Tibetan Folk Tales

Tibet is situated, north of the Himalayas. It is the highest region on earth and is often referred to as 'the roof of the world.'

Despite its harsh geography and climate, Tibet has a very strong and ancient tradition of literature.

The stories in this collection are taken from 'Tibetan Folk Tales' by A.L. Shelton published in 1925.

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A prince's wife follows her mother's advice and through it saves many lives and is worshiped. Proverb: If the yak is blind he will tumble off the road.
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A old man cruel to a bird is killed by a man in a squash. Proverb: The shepherd will protect his flock of sheep and without power can save a hundred lives.
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A rabbit refuses to pay homage to a lion, but manages to trick him to save his life. Proverb: To your foe do not give a promise, for he carries a sword.
Thumbnail For How Sacred Duck Got His Yellow Breast
Proverb: When life ends you may arise and have peace with Droma, but nevertheless it's a great calamity when the rock rolls down the mountain and takes your life.
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A magic ghost snake chokes a king. Proverb: Whatever you have promised make it not as changeable as a loop in a string, but as firm as a line on a rock.
Thumbnail For The Man And The Ghost
A man out walking meets a ghost and is frightened, so he pretends to also be a ghost. Proverb: As you desire the sun, so you desire your friend's return.
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A snake eats a cruel man. Proverb: The male deer from the top of the hill can see afar off. But the goose on her nest thinks only of the egg she covers.
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Two good men quarrel after an accident, luckily the wise king finds a solution. Proverb: Between iron and brass there is union if the welding is skillful.
Thumbnail For The Story Of Drashup And The Goddesses
A man with no family overhears a prophecy, that he refuses to believe is true. Proverb: In birth and death there is no fear, and in fear there is no doubt.
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Three brothers wives plan to kill their sister. Proverb: Be the work good or bad, we cannot tell what may be said of it, nor how far its result may spread.
Thumbnail For The Tiger And The Frog
A frog tricks a tiger and a fox to save his own life. Proverb: The tall strong pine is a great help, for with its support the weak vine may climb as high.

Sources And Further Reading

Sacred Texts Tibetan Folk Tales by A.L. Shelton [1925]