The Flood Legend According to the Chingpaws of Upper Burma

Once upon a time, a man named Nan-chaung map_of_burma_myanmarand his sister Chang-hko built a large boat to save themselves from the Deluge. They had with them nine roosters, and nine bone needles. After the storm had raged for many days, they threw over one rooster and one needle, to see if the waters had subsided. The rooster did not crow, however, and, though they listened, the needle was not heard to hit the bottom. Each day, they did the same thing. Finally, on the ninth day, the rooster crowed, and they heard the needle strike the bottom of the water. Shortly thereafter, they were able to leave their boat.

The two of them wandered about until they came upon a cave. Inside the cave lived a male and a female elf. The elves asked them to stay, and the couple joined the elves in their work, hauling wood, clearing fields, and so forth. Some time later, the sister gave birth to a child. One day, while the parents were out doing their chores, the old she-elf, who was a witch, was watching the baby. The child began to scream and cry, and the wretched woman threatened to turn it into mince meat pie. But the child did not stop screaming, and the old elf snatched the child, took it to the crossroads, and hacked it to pieces, dripping blood all over the road.

She carried pieces of the child back to the cave, and made them into an enticing curry dish. To hide what she had done, she placed a block of wood in the cradle, and covered it with a blanket. When he parents came in from working, the she-elf told the mother to be quiet, because the baby was sleeping. The mother did as suggested, and the four of them ate their meal of rice and curry. After dinner, however, the mother could stand it no longer, and went to the cradle to hold her baby. But inside, she found the block of wood!

”Where is my baby!” she demanded of the witch.

”You have eaten him!” the witch cackled.

The woman, horrified, fled from the house. As she came to the crossroads, not knowing what had happened there just a few hours earlier, she dropped to her knees and wailed to the Great Spirit. ”Please give me my baby back!” The Great Spirit, saddened by all that had taken place, came to her. ”I cannot put your baby back together” he explained, ”but instead I will make you mother of all men.” And as he said this, people sprang up from the road, a different group of people wherever the blood had touched the ground. And so, because each group came from her baby, she was, indeed, the mother of all men.

(Source: Martin, Charles. Flood Legends. pp. 135-136)