The Fisher-Girl and the Crab

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The Fisher-Girl and the Crab is an Indian fairy tale collected by Verrier Elwin in Folk-Tales of Mahakoshal; it comes from the Kurukh, a people living in Chitrakoot, Bastar State.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

A Kurukh couple had no children. They found a gourd by their rice field and started to eat it, but it begged them to cut gently. They found a crab inside it. The woman tied a basket to her belly, pretended to be pregnant, and then pretended to have given birth to the crab. In time, they married him off, but the girl did not like being married to a crab. She sneaked off when the parents and crab were asleep, but the crab sneaked ahead of her. He asked a banyan tree whose it was; it said it was his; he ordered it to fall down. He took out a human shape from inside it and put it on, putting his crab shape in the tree. The girl met him at a dance and gave him her ornaments. He went back before her and took on his crab shape again, and gave her her ornaments, which frightened her. She went to sneak out again but watched the crab. When he had put on the human shape, she asked the trees whose it was; it said it was hers; she ordered it to fall down and burned the crab shape. When her husband could not find her at the dance, he came back, and she jumped out, caught him, and took him home.

Commentary[edit]

Elwin noted that the crab is considered monogamous and an example of domestic fidelity.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Angela Carter, The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book, p 19, Pantheon Books, New York, 1990 ISBN 0-679-74037-6
  2. ^ Angela Carter, The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book, p 232, Pantheon Books, New York, 1990 ISBN 0-679-74037-6