Culture

The Goddess and The Yeak

In this tale, births the origin of thunder and lightning. The giants ax flying toward the goddess creates the thunder. And the goddess' sparkling orb lights up the heavens. Together they bring rain, the symbol of renewed life as it imparts fertility to Cambodia's farmlands. 

Moments later, the giant rose and regained his composure, wiping the sweat off his brow.

There is a Cambodian legend that a long time ago, there lived a goddess and a giant who were students of a wise and powerful hermit who lived deep in the forest, the teacher possessed a magic orb, which he wanted to gift to one of his loyal students. However, it was difficult for him to judge which of his pupils, the goddess or the giant, both of whom were just completing their studies with him, was more deserving of the magic orb. He decided to offer his pupils a challenge: The two were told to collect the morning dew, and the first student to present the hermit with a glassful of this liquid would be the winner of the magic orb.

The giant, had a clever idea which he thought would surely bring him the honor of the best student. Early the next morning, the giant gathered as many leaves as he could, and one-by-one, let the droplets of dew slide from each leaf into his glass. 

The goddess approached her task differently. She spread a handkerchief on the grass and left it there overnight. By morning the handkerchief was damp, and it took just a moment to squeeze the dew out of the cloth and into the glass. She arrived to present her full cup of dew to her teacher before the giant did. As a reward for her ingenuity, the hermit bestowed upon her the magical orb. The giant received a magic ax as a consolation prize. 

The giant would not settle for second, and was determined to possess the orb. This was just the beginning of an eternal struggle for the small ball that the goddess now carried. The orb was much more powerful, than the ax that the giant wielded. The giant was determined. He had to have that orb and the power that came with it. 

The giant, was relentless to get the orb from the goddess. He schemed and tried to take the orb from her. He even flirted with the goddess to get what he wanted. But the goddess was not at all bothered. Indeed, she was aware of all of his tricks and teased him in return. In desperation and anger, the giant flung his ax at the goddess, barely missing her. The princess finally tossed the ball into the air, creating a bolt of lightning that blinded the giant. Down he fell, defeated, as the goddess flew away.

Moments later, the giant rose and regained his composure, wiping the sweat off his brow. Realizing that his foe had escaped, he pranced around in fury and disappeared into the sky. Beaten, but not yet broken.

When the sun is hidden behind dark clouds, and lightening and thunder crash across the skies, it's the goddess and the giant fighting over the magical orb. The princess overpowering and outwitting the giant, but the giant with his relentless and drive, unwilling to ever give up.