Nepali Folk Tales – Four Men

Come together with people who are special like you and together – do things special!

Once there lived a hunter. He always lay in woods and fields with his arrow stretched from his bow in a ready position and shot whatever caught his eye. Even gnats weren’t spared. He meticulously killed each that flew near him. Such was his aim! This way he had gained a great reputation as an expert archer.

One day a person who could walk relentlessly passed by the hunter’s way. He walked so quickly that while walking with his friends, even if he took a toilet break for half-an-hour he would be able to catch up with them in no time. He noticed the hunter’s actions and was impressed with him. In fact, noticing someone as talented as him, he proposed to him for friendship. The hunter agreed and so they started traveling together.

During their travels, they once saw a group headed for a wedding. It was hot so the people were finding it hard. Then a man plucked out a huge tree from the ground and placed it near the group to ensure the shade from the tree cooled them. Seeing this, the hunter and the walker were impressed and proposed to the strong man for friendship. He agreed and so the three friends traveled together.

One day they met a man who was able to spot a tiny grain from hundreds of meters afar. They asked him to join in too. He did so and now there were four of them. They had nothing to fear now. They could stay and walk anywhere and at any time. After a few days, they all came to a realization that they could together achieve something huge. One of them said –

‘Friends! We all are talented in our own way. We shouldn’t just wander around without a purpose. We should do something. I think we should go to a different country and see what we can do.’

The friends agreed. And so they set off. They walked across woods and deserts until they reached a deadly river.  There wasn’t any bridge or boat. There were people discussing ways to cross it, however. Those people were trying to find a way to cross that river for the last fifteen days.  The four men saw this as an opportunity to make some positive contribution. So, the strong one uprooted many trees and threw them in the river. In no time, a bridge formed which was easily crossable. The people thanked them and began going about their usual business. The four men crossed too.

They were forced to spend that night in a dense forest.

‘This forest is too huge and dense. We need to sleep one at a time,’ they agreed upon.

First, it was the turn of the one who could see afar to stay awake while the rest slept. He discovered that there lived rakshas in that forest who came towards them drooling at the smell of humans. He first woke the hunter and then everyone else.

The hunter stepped forward and began shooting. He killed a lot of rakshasas but soon he ran out of arrows. They discussed and then decided that the walker would rush and bring some arrows. During this, the rakshas had already come near them. The strong one uprooted a few trees and threw them at the rakshas. He even picked a few rakshasas and threw them around like cricket balls. The rakshases were scared and started to run away. The walker returned with arrows and so they all together finished the rakshasas off. They slept the night in peace.

The next day they resumed their journey. They faced a lot of obstacles on their way but together they managed to successfully defeat them all. They eventually reached the capital of a different country. They lived in a Dharamshala.

They walked around the country and noticed that the people there were sad. They were told that it was because their beloved queen was ill and was unable to recover despite multiple efforts for a prolonged period of time. Now an old mystic had said that if anyone could bring water from seven seas within two hours she would recover. The queen had disseminated this message and announced that the one who could bring it would get half of her kingdom and great wealth.

The four friends discussed among themselves –

‘Friends! All four of us are special in our own way. We had decided to travel around to do something great. If we manage to save the queen, we will be able to acquire great wealth, honor, and dharma.’

Everyone agreed and went to the palace and met the king.

‘Your Highness! We are ready to bring the water from the seas but we have no vessel to bring water in.’

The King gave them a vessel. The walker carried the vessel and with the guidance of the far-seer, he proceeded.

This news spread around the country. The people were curious to see men who were ready to accept such an absurd venture. They rushed to the palace to meet the remaining three. This soon led to a stampede and the soldiers had to intervene.

Meanwhile, the farseer stood on the roof and watched his friend rush along woods and hills. He communicated this with everyone. Suddenly, he saw the walker get scared off his feet. He had seen a tiger and it was about to kill him. Hearing this, the strong one quickly uprooted a giant tree from the palace compound and asked the exact point at which he was to shoot. The seer pointed precisely. The strong one threw the tree in the pointed direction. It hit the tiger and the tiger died on the spot.

The walker went ahead. The seer commentated his every move:

He has reached the sea. He has filled the vessel. Now he has moved.

The public watched along dumbfounded.

He has reached the sea. He has filled the vessel. Now he has moved. Now he is trying to know the time. He is staring at the sun. He might have realized that he has enough time. So, he is now taking a nap. Now he has fallen asleep. A giant tiger from the forest is approaching him. She has reached up to him.

The shooter loaded his bow and shot the tiger with the guidance of the seer. The tiger died.

The walker woke up after a while and saw a dead tiger. Seeing it, he was pleased and returned back without harm.

In the palace, the queen was handed the water. The queen recovered immediately. Everyone was pleased. The four men were celebrated in the palace. A great feast was held for them. After that, they were allowed to leave. The King opened his treasury and asked them to take whatever they could take. The strong one carried everything. This ashamed the king. He then gave them half his wealth and state.

After this, all four men returned to their respective homes.