in two versions
Kabui Keioiba was an ogre who had the head of a tiger and the body of a man. He was like Narasimha, the lion –man (werewolf) as occurred in the Hindu mythology.
Kabui Keioiba was very strong and cruel. He lived in the jungle or the hill, but sometimes he came to the village in search of food. He was a carnivore and lived on animal or human flesh.
One day he came to a village at an odd hour and went to a solitary hut.
He felt the smell of human flesh and said ``I get the smell of a human body, so I am dying of eating human flesh”. There he found an old woman in the hut. She was the only resident of the hut and she was alone. He caught her and was at the point of devouring her. The old woman trembled with terror but said, ``What is the use of eating me? I am very old, thin and skinny. My flesh is so little that it will not satisfy your hunger. Moreover my flesh will be tasteless and fibery as I am very aged. Look, there is a young girl in the house yonder. She is very young and plump. She will serve your purpose well and better. She is alone in the house now and no one will stand in your way.” The tiger-man was glad at the good suggestion and let the woman free.
The name of the girl was Thabaton and she was the youngest and lone sister of seven brothers. She was in the prime of her girlhood and was very beautiful and hale. The brothers loved her dearly as she was their only sister. They treated her very affectionately and tenderly, and they tried to fulfill all her demands. When the brothers were away she would keep the doors of the house bolted fast and tight. She would not open the door until and unless told by her brothers. The house was a strong and secured one and nobody could break open into it.
Kabui Keioiba came to the house but the doors were shut and he could not break them open. So he came back angrily to the old woman and said, ``I cannot open the door. I am very hungry, so I’ll eat you up.” She replied, `` Call her by the name of Thabaton and tell her that her brother has returned and open the door. She will open then.”
The tiger-man again went there and said, ``My dear sister Thabaton, your brother has come. So open the door.” The voice of the ogre was hoarse and growling. It was unlike her brothers’. She heard it and said,``It does not sound like the voice of my brother; so I will not open the door. Be off.”
Disappointed, he returned to the old woman and reported what Thabaton had replied. Then the old woman went with the ogre and stood before Thabaton’s door. The old woman could imitate the voice of the brothers and she called Thabaton and told to open the door. Thabaton could be deceived. On hearing the call, she without any suspicion, opened the door. Kabui Keioiba quickly entered into the house and the old woman ran to her home. He caught Thabaton and carried her away. She could not cry for help because she was gagged and the captor was very powerful. He brought her to his home. Thabaton was now a poor helpless victim at the mercy of the ogre. She needed no cry for help. She remained calm and looking meekly at the ogre. He intently looked at her and was captivated by her beauty. He thought her to be too valuable to be a food. He desired to keep her as his wife. So he begun to console and endear her. He begged her to become his wife and assured her that he could fulfill all her desires and demands. And that he would also remain a faithful husband. Thabaton had no other way but to yield. So she remained as his wife under his close watch as his ward. He never left her alone and she did not find any chance for escape.
When the brothers returned home they found their beloved sister missing. Their hearts broke and wept. They searched her everywhere but failed to find her. But they never ceased and went on looking for their lost sister. After some time they happened to come near the home of Kabui Keioiba. They surveyed the area and had some suspicion about the place. They hid themselves and watched closely. By good luck they caught sight of their sister and looked for a slack and unguarded moment of the ogre. They found a chance and one of them sneaked into and had a short contact and communication with the sister. It was so decided and arranged that the brothers should come stealthily and hid in the bush. She should send the loyal husband on an errand in such a way that he could not return quickly. In the meanwhile she should escape with her brothers without having a fight with the mighty monster. It was thought to be the wisest and safest way. The plan was settled, only to be executed in practice. Kabui Keioiba did not get any scent of it and he remained calm and unsuspecting.
The brothers came next day and hid themselves in a bush near Kabui Keioiba’s house. She knew the arrival of her brothers. She brought out a big piece of hollow bamboo open at both ends and giving it to her husband, requested him to fetch water from the river which was flowing at a distance from their home. Without hesitation he obeyed the command of his beloved wife. He reached the river and tried to fill the bamboo cylinder with both ends open. He dipped it into the water to fill it. But when raised he found it empty. He tried it again and again but the hollow cylinder could not be filled. Unaware of the impossibility of his attempt, he devoted a good length of time in it without accomplishing it.
In the meantime Thabaton escaped with her brothers and they left the place very quickly and reached their home safely.
Kabui Keioiba was trying to fill the bottomless hollow bamboo cylinder without still knowing he could not do it. A crow saw his foolish endeavor and said, ``O Kabui Keioiba, your top and bottom are both hollow. Your beautiful wife also is lost”. The crow repeated it many times jeering at him. He could not get at the meaning of the crow’s saying easily and continued his attempt. Unable to carry out the work and cursing the crow he returned home. And on reaching home he knew that his wife had left him and he was frustrated at the trick played on him by his clever wife.
Version 2 Narrated by Sanjoy Mutum
Thaina mamangeida khungang amamda keibu keiyoiba nungthilgi matamda mee oiba aduga ahingdana kei oiba nupa ama leiramboire.magini haibada kanashu leiramda aduna chakthong foushu toubinaba leitabadagi ahing ahing kei onduna oina machinjak tanba chatpoire.
nongmadi machinjak thiba lakpada keibu kayoibana hanubi amagi mayumda changduna hanubi adubu chage houdoklure,keibu keiyoiba ubada thakatkhiduna hanubi aduna”eidi ahal oire,eeun gashe eekhui khuire,chaba haoraroi,eikhoigi yumthangnaba awanggi yumdonpok ashidaleisha mathon karakpi thabaton koubimabung taretki amata ngaijabi ama leibani,mashak matou yamna fajei,mabu faraga chao,tagat tagat tekpani haokhradoupotni!mabung taretshu mayumda leite,lallonba chatkhi.hanubigi wadu tabada keibu kayoiba thabatonbu uningbana khoro khoro khotlammi amadi thong karamna hanghangadge hanglakpada hanubina “eebungi eebemma nabung taret laklethong hangu haiyoo” hairammi.hanubigi wahei matung eena keibu keiyoibana thabatonda thong hangoo hairubada thabatonnna eebung makhon mande haiduna thong hanglaktare .shaoraduna hanubigi mayumda amuk laklaga thabaton chaba fangdrabanina hanubi nang chaba tare haiduna hairammi.maduda hanubina shiningdaba koubanina “ei hangdokhange haiduna keibu kayoibaga lakminnarammi amadi mabungi makhol sharaga”eebunggi eebemmataret shenja tannaba lallonbabu chatluba nabung taret lakle,thonggi natei kanglo,pouron taret shatlo.”
handakti thabatonna mabung taretki makhol malli haidunathong hangle,hanubi adudi tanja aduda nanthoktuna chenkhre amadi keibu keiyoibana thabatonbu namduna faraga mayumda pukhre.
lallonba chatluba mabung taretna hallakpada thabaton leiramdaba ubada nungsha thiraduna thangnaba yumlonnaba hanubiduda hangbada keibu keiyoibana fadan pukhre hairaklammi.
madu tabada mei houraduna mabung taret adu thangshang amamam pairaga machan thiba thorakle.adubu fana thidunashu machangi khongulliba fangdare.
ashomdana keibu keiyoibana thabatonbu chathokpagi mahutta shuklaba umang amada puraga khangpokshang amada magi nupi oina thamlaboire.
mabung taretna thabatonbu chingnung manung umang wamang shittan thirakpada nongmadi umangi khangpokshang amada machan nupi leibadu ure.manak nakshinna yengbada nupa amaga loinana angang amashu leiba ure.eengit touduna thabatonda mabung taret lakle haiba khanghalle,amadi mathanggi ayukta keibu keiyoiba chathokhringeida,thabaton mabung taret unnaduna kapminnare aduga mafamdudagi thuna yangna chennaba thourang shinnare.
keibu keiyoibana mayumda hallakpada thabatonna utong makhul animak hoba ama pairaduna hairakpoire “nupa chak thongnaba eeshing amata leite aduna utongshi puraga khongdagi eeshing khara shokpiraku” keibu keiyoiba utong ahobadu paiduna eeshing shokpa chatkhre.
mahakna eeshing shokpa chatkhringei,habung amagi marumda lumduna leiramba mabung taret thoklaklaga keibu keiyoibagi mayumdu mei thadokle,machadushu hatokle amadi thabatonbu puduna thuna yangna mayum tamna lakle.
amaromdana keibu keiyoiba maning mamang hotrong hoba utongduda eeshing shokpaga kakhatpaga yubaga toudana eeshing shokpa ngamdraboire.nakalda yenduna leiramba kwak amana magi matoudu uraga toina toina khonglaklammi
“ho keibu keiyoiba naning namang hotrong ho,natu leima kang kok”
kwakna hanjin hanjin khonglakpa ashida chingnaraduna utongdu hundoklamlaga keibu keiyoiba mayum tamna parap parap lakle.mayum youbada ashiba macha adu taduna leiramle amadi mayumdushu mei thadoklamle.shaoban mei houraduna”accha lakcheida: leirammudo ngashidi khanggani haiduna thabatongi yumlomda lakedo.
keibu keiyoiba lakkani haina khangduna thourang touraga leiramba mabung taretna makhut chaba khutlai amamam pairaduna lumduna leirammi .keibu keiyoibana thabatongi thongal hek lanshillakpaga mabung taretna chongthoraktuna keibu keiyoibado thangna yanduna,utupna thomduna hatokedo.
keibu keiyoibana shikhraba matungda thabaton mabung taretka loinana nungai yaifana pankhiboire.
namja namthek haibashi afaba thabak natte.thabatongi mafamda namja namtheknaba shajat chatluba keibu keiyoiba maralgi mathwai thakhi.