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 by: Folktales 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.