A poor Brahmin and his wife lived in a secluded village. Although married for a while now, the couple were still childless. This prompted the Brahmin to take the decision of marrying again. His first wife, however, was initially averse to the idea of his second marriage. After she did agree, the Brahmin started living in the same house with his two wives. With the blessings of the Almighty, his second wife conceived. She went to stay at her parents’ during her sixth month of pregnancy.

Fifteen days later, the Brahmin wished to go see his second wife. His first wife, who had hatched up a plan to get rid of her rival, packed one hundred apupa cakes layered with poison. She made sure to separately pack the fresh apupa cakes so her husband could eat them on the way. The Brahmin carried the brass vessel containing a hundred cakes on his head, with the other pack of cakes in his hands.

After walking through a hot day, the Brahmin decided to rest in a shelter near a water tank. Once he was done with his evening prayers, he ate the cakes packed for him. Then he went to sleep inside. With the brass vessel under his head, the Brahmin fell asleep in no time. While he was asleep, a hundred robbers broke in. They had kidnapped a beautiful princess, who lay asleep on her bed. Feeling hungry and exhausted, the thieves found the brass vessel containing the one hundred apupa cakes. Unmindful of the fact that the cakes were poisoned, each one of them ate their share and fell down dead at once.

The Brahmin woke up in the morning and found a hundred men sleeping on the ground. He searched for the brass vessel and found it empty. Assuming that those men had made short work of the apupa cakes meant for his second wife, he grabbed a sword from one of the robbers and cut their heads one by one. Away from the dead robbers, a beautiful girl lay asleep on her bed. The Brahmin woke her up.

The Princess looked around and found the corpses of the hundred robbers. The Brahmin proudly told her that he had single-handedly fought and killed all those rogues. Pleased with this extraordinary show of courage, the princess thanked the Brahmin for saving her from the robbers. She even requested the Brahmin to marry her as he had saved her from marrying the chief robber’s son.

Just then, the King arrived at the scene with his soldiers. They were all looking for the Princess. The Brahmin told the King how he had vanquished the robbers all by himself and saved the princess. Pleased with the Brahmin, the King married his daughter to him. In the meantime, the Brahmin’s second wife gave birth to a boy. Happy with the turn of events, the Brahmin sent for his two wives. They all lived happily in the palace thereafter.

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Kalai Selvi, Folk Tale writer at Ameya

Kalai is passionate about reading and reinterpreting folk tales from all over the country. Write to her at kalai.muse@gmail.com to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from fairytalez.