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Tibetan Folk Tales, by A.L. Shelton, [1925], at

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The Story of Yugpacan, the Brahman.

From Jaschke

In a narrow road it is difficult to stop and talk. Call upon the gods--on the plains is the time to sing and be happy.
                                             Tibetan Proverb.

ONCE upon a time there was a farmer. One day one of his neighbors named Yugpacan borrowed his bull. He took the animal and in a few days returned it and left it loose in the owner's yard while the owner was eating, and the bull ran away. When the owner had finished his meal he went to his neighbor and asked for the bull. Yugpacan replied, "I turned him into your yard." The owner said, "You have lost my bull." So they had a quarrel and both started for the official to have the matter settled.

As they went along they met a man whose horse had gotten loose and was running away, and he called to these two to head him off and catch him. Yugpacan picked up a stone and threw it at the horse and killed him. Then the owner said, "Now you have slain my horse, come with me to the official and he will settle the matter." They all started on and came to a wall and Yugpacan jumped over the wall and fell on top of a gardener

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who was digging in his yard and killed him. His wife came running up and said, "You have murdered my husband and must make good." Yugpacan answered, "I can't pay you for your husband." "Well," she said, "come with me to the official and he will make you pay."

They all started along again and came to the bank of a river where they saw a carpenter swimming across holding a small ax in his mouth. Yugpacan ran to the brink of the river and asked him a question, whereupon the swimmer opened his mouth to answer it and straightway dropped the ax into the water. The carpenter was angry and said, "You must pay me for my ax." Yugpacan said, "I won't pay you." "All right then, come with me to the official and we will see about that."

The whole crowd in due time came to the great man who was to decide their cases. He asked, "What is the matter that you have come to me?" The farmer and Yugpacan proceeded at once to tell their case; then the official said to Yugpacan, "You returned the bull, but the owner didn't see it, and as you didn't say anything I will cut off your tongue." Then he said to the owner, "Because you didn't see it, I will take out one of your eyes." So he settled the first case, saying, "The man who has a tongue should be able to talk, and the man with eyes should be able to see."

The man whose horse had been killed now stated his case. The official turned to Yugpacan and asked how he had killed the horse. "Well,"

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he answered, "he asked me to help catch his horse and I picked up a rock and threw it at the horse." Then he asked the owner of the horse, "Why did you ask him to head off your horse? My decision is this, because you, Yugpacan, threw and killed the animal, I will cut off one of your hands." Then to the owner of the horse, "Because you told him to help catch your horse I will cut off your tongue." Thus ends the second case.

The woman now presented her case and said that Yugpacan had killed her husband. Yugpacan said he was just on top of the wall and fell off and did not see the gardener and landed on him. The official decided, "Well, you have killed this man, so to make it good you must be this woman's husband."

The carpenter now said, "Yugpacan, while I was in the water, asked me a question, and as I opened my mouth to answer my ax dropped and was lost in the water." The official said, "Be-cause you carried your ax in your mouth instead of your hand I will knock out two of your teeth, and Yugpacan, because he asked you a question while you were swimming, I will cut off another slice of his tongue."

Each one then begged the official to forgive Yugpacan for all his wickedness, and forgive each of them and leave them each as they were in the first place, which he very obligingly did.

Next: Forty-Seven: The Story of Da Jang. From Amundsen