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  • Once, a long time ago,

  • there was a powerful hermit named Lok Ta Moni Eysei.

  • He had three promising students:

  • Moni Mekhala, the brilliant goddess of the seas,

  • Vorachhun, the princely manifestation of the earth,

  • and Ream Eyso, a demon whose heart burned with passionate fire.

  • Lok Ta wished to bestow a gift upon his most deserving student.

  • To determine which of the three that was, he announced a contest:

  • whoever first brought back a glass full of morning dew

  • would be master of this mysterious gift.

  • When dusk came, Vorachhun and Ream Eyso ventured into the forest.

  • They left not one leaf or blade of grass untouched,

  • impatiently shaking the precious fluid into their glasses.

  • When they returned to the hermit's hut,

  • they found Moni Mekhala sitting patiently with a full glass of morning dew.

  • She had left her shawl out overnight

  • and won the contest by simply wringing out the fabric over her glass.

  • Proud of all his students, and loving them like his own children,

  • Lok Ta surprised all three with gifts.

  • He turned the dew Ream Eyso collected into a diamond axe,

  • Vorachhun's into a magic dagger,

  • and Moni Mekhala's into a crystal ball unlike anything ever seen.

  • Soon Ream Eyso grew covetous and decided he must have Mekhala's prize.

  • He and Vorachhun tried to woo the goddess so they could get the precious gem.

  • But after she rejected their advances and flew off,

  • Ream Eyso resolved to take the crystal ball by force.

  • Ream Eyso flew through the air in search of Moni Mekhala,

  • propelled on by a jealous rage.

  • On his way, he encountered Vorachhun and attacked him,

  • knowing that the righteous prince would never allow him to steal the crystal.

  • The demon gained the upper hand in the heat of battle,

  • and hurled Vorachhun against the side of a mountain.

  • Sure of Vorachhun's death,

  • Ream Eyso continued his search until he finally found Moni Mekhala.

  • He demanded that she and her friends either submit to him,

  • the most brilliant of Lok Ta's students and rightful master of the crystal ball,

  • or die like Vorachhun.

  • Mekhala, without fear, refused and flew off into the clouds,

  • hoping to draw the demon away from her friends.

  • Ream Eyso took the bait, ripping through nimbus after nimbus in his crazed pursuit.

  • Once far enough away, Mekhala confronted her pursuer.

  • Ream Eyso made one last demand but the goddess remained unfazed.

  • Enraged, he began to swing his diamond axe.

  • Before he could hurl the weapon, Mekhala threw her crystal into the air.

  • As it climbed the height of the sky,

  • it emitted powerful flashes of lightning that blinded the demon.

  • Ream Eyso let his axe loose in wild desperation.

  • As the weapon flew through the air it cut through clouds,

  • creating deep, rolling peals of thunder.

  • And when the lightning and thunder mixed,

  • precious seeds of water fell from heaven: rain.

  • Mekhala drew close to Ream Eyso, now blind and impotent without his axe.

  • She pondered what she should do to the murderer.

  • Remembering the kindness and love of her teacher,

  • Moni Mekhala chose compassion and flew into the sky.

  • Shortly later, Ream Eyso regained his strength, found his axe, and followed her.

  • Thunder, lightning, and rain continued to dance across the earth.

  • Some drops fell on Vorachhun and revived him,

  • his skin golden like a rice field ready for harvest.

  • Grabbing his magic dagger,

  • he flew into the sky in search of Ream Eyso and Moni Mekhala.

Once, a long time ago,

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B2 US TED-Ed flew lok axe demon ta

The Cambodian myth of lightning, thunder, and rain - Prumsodun Ok

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    Sophie posted on 2019/11/15
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