The Story of the Rat and the Chicken
Storyteller: Mr. Ubola Nokpoloksup
Translated by Latong Meren Ao
This is a story of the rat and the chicken. Rats get the best of our grain store and this story explains why. In the beginning the rat and the chicken were good friends and one day they decided to go fishing together. On that occasion the rat did not have any luck. Although the rat did not get a single fish, the chicken caught many. The rat was envious of the chicken’s catch and he begged his friend to give him a few of the fish as he had not caught any. The chicken, in all innocence and with a feeling of friendship gave the rat some fish. But the rat was not satisfied, he wanted more and he kept asking for more fish until the chicken was only left with the single largest fish of his catch. The rat demanded that fish too, but the chicken insisted that he wanted to give that fish to his own family. The rat was extremely greedy and he now threatened the chicken that if he did not give the fish to him, he would cut the chicken’s leg off. The chicken still refused, and the rat cut off the leg of the chicken.
The chicken had a family; he had brothers and sisters, and when they heard what had happened, they went out to get revenge on the rat. The rat was afraid and he hid in the darkest corner of the house, but the chicken’s relatives managed to find him and punish him. They sent him off to Mululang which is at the furthest end of the earth to bring some type of food that they had never seen before. The rat had to obey and he traveled for many days to the place where the sun sets. There he found a unique plant and it was rice. He plucked some of the rice plant thinking saying to himself, “the chicken’s relatives will be happy with this”. He then returned and offered the rice to the chickens, thus atoning for his crime. But the rat was greedy and he laid down a final condition which was that no one would be able to eat the rice without giving him the first bite of it. The chickens were so awe struck by this new food that they agreed to give the rat the first taste of the grain, and so it is today.