Kapila forest had long been a hideout for bandits. However, it was necessary to pass the forest to reach the nearby Rajgadh village. One evening, when Gopu was travelling through the forest, a man leaped out of the bushes, startling Gopu. He claimed to be a porter, who was going towards the village. He insisted on carrying Gopu’s trunk. Suspicious of the self-proclaimed porter’s intent, Gopu led him to his friend Magan’s house, which was just a few minutes’ walk away. Disappointed by the fact that he could not rob Gopu, the porter decided to enter the house. The man dramatically clutched his head and fell to the ground as he let out a loud wail.

Magan was baffled when he saw Gopu standing beside a stranger lying at his doorstep. He did not understand what was going on. Gopu explained the situation to Magan as they carried the seemingly unconscious man inside. Meanwhile, the impostor was overjoyed by his success in having entered the house. Little did he know that the two friends were no easy targets. They knocked the man hard on his head, put him in a trunk, and left him deep inside the forest.

That night, a group of bandits came across the large trunk while patrolling the forest. Expecting it be filled with riches, they opened it gleefully. What they found instead was their friend, gagged and bound by ropes. The swindler explained everything to his fellow bandits, who decided to raid the house.

That night, Gopy and Magan happened to be awake till late night, chatting and drinking aamras, or mango juice, as they had met after a long time. Just when Magan was about to blow out the candles, he noticed some bandits hiding behind the tree. He drew Gopu’s attention to the same. Gopu thought for a while and then purposefully put out the candle. He then told Magan his plan.

The bandits, meanwhile, were waiting for the two friends to fall asleep so that they could raid the house. As soon as they saw the candlelight going off, they tiptoed toward the house gate. The group barged in, but was welcomed by a downpour of scalding oil. Burned and in pain, half of the group ran away and disappeared into the forest. The remaining bandits, still undeterred by the spooky welcome, carefully advanced into the house. As soon as they reached the living room, the two friends hurled red chili powder into their eyes. The crooks were now left with no choice but to retreat into the woods, screaming all the way back to their hideout. The two friends’ presence of mind had helped them ward off the outlaws.

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya Susarla

Ananya both loves to read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Shoot her an email at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from KidsGen.