March 30, 2008

Khmer Folk Tale: 8- The Lamb and the Jackal

In a thick forest there was a lake where grew the kinds of agnatic plant such as water-lily and lotus.
One in the dry season a thirsty lamb went to the lake for drinking water.
Some where near the lake there lived a jackal. Seeing the lamb, the jackal was tempted to eat it. But it thought, “If I capture it and eat directly, it will not be anything very clever”
With this thought, the jackal approached the lamb and said, “Hey, what a naughty creature you are! Why do you make the limpid water so dirty that I cannot drink?”
Accused by the jackal, the lamb replied, “Why! I am standing downstream while you are upstream; how can the water be made dirty by me flow upstream?”
This reasonable reply made the jackal speechless. Then it made another accusation “Let it be so” it said “But why do you speak ill of me last year?”
Being terrified, the lamb said, “Last year was time when I was not born, how could I speak ill of you then?”
This reply, too, was to gag the jackal’s mouth. But the jackal was too persistent in accusation. It went on, “If it was not you, then it was your brother!” the lamb said humbly, “I have neither a brother nor a sister!”
The jackal on hearing this became very angry. Its face turned dark, “If it was not your brother” if bellowed, “Then it was surely your parents or grandparents who abused me”
Who has no parents and grandparents?
This accusation was too difficult to be disproved. The lamb then had no way to escape. It was at once killed by the jackal and eaten up?