What Pegman Saw: Naga-Loka

From Google Maps

Little Mimi sits on the bank, sucking her thumb and looking glum.

“Little One,” says the monk who sits beside her, “have you lost your coin?”

She shakes her head. “No. I’m praying.”

The monk looks behind him at the temples there, and back at the girl beside Mekong River. ‘To whom do you pray?”

“To the seven-headed naga.”

“Oh?” The monk thought he understood her reason. “You want for someone to take you across the river? Then your prayer is answered; I’ll readily do so.”

But the girl shook her head. “I want the seven-headed naga to take me to naga-loka.”

“You wish to die?” The monk was amazed.

“No,” said the girl. “I wish to see all the gems and gold and other treasures there.” And she sighed.

130 words, written for What Pegman Saw: Vientiane Laos

It is said that a seven-headed naga told the prince Thattaradtha to build a new city on the banks of the Mekong. That city was, eventually, to become the modern Vientiane.

Nagas are found throughout Hindu and Buddhist mythology; semi-divines, or a race of half-human half-serpent beings, they reside in naga-loka, an underground realm filled with gold and gems and all precious things.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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37 Responses to What Pegman Saw: Naga-Loka

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Oooo This one is especially delicious. And I am thrilled you followed it with insightful narrative, it really put the piece in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thank you, Violet. I had to add the detail otherwise it’s not obvious how it relates.
      I’ve been pretty obsessed with the nagas since my teen years. An eastern version of our mermaids, and the loathly ladies of the sacred wells.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale says:

    You do know how to dig up the most interesting things!
    Loved this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. k rawson says:

    Great stuff, Christina. I love what you uncovered her. The exchange between the monk and the child is wonderfully done.


  4. Joy Pixley says:

    Interesting — I like the link to the legend of the city. And it’s an amusing lesson, too: that if you tell children stories about a spectacular world of the snakes, of course they’re going to want to go see it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn Love says:

    love her thinking – she just wants to see all the shiny things of legend! Sweet and touching tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The innocence of childhood 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. I enjoyed your little tale and information. I have heard and read stories of nagas from my childhood and there are various myths associated with it. It’s enchanting and incredible. Thank you for sharing an amazing tale 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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