Long ago, when rice ripened, it flew up to heaven before taking its place in the village storehouses. There was no need to cultivate it, to watch over it or to harvest it. It was God's gift to man. One day, a man and his wife had a violent argument near a storehouse, they made a lot of noise and said some very rude things. In her anger the woman even hit the grains with a piece of wood. The Rice God took offence and abandoned the village to take refuge in a rocky crevice in the heart of the wild mountains. Then famine struck the country. The villagers tried to appease the Rice God but he was so angry he refused to come out of hiding. As their emssary they sent Slat, the flatfish, who described their grief to the Rice God and was able to calm his anger and bring him back down to the plains. But the Rice God laid down certain conditions...
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