Sir James George Frazer (18541941). The Golden Bough. 1922.
(as it is variously called), and by destroying it, simultaneously kills the warlock. Thus a Hindoo story tells how a magician called Punchkin held a queen captive for twelve years, and would fain marry her, but she would not have him. At last the queens son came to rescue her, and the two plotted together to kill Punchkin. So the queen spoke the magician fair, and pretended that she had at last made up her mind to marry him. And do tell me, she said, are you quite immortal? Can death never touch you? And are you too great an enchanter ever to feel human suffering? It is true, he said, that I am not as others. Far, far away, hundreds of thousands of miles from this, there lies a desolate country covered with thick jungle. In the midst of the jungle grows a circle of palm trees, and in the centre of the circle stand six chattees full of water, piled one above another: below the sixth chattee is a small cage, which contains a little green parrot;on the life of the parrot depends my life;and if the parrot is killed I must die. It is, however, he added, impossible that the parrot should sustain any injury, both on account of the inaccessibility of the country, and because, by my appointment, many thousand genii surround the palm trees, and kill all who approach the place. But the queens young son overcame all difficulties, and got possession of the parrot. He brought it to the door of the magicians palace, and began playing with it. Punchkin, the magician, saw him, and, coming out, tried to persuade the boy to give him the parrot. Give me my parrot! cried Punchkin. Then the boy took hold of the parrot and tore off one of his wings; and as he did so the magicians right arm fell off. Punchkin then stretched out his left arm, crying, Give me my parrot! The prince pulled off the parrots second wing, and the magicians left arm tumbled off. Give me my parrot! cried he, and fell on his knees. The prince pulled off the parrots right leg, the magicians right leg fell off; the prince pulled off the parrots left leg, down fell the magicians left. Nothing remained of him except the trunk and the head; but still he rolled his eyes, and cried, Give me my parrot! Take your parrot, then, cried the boy; and with that he wrung the birds neck, and threw it at the magician; and, as he did so, Punchkins head twisted round, and, with a fearful groan, he died! In another Hindoo tale an ogre is asked by his daughter, Papa, where do you keep your soul? Sixteen miles away from this place, he said, is a tree. Round the tree are tigers, and bears, and scorpions, and snakes; on the top of the tree is a very great fat snake; on his head is a little cage; in the cage is a bird; and my soul is in that bird. The end of the ogre is like that of the magician in the previous tale. As the birds wings and legs are torn off, the ogres arms and legs drop off; and when its neck is wrung he falls down dead. In a Bengalee story it is said that all the ogres dwell in Ceylon, and that all their lives are in a single lemon. A boy cuts the lemon in pieces, and all the ogres die.
In a Siamese or Cambodian story, probably derived from India, we are told that Thossakan or Ravana, the King of Ceylon, was able