Saturday, August 21, 2010


I have a book named The Buffalo Fights the Tiger containing some folk-tales of the Tibetans, Mongolians, Huns, Chuangs and Wigus from China. I have this book in Bengali. Somebody gifted the book to me (I forgot who. Perhaps Baba, or Jethu..'cause they used to buy such small books from the roadside stalls during Durgapuja) when I was a kid. I found the book only yesterday after years. Nothing like burying your nose into stories you once knew and had forgotten. Here is one from the book..translated in my flawed English.



A Tibetan Story

Many years ago there lived six rabbits by the shore of a lake. There was a forest of large papaw trees. One day a ripe papaw fell down into the lake making a loud 'plop'! The rabbits were so scared by the sound that they at once started running breathlessly as fast as they could.

A fox spotted them running and asked, "why are you running?"
"The plop is coming", answered the rabbits.
Hearing this, the fox immediately joined the rabbits.

Next, a monkey saw the fox and asked, " What's the hurry?"
"The plop is coming", answered the fox.
So the monkey started to run with them too.

The news of plop spread everywhere from mouth to mouth. Hence deers, boars, buffaloes, rhinoceros, elephants, leopards, tigers, beers and lions also started running away. They had no though except fleeing. The faster they ran, the more fright engulfed them.

A long maned lion lived at the foot of the hill. When he saw the other lions running, he shouted at them, "Brothers, with your powerful claws and sharp teeth, you are the strongest of all animals. Then why are you madly running away?"
One of the running lion answered, "the plop is coming!"
"Who is this plop? And where is he?", asked the long maned lion again.
Another lion mumbled, " well..I..I don't really know."
"Then why are you being such panicked?", the lion with the long mane demanded, "you should at first try to know what it is. Who told you about this plop?"
"The tiger told me", the other lion answered.
The long maned lion then questioned the tiger who said that the leopard had told him. The leopard said that he had heard that from the beer. The beer then pointed to the elephant. Then all the animals were asked one by one and finally it came down to the fox who said, "the rabbits told me!"
The lion with the long mane asked the rabbits and they said, "all six of us had heard this monstrous plop with our own ears. Come, O long maned lion. We shall show you the place."

They led him to the papaw forest by the lake and said, "the terrible plop is there. "
Just at that very moment another huge papaw fell from the tree into the water with a 'plop'.

The lion chuckled and sneered, "Fools, all of you! Now you have all seen what this plop is - its only the sound of a papaw falling into the water from a height. What is so terrifying about it that made you all run away?"
The animals they breathed a sigh of relief. They panicked for no reason.


Translator's request : I googled for the word 'plop' and found it here. I didn't like the word much..somehow it did not go with my imagination of a sound that is made when a large fruit falls into water. I shall be grateful if anyone can help me to replace this with a better word.

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