Tuntuni and the Cat by Upendrakishore Ray

There’s a brinjal plant in the backyard. Tuntuni has built her nest by stitching the plant’s leaves. Three little fledglings lie in the nest. They are so small they can’t fly or even open their eyes. They just open their mouths and call out “cheen-cheen.”

The family cat is really wicked. She just thinks I shall eat Tuntuni’s fledglings. One day she came near the brinjal plant and said, “What are you doing, dear Tuntuni?”

Tuntuni bowed and leant her head by the branch of the brinjal plant and said, “Salutations, your highness.” The cat went away happily.

She would come every day, Tuntuni would greet her and address her as “Queen” and the cat would go away feeling happy.

Tuntuni’s fledglings have grown up now. They don’t keep their eyes shut anymore. Seeing this, their mother asked them, “My dear ones, can you fly now?”

The little ones said, “Yes, Ma, we can.”

Tuntuni said, “Let’s see if you can hop over to that top branch of that tall Tal tree.”

The fledglings immediately flew over to the top branch. Tuntuni smiled and said, “Let the evil cat come now!”

In a while, the cat walked in and said, “So, what are you up to, Tuntuni?”

Tuntuni gestured a kick at her and said, “Get lost, you wretched cat!” With that, she quickly flew away.

Baring her teeth in rage, the naughty cat jumped upon the brinjal plant, but could neither catch Tuntuni, nor eat her babies. She returned home, wounded with the sharp gashes off the thorns of the brinjal plant.



Translated by Bhaswati Ghosh


8 thoughts on “Tuntuni and the Cat by Upendrakishore Ray

  1. Nice job u hv undertaken to translate Bangla stories. Made me smile to return to my days with Tuntunir boi.Since u r well versed in Bangla, rq u to look up Idle brain’s paradise & leave whatever proverbs u remember

  2. Glad to help you return to Tuntunir boi, lokenrc. Will try to contribute some proverbs. Anon, of course, I do! The reference makes me smile all over again.

  3. Upendra kishore Roychowdhury….Hans Christian Anderson of Bengali literature….tuntunir boi a hot favourite of children and adults…Thanks for the translation….people who cannot read Bengali can also enjoy…thanks…

  4. Thanks for your kind comment and for dropping by, Tania! I am glad to share this gem of Bengali writing. You are so right, Upendrakishore is a hit both among children and adults.

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