Maung Pauk Kyaing, The Dragon Slayer

Maung Pauk Kyaing, The Dragon Slayer

Maung Pauk Kyaing,  The Dragon Slayer
March 20
14:23 2014

At a place not very far from the great city of Tagaung, there was a young man by the name of Maung Pauk Kyaing (or just Pauk Kyaing) studying under a great teacher but what with his idleness and stupidity and the indifference of the tutor , he made no progress; and, when the time for his return arrived, he had learned absolutely nothing. The teacher addressed him saying, ‘’Pauk Kyaing. You have learned nothing; but before you go I will teach a short formula that may be useful to you for the rest of your life’’. The pupil replied that he was grateful and would learn. ‘’Very well, then’’, said the teacher, ‘’Now listen: By travelling, you reach your destination; by enquiring, you get information and by not sleeping, your life is long’’.

Maung Pauk Kyaing repeated the formula many times till he got it by heart; and, having done so, the teacher dismissed him. Pauk Kyaing starts on a homeward journey, singing a ‘’bon-tauk’’ songs and dancing jubilantly and so passed through Tagaung.

Now, the queen of the king of Tagaung is in criminal love with a Naga-Dragon who visited her in the garden, and , who, at her persuasion, murdered her husband. The several successors of the late king had all died on the night of their ascension to the throne. The ministers , unable to find a suitable candidate, decided to elect the first wayfarer they met with. They met Maung Pauk Kyaing , who had to give his account of himself, and who had sufficient intelligence and civility to decline the honour they told him he was destined to. The ministers were desirous of hearing the discourse of a pupil of a celebrated teacher and asked him to manner reach to them. Sitting on a fallen three trunk, in the manner of a monk, he repeated his formula. However the persuasion on, to accept the crown is effected with blows and threats and poor Pauk Kyaing’s love for a quiet life was scattered.

He was duly installed as the new king of Tagaung with ceremony, had the sacred water poured over him and was introduced to the queen. His lesson was yet fresh, and he did not sleep at midnight, he saw the queen rise up and leave chamber. His curiosity was excited and he followed her unseen to the garden where he over heard her telling the Naga that the ministers had given her another husband, and that the hopes he would serve him as he had served others. The Naga bids her have no fear for the matter as the new man will speedily follow his predecessors.

Mg Pauk Kyaing Post

 Pauk Kyaing had heard enough, and, leaving the guilty pair in the garden, returned to chamber, made a laid of banana stems, laid it down on the royal bed and covered it with a blanket. By and by, the Naga and his paramour came in softly, and the latter pointed to the sleeping figure of the supposed bride groom. The Naga sprang at it with all his might, buried his great teeth into the bundle of banana stems and there he temporarily fast. Pauk Kyaing wasted no time in attacking the now defenceless Naga and by repeated stabs despatched him.

In the morning the ministers were delighted and found the Naga dead, affording proof of the unnatural love of the queen. The king held court and the guilty woman was condemned to death. Meanwhile, she employed herself in making the Naga skin into a pillow and one of the long bones into a hair-pin, giving a thousand pieces of silver for skinning and a hundred for stitching.

When Pauk Kyaing told her she must die, she said she was in his hand.., to do so as he please, but proposed that he should solve a riddle which she would give, and that he also should propound one, whoever was unable to solve their puzzle should how be the party to death. He considering that he was a man, and she a woman, agreed. She propounded. Our hero was at a loss. There were ten days given none of the ministers could assist him (The seventh day arrived, and the country rang with the rumour of inability of Pauk Kyaing, to solve the riddle and consequent death of the young King.

The father and mother of Maung Pauk Kyaing, missing him, heard the coronation of their son as king of Tagaung, resolved to follow him . One day, they were resting and eating under a tree, when two crows came and waited for the left victuals of the old couple. The crow’s language was understood by the old man, and heard their conversation which led to the news of Maung Pauk Kyaing’s riddle and expected death unfolded to the anxious parents. They set off in haste for Tagaung, arrived, and were introduced to their son. They shouted and laughed and said, ‘’My son. You are a king now. Why do you look so sad looking like an old monkey. ..ha-ha’’. ‘’Give us two bullocks and a cart you are so rich now’’. Build a house for us and shock his vanity and decorum of the palace. The father then told his son the story of the riddle. The old man repeated the solution he heard from the crows; and his son was in ecstasy. They queen was sent for, and in the presence of the ministers Maung Pauk Kyaing explained the riddle, and, as a proof, made the queen produce the pillow and the hair pin . The queen had lost, but the young king , who had already tasted the ordeal of death, decided to save her life and ordered that she be banished from his kingdom. The drama comes to a happy ending.

The story, however, resolved itself into that of Maha Thanbawa and Sular Thanbanwa, the two blind brothers and who, after being found and healed by the Beloo-Ogres, were stranded at Pyay (Prome) and ultimately became the founders of Kingdom of Sri Khestra.

U Ye Dwe (Puppetry)


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