Here in one slim volume is a selection of the best-known and best-loved Lao folktales that have entertained the Lao people for generations. We meet the legendary trickster Xieng Mieng who matches his wits with merchants, monks, and kings. We find a quick-witted toad that terrifies tigers, a turtle that flies, a cadre of snails that race a rabbit, and a mynah bird that speaks five languages fluently. The reader may recognize a whisper of Aesop or a Jataka tale, but each story is distinctively Lao, retold with Lao humor and charm reflecting a Buddhist culture in a Marxist state. Works by Anoulom Souvandouane, the foremost illustrator in Laos, enliven the stories. Steven Epstein lived in Laos from 1990 to 1997. He worked for the Swedish government setting up English training programs in different ministries.
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abbot afraid animals asked basket beautiful betel bottle bowl brought called carrying catfish chewed chicken poop clever cloth coffee contest course crocodile cross delicious don't drops elephant finished five Fly Sombat Fly Somboon follow forest friends golden grass ground hands hole honey hopped horse hungry judge jump jungle Kham king king's kingdom laughed lion listening lived looked lovely lunch magic Majesty merchant monkey monkey heart morning mouth mynah bird opened painting palace picked piece play pond possible pulled rabbit race ready returned rice river rope royal smell smiled snail speak stick stories swans tail tale taste tell temple Thank thought three friendly flies tiger toad took tree trick turtle Uncle village vulture waited walked watched week wonderful Xieng Mieng Xieng Nyan yelled