Caireng lived with his parents until one terrible year when all of his family’s crops withered and died. When no food remained in his home, Caireng left to try to find a job in order to support his parents. After he had walked for a while he met an old man carrying a heavy wicker basket on his back. Caireng ran up and said, “Let me help you carry this heavy wicker basket.”
The old man gave him the basket and said, “How kind of you.”
As they were walking along, the sky suddenly grew dark. A roaring dragon suddenly flew overhead. Caireng was a brave boy, but he was terribly afraid of dragons. He cried out in fear, dropped to the ground, and covered his head with his hands.
“Boy, the dragon is an ordinary animal. Why are you so afraid of it?” asked the old man.
“You don’t fear dragons until you really see them,” replied Caireng.
“Well, we can go together to see the dragons. Then you can see that I don’t fear them,” said the old man. He was actually a magician. Now he said some magic words, and suddenly he and Caireng were flying above the clouds like birds. Caireng saw beautiful, snowy mountains in front and blue oceans behind him. When he looked up, there were many stars hanging in the sky. He stretched out his hand, picked a beautiful one, looked at it, and then put it in his pocket.
He saw two dragons leading a horse loaded with a huge bucket of water. When the dragons’ tails clashed together, it made a loud sound. Caireng realized that this was how thunder was made. Three god-boys took water out of the bucket and watered the clouds.
When the god-boys saw Caireng, they called, “Come and help us bring rain water to the dry ground.”
Caireng was very happy to help. He took a big ladle and poured water on the fields. He poured extra water on his father’s fields. The three god-boys thanked him for his help. They also helped him return home: They tied Caireng to the dragon’s tail with a rope and then lowered him slowly to the ground.
Caireng was happy to be home again. He was also happy because it was raining, and his parents were overjoyed to see him home safe and sound.
Caireng went into the living room, took the beautiful star out of his pocket, and put it on a table. It lit up the room.
After many days, everybody in the village knew that Caireng had picked a beautiful shining star from the sky. At last the news reached the king. He wanted the star so much that he gave Caireng a heap of gold money for it. Caireng then became the richest man in that place. He built a lovely house for his parents and himself. He also gave much money to poor people.