Monday, May 14, 2007

Burmese Folk-tales

I wanna share some Burmese Folk-tales.
Golden Rabbit and Golden Tiger(very well known in our child hood)

Golden Rabbit went to Golden Tiger and said, 'Let us go thatch-raping early tomorrow morning.' Golden Tiger, being a good-natured old thing, was pleased that Golden Rabbit should come and make friends with him. So when morning dawned Golden Tiger, taking a bundle containing some rice and cooked meat, went to Golden Rabbit, and together they proceeded to the thatch fields. Golden Rabbit also brought a bundle with him, but it contained only some cow-dung and sand.
Golden Tiger started to reap, but Golden Rabbit felt lazy. 'Let us go and have our breakfast first,' he suggested. But Golden Tiger, being an industrious old thing, replied that he wished to go on with his reaping and would eat later. 'As you will, ' said Golden Rabbit, 'but do not forget the saying of the wise: " He who comes first gets meat and rice, But he who comes late, get dung and sand."

He then ran quickly to where the bundles were, and ate up Golden tiger's meat and rice. Afterwards he went to sleep beneath a shady bush. Only at full noon did Golden Tiger come for his breakfast. As he found only Golden Rabbit's bundle, he shouted to Golden Rabbit, 'Did you eat up my meat and rice?'
'Of course not,' replied Golden Rabbit ndignantly, 'but I can guess what has happened; the saying of the wise has proved to be true, and your breakfast has been turned into dung and sand.' The simple old Golden Tiger accepted Golden Rabbit's explanation.
The whole afternoon Golden Tiger reaped, while Golden Rabbit slept. By the time the sun was setting Golden Tiger had reaped a lot of thatch, whereas Golden Rabbit had reaped nothing at all. When Golden Tiger had put the bundle of thatch on his back, and was starting for home, Golden Rabbit said, 'Golden Tiger, I am feeling feverish and I cannot walk. What a fool I was to sleep in the hot sun!' Golden Tiger, being a good-natured old thing, asked Golden Rabbit to jump on to his back and sit on the bundle of thatch.
When Golden Tiger had walked some distance Golden Rabbit took out his tinder-box and struck a light. 'What is that noise?' asked the Golden Tiger, suspicious at last of Golden Rabbit.
'It is only my poor teeth chattering, because my whole body shivers with the ague,' explained Golden Rabbit. He then set fire to the bundle of thatch, and jumped off Golden Tiger's back.
Golden Tiger's back was badly burnt and became covered with blisters. He went on, and found Golden Rabbit sitting innocently by the wayside. 'You treacherous villain,' roared Golden Tiger. 'You ran forward after setting fire to the thatch. I will kill you now for your treachery.'

(To be continued)

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