So next day, when the Princesses went to their mother's grave,
eating the beautiful pomeloes, the Prudhan's daughter followed
and saw them gathering the fruit.
Then Balna said to her sisters, "Do you not see that girl
Let us drive her away, or hide the pomeloes, else she will go
her mother all about it, and that will be bad for us."
But the other sisters said, "Oh no, do not be unkind, Balna.
would never be so cruel as to tell her mother. Let us rather invite
her to come and have some of the fruit." And calling her
to them, they
gave her one of the pomeloes.
No sooner had she eaten it, however, than the Prudhan's daughter
home and said to her mother, "I do not wonder the seven Princesses
not eat the dinner you prepare for them, for by their mother's
there grows a beautiful pomelo tree, and they go there every day
eat the pomeloes. I ate one, and it was the nicest I have ever
The cruel Ranee was much vexed at hearing this, and all next
stayed in her room, and told the Raja that she had a very bad
The Raja was deeply grieved, and said to his wife, "What
can I do for
you?" She answered, "There is only one thing that will
headache well. By your dead wife's tomb there grows a fine pomelo
tree; you must bring that here, and boil it, root and branch,
and put a
little of the water in which it has been boiled on my forehead,
that will cure my headache." So the Raja sent his servants,
the beautiful pomelo tree pulled up by the roots, and did as the
desired; and when some of the water, in which it had been boiled,
put on her forehead, she said her headache was gone and she felt
Next day, when the seven Princesses went as usual to the grave
mother, the pomelo tree had disappeared. Then they all began to
Now there was by the Ranee's tomb a small tank, and as they were
they saw the tank was filled with a rich cream-like substance,
quickly hardened into a thick white cake. At seeing this all the
Princesses were very glad, and they ate some of the cake, and
and next day the same thing happened, and so it went on for many
Every morning the Princesses went to their mother's grave, and
the little tank filled with the nourishing cream-like cake. Then
cruel stepmother said to her daughter: "I cannot tell how
it is, I have
had the pomelo tree which used to grow by the Ranee's grave destroyed,
and yet the Princesses grow no thinner, nor look more sad, though
never eat the dinner I give them. I cannot tell how it is!"
And her daughter said, "I will watch."
Next day, while the Princesses were eating the cream cake, who
come by but their stepmother's daughter. Balna saw her first,
said, "See, sisters, there comes that girl again. Let us
sit round the
edge of the tank and not allow her to see it, for if we give her
of our cake, she will go and tell her mother; and that will be
unfortunate for us."
The other sisters, however, thought Balna unnecessarily suspicious,
instead of following her advice, they gave the Prudhan's daughter
of the cake, and she went home and told her mother all about it.
The Ranee, on hearing how well the Princesses fared, was exceedingly
angry, and sent her servants to pull down the dead Ranee's tomb,
fill the little tank with the ruins. And not content with this,
next day pretended to be very, very ill-in fact, at the point
and when the Raja was much grieved, and asked her whether it was
power to procure her any remedy, she said to him: "Only one
save my life, but I know you will not do it." He replied,
whatever it is, I will do it." She then said, "To save
my life, you
must kill the seven daughters of your first wife, and put some
blood on my forehead and on the palms of my hands, and their death
be my life." At these words the Raja was very sorrowful;
he feared to break his word, he went out with a heavy heart to
He found them crying by the ruins of their mother's grave.
Then, feeling he could not kill them, the Raja spoke kindly to
and told them to come out into the jungle with him; and there
he made a
fire and cooked some rice, and gave it to them. But in the afternoon,
it being very hot, the seven Princesses all fell asleep, and when
saw they were fast asleep, the Raja, their father, stole away
them (for he feared his wife), saying to himself: "It is
better my poor
daughters should die here, than be killed by their stepmother."
He then shot a deer, and returning home, put some of its blood
forehead and hands of the Ranee, and she thought then that he
really killed the Princesses, and said she felt quite well.