Fighting the rain god
Long ago, a king and queen gave birth to a son whom they loved, even though he looked like a toad. When the boy came of age, he asked his father to give him a palace and to find him a beautiful woman to become his wife. "I'm sorry," said the king sadly, "but no woman is going to marry someone who looks like a toad."
So the son appealed to the god Pa-In, who gave him a grand palace, a handsome visage, and a beloved wife. They lived happily together for many years as king and queen. Unfortunately, amidst their happiness they forgot to pay tribute to the rain god, who retaliated by creating a drought.
The king therefore created a bridge to heaven and led all the animals across it to fight the rain god. They won, and the rain god promised to bring rain every year. But as a reminder, after several months of dry season each year the people on earth shoot rockets into the sky, to remind the rain god of his promise. And that is why we have our rocket festival every May.
retold by Soumontha Panyasouk, illustrated by Souliphone Yanladsavong
This book was made possible through the generosity of Lin Palmer of England. Thank you!
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