In offering these few Indian tales to the public, I cannot refrain from adding a few words at the beginning to express to Pandit Natêśa Sástrî my gratitude for the great assistance he has given me in collecting them, assistance without which they would never have seen the light in the shape of a complete volume. When I began writing down these tales, my only means of collecting them was through my native servants, who used to get them from the old women in the bazaars; but the fables they brought me were as full of corruptions and foreign adaptions as the miscellaneous ingredients that find their way into a dish of their own curry and rice, and had it not been for Mr. Sástrî’s timely aid, my small work would have gone forth to the world laden with inaccuracies.
Mr. Sástrî not only corrected the errors of my own tales, but allowed me to add to them many that he had himself collected, and that had already been published, either in small volumes or in numbers of The Indian Antiquary. For this reason I have left several notes which Mr. Cowper Temple, Mr. Clowston, and others had added to the tales that had already been printed, as they were too valuable to dispense with, and may be of service to students of folklore. In conclusion, I would crave the indulgence of my readers with regard to the style in which the tales are written, which has been left as nearly as possible in the form of a literal translation, in order to lend the Stories a “couleur locale,” which is characteristic of the country they spring from.
Notes: The book holds 26 Indian folktales.
Author: Mrs. Howard Kingscote and
Pandit Natesa Sastri
Publisher: W. H. Allen & Co. 13 Waterloo Place, London & Calcutta