When I was a kid, I loved to hear the story of Dayw-Mayw. Dayw means Monster. Mayw does not mean anything. But if Dayw is Monster, then Mayw could be its antithesis — a silly phonetic logic.
The story goes like this.
A young boy lives with his only grandma alive. They have a cow to survive on and winter is on its way. The grandma finds it difficult to do all the chores and take care of the cow. She asks the boy to feed and milk the cow daily. He likes it in the first couple of days but then he finds it boring to feed and milk the cow every day. He thinks of a plan.
“Grandma, let’s kill the cow, invite the whole village, and then if every villager invites us in return, we will be living on invitations for the whole winter,” says the boy.
“What about after the winter?” asks the grandma.
“It will be spring and I will go work,” says the boy.
Despite Grandma’s disagreement, he slaughters the cow and invites the whole village for a party. They all eat and leave. The boy and the grandma wait for a reciprocal party from the villagers, but no one invites them back.
Days pass and they don’t have anything to eat. All their resources are depleted. His only option is to go to the jungle to bring food for winter.
With his grandma’s blessing, he leaves for the jungle which was beyond the mountains. On his way, he finds a bird and a bird’s egg. He keeps them both in his pocket.
In the middle of the jungle, he encounters gigantic beings known as Dayw — Monster. At first, the monsters want to eat this little boy for their supper, but he tricks them into believing that he is very powerful. He challenges the monster for a game of throwing stones. One of the monsters throws a stone behind a mountain. He throws the bird he had in his pocket. Flying for the first time after a long time, the bird flies highest and goes farthest and disappears in the sky, the monsters believe he has strong arms. He challenges the monsters in a game of breaking stones. One of the monsters breaks a stone into pieaces with his hands. He squeezes the bird egg instead of a stone, tricking the monsters to believe he squeezed oil out of a stone.
“What is your name, powerful little boy?” asks the leader of the monsters.
“Mayw,” he says with his lips sealed tight and eyes bulged out. He makes Mayw sound more monstrous than Dayw (monster).
Believing in his powers, the monsters agree to allow him in their group and give him a task a day. The first day he is given the task of fetching water from the well. As the monsters return from their daily labor in the evening, they find their water tanker empty. Thirsty and furious, they all go to the water well to find the little boy having wrapped a string around the well and keep pulling it.
“What are you doing?” asks a monster.
“I am trying to take out the whole well so that you don’t have to fetch water every day,” says Mayw.
The monsters beg him not to do so because they will run out of the source of water.
The next day, the boy is given the task of collecting woods for fire. As the monsters return in the evening, there is nothing to set fire for cooking or keeping them warm. Hungry and cold, they look for the boy, only to find him outside the jungle with his long string wrapped around the whole trees of the jungle.
“What are you doing, Mayw?” asks a monster.
“I am trying to uproot the whole jungle for fire,” says Mayw.
The monsters beg him not to do so because they will not have a place to live.
As the monsters find him too strong to be a member of their group, on the third, the monsters move to a different part of the jungle. The boy is left alone in the jungle with a note from the monsters.
We apologize for leaving you without a notice. The matter is that you are too strong for us. Despite our size, we live on one tanker of water a day, and one tree a night. We beg you to leave us alone and hope you don’t deplete our sources of our water, food and warmth at once.
The leader of the pack.