Dutton's source appears to have been the Anvar-i-Suhaili , a Persion translation of the Panchatantra. According to Persian and Arabic traditions, the Panchatantra , was compiled by a man named Bidpai.
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The Gamarala went to the Chena. The Gama-gaeni lay down and told the Gama-puta the son to examine her head for insects. While he was looking through the hair she fell asleep, and a fly settled on her head. Fly, do not bite our mother's head," he said. Saying ,"Now then, this fly is biting mother's head again," he placed his mother's head gently on the ground. Then having gone and taken a rice pestle, and come back with it, he said, "Is the fly still biting the head? The boy's father having come, tried to arouse her. The boy said, "A fly was biting our mother's head.
I struck it with the rice pestle. Because of it she died. Source: H. Parker, Village Folk-Tales of Ceylon , vol. This tale continues with additional episodes.
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In his eagerness to kill it, he hit himself a smart slap. But the fly escaped, and said to him in derision, "You tried to kill me for just one little bite; what will you do to yourself now, for the heavy smack you have just given yourself? Vernon Jones London: William Heinemann, , p. Link to additional folktales about bald men. When evening came they all sat down under a tree to rest, when one of them said, "Let us count to see if we are all here. Fearing some evil, they now rose up, and at once set out to search for their missing comrade.
Presently they met a shepherd, who greeted them civilly and said, "Friends, why are you in such low spirits? Have you seen any one of us hereabouts? We owe you a debt of gratitude. Because you have done us this service, we insist on doing a month's free labor for you. Now, the shepherd's mother was a very old woman, in her dotage, utterly feeble and unable to help herself.
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When the morning came he placed her under the care of one of the Buneyris, saying to him, "You will stay here and take care of my old mother. To another Buneyri he said, "You take out my goats, graze them on the hills by day, and watch over them by night. The man who was left in charge of the old crippled mother found that his time was fully occupied in the constant endeavor to drive off the innumerable flies which in that hot season kept her in a state of continual excitement and irritation. When, however, he saw that all his efforts were fruitless, and that he flapped the wretches away in vain, he became desperate, and, lifting up a large stone, he aimed it deliberately at a certain fly which had settled on the woman's face.
Hurling it with all his might, he of course missed the fly, but, alas!
When the shepherd saw this he wrung his hands in despair. The fly has escaped, but as for my poor old mother, you have killed her dead. Meanwhile, the second Buneyri led his flock of goats up and down among the hills, and when midday came he rested to eat his bread, while many of the assembled goats lay down beside him. As he was eating he began to observe how the goats were chewing the cud and occasionally looking at him So he foolishly imagined that they were mocking him, and waxed wroth.
That night was a sorrowful one for the trustful shepherd, and bitterly he repented his rashness. In the morning the remaining five wise men of Buneyr came to him, and said, "It is now our turn. Give us some work to do, too! The episode describing the fools' inability to count themselves is a type folktale. The Bear and the Amateur of Gardening Jean de La Fontaine A certain mountain bruin once, they say, Was wont within a lonely wood to stray, A new Bellerophon secluded there, His mind had gone, and left his brain-pan bare.
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Reason on lonely people sheds no ray. It's good to speak -- better to silent stay: Both in excess are bad. No animal Was ever seen, or was within a call. Bear though he was, he wearied of this life, And longed for the world's joy and the world's strife. Then "Melancholy marked him for her own. Not far from him an old man lived alone.
Dull as the bear, he loved his garden well; Was priest of Flora and Pomona; still, Though the employment's pleasant, a kind friend Is needfull, its full charms to it to lend. Gardens talk little, save in my small book. Weary at last of their mere smiling look, And those his dumb companions, one fine day, Our man set forth upon his lonely way, To seek a friend. The bear, with the same thought, Had left his mountain, satisfied with naught. By chance most strange the two adventurers meet At the same turning. He's afraid to greet The bear; but fly he can't. What can he do?
Well, like a Gascon, he gets neatly through: Conceals his fright. The bear is not well bred; "Here is my cottage; pray come in, my lord;" Still growls, "Come see me! I have milk and fruit, That will, perhaps, your worship's pleasure suit For once, though not your ordinary fare. I offer all I have. In my opinion it's a golden rule: Better be lonely than be with a fool. The bear, who did not speak two words a day, Left the drudge there to work and toil away.
One day a buzzer o'er the sleeping man Poised, and then settled on his nose -- their plan. The bear was crazy: all his chase was vain; "I'll catch you, thief! It came again.
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He crushed the fly, but smashed the poor man's skull -- A sturdy thrower, but a reasoner dull. La Fontaine's fables, published in twelve books between and , exemplify the grace and wit of his age. Fortunio Italy, Giovanni Francesco Straparola Fortunio, a servant, endeavoring to crush a fly, kills his master, and saves himself from the gallows by a pleasantry.
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There lived in the city of Ferrara a rich grocer of good descent, who had in his service Fortunio, a fat good-tempered fellow of very slender wit. Now in the great heats the grocer was wont to lie down to sleep in the middle of the day, and at such times it was Fortunio's part to keep off the flies with a fan, lest they should disturb his master.
One day it chanced that, amongst the others, was a very greedy meddlesome horsefly, which took no heed of Fortunio's fanning, nor of his strokes, but alighted constantly on the grocer's bald pate and stung him grievously. And though the fly was chased away three or four times, it always came back to give fresh trouble. At last the servant, incensed at the boldness and persistency of the fly, rashly made trial to kill it when it was about to settle again on his master's temple and suck his blood. Simple fool that he was, he caught up a weighty bronze pestle, and, striking at the fly with all his might with the intent to kill it, he made an end of the grocer instead.
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As soon as Fortunio saw that he had slain his master and thereby made himself liable to death by the law, he took counsel with himself how he might best save his neck, and first resolved to seek safety in flight, but he afterwards fixed upon another scheme, which was to bury the corpse secretly.
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