Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Living Head

There once lived a man and his wife who had no children. They
earnestly desired to have a son, so they prayed to their God, Diva,
that he would give them a son, even if it were only a head.

Diva pitied them, and gave them a head for a son. Head, for that
was his name, grew up, and gradually his father and mother ceased to
think of his misfortune, and grew to love him very much.

One day Head saw the chief's daughter pass the house, and fell in love
with her. "Mother," he said, "I am in love with the chief's daughter
and wish to marry her. Go now, I pray you, to the chief and ask him to
give me his daughter to be my wife." "Dear Head," answered his mother,
"it is of no use to go on such an errand, the chief's daughter will
surely not be willing to marry only a head." But Head insisted, so,
in order to quiet him, his mother went to the chief and made known
her son's desire. Of course she met with a refusal, and returned home
and told Head the result of her errand.

Head went downstairs into the garden and began to sink into the ground.

"Head, come up," said his mother, "and let us eat."

"Sink! sink! sink!" cried Head.

"Head, come up and let us eat!" repeated his mother.

"Sink! sink! sink!" was Head's answer, and he continued to sink
until he could no longer be seen. His mother tried in vain to take
him out. After a while a tree sprang up just where Head had sunk,
and in a short time it bore large, round fruit, almost as large as
a child's head. This is the origin of the orange-tree.

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