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The Giants' Mountain And The Temple

Category: Temples and Priests

Source: Laos Folk-lore Of Farther India

In the time long since gone by, when the world was young, the men of a
large province desired to build a temple, a temple which might be seen
by men from afar. Their ground, however, was low, and there was no lofty
mountain on which they might rear it, and it was deemed wise by all to
entreat the giants, who lived in the far East, to help them bring the
earth together in one place for a mound.

Willingly did the giants consent to aid them, but asked, "Why labor to
dig the earth and pile it into a mound? Behold the high hills are ours,
with our strong arms we can remove the top from one of them and bring it
to you and you may rear your beautiful temple thereon, and all men can
see it. Go, therefore, and make ready your bricks and mortar, bringing
to one place all the materials which you will require, whilst we carry
one of our mountains to you for your use."

The giants went their way to bring a mountain-top from the far East to
the plains near the city. Day after day they labored and moved the
mountain top a great distance, but the people neither helped them nor
did they even commence to prepare the materials for the temple. As the
giants toiled, word was brought them that the people were sitting in
idleness on the ground.

"Come help us, or gather the materials together," the giants sent word.

"You, yourselves, offered to carry the mountain-top to us. Your words
are stronger than your deeds. You say you will aid us, then ask us to
help you," the people replied. This they said, thinking to goad the
giants on to the labor of bringing the mountain-top to the desired

"We offered to aid you," retorted the giants, "but you sit and watch
while we do all. Had you done your part, we would have done ours. Now,
you shall labor, and we, from our high mountain, will laugh at you."

Thereupon they left the work and sought their homes, and wearily did the
men of the plains dig the earth, carrying it in small loads into one
place to build the mound, and sadly did they look toward the East, where
they could see the mountain-top the giants had carried such a distance
to them, and most bitterly did they repent not having done their share.

The temple is builded now, and from afar the people can see the gleam of
the spire when the eye of day first opens in the East, or closes in the
West, and, to this day the mountain-top lies there far distant from the
mountain range and equally far distant from the city of the plains, and
the people point it out to strangers, saying, "If you ask aid from
others, it is well to put your own heart into the work."

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