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Cambodian Folktales

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Mask worn by "giant" in the story of the Nymph and the Giant




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The Tiger and the Mouse

     On one hot day, a long time ago, Tiger came out of the woods to drink water from a pond at a clearing, there he met Mouse who had the same idea. Feeling boastful and superior, Tiger said to Mouse:

    "You are such an insignificant and useless creature, there is nothing you can do that I cannot do, so leave my sight!"
Mouse, fearful of Tiger, retreated back to the fields.

          It just happened that day, trappers were in the forest setting up nets, trying to capture a tiger for the king. Tiger, usually careful but feeling proud after chasing Mouse away, was not looking where he was going and unfortunately stepped on the trap. Suddenly, there he was, tangled in the net up on the tree, Tiger tried to free himself but was unable to. He kept on calling passing animals to help him but they could not get him out, desperate, he knew the kind of fate that awaited him, being in a locked cage and beaten up by the king's guards.

          Well, it just happened that Mouse was passing through the forest and he heard the cries of Tiger, he approached and offered to help. By this time, Tiger was losing hope, any offer of help was welcomed, Mouse climbed up into the net and in no time, chewed the cords out and freed Tiger. Mouse, then said to him:

    "You, earlier said that I was a useless creature but as you can see, I was able to free you, do not mock any animal because of its size, because we are small does not mean that we are useless, each creature posesses unique skills."

Tiger, shameful and with his head down, ran back to the forest as quickly as he could, so from this day on, tigers learned not to disrespect mice.

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Cambodian Folktales created by Ithara Phlong,

last modified: December 15, 2000