Once upon a time, there were three sisters. Their parents had died. All they had in the world was a white chauri cow; one day they lost it too.
“I’ll go and look for the chauri,” said the oldest of the girls.
The whole day long she climbed one mountain after another. At last, she came to the land of the ogress and she found herself before an old, ugly ogress. “Granny,” she said, “Have you seen our white chauri cow?”
“Oh, yes,” the ogress replied, “She is here. But come and eat something first. You must be tired and hungry.”
It was already late in the day. The girl was both tired and hungry and she was glad of the invitation to stay and sup.
Placing a plate full of rice before her, the ogress went down the mountain to a stream to prepare herself to kill and eat the girl.
While the girl was eating the rice, a white dog came and said to her, “If you give me a morsel of rice, I”ll tell you something.”
The girl, however, was heedless even when the dog repeated itself.
“What can a dog like you tell me?” she asked and ate up all the rice by herself.
Upon her return the ogress made the girl lie down in a corner of the room, where she kept a mill-stone hanging from the rafters. After a while, in the darkness of the room, the ogress asked the dog sitting by the doorway,”Can you see the stars?”
“No,” said the dog.
She asked again after some time, “Have the stars come out?”
The dog replied, “Not yet.”
“Have they come out now? ” said the ogress for the third time. “Yes,” said the dog.
The ogress then tugged at a rope and the mill-stone fell, crushing the poor girl to death. The ogress at once fell upon the dead body and ate it up, bones and all.
When the girl did not return, the next morning the second sister went out to look for her and the chauri. She wandered the whole day long until she too came to the same old wicked ogress and she said to her, “Did you see our sister and chauri, Granny?”
The girl fared no better than her older sister.
When her second sister too failed to come back, the youngest girl took to the mountain trail. Before the day was over, she found herself asking the ogress, “Did you see my two sisters and our chauri? ”
“Oh, yes,” said the ogress, “But you must be hungry. Eat something first.”
The ogress placed a plateful of rice before the girl, and, as was her habit, she went down the mountain to the stream.
As the girl was going to eat, the dog came and said to her, “If you give me a morsel of food, I’ll tell you something.”
The girl placed before the dog a handful of rice, which it finished in no time, and it said again, “I’ll tell you more if you give me another morsel.”
When the dog had another helping of rice, it said for the third time, “Give me some more rice and I’ll tell you everything.
So the girl gave the dog all the rice. The dog then said: “Your sisters had indeed come here but the bad old ogress killed them and ate them up. So you must not stay here. Before you go, take away with the bamboo hairbrush and as much millet, maize, rice, wheat and barley as you can carry.”
The girl was alarmed and lost no time in taking whatever she could lay her hands on and ran away into the night.
Before long the ogress was back and finding the girl gone, she was furious. She beat the dog to death and then ran along the trail to catch of the girl.
When the girl heard the ogress coming after her, she threw down the brush, which at once took root and grew up into a thick bush, delaying the ogress in her pursuit. When she finally came out of the bush, the girl had succeeded in putting herself at some distance from her pursuer. But the ogress ran fast and came close to the frightened girl.
The girl now threw away the millet in her hand. Seeing the millet scattered along the trail, the ogress said to herself, “Ah, here is my millet.” And she took the time to pick up every grain of millet.
Meanwhile, the girl gained another mountain, but before too long the ogress was close behind her. The girl threw down the maize.
“Ah, here is my maize,” said the ogress when she came up; she stopped once more to gather the maize.
The ogress then ran faster than before and the girl threw away the rice.
Before long the ogress was picking up each grain of rice while the girl reached another range of mountains.
Yet before too long the ogress overtook the girl, who now threw away the wheat. “Ah, here is my wheat,” said the ogress and she stopped long enough to pick it.
The girl reached yet another mountain, but without looking back she knew that the ogress was again close upon her heels. She threw away the barley and ran as she had never run before in her life.
The ogress, seeing the barley, stopped to pick every grain, and then she too ran faster than she had run before.
Having nothing left with her to delay the ogress, the girl in desperation called upon heaven for help, “Oh, kind God, save me. The ogress is going to catch up with me.”
And just as the ogress reached out her hands for the girl, a rope dangled before her. She grasped it and was pulled upwards to heaven, safe from the wicked, old ogress.
Seeing the girl vanish in the clouds, the ogress sat down and cried, ‘oh, kind God, send down a rope for me too’.
“Oh, I have just awakened,” said a voice in heaven.
“Send me a rope, please,” implored the ogress.
“I am putting on my clothes,” said the god in heaven.
“Please,” said the ogress,” Hurry up and pull me.”
“Oh, I am lighting the fire,” said the voice.
“Please, please……..” implored the ogress.
And then there was a rope before her. The ogress took hold of it and she was pulled up. But before she was halfway up to heaven, the rope broke and the ogress fell down like a stone.