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Cambodian Folk Tales (in English)Posted: 2009-09-17 14:16:47   Replies: 0
Part 1: The Proverb Worth Thirty Damleoungs

The Proverb Worth Thirty Damleoungs
Translated from Khmer by Chhim Chan Bora

Once upon a time there were two persons who were man and wife. The husband saw other people learn magic well, so he also wished to learn it. He took 30 Damleung, said goodbye to his wife and left.

He kept walking from one district to another. He would be told to go to see some people who had been said to have good magic powers. Those magicians would recite and demonstrate their magic powers for him to see, but he did not like them and kept walking till he met an old man.

The old man said: Where are you going alone? What are you looking for? The man said: Oh! My dear old man! The reason why I have come here is because I have heard that there is a good magician here. If you know magical powers, please teach me.

I know three phrases of words which are worth thirty Damleung, said the old man, adding: If you strictly adhere to them you will benefit from them, and if you have to go on a long journey, you must recite my these three phrases of words. They are actually efficacious.

The man said: Please recite them for me! I will take them if I like them. The old man then recited: Moving your hands and your stomach will be filled; do not talk to a woman when you sleep at night and do not hurry to eat if you are hungry. The man heard him out and liked the three phrases of words, so he gave 30 Damleung to the old man.

He recited the phrases fluently and remembered them all well. The old man said: If you can stick to these three phrases of words well, I will give them to you free of charge. Thus, he gave back the money to the man. The man then said goodbye to the old man and came back home. The man kept reciting the phrases as he was walking on the way.

When he was walking a little farther, he saw a business sailing ship. He asked the captain of the ship for a free ride and the captain agreed. The man kept reciting the three phrases and helped wash, maintain and repair the sailing ship as if it were his. The captain thought: Since he has got a ride in my ship, he has cleaned and maintained the ship as though it were his. Therefore, the captain liked the man so much that he always had meals prepared for him everyday.

As for the man, he was not in the least lazy. He tried to work hard just like other crew members. The captain bore in mind that: When arriving at the homeland, I will give him some wealth to do business. When the ship sailed to the central part of a district, they saw a temple in which large amounts of food and drinks had been prepared for an ogre to eat and drink.

When arriving at the temple, all the crew members anchored the ship and disembarked. They then saw those food and drinks and there was nobody there, so they helped themselves to those food and drinks till they got so intoxicated that they fell asleep in the temple altogether except the man who kept reciting: Moving your hands and your stomach will be filled; do not talk to a woman when you sleep at night and do not eat yet although you are hungry. He thought: There must be something unusual that people have prepared all these food and drinks here. Now that these crew members have eaten and drunk them all, they must be in danger. The man, thinking things over, dared not to eat and drink and he climbed up the wooden crossbar of the temple and hid himself there to wait and see what would happen.

At noon, the ogre came flying and became furious: How dare these people eat up and drink all the food and drinks prepared for me and sleep here. After uttering those words, the ogre threw up his magic cudgel to kill all those sleeping people. The magic cudgel then flew back to the ogre itself. The ogre eat all those people and looked hither and thither. The man, seeing the ogre, was very frightened, but his mouth kept memorizing the three phrases and thought: Im afraid that the ogre might hear me if I shout. Then, he will see me and eat me like those people. Thinking that, he jumped off the wooden crossbar and shouted with all his might. The ogre got so panicked that he ran away quickly, leaving behind his magic cudgel. The man picked up the magic cudgel and walked back to his home village, leaving behind the sailing ship at that temples port.

The man reached his home at night. He hid the magic cudgel under the ladder of the house, covered it with a big piece of stone and then climbed up the house. His wife asked him something, but he said: Ill tell you in the morning.

Continued next page

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