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The Misfortunes Of Paw Yan






Category: Strange Fortunes of Strange People

Source: Laos Folk-lore Of Farther India

Upon a day, Paw Yan[22] said to his wife, "Today I shall build a
watch-tower in the rice fields."

"You will need four posts about the size of our children here," replied
the wife.

Taking the four children with him to the rice fields, Paw Yan dug four
post holes and made the children stand in them. Then he packed the earth
about their feet to make them firm, took the beams and laid them on
their shoulders, tied them in place, and went for more bamboo to finish
the watch-tower.

The eye of day had closed in the West, yet the husband and the children
returned not, so the wife, in distress, sought them in the fields, and,
lo, when she reached them, there stood the four children as posts for
the watch-tower.

"Know you not anything? I said take four posts the size of our
children," cried the wife.

And upon another day did Paw Yan attempt to build the tower, but so
utterly did he fail that his wife said, "While I build the watch-tower
you gather the food for the pigs, and, when the eye of day closes, give
it to them."

Paw Yan watched until the eye of day was about to close, but forgot to
gather the food for the pigs, so he took all the rice, which was the
food for the family, and went out to the pigs. He called, "Ow, ow,
ow,"[23] and the pigs ran about trying to find the food, but Paw Yan
forgot to throw it to them, for, while he stood there, he saw ants
running down the trunk of a tree, and he could think of nothing else.
"That's an easy way to get down a tree," thought Paw Yan. "I'll try it,"
and, throwing the rice aside, he climbed the tree, and, head first,
started down, but fell to the ground and broke his neck!

22: Paw Yan--a blunderer.

23: Ow--take.





Next: An Unfortunate Shot

Previous: The Fortunes Of Ai Powlo



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