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The Sun's Reply

An old widower lived in a cottage in a beautiful forest with Dawa, his grandson. Dawa was the old man's only living relative, and was very young and innocent. The man was very old and could not do any work. Dawa not only looked after his grandfather but he also did the housework, collected fuel from the forest, and fetched water.

The grandfather became seriously ill and Dawa cared for him day and night. The old man slowly improved. Spring was coming and the old man was nearly well. He could now stand for a few minutes. Dawa was very glad that his grandfather was recovering.

The old man had been ill in bed for a long time. Now that he was better, he wanted to sit in the sun. Dawa took his grandfather outside and helped him sit in a chair. The old man said, "I'm thirsty. I want to drink some water."

"I'll bring you some water at once," said Dawa and went into the cottage. The old man now felt tired and fainted because of the heat from the sun.

Dawa returned, saw that his grandfather was unconscious, and thought he had died of sunstroke. He shouted, "What kind of sun are you to take Grandfather's life? I will look for your mother and seek justice."

The brave boy took a sack of wheat for food and walked westward, looking for the sun.

On the way he met a herdsman. The herdsman asked, "Boy, where are you going?"

"I'm going to look for the sun's mother," replied Dawa.

The herdsman said, "Oh! People say the sun's mother is very kind. When you meet her, please ask her what I should do when the sheep's wool has grown so long that the sheep can no longer walk."

"I will," said Dawa.

"People also say that the sun's home is far away. Will you ever get there?" asked the herdsman.

"I can," said Dawa. "I'll get there even if it takes me a hundred years."

Later Dawa met a sheep. The sheep said, "Brave boy, let me help you. Hold onto my horns and I'll take you to the sun's mother."

Dawa was surprised to hear this. He sat on the sheep's back and held its horns. The sheep leapt into the sky and flew westward. After a long time they reached a beach and saw a beautiful castle.

"This is what you have been looking for. Now, please go in. I'll wait for you," said the sheep.

Dawa knocked at the door. An old woman opened the door and said in surprise, "Boy, how did you get here?"

"Are you the sun's mother?" asked Dawa.

"Yes, can I help you?" replied the old woman. She let him into the castle and Dawa told her what had happened. The old woman gave him much delicious food to eat and said, "Don't worry, child. When my son gets back, he will find a way to rescue your grandfather. Do you have anything else to ask me?"

"Yes," replied Dawa and told her what the herdsman had said. Just then, the sun came in. The old woman told her son what the herdsman had said.

The sun said, "The herdsman should cut the sheep's wool twice a year. The sheep won't be too hot and the herdsman can spin the wool for clothing and also make carpets."

The old woman then told her son about Dawa's grandfather. The sun said, "He's not dead. He only fainted because of the heat. Flick some cold water on his face and he'll be okay."

Dawa thanked them and left the castle. On his way home, he told the herdsman what the sun had said. When he got home, he did as the sun said and his grandfather was well. Since that time the grandfather and the grandson spent a happy life together.

The Dead Pigeon

A son asked a monk to come and chant helpful scriptures because his mother was very ill. The monk said, "My chanting is very efficacious and your mother will be well soon."

The son believed the monk, borrowed some money, butter, and barley bread from his relatives, and gave them to the monk. But when the monk finished his chanting the mother was dead.

The son sadly said, "Why is my mother dead?"

The monk noticed some pigeons flying in the sky and said, "Your mother has already changed to one of those pigeons flying in the sky."

The son felt happy and bowed respectfully toward the sky.

When Uncle Dunba heard what the monk had done and said, he angrily went to the temple, found the monk, and said, "My mother is dead. Please come to my home and recite scriptures."

The monk agreed. As they were walking to Uncle Dunba's house, the monk asked him to tell him a joke. Uncle Dunba angrily replied, "My mother is dead and I am in no mood to tell jokes!"

When they reached Uncle Dunba's home, the monk asked, "Where is your mother?"

Uncle Dunba sadly pointed to something covered with a sheep's skin and said, "There!" When the monk removed the sheep's skin, he saw a dead pigeon. He was shocked.

Uncle Dunba calmly said, "Oh, my mother changed into a pigeon and flew into the sky!" The monk blushed.

Uncle Dunba laughed merrily and said, "You told me to tell you a joke. Isn't this a good joke?" The monk left Uncle Dunba's house quickly.

The monk was very angry when he returned to his monastery and wanted revenge. And since Uncle Dunba had borrowed a large pot from the monastery, he and the other monks decided that they would beat Uncle Dunba when he returned it.

A few days later Uncle Dunba started to the monastery with the pot. He knew the monks wanted to punish him, so he had made some small holes in the bottom of the pot with a nail. When he reached the monastery gate, the monks ordered four fierce dogs to attack him.

Uncle Dunba squatted on the ground so the pot covered his entire body. He could see through the holes he had made. The dogs tried to bite through the pot, could not, and finally gave up.

When Uncle Dunba reached the monastery, he sadly said, "What a pity! Look, the four dogs have put so many holes in it."

The monks realized what Uncle Dunba had done, but found nothing to say.

A Strange Dream

One winter day a poor orphan boy walked along a stream. He was very surprised when he came to a place covered with beautiful yellow flowers and green grass. He sat down in excitement to enjoy the beauty. Suddenly he tumbled into a very deep hole. He did not know what was happening. He was very frightened.

When he finally stopped falling, he could not see where he was because it was so dark. Then he saw a light shining in the darkness. He excitedly ran towards it. A small worm was licking the thing that was emitting light. The boy was very surprised. He realized that he might die if he did not do something soon. So he imitated the worm and licked the light.

"How strange!" thought the boy, for he suddenly felt much better.

Many days passed but the boy never felt hungry or choking for lack of fresh air. He often licked the light and slept. He did not know how many days passed, but at last he felt the earth gradually becoming warmer. At that time he observed how the small worm becoming bigger and bigger. The small worm soon became a dragon. Spring was coming and the dragon wanted to get out of the hole and fly outside. The boy held onto the dragon's body. He wanted to leave the dark hole too.

When they got outside, he saw many farmers doing fieldwork. The earth had become green. The boy understood he had lived in the hole the whole winter. He let go of the dragon when it was sitting down after some time, and fell to the earth. He was not hurt, but he did not know where he was. Nothing was familiar to him.

After some time he saw a man in a cart coming towards him. When the man came near, the boy asked for help, but the man said nothing. He did not seem to see him! The boy thought about it for a long while, and suspected that the man could not see him because he had become invisible. To test this, he jumped at the horse's head. The horse neighed loudly. "What's wrong with you?" the cart driver said to the horse.

"The man really can't see me," the boy thought happily. "Now I can go anywhere without being seen by folks." The boy followed the cart for a long time. Finally, the cart driver stopped at the home of a relative. After supper the cart driver continued his journey, but the invisible boy thought he would stay in the house, for the cart driver's relatives were very rich. "They can't see me, so I can live and eat here without working," he thought.

For many months he ate and drank at the house. One day two people in the home were quarrelling. One person said, "You ate all the meat, bread, and butter that were here." The second person replied, "No! It was you." They finally invited a monk to their home to find out where the meat, bread, and butter had gone.

The monk could see the boy in the room. He took out his prayer beads and said, "Who are you? Why did you come here and make them quarrel? Leave at once!"

A strong wind suddenly swept the boy away. When he opened his eyes, he was back in his own poor home, alone.


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