The Tale of Punchkin - Indian Ink Theatre Company

The Tale of Punchkin

The Tale of Punchkin

Joseph Jacobs (1892)

Joseph Jacobs was a renowned folklorist and storyteller. He penned “The Tale of Punchkin: A Lesson in Kindness and Caution” as part of a collection of Indian fairy tales in the late 19th Century.

In the captivating story, Joseph weaves a story of compassion, caution, and unexpected consequences.

Punchkin tells the story of seven princess who live in a distant kingdom, the youngest was named Balna. Their mother had passed away, leaving the princesses without maternal care. They took turns cooking for the Raja (king) while he attended to affairs of the nation.

The Raja obtains a new Ranee (queen) who is not fond of the princesses. She fakes illness and tells the Raja “Only one thing can save my life …. You must kill the seven daughters of your first wife … their death will be my life.” The Raja unable to kill his daughters leaves them in the jungle to be found by a neighboring kingdom. This kingdom has seven princes who each marry one of the princesses.

Punchkin a wicked magician, curses the seven princesses. Their mortal husbands will die within a year of marriage. To save the lives, Balna agrees to marry Punchkin. She enters his magical palace, which transformed from a garden by day to a fortress at night.

Balna’s son, learns about the curse, Punchkin’s true identity and his parrot which holds the key to breaking the curse. Balna implores her son to give up the idea of getting the parrot, but he insisted it is necessary for their liberation.

Balna’s son obtains the parrot. As the parrot’s neck is wrung, Punchkin’s head twists, and he falls dead.

The seven husbands and wives, along with their nephew, rejoiced. Balna’s courage, cleverness, and love triumphed over darkness, bringing redemption and happiness to all.