Ecotales
The Red Silk Cotton
-An Oriya tribal legend

The red silk cotton is a tall tree that flowers between January and March. It is found all over the sub-continent, including Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The trunk of the young tree has hard conical thorns that disappear as the tree advances in age. Some people pull out the thorns to chew them. An Oriya tribal legend has a quaint explanation for the occurrence of the thorns.
The king of Judagarh had several wives but all of them were sickly. So one day he announced that he would give a big reward to anyone who could cure them of their illness.
A demon named Kaliya Dano who had disguised himself as a sadhu sent word to the king that he could cure his wives but that they would have to come to his hut.
The unsuspecting king sent his wives to him and he ate them all.

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The king soon learnt that he had sent his wives to a demon and came to battle with him.
On seeing him, the demon rushed up a red silk cotton. While ascending, he pulled out his teeth, one by one, and stuck them on the tree trunk. The king, climbing up after him, could not get pass the long, sharp teeth embedded in the trunk and finally gave up the chase. He posted guards at the foot of the tree and left.
Kaliya Dano never came down from the tree, but ever since the encounter between him and the King of Judagarh, red silk cotton trees have had thorny trunks.



User's Comments                     
geek
No good
Lai
It's great!
Nehal Parekh
very nice! its great to remember the tree
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