Ta Chou Chouk (The old beggar.)

One upon a time, the Khmer Empire was one of the powerful and wealthy countries in South East Asia.And Prince Prah Vate Sun Ddo was the only son of very rich and famous King Prah Vate.

He had everything, beautiful wife, two lovely children, a boy and girl, plus his own kingdom and he was very kind hearted.

Prince Prah Vate Sun Do loves his people and he would gave anything that he have if asked. The prince had already gave away his kingdom, his magnificent palace, all his money, gold and servants because of his generous heart.

Since then, the prince moved his family to a small hut that he has build with his bare hands near Sam Mountain, Mot Chrouk. (Now know as Chau Doc, Viet Nam. The land was belonging to Cambodia until June 4, 1949. )

The prince and his family were living a very humble and happy life in the jungle until one day, when the stranger came to see the prince. The stranger told the prince because he was very poor and ugly that no woman would marry him. The stranger asked the prince for his beautiful wife. Because of his giving kindhearted Prince Vate Sun Ddo without any hesitation said he would gave his wife to the stranger.

Prince Prah Vate Sun Ddo helped his frail wife off the floor and ordered her to go with the stranger. As the princess reached out for his hand, she cried, the sorrow sound of her crying filled the air .Prince Prah Vate Sun Ddo took her in his arms “I’m sorry princess”, he said.

” I can’t leave you,” she sobbed and begged for his mercy.

” You must go and serve the needy.” He said.

Stroking her soft long hair and trying to swallow the big lump in his throat, he continued to tell her “I’ll always love you.” 

His wife cried, “I love you very much that I don’t want to leave you.” She clung tight to the prince, he held her in his arms feeling her soft skin, and for the first time in his life, the Prince eyes swelled with tears. 

The stranger was so touched by their love. He broke the silence and told the prince that he was no longer desired the princess for his wife.He also told the prince that he was an angel, who just wanted to test the prince. The stranger said he was very please to see the prince and princess display their true love, and the prince kindness. Before the prince and princess could said anything, to their dismay the stranger vanish in the air.

Princess smiled at the sound of laughers from her children playing in the back yard. Prince Prah Vate Sun Ddo also smiled, he was happy that his children were well adjusted with their humble life in the jungle, and with his beloved princess were still by his side.

In a mean time at near by town, the old beggar was not pleased. He screamed so loud that the curious neighbors started to form a crowd in front of his friend’s house to ear dropped. The old beggar slammed his fist on the table.

“You had no right, ” he howled at his friend.The old beggar was so devastated by the news that his friend had taken his life saving to support a gambling habit and lost it all.

” Do you know how many people I have to begs to get that much money?” the old beggar’s voice cracked in rage.For many years, every day, rain or shine, he would go out to the market and beg people for money. He would gather most of the collection and give to his friend, who supposed to save it for him.The old beggar was furious that his friend took all his money. 

His friend told the old beggar to take the house as payment.

“I don’t want your house.” The beggar screamed.

” I can’t work as a beggar if I have a house. I want your daughter! ” The old beggar said. 

Before his friend could say anything, a young pretty girl appeared. She told her father she would accept his proposal to save the family. 

The old beggar was happy with his pretty young wife, she was very good to him. 

She took well care of him, she cooked, cleaned and at night she would gave him total body massage. But she was not happy; she told him she wanted to have children. The old beggar expressed his regret to his young wife, told her he love her very much and he would do anything to make her happy. But he was too old to impregnate her, his wife told him she heard there was a very generous man in the jungle, so she asked the beggar to go ask for his beautiful children. 

Next day the old beggar went to the jungle and he found the prince. He begged prince Prah Vate Sun Ddo to save his marriage, to make his young wife happy.The prince took pity of the old beggar, he gave his two beloved children to the beggar. 

But the beggar was mean to the children. He made the children went to work as beggars while he stayed home to keep an eye on his pretty young wife. When the children came home with less money, he would beat them and he would let them went to bed hungry. One day, he over heard the children were talking to each other and he realized these children were King Prah Vate’s grand children.

He immediately took the children to the Royal Place and asked to meet the King. King Prah Vate was over joy when he saw his beautiful grand children. The king told the beggar whatever the beggar wanted, the king would grant to him as a token of his appreciation. The beggar told the king that he always wanted to be king and wondered if King Prah Vate would let him be king for one day. His wished was granted.

Next day, the beggar became the king of a day and with the power in his hands. He ordered lots of exotic, expenses food, wine and young beautiful dancers. The old beggar was extreme happy, surround by good food, great music and beautiful women. He thought he was in the heaven. After several bottles of wines and lot of food. He ordered stripped dance; he made all the dancers remove their clothes. The old beggar watched each piece garment came off from the goddess bodies with pleasure.

So much pleasure that his old heart stopped working. The old beggar collapsed and died with a big smile on his face.

Written by Mylinh Nakry.