Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Little Berry Adventures

Once there lived a farmer and his wife in a village. They have no child for many years. One day the farmer’s wife went to market and bought some turkey berries for cooking. While she was cutting the berries, one berry escaped from the group and hide behind the doors. It started to cry that not to cut and kill it. It said “Please don’t kill me, I will be your child as you don’t have one”. The farmer’s wife wondered because the berry is alive and talking too. She pitied the berry and accepted it as her child.
The berry helped its mother in doing all household works. It sweep, cleaned the house and washed the vessels. The mother was very happy to have it as her child. Then she took the lunchbox to the farmer in the field. The berry said, “Maa, don’t leave me alone, I am afraid”. She said, “I am taking lunch to your father who is working in the field”. The berry jumped in joy and told, “Today I will take the lunchbox to paa”.
The berry carried the lunchbox on its head and started to walk towards the field. On the way, all the villagers were surprised on seeing a lunchbox moving in streets. The berry reached the field and went near the farmer with the lunchbox. “Paa Paa, your lunch”, said the berry. Farmer was shocked and asked, “Who is talking?” The berry replied, “Paa see under the lunchbox, am berry your child, brought lunch for you” and it explained all the things happened before.
And the farmer too accepted the berry as his child. One day the berry saw two thieves counting the stolen money near the field. It shouts, “Who are you? What are you doing here?” As the berry is so small, the thieves were afraid that there is a ghost in the field making noise and ran from there leaving the money and jewels. The berry took the money and jewels to the farmer and they became rich.
Another day they travel to the near by village by bullock cart. When the sun was about to set, they decided to stay under a tree for rest. The berry made special arrangements for their safety. It placed some ants in the money box, tied a donkey near their things and placed a wooden stick near them before sleep.
At night the thieves tried to take the money and the ants bite them so they leave the money box and tried to take the things and got kicks from the donkey. On hearing the sound, the berry woke up and beat the thieves with the wooden stick and they ran away.
One day the berry asked its mom to make dumplings to eat. So she started to cook the dumplings. She checked often by removing the lid of the cooker whether the dumplings are cooked. But the dumplings are raw as it is, without cooked. So, the mom asked, “Dumplings, dumplings why are you not cooked yet?” The dumplings replied, “There was a straw on me so am not cooked”. The mom asked, “Straw, straw why did you fall on the dumplings?” The straw replied, “The cow dint eat me, so I fall”. The mom asked, “Cow, cow why dint you eat the straw?” The cow said, “The milkman dint milk me yet, so I dint eat”. The mom asked, “Milkman, milkman why dint you milk the cow?” The milkman said, “My wife dint serve me food, so I dint milk the cow”. The mom asked, “ Wife, wife why dint you serve food?” The wife said, “My baby cried, so I dint serve”. The mom asked, “Baby, baby why did you cried?” The baby said, “An ant bitten me, so I cried”. The mom asked, “Ant, ant why did you bite the baby?” The ant angrily replied, “The baby put its finger into my nose, so I bite”. Then the mom applied medicine to ant and ant said sorry to the baby, baby stopped crying, wife served food, milkman milked the cow and the cow ate the straw. So the dumplings are cooked. The berry ate the dumplings. The farmer, his wife and the berry lived happily ever after.

P.S: This Story was told by mom when i was a little kid. The turkey berry(solanum torvum) is called sundakkai in tamil which is very bitter in taste. It is also known as Devil's Fig, Prickly Nightshade, Shoo-shoo Bush, Wild Eggplant, Pea Eggplant, Pea Aubergine, susumba, boo, terongan, tekokak, berenjena cimarrona, berenjena de gallina, berenjena silvestre, tabacón, pendejera, tomatillo, bâtard balengène, zamorette, friega-platos, Thibbatu(Sinhala), makhua phuang(Thai)

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