March 29, 2008

Khmer Folk Tale: 6- The Seller of a Donkey (Part II)


Be continued from part I

Then, they approached the donkey and said roughly to the old man, “This young donkey is fat and pretty, it is worthy of the young man who is in the same happy state; an old man like you is not fit to ride on it!”
When the old man and his son heard such unkind words, they began to discuss. The father said, “First, when we carried the donkey we received and advice. Later, as you rode on the donkey, you got the blame. Afterwards I ride and encounter unkind words from these young women. What should we do to save ourselves from unpleasant words?”
After a thorough discussion, they found out a solution “Now, we ride together on it, you sit in front and I behind you” decided the old man. And sitting like that, they continued the journey.
After crossing some distance, they reached a custom-house. They were then seen by the officer of the custom-house, who asked, “Where are you going, men?”
“We are going to the village of Kompong” they answered.
And the officer blamed them “Your donkey is not strong and old enough to carry both of you. If you keep on riding along as far as the village of Kompong, it will become thin and its price will go down. How foolish you are! Why don’t you let it walk?”
Again they got off the donkey and led it by means of a rope. When they arrived at a field, there was no road for them to go any further. So they began to cross it to find another way.
The owner of the field who was working there cried out from a distance, “Walk carefully, old man! My field is full of thorns for it is not yet cleaned up. But you have a donkey, why don’t you ride it to avoid the thorns? Why do you treat it as your ruler? How foolish you are!”
After such an experience of life, the father and the son spoke to each other, “We cannot be in agreement with all people. See, we receive so much blame. What is good for one man may be bad for another. When it is fruitful for one, it may to fruitless for another, come along, we nevertheless, have to put up with all the blame”

And then they went on and reached at last the village of Kompong. There, they sold their donkey for a reasonable price and started for home without further loss of time.

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