THE RHAREE DRAGON EGGS

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In the hills of Northern Burma there once lived a Naga-princess. She was very beautiful, and the sun-god fell in love with her. So he came down from the sky, and lived with her for some time. Then he returned to the sky. Later, the dragon-princess gave birth to three eggs, and she carefully looked after them. When the eggs were nearly hatched, she called the crow to her and asked him to go and tell the sun-god that his three children would soon be hatched. At that time the crow was snow-white in color. The crow flew to the sun-god, and gave him the message. The sun-god brought out a ruby, which was worth a kingdom, from among his treasures and said to the crow, ‘Tell my beloved that I cannot come and see the children. But give her this ruby, and ask her to buy a kingdom with it, so that my children can rule over it.’ Then the sun-god wrapped up the ruby in a piece of cloth, and gave it to the crow, who flew towards the Northern Hills of Burma, with the bundle in his beak.

On the way the crow saw a caravan of five hundred merchants. The merchants were having their breakfast, and hundreds of birds were hopping about near by, gobbling up the morsels of food thrown to them by the merchants. The crow felt hungry, and alighted not far away. After hidding this bundle under a bush, he joined the other birds. One of the merchants saw the crow hiding the bundle, and he stole towards the bush without letting the crow see him. He found the ruby in the bundle, and took the jewel, replacing it with a piece of cow-dung. The crow after having his fill, picked up the bundle and, without realizing that the ruby had been stolen, flew on to the dragon-princess. the princess received the message and the bundle in great joy, but her joy soon turned to sorrow when she found only a piece of cow-dung in the bundle. She died soon after of a broken heart. When the sun-god learnt of tragedy later, he scorched the feathers of the crows as punishment for losing ruby. Since that time the crow has been black in colour.

The eggs lay neglected for many days and they did not hatch as there was no mother to look after them. When the rains came, the eggs were washed into the Irrawaddy, and they floated down the great river. When they reached Mogok one of the eggs struck against a rock and broke and countless numbers of rubies fell out of it. That is why there are rubies at Mogok. When the two remaining eggs reached Middle Burma one egg struck against a rock , and a tiger came out of the broken egg. the last egg reached Lower Burma, where it struck against a rock and a crocodile came out. So the tiger and the crocodiles of present day are descendants of the tiger and the crocodile who were the children of the drogon-princess and the sun-god.

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