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The King of Crocodiles – A Tale from North India

Click below to listen to the story The King of Crocodiles

About this story

In this tale, a group of crocodiles repeatedly destroys a crop of wheat from a farm belonging to a farmer. When the farmer retaliates, the crocodiles charge on the farmer. Their leader makes a proposal if the farmer was to to marry his daughter to him, the farmer would be spared.
However, the farmer cannot really do so because his daughter is about to get married to another man. But in the end, will the farmer agree to this proposal? What happens to the daughter?Listen to this story to learn more. This is a classic story from the Tales of Punjab, edited and rewritten by Amar Vyas.


Once upon a time a farmer went out to look at his fields by the side of the river, and found to his dismay that all his young green wheat had been trodden down, and nearly destroyed, by a number of crocodiles, which were lying lazily amid the crops like great logs of wood. He flew into a great rage, bidding them go back to the water, but they only laughed at him.
Every day the same thing occurred,–every day the farmer found the crocodiles lying in his young wheat, until one morning he completely lost his temper, and, when they refused to budge, began throwing stones at them. At this they rushed on him fiercely, and he, quaking with fear, fell on his knees, begging them not to hurt him.
‘We will hurt neither you nor your young wheat,’ said the biggest crocodile, ‘if you will give us your daughter in marriage; but if not, we will eat you for throwing stones at us.’
The farmer thinking of nothing but saving his own life, promised what the crocodiles required of him; but when, on his return home, he told his wife what he had done, she was very much vexed, for their daughter was as beautiful as the moon, and her betrothal into a very rich family had already taken place. So his wife persuaded the farmer to disregard the promise made to the crocodiles, and proceed with his daughter’s marriage as if nothing had happened; but when the wedding-day drew near the bridegroom died, and there was an end to that business. The farmer’s daughter, however, was so beautiful that she was very soon asked in marriage again, but this time her suitor fell sick of a lingering illness; in short, so many misfortunes occurred to all concerned, that at last even the farmer’s wife acknowledged the crocodiles must have something to do with the bad luck. By her advice the farmer went down to the river bank to try to induce the crocodiles to release him from his promise, but they would hear of no excuse, threatening fearful punishments if the agreement were not fulfilled at once.
So the farmer returned home to his wife very sorrowful; she, however, was determined to resist to the uttermost, and refused to give up her daughter.
Music used in this episode is from Incompetech, Freesounds and Soundbible (crocodiles growl). Used under Creative Commons CC 3.0 license. Sound:
Image used from Pixabay

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