Four Tamil Folktales (Post No.7582)


Post No.7582

Date uploaded in London – 16 February 2020

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A spendthrift asked a miser for a loan.

How will you repay the loan? He asked.

I will save monthly from my pay and will pay it, he said.

Could you not save it so it before? He asked.

I was ignorant and neglected to do so, he said.

Then I will make you understand it now. I am not going to lend you money.

Start saving now. Think that you are repaying my loan.

Afterwards the spendthrift began to save money.


A man saw a rich gentleman and said to him,

If you supply me with good food for six months,

after that I will carry a big mountain.

He accordingly gave him good food.

Afterwards called him and took him to a nearby mountain.

Carry this mountain, he ordered.

He said, if you put the mountain on my hand, I will carry it, he replied.


A Guru was teaching his disciples.

While he was teaching, one of the pupils saw a rat entering into its hole.

He was distracted. Guru watched his pupil’s behaviour.

Immediately after finishing, he asked his pupil,

Has it all entered? Guru asked his disciple.

He meant has it all gone into his brain.

Pupil answered, it has all gone in, but the tail only remains.

This is the story behind a Tamil proverb.


A priest went to one of his disciple’s house after he complained that his children were behaving strangely. Then the priest wanted to find out the level of wickedness in them.

My friend, which of your four children is well behaved one?

He replied, Sir, this one who is on the top of the thatched house and whirling a firebrand. He is trying to set fire to the house. He is the best behaved among them all.

The priest said,

What kind of persons must the other three be? and having put his finger on his nose he heaved a deep sigh and went away.

This is the story behind a Tamil proverb.

Placing a finger in one’s nose is a sign of exclamation or surprise in Indian culture.

Source book – Katha Manjari, R H James, Senthamiz, Munushi, Puduvai Rajagopala Mudaliyar, Bangalore, year 1850