The Giant And The Horse Thief

Long ago, there lived a king by the name of Bhadrasen. He had a beautiful daughter, whose name was Ratnavati. Besides these two, there was the third, a giant, living in the nearby forest. The wicked giant had evil designs on princess Ratnavati. The giant loved her and wanted to marry her.

But he was unable to lay his hands on the princess because she wore an amulet round her neck, which saved her from all the evils. The giant used to come to the room of the princess and embarrass her in many ways.

Once the giant entered the room of the princess and hid himself behind a long curtain. He heard the princess talking to her friends and saying, “I’m very much pestered by a powerful giant everyday. Can you suggest some way to kill him?”

When the giant heard the words ‘powerful giant’ he became worried. He thought that the ‘powerful giant’ must be some other very strong giant who wanted to kidnap the princess as he himself wanted to do.

The giant now wanted to catch the other powerful giant and kill him. The giant, then, by his magical powers transformed himself into a horse and began to stay in the stable with other real horses.

One night, a horse thief entered the stable and began looking for the best horse to take along with him. He chose the ‘giant horse’ and drove away with it.

Now the giant thought that the rider was himself the ‘powerful giant’. So the ‘giant horse’ got frightened. The thief whipped the ‘giant horse’ and the horse ran faster than before. After sometime, when the thief wanted to stop, he pulled the reins, but the ‘giant horse’ wouldn’t stop.

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The thief tried his level best to stop the horse, but in vain. Then he came to realize that in fact the horse he was riding was actually a giant because each time he pulled the reins it increased its speed instead of slowing down.

Now trying to find a way to escape from the running ‘giant horse’, the thief jumped and caught hold of a thick branch, overhead, of the banyan tree when he passed under it. The horse went running straight in his speed. The thief became happy to have escaped like that.

On the banyan tree, there lived a monkey who was a friend of the giant. He knew that the giant had mistaken the rider to be a more powerful giant. So, the monkey, in order to make the giant aware of the fact, said to him, “Why do you run frightened from the human beings?”

The giant understood everything and stopped to kill the thief and eat him. Just then the thief who was hanging by the branch of the tree bit hard the tail of the monkey, which was dangling in front of his face.

The monkey shrieked in pain. The giant once again got confused and thought that the thief was really a ‘powerful giant’ and would surely kill him. And so, he ran away to save his life.

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