Folktales from the Mon People of Koh Kred/สะใภ้จอมโลภ (The Greedy Daughter-in-Law)

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The Greedy Daughter-in-Law

One upon a time, there was a family of two: a mother and her gullible son. After the son got married, he and his wife came to live with the mother in the same house. The family was not a happy one. There were often quarrels between the mother and her daughter-in-law. The wife had a plan to get rid of her.

One day, the wife asked the husband to take his mother and leave her deep in the forest. They did that. Fortunately, a lizard, hiding near a tree, guided her back home. The mother was safe. This upset the daughter-in-law. She had another vicious plan.

This time the daughter-in-law had a plan to burn the mother to death in the forest. The husband believed his wife. Two of them put her in a coffin and took it to the forest. As the couple was about to set fire on the coffin, they realized that they had left a match at home. So they went back home to get it. While they were away to get the match, the mother-in-law woke up and set herself free. She got out of the coffin. The couple did not know that the mother had already got out of the coffin. They burned the empty coffin. Then they went home. The wife was happy.

After the mother set herself free, she was so sad, so she walked and cried alone in the forest. There in the forest were three robbers sharing gold they had just robbed. The robbers heard the mother crying. They thought there was a ghost, so they ran away, leaving their pile of gold on the ground. The mother found it, as nobody was around, she took the gold and went back home.

The daughter-in-law was surprised to see the mother again. When she was asked, the mother told her daughter-in-law that it was the god of the forest who gave her the gold. The daughter-in-law was greedy, so she told her husband to put her in the coffin and went deep into the forest. The husband was told to burn the coffin with his wife inside. The husband, being a fool, believed her, so he burned her to death.

Finally, the wife was burned to death because of her greed.

Storyteller: Miss Jang Jomket Translator: Mr. Janpha Thadphoothon