The Sailor


The boat of the boatman Madhu is moored at the wharf of Rajgunj.
It is uselessly laden with jute, and has been lying there idle for ever so long.
If he would only lend me his boat, I should man her with a hundred oars, and hoist sails, five or six or seven.
I should never steer her to stupid markets. I should sail the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.
But, mother, you won't weep for me in a corner.
I am not going into the forest like Ramachandra to come back only after fourteen years.
I shall become the prince of the story, and fill my boat with whatever I like.
I shall take my friend Ashu with me. We shall sail merrily across the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.
We shall set sail in the early morning light.
When at noontide you are bathing at the pond, we shall be in the land of a strange king.
We shall pass the ford of Tirpurni, and leave behind us the desert of Tepântar.
When we come back it will be getting dark, and I shall tell you of all that we have seen.
I shall cross the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.


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