Attulem Ani Bittulem : A Folk Tale from Goa

There once lived two sisters called Attulem and Bittulem. They lived in a house close to the jungle and were orphans. They were very kind and sweet. Everyone loved them and brought gifts of fruit and vegetables for them.

Vag Mam, the tiger, was very jealous of the girls as everyone got gifts for them and nothing for him. One day, while passing, he sniffed the air. He said, “Someone is making sannas, my favorite dish. I must have some”.

Seeing the tiger, the girls for frightened and ran to hide themselves. There were two large jars in the house. Bittlulem jumped in one jar while Attulem in the other.

Vag Mam entered the house and ate all the sannas. Then he saw the jars and thought they these wonderful jars can be used to pickle his meat and hence decided to take one of the jars with himself. He picked up the jar in which Attulem was there and put it on his back. Bittulem did not want to be separated from her sister and she also jumped into the jar.

“Gosh!” said the tiger. “This jar has suddenly become twice its weight. I hope I will be able to reach my den safely.”

“I want to sneeze,” said Attulem. “Sh-sh… please don’t. The tiger will hear your and eat us up,” said Bittulem. After some time, Bittulem said, “I’m dying to sneeze.” Attulem said, “Please don’t. The tiger will hear you.”

“What ! is this a talking jar?”, thought the tiger and put down the jar to have a look inside. As soon as he looked inside, Attulem sneezed and the jar broke into many pieces. Some of the pieces went inside Vag Mam’s eyes and he turned completely blind.

Hearing the roar of the tiger, the villagers gathered with sticks and started beating the tiger. Vag Mam got scared and ran towards the forest promising to himself that he would never trouble the girls again.


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