SaBayDii SatJaDham,
	I hope everyone is looking forward to a great new year.  I sure
am.  Thanks to Thu and Euay Toon for posting their writings.  As I've
also committed to writing something before the year's end, so here is my
writing.  It is a translation of a Lao Buddhist recording that I heard. 
My translation contains a lot of embellishment.  If you've heard the Lao
version you'll notice a lot of difference, so please don't knock points
off the translation. :)

Hak hpaang,

SatJaDham Presents...
			by Alisak Sanavongsay

	As winter was drawing near, the pack of field mice knew they had
to find a warmer place to live.  So, they gathered up all their things
and moved out as quickly as they could.  They walked and walked until
they came across a great, big, beautiful house.  All the mice were happy
and relieved that they would not have to suffer through another harsh
winter.  They had heard that this winter was going to be especially cold
due to some ill-tempered god called "El Nino".
	The mice quickly found a crack in the house wall and knawed on it
to make it big enough for them to crawl through.  What they found on the
other side was immacculate.  They felt as if they had died and gone to
mouse heaven.
	It was heaven, indeed! They roamed freely around the house,
eating whetever they could get their teeth on.  These mice tried knawing
on everything that looked edible -- wood, plastic, fabric .  It was the
stuff every mouse dreamed of.
	It was a dream, indeed! A dream that they would be rudely
awakened from.  The owners of the house started to notice bite marks in
their food and clothes.  Right away, they suspected mice, but they
weren't quite sure.  They finally got the proof they needed when they saw
a group of mice just sitting there, taunting and laughing at them.  One
of the owners of the house yelled out to the mice, "You can laugh now,
but I'll get you damn mice!!"  The mice kept taunting the owners, "Oooh,
we're so scared.  Why don't you kiss our little butts and we'll leave
your food alone? Hahahahahahaaaaaa!!!"  The owners got mad and stormed
out of the house.  All the mice came out and cheered.
	The next day, they ate and played as usual, but they noticed that
some of the mice were missing.  They just figured that the missing mice
had gone on a little excursion.  So, they continued eating and playing. 
Then they saw something rolling towards them. They couldn't make out what
it was until it stopped right in the middle of the crowd.  One mouse
cried out, "Oh, the humanity! How could this have happened to such a
great mouse?"  What had landed by their feet was the head of one of the
missing mice.  They all got scared and scurried into their hole in the
	The mice knew that this could mean only one thing--a cat.  Their
care-free days were over.  One by one, the mice disappeared.  There was
nothing they could do about it.  The cat was so stealthy that the mice
never ever saw it coming.
	After a quarter of the mice population had been wiped out, the
surviving mice decided to have a meeting to come up with a way to deal
with the cat situation.  Leaving the house was out of the question
because El Nino was kicking Old Man Winter's butt outside.  
	They kept brainstorming until they came up with the perfect plan.
 They decided that they would tie a bell around the cat's neck when it
goes to sleep.  This way they would always know when the cat is around. 
"That's a great plan," all the mice cheered.
	It was a great plan, indeed!  The problem was that none of the
mice wanted to be the one to tie the bell on the cat's neck.  They all
had their reasons: "I'm too busy" or "I have a family to take care of" or
"That cat is a light sleeper."  For whatever reason, their great plan had
gone to waste because none of them wanted to take responsiblity for the
task.  So, they just continued with the way they were living -- waiting
for the day they die.