One time in India, there lived an old soldier who was extremely poor. When he died, his son found six silver rupees in the pocket of his old threadbear uniform - and nothing more. He gave three coins to his mother and said:
“Spend these very carefully and wait for me to return. I am going into the world to seek my fortune, and when I return we shall have more rupees than we can ever spend!”
“Go if you must,” said his mother, “but do one thing, Beta. Don’t get eaten by any wild animals.”
The boy hugged his mother and said: “Don’t worry. I don’t intend to be a snack for anyone!”
And he set off down the path which led through the forest. After he had tramped two or three miles, he met a tigress who was sitting and blocking his way. The tigress held up her paw, mewed like a kitten, and said:
“ Good lad, if you will take out this thorn from my paw, I shall be forever grateful.”
The boy backed off, saying: “No, ask somebody else. I’m on my way to seek my fortune, and I promised my old mother that I wouldn’t get eaten by any wild animals.”
“But I’m not hungry. I’m in pain!” pleaded the tigeress.
“All the same,” said the boy, “If I begin to pull out the thorn, it will hurt you even more, and you shall kill me with one pat of your paw.”
No, no!' cried the tigress, 'I will turn my face to this tree, and when the pain comes I will pat the tree.”
The Soldier’s son had a kind heart and he did not like to see an animal suffer. So he agreed to do as the tigress asked. He pulled out the thorn. The pain in the tigress’s paw was so sharp that she slapped the trunk of the tree, splitting it into pieces. A moment or two later, a little smile of relief appeared on the lips of the tigress. She purred and rubbed her side against the boy, just like a little kitty cat.
“Thank you. You are a good boy, well worthy of your father and your mother. I have a reward for you. Look behind that clump of vines, and you will find a box. Take it, but do not open it until you have walked 9 miles with it.”
And the grateful tigress was not lying, because the boy found the box with orange and black stripes on it, behind the vines, where she had said it would be. As he picked it up and examined the little lock and key on the side, the Tigress reminded him, “But remember this one thing: Don’t open it until you have gone 9 miles. Now off you go!”
And the soldier's son waved goodbye and marched on through the Forest, all the while keeping a keen lookout for wild animals.
Before he had gone too far, the stripy box started to feel heavier. “That’s strange,” thought the boy, “I’m not tired, and I’m in the best of the spirits, but I’m sure this box was easier to carry to begin with.”
On he went, and the box grew heavier and heavier and harder to carry until eventually, in a fit of annoyance, he exclaimed, “That Tigress was a witch! This box is some sort of magical trick,” And he flung it as hard as he could against a tree. The lid flew off and - much to his surprise - he saw a little man spring out and start running around in circles waving his hands in the air while making a noise like:
The little man was no higher than the boy’s knee. He was dressed in a soldier’s uniform, just like the boy’s father had worn, and his long grey beard trailed along the ground as he ran all over the place buzzing like a bee.
“And who are you?” demanded the soldier's son.
Immediately the little man stood to attention and saluted:
“I am Sir Buzz, Sir!”
He shouted - just like a soldier on parade.
“And why are you so small?” asked the boy, trying not to laugh at the little man.
“Because, you threw me out of the box, too soon, Sir!”
“Well that was because you were growing so heavy inside that box!” replied the boy.
“I am ready to serve you, Sir! What is your command?”
“Ready to serve me, are you? Well I’m rather hungry. Here’s four rupees, go and buy me a fantastic banquet.”
The miniature Sir Buzz took the silver coins and replied : “It is as good as done. I’ll be back in a jiffy, Sir!”
Then there was a buzz, a wizz, and a bang, and Sir Buzz shot off through the air. He soon arrived in the town and landed in the market just on top of the stall that was selling flour: The little man held out a Silver Rupee and demanded: “Give me a sack of flower double quick.”
But the stall holder did not reply. You see, Sir Buzz was so tiny that he failed to notice him.
“My boss is very hungry and growing impatient for his dinner!” called out Sir Buzz stamping his foot.
The stall holder seemed to have been deaf, because he still did not notice the little soldier until he began to buzz, and wizz and bang like a firecracker. That got his attention. Now he saw him and more importantly he noticed his silver Rupee. It seemed unlikely that one so small could carry a sack of flour, but he managed it with ease, and flew off to the next stall where he bought some vegetables, including mooli and carros… next he bought some spices, and finally some cakes. His sack full of food was far bigger than him but he had no trouble pulling it along and then with a buzz and whizz and bang, off he flew back to the boy. It turned out that the magical tiger box contained a kitchen full of cooking implements, and soon Sir Buzz had a fire going and was chopping and peeling and stirring.
The banquet smelt fantastic and tasted even better. The boy ate his fill and Sir Buzz exclaimed, “Is that all you can eat? Don’t you like my cooking?”
“It’s truly delicious,” said the boy, “But I’m stuffed. There’s enough here to feed an army!”
“There’s barely enough for one soldier!” Exclaimed Sir Buzz, and, and he gobbled up the rest of the food without any trouble. He wiped the corner of his mouth with his sleeve and said, “Well now Sir, time to put our best foot forward!”
And with an extra loud buzz, wiz and a bang both of them flew off to the city where they set their feet down in the bazaar.
“What wish is closest to your heart?” Asked Sir Buzz.
“Hmmm, I think it’s high time I got married, don’t you?”
“Certainly, but to whom?”
“To a princess, of course.”
“Of course, Sir!”
Replied the little man, while snapping his heels together and saluting.
There was a danger that somebody in the bazaar might tread on Sir Buzz by accident if he stayed on the ground. So instead, he stood on the boy’s shoulder, steadying himself with his hand on the boy’s head. Together they went around the bazaar enquiring if anyone knew of a young and beautiful princess who was ready to marry. Several people gave the same answer
“For sure, it is well known that the Raj and Rani want Princess Blossom to marry a young prince from the next door kingdom. She refuses to do as her parents say, and therefore her parents have locked her in the tower until she changes her mind.”
“And what do people say about this?” Asked the boy.
People were divided. Some said her parents were right to punish her daughter, because she ought to obey them. Others said that the daughter had a perfect right to marry whomever she pleased, or nobody if she so wished.
And then the boy asked about how she got her name. And some said she was called Princess Blossom because she weighed only as much as five rose petals. But others said it was because she was as fragrant as Jasmine blossom. The Soldier’s son liked the jasmine idea better, because if she weighed only five rose petals, she would hardly be there at all.
“Sir Buzz!” said the young boy, “Take me to meet Princess Blossom!” Then the people in the bazaar watched in wonder as the pair flew off with a buzz, a wizz and a bang.
They flew straight through the window of Princess Blossom and landed in her room at the top of the tower. Sir Buzz Stood to attention and said, “This is Princess Blossom, Sir!”
The girl sat up in her bed, and was about to scream in horror, when the young lad went down on one knee and said:
“Princess Blossom, Your highness, do not call out. I have come to liberate you from this tower!”
“Are you a sorcerer?” asked the Princess?
“No, but I have my own genie. He is very small, and very powerful.” And he picked up Sir Buzz still saluting and standing smartly to attention.
“Oh, how sweet!” Exclaimed the princess. Sir Buzz did not like being called sweet and he started to go
“But hurry,” urged the boy. “Somebody might have seen us fly in through your window. Let us be gone before the guards arrive.”
And indeed, the footsteps of the guards on the stairs could already be heard.
“If you can do magic, do it now!” cried the princess.
The bed rose up and hovered in the air.
“All aboard!” commanded Sir Buzz. The boy jumped onto the end of the bed and at that moment the roof of the tower dissolved and they could see sky and clouds above them.
Soon they were flying just below the clouds and looking down on the city and all the people in the bazaar looked like tiny ants and thick tall trees seemed like blades of grass . Princess blossom’s hair flew in the breeze and she called out:
“What’s that sound?”
“Do you mean that sound that goes BZZZZZZ?” Asked the boy. “That’s Sir Buzz. He always makes that sound when he performs magic.”
“Well his magic is amazing!” Cried out the princess.
The couple were married in a temple on top of a mountain and then they flew around all over India to see the great sites such as The Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the River Ganges and the holy city of Benares. Finally the couple settled down in a little house with a beautiful garden, a spring and an orchard. After a while, the boy said to Sir Buzz:
“Sir Buzz you have served us loyally and done all you can for us. Now it is time for you to retire. You may return to your mistress, the Tigress.”
Sir Buzz stood to attention and saluted:
“If that is your wish, then I shall leave.” Said Sir Buzz, “But if I may be so bold, I suggest you keep a little lock of my gray beard, and if you ever need me, burn it, and I shall be by your side in the blink of an eye, Sir.”
The boy agreed. Sir Buzz cut off the tip of his gray beard and handed it to him. The boy then gave it to Princess Blossom, who kept it in a golden locket that hung around her neck. When it was all done, Sir Buzz departed with a buzz, a whizz and a bang.
For a while the happy couple lived quietly, but eventually the boy remembered his old mother. He told the princess that he had to visit her to make sure she had enough to eat. Princess Blossom would not think of leaving his side, so they travelled together.
Their journey took them through the Forest. Naturally the boy was on the lookout for any wild animals that might try to eat them and he kept one hand on the hilt of his sword as the path went deeper into the forest and the light grew less and less.
They listened attentively to the whoops of birds, and slithers and crackles in the undergrowth. To tell you the truth, the lad was not sure if they were following the right path at all. So they were relieved when they came across a Holy Man, an old Brahmin. He seemed kindly, and offered them shelter for the night in his hut, which was not far away. The hut turned out to be quite a fancy house. He left them in the kitchen, saying that they could cook whatever they wished. He only asked them not to open the cupboard with the golden key.
The couple found all sorts of ingredients and began to prepare dinner. Of course the boy could not resist peeking inside the cupboard with the golden key, and he found all sorts of gold and jewels inside. He quickly shut the door and locked it.
Now you might have guessed, the Kindly Holy Man was neither Kindly nor Holy. He was a monster or monster in disguise. As soon as dinner was ready, he appeared in the kitchen in his real form - with several ugly heads and lots of sharp teeth. The boy thought of his mother, and how she had warned him to avoid wild beasts in the forest. Now he had been caught by one!
“Thank you for preparing dinner,” said the monster. “You will make tasty appetisers, though it is a shame the princess does not have much meat on her.”
As he spoke, there was a loud BZZZZZZZZ and then a whiz and a bang, because the princess had thought quickly and burned the lock of Sir Buzz’s grey beard in the fire. In a moment, the little man was standing on the table.
“What is this pint sized old soldier doing in my kitchen?” demanded the monster.
“I am Sir Buzz,” said the little man, who began to blow through his lips. A great wind drove the monster backwards and he flew out of the house, where he turned himself into fire. Sir Buzz became a flood of water and began to chase the fire through the woods. The fire soon became a bird and took off into the air, and Sir Buzz became a hawk that chased the bird all the way through the sky to the court of the great god, Lord Indra, who was surrounded by musicians and dancers. The bird landed on Lord Indra’s lap and became a rose. At this, Sir Buzz became a dancing girl and performed so wonderfully that Lord Indra threw the rose to her which she caught, but as she did so, one petal fell to the ground and became a mouse that scurried away. Sir Buzz turned into a cat and pounced on the mouse. And that was the end of the monster.
Sir Buzz found Princess Blossom and the Soldier’s son, standing in the garden and gazing up into the heavens searching for a sign of who had won the mortal combat. As soon as they heard a buzz, a whizz and a bang, they knew that Sir Buzz had triumphed.
“Mission accomplished, Sir!” He announced, standing to attention. “I await your orders, what to do next!”
“Sir Buzz, we are forever grateful. Now do this one last thing for us. Take us to my old mother.”
“Right away, Sir!” Said Sir Buzz. But before he took them, he gathered up all the gold and jewels from the Raksasa’s kitchen and placed them in a stripy box.
“If you had walked nine miles with the box sir,” said Sir Buzz, “You would have found jewels instead of me, Sir!”
And then, with a buzz a whizz and bang, he transported them to the house of the boy’s old mother, who had been living all this time on two silver rupees and the produce of her garden. And of course they lived richly, healthily, and happily ever after.