Food Stories

how the crab get its shell back

how the crab got its shell back !  a beautiful folklore….

Couple of months back I was reading through the pages of “crab that played with the sea” by Rudyard Kipling. It is a beautiful folklore describing how the crab got its shell back. In the beginning the eldest magician made ready the Earth and the Sea and instructed every animal to play at being itself. Every animal obeys but the crab slipped away and vows not to take instructions from anyone. The little girl with the man saw this.

When the magician went around the Earth to check, he met with the man and his little girl by the Perak River who complained about the Sea being not obedient as it flooded their house and stranded their canoe. They boarded the canoe and swept to the sea but all the inhabitants of Earth and Moon denied this that they are responsible. Then the little girl told the magician about the crab and they went to Pusat Tasek the heart of the Sea where they found this giant crab Pau Amma causing flood and ebb when he sank or surfaced. The magician tore off his shell and Pau Amma begged and bargained for it.

Finally the magician reduced him enough to hide under stones and weeds and must lose his shells once in a year. From then onwards children of Pau Amma’s live on the shore and climb trees to eat coconut.

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