April 1, 2008

Khmer Folk Tale: 10-The Fisherman and His Wife

There was a man who went fishing with his son in a river. When he dropped his fishing line into the river, it got tangled around the root of a tree, but the man thought that his fishing line caught a big fish; he could not lift the line; then he told his son to go home and tell his wife to quarrel with the family and the neighbors; because he did not want his relatives to ask for some fish. Then his son when to his house to tell his mother to provoke a quarrel. She put on only a strip of cloth round her chest and a sampot under her navel and she pretended to be like a foolish woman; then she painted her face black; and then went to her relatives’ houses.
All her relatives saw her in a strange condition, so they asked her “Hi! Why did you do this? Why do you put black coal on you face?” Then she blamed them and called them names “Damned! Are you heads heavy, when I paint my face black? What is that to you? Do I hurt you, when I paint my face black?
All her relatives heard her calling their names and they were very angry with her; then they called her name in return. Some were very angry; they took her to the judge. The judge asked her to pay money to those whom she called names.
After the fisherman had told his son to ask his wife to provoke a quarrel with his relatives, he dived to take the fish that the fishing line had caught. When he dived into the water, his head was hurt by the tree which got tangled with the fishing line, his eyes began to bleed; then the fumbled around to find the fish, but he found only the root of the tree; then he got out of the water and put up his hands to shield his eyes; and finally he went to the place where he had took off his clothes. But while he dived into the water, his clothes were blown away by the wind.
The fisherman felt very cold, his eyes pained him very much, and he wanted to go home but he could not go because he was naked; then he hid within a bush till night came. At night he crept into his house, but he could not get into his house because it was lighted; then he called his wife to give him some cloth; after putting his on, he entered his house. His wife told him that she gave as a fine all the money and goods to their relatives because he called them names.
The two lost everything; the man did not catch the fish, his eyes were hurt, his clothes were gone, and his wife was fined by the judge.

This is the story of the man who is greedy.


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