Stories of the Yeti

December 10, 2012

in Nepal

A Yeti is a tall, hairy creature who smells terrible. It can bound across the snow even when it is waist deep, and it can leap on the rocks to easily cross big rivers. The Yeti lives high in the mountains, and you must be careful. He will kill you or steal you away to live in a cave. Even the female Yetis are fierce. They throw their long breasts over their shoulders when they need to run, and they can easily kill a man.

Or so I’m told.


Our dining tent in the dark of night



In the dark of night, after dinner, we are gathered in the dining tent around a small gas light, and Lama Thubten Dorje reveals his village roots, telling us stories of the Yeti…

Once a mother and daughter took their yaks out to graze in faraway pastures. The mother cut some firewood and started to carry it home, while the girl watched the animals. The girl heard a high-pitched whistling sound and thought it was her mother calling her. She got up and started to look around. The Yeti was there! He grabbed her by the hair and flung her into the river, ripping the hair from her scalp. The girl was frightened and hid in the mud of the river. The Yeti came to the edge of the river and looked around but didn’t see her. Then the Yeti grabbed a yak by the horns and yanked them apart, splitting the yak’s head open and eating the brains. He killed 3 or 4 yaks and ate the brains and then left. The girl survived but was missing a wide patch of her hair.

Another time, villagers could see a Yeti high up on the mountain in the daytime, watching the villagers. At night, he would attack their animals and eat their crops. The villagers sharpened all their axes and then set out big wooden containers of chang, a local fermented beer made from millet or barley. When the Yeti was watching, they took out all their axes and brandished them around to attract the Yeti’s attention. At night, the Yeti came down and drank all the chang. The villagers sprung out and chopped the Yeti into pieces with their axes. They kept the head and hands in the monastery and flung the rest of the body into the river.

Good night. Sweet dreams.

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