[INDOLOGY] Identifying a verse

Tyler Williams tylerwwilliams at gmail.com
Mon Nov 6 01:40:17 UTC 2017

(In the Persian version, a merchant leaves an amount of iron with a
neighbor, who sells it, telling the merchant that it has been eaten by
mice. The merchant kidnaps the man's son, and tells him that a hawk carried
the boy off. The punchline is the same: in a town where mice can eat iron,
certainly a hawk can pick up a boy.)


On Sun, Nov 5, 2017 at 8:38 PM, Tyler Williams <tylerwwilliams at gmail.com>

> Dear Greg,
> This story does indeed appear in the *Kathāsaritasāgara*, and in the
> Persian *Anvār-i Suhailī*. Sorry that I don't have the exact reference.
> Best,
> Tyler
> On Sun, Nov 5, 2017 at 7:50 PM, Greg Bailey via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> Dear Lost,
>> A friend who is not on the list asked me for some information about this
>> brief story which he believes may be expressed in a few ślokas. It strikes
>> me that it may come from somewhere in the Kath?sarits?gara. Any suggestions
>> would be much appreciated.
>> I am writing to get some reference to a Sanskrit stanza (Shloka) which
>> relates to an ancient Indian story.  To put this in context the story
>> goes as follows:
>> An itinerant trader leaves a bowl made of gold for safe-keeping with a
>> friend, to look after it while he is away.  On his return, the trader
>> finds that the friend had substituted the bowl to one of brass.  The
>> trader realizes that he had been cheated but says nothing.  Years later
>> the friend asks the trader to teach his son the art of trading.  The
>> trader takes the son to his home.  A few years later, the friend comes
>> to pick his son, but finds to his horror the son tied to a tree like a
>> monkey and trained to act like one.  Aghast, the friend asks what
>> happened.  And the trader replies, "Just like gold can turn to brass, so
>> can a boy turn to a monkey".
>> There is, I believe, a Sanskrit shloka which tells this story in verse.
>> I am looking for a reference to the Sanskrit text.
>> Cheers,
>> Greg Bailey
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