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The Terrible Nung Guama - A Chinese Folktale

Published December 1, 2010
Countries: China
Age Levels: 12 and up

 Long ago in China, a poor woman decided to honor her parents by taking them some rice cakes.  Her parents lived far away.  The path to their home went by a very dark grove of bamboo trees.   People said a monster called the Terrible Nung Guama lived there.  They said the monster ate animals of all kinds and ate people.  They said it was a bone cruncher.  It crunched and chewed up everything, hair, bones and all.

 

The woman had never seen the monster.  Yet, she walked quickly by the forest.  She was almost past the bamboo grove when the monster jumped out in front of her.  It had the body of a bull and a head as big as an oven.  It ground and gnashed its teeth and stretched out its terrible claws.  Its fat feet flopped as they walked.  "Flip, Flop, flip, Flop"

 

 "Aargh," said the Terrible Nung Guama.  "Give me those rice cakes."

 

The woman was afraid, but she said, "No, these cakes are for my parents."

 

 "All right," said the Terrible Nung Guama.  "Parents are important.  But, tonight I am coming to eat you up." 

 

The woman delivered the cakes.  But, she shook all the way home in fear.  And as she walked, she cried out loud,

 

"The terrible Nung Guama

The hungry Nung Guama

Is coming to my house

To eat me up!"

 

"Oh my," said a peddler.  "The Terrible Nung Guama is a bone cruncher.  Take these needles and pins.  Put them near the latch of your door.  Maybe the Nung Guama will poke his fingers.  Then he might go away."

 

"Maybe he will go away," the woman said.  "But, maybe he won't."  She cried,

 

"The terrible Nung Guama

The hungry Nung Guama

Is coming to my house

To eat me up!"

 

"Oh my," said a farmer.  The farmer was pushing a wheel barrow filled with pig manure.   He gave her a basked of manure.  "Put this manure around your door.  If the Nung Guama gets hands dirty and stinky he might go away."

 

"Maybe he will go away," the woman said.  "But, maybe he won't."  She cried,

 

"The terrible Nung Guama

The hungry Nung Guama

Is coming to my house

To eat me up!"

 

"Oh my," said a snake salesman.  "The Terrible Nung Guama is a bone cruncher.  Take two of my snakes.  Put them into your washing pot.  Maybe the Nung Guama will want to wash off the manure.  The snakes will bite him.  Then he might go away."

 

"Maybe he will go away," the woman said.  "But, maybe he won't."  She cried,

 

"The terrible Nung Guama

The hungry Nung Guama

Is coming to my house

To eat me up!"

 

 "Oh my," said a fisherman.  "Take two of my biting fish.  Put them into a pot of warm water.  If the snakes bite the Nung Guama, he might want to put bathe his sore hands in the warm water.  The fish will bite him.  Then he might go away."

 

"Maybe he will go away," the woman said.  "But, maybe he won't."  She cried,

 

"The terrible Nung Guama

The hungry Nung Guama

Is coming to my house

To eat me up!"

 

 "Oh my," said an egg salesman.  ?Take some of my eggs and put them in the ashes of your fire.  If the snakes and fish bite the Nung Guama, his fingers will bleed.  Then he will put them into the ashes to stop the bleeding.  The eggs will blow up in his face and hurt him.  Then he might go away."

 

"Maybe he will go away," the woman said.  "But, maybe he won't,"  She cried,

 

"The terrible Nung Guama

The hungry Nung Guama

Is coming to my house

To eat me up!"

 

"Oh my," said the seller of big mill stones that were used for grinding grain.   "Roll this heavy millstone home.  Use a rope and hang it above your bed.  Get the Nung Guama to stand under it.  Then cut the rope.  The heavy stone will fall on his head."

 

"Maybe the stone will crush the Nung Guama," the woman thought, "But maybe it won't."  When she got home, the poor woman put the needles around her door.  She put the stinky manure by the needles.  She put the snakes in her washtub, the biting fish in warm water and the eggs in the fire.  She hung the millstone above her bed.  Then she blew out her lantern and waited.

 

"Flip, Flop, Flip, Flop."  She heard the Nung Guama's big feet.  "Aargh!" she heard him say. "I have come to eat you up!"  He tore open the door and yelled.  "Aargh,  Lady, you are mean.  You made me poke my fingers with needles."  Then he said, "Yucky, Phew!  Lady, you made my hangs stink like manure.  I am going to eat you, but I am going to wash in this tub first." 

 

He put his hands in the washtub to wash his hands and said, "Aargh, I got bit by snakes!"

 

He went to soak his hurting hands in the warm water in the pot and said, "Aargh.  I got bit by fish.  Lady, you are mean.  I still am going to eat you.  But, I will make my hurting hands feel better by putting them into the warm ashes first."

 

He went to put warm ashes from the fire on his fingers to stop the bleeding.  "Aargh," he said.  The eggs in the fire popped open and hit him in the face.  "I will crunch and munch your bones for this.  Where are you?  I cannot see you with the egg all over my face."

 

"Over here," said the woman.  "Come in and try to eat me up!"

 

"Flip, Flop, Flip, Flop" went the Terrible Nung Guama right into her bedroom.  He tripped and fell into the bed.  The woman cut the rope holding up the millstone.  The heavy stone smashed him FLAT!

 

There was a rich reward for his fur and bones.  The old woman had enough money to take care of herself and her parents and lived happily ever after.