Fascinating Folktales of Thailand
Sunday, November 25, 2007 4:48:01 AM
แก้วหน้าม้า (A horse-faced woman)
นิทานเรื่องนี้ นำมาจากหนังสือ นิทานพื้นบ้านชวนอ่านของไทย Fascinating Folktales of Thailand
(นิทาน 2 ภาษา อังกฤษ-ไทย)
โดย ดร. ธนพล จาดใจดี
Once upon a time there was a city named Mithila. It was ruled by a king named Phuwadon Mongkolraj. The king had a wife named Queen Nantha. The royal couple had a son named Prince Pinthong. The city was prosperous and peaceful.
In the city, there was a family whose daughter was born with a face similar to that of a horse. Prior to her birth, her mother dreamt that a heavenly being gave her a jewel. So she named her daughter as Manee or Kaeo Nama meaning a jewel horse-faced woman. The word Manee or Kaeo means a jewel while the word Naamaa means horse-face, but we can call her Kaeo for short. Though Kaeo had a strange appearance, she was an intelligent woman and possessed a miraculous power of predicting correct weather conditions. So she could tell the farmers to cultivate their crops in accordance with weather conditions. Her knowledge not noly brought prosperity to her family but also to the community as a whole.
One day Prince Pinthong flew his favorite kite into the sky which later got loose and fell in front of Kaeo. She saw the kite with its distinct appearance, so she decided to keep it as her own. But in just a moment, the servants of the prince arrived and asked for the kite from her. Kaeo refused to give it to them and insisted only she would return the kite to its owner. When the prince arrived on the scene and heard what Kaew said, he got upset and thought that the woman talked evasively. The prince took a strong dislike to her when he saw her strange face, but he wanted her to return the kite so he pretended to be nice to her.
The prince promised her a handsome reward in exchange for his favorite kite, but Kaeo refused to accept anything. She demanded the prince marry her and take her to his palace. Without giving it serious thought, the prince agreed to her demand just for the sake of getting back the kite. After getting his kite, the prince disappeared without keeping his promise with her. Kaeo waited for the prince for several days but there was no sign of him. So she asked her parents to seek an audience with the king and enpuire of him about the promise that his son had given to her.
At first the couple hesitated and told their daughter to know her place but Kaeo fell sick as she refused to eat. Her parents feared Kaeo would fast to death, so they went to inform the king who suddenly became angry on hearing the story. However, the queen was very kind to them and promised to ask her son about his irresponsible promise. After being informed of the whole story by her son, the queen instructed the prince to keep his promise and thus sent her maids to welcome Kaeo to the palace. But Kaeo rufused to come because she wanted to sit on a golden litter used by the royal family. After her demand was met, Kaeo came to live in the palace where she did not find happiness as imagined because the prince never proposed marriage to her.
One day King Phuwadon called Kaeo to meet him and set the condition that if she could bring Mount Meru (the abode of the gods of Hinduism) to decorate the royal garden, only then he would arrange a marriage ceremony for her and Prince Pinthong. However, if she could not do so, she would face the death penalty. Over set forth a long journey in search of Mount Meru. Although she travelled through several forests occupied by fierce animals, Kaeo never saw any sign of it. Exhausted by the difficult journey, Kaeo collapsed and lost consciouness.
After regaining consciousness, she met a hermit who felt sympathy for her as she was too innocent to know a trick had been played on her. The hermit decided to help her and with the help of his magical power, Kaeo was now able to remove her horse-face and appear as a beautiful woman at anytime. The hermit also gave her a book which could be transformed into either a flying boat or a snake and a stick which could be transformed into a sacred knife. The hermit then told her to bring just only a small stone from Mount Meru and placed it in the royal garden. That was enough since the king did not mention the entire mount. After placing a small stone in the royal garden, Kaeo informed the king who just kept quiet. Upon learning the truth, the queen then arranged a marriage ceremony as promised with Kaeo much to the dissatisfaction of the king and the prince.
Sometime later the king thought of another plan to get rid of Kaeo. He sent a message to King Phrommathat of Romwithee City asking for the hand of his daughter named Princess Tasmalee for Prince Pinthong. King Phrommathat agreed and set the date for the auspicious occasion. When Prince Pinthong was about to leave the city by boat, Kaeo came to express her displeasure with him and blamed him for his unfaithfulness to her. The prince was very angry and demanded Kaeo to have a baby for him, she would be put to death. Kaeo her self did not know how she could bear a baby for him without copulation. Though she felt helpless Kaeo had strong determination to retaliate against the prince.
To counter the challenge of the prince, she left the city and travelled to Romwithee City by her flying boat. After removing her horse-faced mask, Kaeo sought shelter with and old couple near the river outside the city. One day while taking a bath in the river, Prince Pinthong met her and was infatuated by her beauty. While his new wife was sleeping, the prince sneaked out of the palace and dressed as a villager flirted with Kaeo who was ready to be his wife as she wanted to have a baby with him. The couple lived together until Kaeo became pregnant. Before taking leave, the prince gave her a ring and returned to Mithila City without taking Princess Tasmalee with him.
After giving birth to a baby boy, Kaeo tied the ring around his arm and sent the baby to live with the hermit who had helped her. The hermit meditated and knew that Prince Pinthong was in danger as he was surrounded by a giant army led by the giant king named Phalaraj. The hermit then transformed Kaeo into a man and told her to rescue the prince at once. Kaeo managed to kill the giant king and seized his city. The queen of the dead giant king then gave her two beautiful daughters named Sroisuwan and Chansuda to Prince Pinthong. The prince refused to accept the offer as he was not the one who won the battle. So the two princesses should be given to Kaeo who agrred without hesitation.
Kaeo then told Prince Pinthong to stay in the giant city for sometime while she took the giant daughters to the cottage of the hermit and then told them the whole story. After telling the two princesses whom she was, Kaeo took the two princesses to meet Prince Pinthong and gave both of them to be his wives. Kaeo then returned to the cottage of the hermit to meet her son.
After staying in the giant city for sometime, Prince Pinthong took his two wives to his own city and, to his amazement, he was confronted by Kaeo who then presented him with his own son. At first, he did not believe her, but the ring around the boy's arm convinced him to accept the boy as his own son. The prince then gave the boy a name of Prince Pinkaeo.
Sometime later Princess Tasmalee thought about Prince Pingthong so she came to meet him. However, she became frustrated after seeing the prince showing his love for Sroisuwan and Chansuda much more than for her. She decided to return to her city with great disappointment and anger.
Meanwhile, there was a giant king named Prakaimart who ruled the city of Prakaichak. He had a wife named Queen Amporn. The giant king had been a good friend of Phalaraj who was killed by Kaeo. One day he thought of Phalaraj and he went to see him. Upon discovering the death of his dear friend, he decided to take revenge on Prince Pinthong. The giant king led his army to attack Mithila City where no one dared to fight with him except Kaeo. Sroisuwan and Chansuda told Prince Pinthong to ask for help from Kaeo, but the prince did not believe in Kaeo's ability. The two princesses thus decided to tell the whole story to the prince.
Upon learning the truth, the prince was very happy and wanted a reconciliation with Kaeo who was adamant not to help unless the king and queen came to adk her. After being requested by the royal couple, Kaeo transformed herself into a man and went to kill the giant king easily. Since that day, the prince loved Kaeo much more than in the past. Kaeo became pregnant again and another giant king named Prakaikot who was a good friend of Prakaimart came to attack the city as an act of revenge for his dead friend. During the war, Kaeo gave birth to three baby girls named Chemchan, Hiranrat and Prapatsorn respectivedly.
The City of Mithila became peaceful until the three princesses reached their teens and another event took place. While the three teenage princesses were relaxing in the royal garden, a hasadeelink bird (a mythological bird having a mouth similar to that of an elephant's trunk) mistook them as its prey, so it held the three princesses in its mouth and flew away. Before being swallowed by the big bird, a hermit living nearby came to rescue them and had great sympathy for the three girls so he taught them magical arts.
At that time there was a city named Romachak which was ruled by Tao Tosamitra. The king had three teenage sons whose names were Tinnakorn, Sornnarin and Sinnara respectively. One day while the three princes travelled on the sea, their boat was sunk by a heavey storm. Fortunately, they were rescued by a kind Naga who then gave them a poison that could be used to protect themselves in the face of danger. The princes then paid their respects to the Naga for its kindness and continued their journey through the forest.
Meanwhile, after teaching magical arts to the three princesses, the hermit decided to find suitable husbands for them. He made an announcement that anyone who could defeat any princess in the fight would get the hand of that princess. No competitors which included human and non-human could defeat the princesses. The three princes heard of the competition, so they took part in the event. As it turned out, the three princes were on a par with the three princesses. Since there was no winner and no loser in a fight, the hermit thought that they were soul mates. He told them to choose the partner of their choice and arranged a marriged a marriage ceremony for them.
At the same time, Princess Tasmalee gave birth to a baby boy named Prince Pinsinchai. The young prince was sent to study the magical arts with a teacher in his city. After her son grew up, Princess Tasmalee thought of Prince Pinthong, so she asked the magician to use his magic spell to make the prince became infatuated with her so much so that he could no longer live in peace. The prince the stole the flying boat, the sacred knife and the horsed-faced mask from Kaeo and headed to Romwithee City.
Upon knowing the truth, Kaeo led an army to the City of Romwithee and demanded the return of Prince Pinthong. But Princess Tasmalee refused and sent her son to fight with Kaeo. At first, Kaeo gained the upper hand, but Prince Pinsinchai asked his teacher to help and this time, Kaeo was defeated and placed under arrest. To rescue Kaeo, King Phuwadon sent Prince Pinkaeo to help his mother. While on the way to help his mother, Prince Pinkaeo met the three princes who were actually his brothers-in-law. Since they did not know Prince Pinkaeo, so they fought with him but were unable to defeat the Prince. They went to tell their wives who later knew that the enemy was actually their elder brother. After knowing the news of their mother, the three princesses and their husbands joined Prince Pinkaeo in a war with Romwithee City.
After the war ended, the magician was arrested and confused to being guilty while Prince Pinsinchai was able to escape. Princess Tasmalee herself would face the death penalty if her father did not request for mercy from Prince Pinthong. While returning to Mithila City Prince Pinkaeo met Prince Pinsinchai who was surrounded by his army. Prince Pinkaeo told him to surrender and forgot the part as they were brothers. Prince Pinsinchai asked for forgiveness from his elder brother and joined the group heading to the city of their father. They all lived in Mithila City happily.
Actually, the story does not end here but from now on Kaeo Nama and Prince Pinthong do not have a significant role for the story mostly involves their two sons who confronted a series of events during their journey to various places. But at the end there is a happy ending anyway.
ใครต้องการคำแปลภาษาไทยลองไปหาอ่านฉบับเต็มได้ตามชื่อหนังสือข้างบนค่ะ หรือจะไปดูที่บล็อกของ wawa ก็ได้ค่ะ