16. Double Double
A very poor couple lived in a small hut. They lived by gathering firewood and selling it. One day, the husband felt like eating millet dosés (pancakes). But he had no millet at home. So he thought he would go to the hills, pray to God, and ask him for a small measure of millet. So he went to the hills, performed penances, and God was very pleased. He appeared to the man and asked, “What do you want?”
“I want just a small measure of millet. I don't want anything else.”
“Sure, go home and you'll find a measure of millet.”
Just then, the man thought he could ask for more.
“God, God, could you please double it for me?”
“Sure, go home and your millet will double itself.”
When he went home, he found his measuring vessel full of millet. He gave it to his wife and said, “Grind it and make a dosé for me.”
She took it and poured it into a winnowing fan. The millet doubled itself. She put it in the mouth of the grinding stone. As she ground it, the millet doubled itself. When she gathered the flour in the winnowing fan, the flour doubled itself.
She mixed it in butter and started frying the dosé in a frying pan. When she finished making one, she found she had made two. She could never stop. She had many many dosés on her platter.
The husband was beside himself with joy and took one pancake in his hand. He found he really had two. When he put one in his mouth, he found he had still another. As he chewed on them, he had another in his mouth, even as he had one in his hand. He ate and ate till he swelled and burst.
Four men came to carry his dead body on their shoulders to the burial ground. As soon as they buried him, they found they had another body on their shoulders. When they passed it on to another four men, they had still another body appear on their shoulders. The more bodies they buried, the more they had, till every foursome in town had a body to carry.
God saw the confusion. He saved them by taking back his boon and making everything as it was before.
[NKTT, but cf. Motif J 2072, Short-sighted wish.]