Once an old man from Nepal carried a large sack of corn through the forest to a small abandoned mill, to grind it into flour. But before his task was done darkness fell on, so he had no choice but to spend the night at the place.
In the dead of night, when the old man lay curled up next to his small fire on the floor of the mill shack, he suddenly woke up. A huge, apelike creature was standing over him, thundering. “Who are you and what do you want here?”
“I only want to grind my corn,” squeaked the villager.
“This is my hiding-place!” snarled the yeti. “No one see me and leave here alive.”
The man was very scared, but an idea came to his mind. “Great yeti,” he began, “it is a Tibetan custom to anoint one’s legs before dying. Please, let me perform these rites before you take my life.”
The surprised yeti nodded, it was OK. So the man sat down and started rubbing butter on his legs, massaging both sides. “This is how we scent ourselves before death, Big One. Then our well-oiled legs swiftly and easily carry us wherever we wish to go”.
“Let me try some of that!” bellowed the yeti and sat down with a thump. What he did not notice was that the old man massaged his bulging, hairy legs with pine resin from the rucksack, and not butter.
Then the man took a burning firebrand and held it near his own legs, and the butter streamed down. The yeti did likewise with a flaming stick. But as soon as he held it next to his legs, the pine resin flared up and his whole body seared up into flames. Screamingly he leaped away into the forest and was not seen again.
“There is a yeti [or fear] in the back of everyone’s mind; but the blessed are not haunted by it.” [Old Sherpa wisdom]