Of the Ralative Villainy of Men and Women

Vikram caught Betal once again. But soon Betal, began his storytelling.

There once lived a pleasure-loving and careless King. When he died, he left an empty treasury for his son. But he had a wise parrot, Chauraman. Soon, the new king got married.

His new bride, Chandravati also had a clever jay. But the jay disliked all males. Once the Raja and Chandravati sat down with their birds.

When the Raja asked for s story, the jay obliged. “Once there was a rich merchant. He had a son who was a hunchback. After his father died, he visted my master and narrated a false tale about his life. My master was deceived. In time, his daughter Ratnavati married the hunchback.

One day, the hunchback wished to go to his city. Ratnavati went with him. In the forest, he threw Ratnavati into well. A passerby rescued her and escorted her home.

Soon, the hunchback too came to his wife’s home. He was shocked to see his wife alive. His wife forgave him and they lived peacefully, till one day, the hunchback killed my master, his wife and Ratnavati. He was about to kill me when the barking of a dog distracted him.

The jay burst into tears. All were silent. The king then asked Churaman to tell a tale.

“Once I bekonged to a rich merchant He had a spoilt daughter. Jayashri, whohad married hoer thend. Shisdat One night, she secretly went to visit an admiver. On waching his home, she found him dead. All the while, one of the king’s footmen had followed her.

Now as Jayashri wet beside her admirer’s body, an evil spinit entered the dead man and bit off her nose. Screaming, she ran home. When she saw Shridat, she shrieked wildly clapsing her nose.

The noise brought the neighbours out of their houses. And Shridat was taken to the king. Then, the footman cried, Oh king,this man is innocent. He narrated the true events and the wicked Jayashri was then punished.”

The jay was outraged by the story of the evil woman. The jay and parrot began to fight. Soon all four were arguing

“A man may know right and wrong but a woman does not,” said the Raja crossly. To his dismay, Betal flew away to the tree.