Befriending a Yeti

One night a lama was sitting at his place not far from Mount Everest. He was keeping one of his silent vigils over the moonlit world of men and creatures. While he was praying for their salvation, a huge yeti stole up on him in order to kill him. But in the lama’s peaceful presence the yeti forgot it, and with gentle gestures the ragged monk welcomed his huge visitor. For the first time in his life the horrible yeti felt accepted; it made his untrammeled spirit soar with an unspeakable relief.

The lama now began to treat his visitor as part of his household in order to sow some seeds of peace in his heart. Little grows so high up in the mountains, far above the treeline, but from that day on the yeti brought fresh meat to him and tried to please him thus.

Years slipped by, and the lama grew old and infirm. But the mighty yeti continued to bring him food, collect firewood, and carry water from a nearby stream. Again and again the saintly sage prayed for his friend.

One evening, after there had been a great avalanche nearby, the yeti did not return to the old lama’s place, as he used to do. The lama went out to seek him by moonlight and found him many hours later. He lay dead at the bottom of the avalanche.

It is also told that he later gave the skull of the yeti as a treasured relic to the monastery at Pangboche.

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