Tusitala was here once. As a farewell, here is
A story and a song
There was once a girl who knew a story and knew a song. She never told the story or sang the song, but each morning as she bathed in the waters of the village's river the song would sing itself in her heart and each night as she lay on the cool earthen floor of her hut the story told itself in her soul.
But the girl become a woman and the woman became a wife and the wife went to a new house, where the thoughts of the house drowned the song in her heart and the chores of the house stilled the story in her soul.
The story and the song lay silent beneath the crushing weight of mundane life, and as the days went by, they grew angrier and angrier. "The woman has forgotten us", they said, "and soon we will forget ourselves. We must escape, and we must avenge ourselves upon her." So the story turned itself into a turban and the song turned itself into a pair of slippers, and they crept outside the house and lay on the threshold.
That evening when the woman's husband came home he saw a strange pair of slippers and a strange turban outside his house. He stormed in in a fury: "Wife!" he cried. "Who is this man who left in such a hurry that he forgot his hat and his turban? And what else do you do behind my back, while I am out in the fields." And he would not listen to the woman's denials, and he began to beat her.
On that day, the pulavar Iraiyinar was passing through the village. As he passed by the house of the couple, he heard the sound of the woman crying as her husband beat her. He stopped, and stepped in. "Why do you beat this woman", he asked. The husband told her the story. "And have you been unfaithful?" Iraiyinar asked the woman. The woman could say nothing between her sobs, but she shook her head. "She is a liar", cried the husband, "do not believe her! How else would you explain the turban and the slippers?" And he raised his hand to beat her again.
But Iraiyinar raised his hand and stopped him. "By law, I have the power to speak the truth in such cases", he said. "I shall spend the night here, and give you my decision tomorrow." He unrolled his mat, and lay down on the ground outside the hut.
As the stars rose, Iraiyinar began to snore. As he snored, he heard a voice: "It's safe, he's asleep now." He opened his eye a little, and saw the turban and the slippers talking. "That was well done", they said. "And tomorrow, we must make sure he beats her again." Iraiyinar nodded to himself, and fell asleep.
In the morning, he arose and went into the hut. "You have done your wife wrong", he told the husband, "and you must make amends for that." He turned to the wife: "But now, tell me a story. Sing me a song." The woman opened her mouth to sing the song in her heart and tell the story in her soul, but no words would come. Iraiyanar smiled sadly and said: "You forgot the story and the song that lived in you, and they have left you." He picked up the slippers and the turban and left the village. He went first to the riverbank, where threw the slippers into the river. He went then to the mountains, and threw the turban into the wind. And then he walked away.
And so it happened that the woman lost the song and lost the story, but they were borne by the winds and the waters to all the peoples of the world. And all our lives are now enriched by stories and song.
Tellers may move on, but tales do not die.
Ave atque vale.