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In a certain village lived an honest man who had a wife both beautiful and clever, but devoted to another man. One day she went by assignation to a grove of mango trees, and there dallied with her lover. But the husband also came. So the lover, seeing him approaching, jumped up hastily, and stepping aside, stood modestly concealed.
Then the woman, seeing her lord, said to him, “Can I have a mango to eat?”
He replied, “I will fetch you one.”
Quoth she: “My longing is to climb up myself and eat a mango.”
“Do so for yourself then,” said he.
So when she had climbed up the tree, she looked at her husband and said: “My dear, what do you mean by making love to another woman before my very eyes?”
“What are you talking about?” said he. “There is no other woman.”
“Can this be the nature of the tree [so that one sees double]?” said she.
“You come up and look at me standing on the ground.” When so it was done, she called her paramour and took her fill of love.
Then said the husband: “Yes, indeed, it is the nature of the tree.”
Whereon the lover made off.
- Source: Cecil Bendall, “The Tantrakhyana, a Collection of Indian Folklore, from a Unique Sanskrit Manuscript Discovered in Nepal,” tale 42, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, new series, vol. 20 (London: Trübner and Company, 1888), pp. 500-501.
- Bendall’s source: A Tibetan manuscript dated A.D. 1484.