A girl driving her donkeys out to grass
was ambushed by an old, outlandish man
who tried to straddle her. The robust lass
thrust off her would-be ravisher and ran
home to her mother in their humble yurt.
As barking mastiffs spooked her father's yak,
the lathered girl had scarcely breath to blurt
her story of the reprobate's attack.
Her mother recognized the Tantric seer
Dugpa Kunlegs, revered throughout Tibet.
Among the Nyingmapa he had no peer;
who knew what prodigy he might beget?
"Go throw your body at his sacred feet
and gratify the mighty lama's whim,"
mother instructed daughter. "Go entreat
Rinpoche's pardon for repulsing him!"
The girl returned and flung herself prostrate.
"My child," the Holy One sighed wearily,
"Women don't interest me. You've come too
to implement my purpose. Recently
the Grand Lama of Yerpa Gompa died.
Wasting his life on drunkenness and mirth,
he left a host of sins unrectified.
I sought to save him from a bad rebirth
after I glimpsed his spirit drifting here.
But while you left your herd to graze, alas,
two of your donkeys coupled; and I fear
the Grand Lama will be reborn an ass."
Author's note: Nyingmapa were a
sect known for
magical practices. Rinpoche is an
honorific applied to
a high lama. A gompa is a lamasery.
Very Far North, The Waywiser Press,
2002. Reprinted by
permission of the