The Man Without A Care

Once a king on a hunt came to a clearing in a forest where he was enchanted by the peace that reigned there. In a little hut there dwelt an old man, who did not seem to have a care in the world. Then and there the king decided to return to the forest to learn from the hermit how to find happiness for himself.

Within a few days, the king indeed returned to the forest and lived there as a pupil to the old hermit. However, the king soon discovered that it was not as easy as he had imagined; he found that the old man did not let him sit idly nor did he teach him anything at all. All the day long he had something to do in the hermitage.

After some days, the king found it hard to stay in the forest. He then spoke to the hermit, "Please teach me how to be free and happy."

The hermit said, "Wait, you are still not fit to be taught."

And so it went on for some time.

Every time the king spoke to the hermit, he was told to wait.

One day the king lost his patience. When he went to the stream to fetch water, he just left the pot on the ground and went away.

The king had taken but a few steps when he heard a voice come from the water pot. It said, "Oh, King, are you running away from your task?"

The king was very surprised. He looked back and seeing no one, he walked on again.

But he heard the voice again, "You are bent on going away?"

The king retraced his steps. The voice from the pot said "Where are you going?"

The king made reply: "I am going back to my kingdom."

"Why?" asked the pot.

"I have come to learn from the hermit how I can be without a care in the world but he won't teach me. He told me that I am not yet fit to learn. So I am going back."

Said the pot: "It is very difficult to learn anything at all. You may suffer your whole life and yet you may not learn anything. It may even cost your life. I have suffered much myself, yet I have remained ignorant."

"How was it?" asked the king.

"Well, it is a long story," said the pot, "I was living in a forest by myself. One day a man came with a spade and dug me out and took me with him to his home. There he poured water over me, trampled upon me and kneaded me into a dough. How much I suffered then!

" The man then took me to a shed where lay a potter's wheel. He made me into a ball and put me on the wheel until felt giddy. When I came out of the potter's wheel, I thought that my suffering was over. But the man beat me all over with a wooden mallet and put me inside a burning inferno. All of this required great fortitude.

"The next thing the man did was to take me to a shop and leave me there among many other pots just like myself. The other pots must have suffered just like me and I got some solace from the thought that I was not alone. I was full of pity for the other pots.

"In the potter's shop people often stopped and thumped me to see if there was a crack in me. I was surprised that an intelligent creature like man should be indifferent to the suffering of others. I began to hate all men. One day a man came, beat me a couple of times, paid for me and brought me along with him. Then, he gave me to the hermit, and from then on my suffering has come to an end.

"Know, Oh, King, wisdom is difficult to acquire. You have to have pati


How The Pheasant Got Red Eyes

"Don't go that way," said the kalij pheasant to the piura bird. "There is a snare."

"Where is it?" said the piura, "I would like to see the snare."

And he went looking for the snare until he blundered right into it.

"Serves you right," said the kalij laughing at the piura's plight, "Serves you right for not heeding me." And he laughed loud and loud until his eyes became red. These have stayed red to this day.



The leopard is called Nepte, or Flat-Nose, in the district of Sindhu-Palchok. This is how he got the name.

In the beginning the leopard was unable to climb trees. One day he persuaded a cat to show him how to climb. But once the leopard got on the limb of a tall tree, the cat quickly ran away.

The leopard was unable to get down the tree. As he made clumsy efforts to reach the ground, he fell down on his face, flattening his nose for ever. Thereupon, the leopard swore eternal vengeance against the cat, and, to this day, he is called Flat-Nose.


The Rat

There was once a rat, who thought that he must have none other than the king's daughter for his wife. So, he went to the king and proposed to wed the princess. Said the rat to the king, "You are the greatest one on earth."

The king, however, said: "Not me. The sun is mightier than I am."

So the rat went to the sun and said: "You are mightier than the king. Please give me your daughter in wedding."

"But the cloud is more powerful than me," said the sun.

The rat went to the cloud and said to him: "Please give me your daughter. You are mightier than the sun."

"I am not that powerful," said the cloud, "The wind pushes me around. He is stronger than me."

So, the rat went to the wind and said to him, "Please let me marry your daughter."

"No, I am not as strong as you think," said the wind, "Howsoever hard I blow I cannot take the grass away with me. The grass is, therefore, more powerful than me."

The rat went to the grass and asked for his daughter's hand.

But the grass said: "The rat burrows beneath me, cuts at my roots and kills me. I cannot stop him. The rat is more powerful than me."

The rat was now convinced more than ever that there was none greater on earth than a rat. So, he married a rat.


The Hunter And The Tiger

the hunter and the tiger
One day a man was out hunting birds in the forest when he came upon a tiger. The tiger was about to pounce upon him when the man proposed that they should not hurt each other but become friends. The tiger liked the idea and said: "All right, but you must kill my enemy the porcupine."

"Agreed," said the man, "Where is it?"

"It lives in a hole," said the tiger, "I'll show you where it is."

The tiger led the man to the porcupine's hole. He waited until the porcupine came out. Then, he shot it dead with his gun. But the tiger didn't want anyone to know that a man had helped in getting rid of its enemy. So, it said to the hunter, "Please don't tell anybody that it was you who killed the porcupine."

"That is fine with me," said the hunter. And he took the porcupine home and his wife cooked it for supper.

The next morning the hunter's wife went to fetch water. As she walked she picked her teeth with a splinter of bamboo. At the spring, she met two of her neighbours and they asked her what she had eaten.

"Oh, my husband brought home a porcupine," she said.

So, the woman talked about the porcupine until everyone in the village knew about it. Before long the tiger itself heard the story and when the hunter went to the forest again, it was waiting, furious and wanting to kill the man for spreading the report of the porcupine's death.

"But I have said nothing," protested the hunter.

"I don't care whether you did or not, but I am going to kill you for it,' said the tiger.

The man was now really frightened and the tiger saw him tremble.

"Why do you tremble?" asked the tiger.

"I am afraid," said the hunter, "the porcupine I ate the other day is trying to come out of my body."

"What?" said the tiger, "But wait..."

"But it is coming," said the hunter.

In a moment the tiger was gone.


Nyalmu, The Wild Man

Once upon a time a group of villagers on their way to the frontier town of Kuti in Tibet to exchange their grain for salt came to a cave not far from where the village of Melamchi stands today in the mountains of Helambu. As the sun was setting, the men decided to spend the night in the cave.

The men lighted a fire at the entrance to the cave. They cooked their supper and after they had eaten, they lay down to sleep. Soon they were all asleep except one man who thought it would be safer outside the cave than inside it. He went to the foot of a tree and made himself comfortable.

Before long a nyalmu, or wild man, came to the cave and seeing the men asleep, he pulled up a young pine tree and prepared to kill all of them. But, as he looked closer, he was a bit puzzled.

"There are nine loads but only eight men," he said to himself, "How can it be?"

While he was trying to fathom the mystery, the man who had stayed outside the cave took up a large rock and threw it into the fire, sending sparks flying in all directions. Afraid that the flying sparks would catch on his hairy body, the nyalmu left, leaving the men unharmed.


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