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In the Great God's Hair, by F. W. Bain, [1905], at

X. A Pariah Dog

Then said Indra: O lady, whose bow-arched eyebrow is touched with the exquisite beauty of faint surprise, certainly that brave Rajpoot deserved his reward: but what is there in common between his action and that of thyself and thy husband?

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Then said Wanawallarí: Brahman, that which is common to us is our reward. For I regard my meeting with my husband as a special favour of the deity greater even than the rise of Haya in the scale of being, and due beyond a doubt, like that, to some meritorious action in a previous birth. But as to our actions in this life, there is still time: and I will endeavour to efface whatever there may be of egotism and independence in this action of mine by the whole tenor of my future obedience. And do not therefore be too apt to estimate the future of our lives by the past: for while life itself endures, there is the possibility of change, and many times it has happened that the very close of life has brought with it something contradictory of its whole previous course. As once there was a dog without an owner. And it had nowhere to go, and nothing to eat: but it scraped for itself a miserable subsistence from the refuse of chance, eating and drinking out of gutters: and it was very thin, and covered with sores and wounds: for everyone that saw it cursed it and abused it and drove it about, beating it with sticks and pelting it with stones; so that living in terror of perpetual death, it carried its tail between its legs, and in its sad eyes hunger fought for the

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mastery with fear and shame. So it continued to live, until at last its end was near. And one day when it was so weak that it could hardly walk, there came by it along the road a bullock cart, containing a number of women who were coming from a wedding feast. And seeing the dog, they all began to jeer at it. But one of those women got down from the cart, and going up to the dog with compassion in her heart offered it a piece of cake. And the dog looked at her with wistful eyes, not understanding; for in its whole life no one had ever done it a kindness of any sort. And after a while, it wagged, very gently, the very end of its thin tail. And thus, O Brahman, none can tell with certainty the end of a life from its beginning: and it may be that my husband, or even I myself, may find opportunity to redeem ourselves from thy censure hereafter, by conduct deserving of thy approval.

Next: XI. A Red Lotus