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17. Dumma and Dummi

A dwarf couple named Dumma and Dummi lived in a town. He loved holigi, a sweet pancake with goodies for filling. So he asked his wife, “Dummi, Dummi, I feel like eating holigis, will you make some?”

Dummi said, “ Ayyo, it's nothing. Get me lentils and jaggery. I'll make it in a trice.”

So Dumma brought lentils, jaggery, and wheat. Dummi said to him, “Look, you brought everything except firewood for the stove.”

So Dumma went to the hillside and started cutting wood. A tiger came out of the hill and said to him, “Why are you cutting my wood? I'll break your bones and eat you up.”

Dumma said, “Mister, don't eat me. I'll give you a holigi too.” The tiger said, “All right then.”

Dumma came home with the firewood and Dummi started making holigis. Even as she made them he ate them and ate them. Dummi got only what was left in her hand at the end. Just as she put the last piece in her mouth, the tiger came to their door and said, “Dumma, Dumma, you didn't give me a holigi, ” and stood on the threshold. Dumma began to shake with fear.

Dummi said to him, “ Ayyo, you're a man. Why are you shaking so much? Make a hole in that pumpkin and we can both hide in it.”

So they both hid in the pumpkin and found it very snug. But Dumma had eaten many many holigis. His tummy was full of gas and he had to fart.

“Dummi, Dummi I've got to fart. What shall I do?” he asked helplessly.

“Fart then, fart!” she said.

Dumma let go and farted a big one. The pumpkin exploded with a terrifying DUBB! sound. The tiger was terrified and fled for his life, crying Ayyo! Ayyoo!

Types and Motifs:

AT 1149 Ind., Ogre (or Tiger) Frightened by Children. A whole group of tales (AT 1145–1154) concerns itself with the ogre (or wild animal) frightened or overawed by a woman, a barber, or a child.


This tale about little people scaring off a big tiger is a tale told to very small children. Eating too much and breaking wind in a big way, even exploding a pumpkin with the fart, especially appeals to the scatological fancies of small children. As Martha Wolfenstein points out in her 1954 book, Children's Humor, children of five or six love to make (and hear) jokes about peeing, shitting, farting, etc. See also No. 60, “The Sparrow Who Wouldn't Die,” and No. 58, “Sister Crow and Sister Sparrow.”

[NKTT, but cf. Motif F 451.3.13.3, Dwarf breaks wind so hard he capsizes canoes, and K 1727, Tiger frightened at hearing unknown wind (IO).]

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