Young Folks' Treasury: Myths and Legendary Heroes
The Blind Man, The Deaf Man, And The Donkey
ADAPTED BY M. FRERE
A Blind Man and a Deaf Man once entered into partnership. The Deaf Man was to see for
the Blind Man, and the Blind Man was to hear for the Deaf Man.
One day they went together to an entertainment where there was music and dancing. The
Deaf Man said: "The dancing is very good, but the music is not worth listening to"; and
the Blind Man said: "On the contrary, I think the music very good, but the dancing is not
worth looking at."
After this they went together for a walk in the jungle, and there found a washerman's
Donkey that had strayed away from its owner, and a great big kettle (such as washermen
boil clothes in), which the Donkey was carrying with him.
The Deaf Man said to the Blind Man: "Brother, here are a Donkey and a washerman's
great big kettle, with nobody to own them! Let us take them with us—they may be useful
to us some day." "Very well," said the Blind Man; "we will take them with us." So the
Blind Man and the Deaf Man went on their way, taking the Donkey and the great big
kettle with them. A little farther on they came to an ant's nest, and the Deaf Man said to
the Blind Man: "Here are a number of very fine black ants, much larger than any I ever
saw before. Let us take some of them home to show our friends." "Very well," answered
the Blind Man; "we will take them as a present to our friends." So the Deaf Man took a
silver snuff-box out of his pocket, and put four or five of the finest black ants into it;
which done, they continued their journey.
But before they had gone very far a terrible storm came on. It thundered and lightened
and rained and blew with such fury that it seemed as if the whole heavens' and earth were
at war. "Oh dear! oh dear!" cried the Deaf Man, "how dreadful this lightning is! Let us
make haste and get to some place of shelter." "I don't see that it's dreadful at all,"
answered the blind Man; "but the thunder is very terrible; we had better certainly seek
some place of shelter."
Now, not far off was a lofty building, which looked exactly like a fine temple. The Deaf
Man saw it, and he and the Blind Man resolved to spend the night there; and having
reached the place, they went in and shut the door, taking the Donkey and the great big
kettle with them. But this building, which they mistook for a temple was in truth no
temple at all, but the house of a very powerful Rakshas or ogre; and hardly had the Blind
Man, the Deaf Man, and the Donkey got inside and fastened the door, than the Rakshas,
who had been out, returned home. To his surprise, he found the door fastened and heard
people moving about inside his house. "Ho! ho!" cried he to himself, "some men have got
in here, have they? I'll soon make mince-meat of them." So he began to roar in a voice
louder than the thunder, and to cry: "Let me into my house this minute, you wretches; let