Rahou



 Once there were two sisters who, together with their servant girl, lived in northeastern Thailand. The servant's name was Rahou. She cleaned the sisters' house, washed their clothes, and sometimes she cooked for them.
Now these two sisters were very religious. They gave food to the monks each morning, and on special days they went to the temple to pray and give more food. They usually took Rahou along when they went to the temple, and sometimes they asked her to help them serve the monks.
One day, a very special day, the sisters set off for the temple very early in the morning. Rahou came along to carry the rice and curry. When they arrived at the temple, the sisters set their rice and curry on a long table.
Suddenly one of the sisters noticed that something was missing. "You have forgotten to bring the spoon for the rice," she said to Rahou. "Run home and get it silly girl."
Rahou ran home as fast as she could. She quickly found the rice spoon and ran back to the temple. By this time many people had come to the temple to give food to the monks. Rahou hurried through the crowd to the sisters.
"Back at last," said the sister. "But now I find that you have forgotten the spoon for the curry."
Once again Rahou ran home. She found the curry spoon and ran back to the temple. This time she ran even faster than sire had before. In fact, she was quite out of breath when she found the sister again. They were both waiting for her. One of them snatched the spoon out of her hand, and the other one slapped her face.
"You are a lazy, stupid girl," said one of the sisters.
"You ruin all our good plans," said the other. "You foolish girl, I think you'd forget your own head if it weren't on your shoulders."
By this time, all the people at the temple were listening. The sisters were so angry that they forgot to speak quietly. The people began to laugh. They were laughing at Rahou, the silly servant girl.
Naturally Rahou was very upset. The sisters should not have shouted at her in the temple, in front of other people. She decided that one day she would find a way to punish the sis­ters.
Time passed, and first one sister, then the other, died. Be­cause they had been so good to the monks, the gods decided to reward them. The gods turned one sister into the sun, and theother became the moon. Even today we can see the two sisters in the sky, one in the daytime and the other at night.
Some time after the sisters died, Rahou died too. She too went to live in the sky, but she did not forget that the sisters had hurt her. Indeed, Rahou is still trying to punish the sisters.
She chases them across the sky, and sometimes she al­most catches one of them. When this happens, people say, "Rahou is trying to cat the sun," or "Rahou is trying to eat the moon," and they make a lot of noise to drive her away.
Next time you see an eclipse of the sun or moon, think of Rahou and the two sisters.

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