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About Aaron Shepard’s

The Gifts of the Grasscutter
A Tale of India and Pakistan

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Copyright © 1995, 1997, 2017 Aaron Shepard. All rights reserved.

Here is the author note from my picture book The Gifts of Wali Dad, slightly updated.—Aaron

This is a retelling of “Story of Wali Dâd the Simple-hearted,” found in Andrew Lang’s Brown Fairy Book (1904). The tale was given to Lang by a Major Campbell—a British army officer stationed in India’s Punjab—who heard it from “an Indian.” Since the Punjab was later split between India and Pakistan, I have thought it best to attribute the tale to both countries. The dominant influences of the story are Islamic and Zoroastrian rather than Hindu.

The paisa is the smallest Indian coin. Peris are an import from Persian mythology. Originally considered evil, their image changed gradually to benevolent beings akin to fairies or angels. It is said they feed only on the odor of perfume.

Book cover: The Gifts of Wali Dad
Read the book!

The Gifts of Wali Dad
A Tale of India and Pakistan
Told by Aaron Shepard
Illustrated by Daniel San Souci