The Story of the Pineapple Girl
Translated by Kabir Chowdhury
THE old witch then let the bird fly away from her hands. The bird flew on and after a while reached the pineapple orchard. He saw that the whole orchard was protected by an iron net and hundred of soldiers patrolled around it with alert and watchful eyes. He waited patiently and when a sudden chance offered itself he flew into the orchard noiselessly, unseen by anyone, and was amazed to see thousands of pineapples with their bright colours filling every corner of the orchard. Whenever he looked he saw nothing but pineapples.
He noiselessly flew from one tree to another and suddenly saw one pineapple that tallied with the word of the old witch. In the twinkling of an eye he plucked the fruit with one single pull, held it between his beaks and flew back with it to the old woman's home, who was passing agonized and anxious moments all this time. When she saw the bird safely back home she recited her charm and blew on feathers of the mayna bird and he was gain turned into the happy-go-lucky impetuous young man that he was.
The old witch got really frightened when she saw Anarashi-Kanya. She pleaded wit the young man to go away from her place. She said, “The King's men will come any moment in search of that pineapple. They will search the whole village and ransack it. They will kill me, they will kill you, they will massacre the whole village. I don't want all that trouble, You better leave this place at one with your pineapple and go home. And, look, however hungry or thirsty you may feel on your way home, never, never, touch this pineapple. Never break this open and taste it. If you do, everything will be lost and undone.” The young man said, “Auntie, I'll remember what you have said and act accordingly.” So saying he started for his home with the precious pineapple. It was, however, no small distance that he would reach his home quickly. And in addition to the distance there was a scorching heat. He walked on and on and became tired. And then he grew hungry and thirsty. Soon his thirst became almost unbearable. His eye fell on the pineapple. There, near at hand, was something tasty and delicious for him to quench his thirst with. He was sorely tempted to cut it open to eat its juicy slices, but he retrained his temptation for quite a while. But his thirst got the upper hand at last and, unable to withstand the agony anymore, he cut the pineapple open, and lo, who but the pineapple girl quietly stepped out of the fruit and stood before the amazed young man. He looked with awe and wonder at her unearthly beauty and fainted. Just at that moment a fisherwoman was passing by that place with her net to catch fist at a neighboring lake. She saw the strange scene and the evil woman that she was she rushed to the Pineapple girl and strangled her to death. Then she dragged her to the nearby lake and threw her into it. Before doing that she took off the Pineapple girl's clothes and her jewellery and put those on herself. She then assumed the role of the Pineapple girl and quietly stood before the young man waiting for him to revive from his fainting fit.After some time the young man came back to his sence and saw a young woman standing before him dressed like the Pineapple girl but whom he instantly recognized as a different woman. But he was powerless to do anything about it. So he quetly took the false Pineapple girl home with him and began to live with her as his wife.
TO BE CONTINUED
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