149. The Widow and her Sons

A widow lived with her sons and their wives who all treated her unkindly.
One day she wandered outside of town. She found an abandoned house in ruins and without a roof.
She went inside.
"My elder son treats me unkindly!" she said to one wall, venting her frustrations in detail; the wall collapsed.
She felt lighter!
Then she vented her frustration with her other son to another wall; it also collapsed.
Then she complained about her daughters-in-law to the two remaining walls. They collapsed.
Standing in the heap of rubble, she felt happy again, and ready to return home.

Inspired byFolktales from India, edited by A. K. Ramanujan
Notes: This is "Tell It to the Walls" (p. 3). The story also explains that the widow ate more and more as she grew more depressed and thus gained weight; after venting her frustration, even the weight she gained went away. I couldn't find room for that in the story. Ramanujan collected this story in Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

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