bathe, and eat.” “How can you take me to her?” said the prince. “You do not even know where she is; so how can you take me to her?” “Did she never speak to you?” said the kotwál’s son. “Never,” said the prince. “But when she was going away, just before she got into her palanquin, she took a rose in her hand; and first she put this rose to her teeth; then she stuck it behind her ear; and then she laid it at her feet.” “Now I know all about her,” said his friend. “When she put the rose to her teeth, she meant to tell you her father’s name was Rájá Dánt [Rájá Tooth]; when she put it behind her ear she meant you to know her country’s name was Karnátak [on the ear]; and when she laid the rose at her feet, she meant that her name was Pánwpattí [Foot-leaf]. Get up; bathe and dress, eat and drink, and we will go and find her.”