'Boy Weds Dog To Avoid Indian Tiger Death'
9:08am UK, Wednesday February 18, 2009 Sky News
A toddler has reportedly been married off to a dog in eastern India in a bid to prevent his predicted death by a tiger.
Village elders feared the toddler might one day be mauled by a tiger
The ceremony, at a Hindu temple in Orissa state's Jajpur district, was conducted with all the rituals observed at traditional weddings.
It included a dowry for the bride, the village bitch.
The dog sported two silver rings and a silver chain, the UNI news agency reported.
Parents of the groom, 18-month-old Sangula, were advised to arrange the marriage when they noticed a tooth growing from their infant son's upper gum.
The growth was considered to be a bad omen in the boy's tribal community.
Village elders believed it would lead to him being killed in a tiger attack - a fate preventable, according to tribal tradition, by marrying a dog.
Sanrumula Munda, Sangula's father, said the ceremony would not stop him from marrying properly when he comes of age.
Superstition is still a potent force in tribal and remote communities of India.
'After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box'
The village bitch probably isn't complaining.
Sur votre bicyclette, mate.