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The Good Luck Sheep


Once upon a time, in a nomad area with both grass and rivers called Gyigyi Metok Rawa lived a poor but articulate old nomad called Dralo. He had no possessions to show in his house other than goat turds. He always did various kinds of serving work as a shepherd or cattle hand for all the rich households, and he killed time trying to make a living in a misery of hunger, thirst and cold.

One day, Old Servant Dralo saved a little lamb from the maw of a wolf. He brought it home and took care of it well as if it were a jewel. After a few days all the lamb’s turds were turquoises and just that. Old Servant Dralo was happy and said, “This good-luck sheep has been given to me by Heaven,” and he called it ‘Good-Luck Sheep’.

After all the people of that nomad land came to know that Old Servant Dralo had a good-luck sheep that shit turquoise in his house, not only did the rich households come with merchandise and herding their horses, cattle and sheep to trade for turquoise, but his name automatically changed from Old Servant Dralo to Father Dralo.

From then on Father Dralo’s thoughts turned only to always selling turquoises. Not only did his looking after turquoise-shitting Good-Luck Sheep grow ever more poor than before, but one day Father Dralo thought, “Good-Luck Sheep doesn’t know how to produce no more than two or three turquoise turds a day. But if I slaughter it, I can get all the turquoise turds that it has.” When he slaughtered Good-Luck Sheep and cut open the intestines, there was not a single turquoise turd, just some grass turds in the intestines.

From then on he had no Good-Luck Sheep, so bandits drove off some of his stock, his horses, cattle and sheep. After the remainder had died in an epidemic, Father Dralo became a servant herder for the rich households like before, and moreover his name automatically changed from Father Dralo to Old Servant Dralo again.

Folk Story Amdo
The Good Luck Sheep
Collection Tibetan Children's Stories
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Translator Larry Epstein
Creative Commons Licence