This is a story that I once heard as a child growing up in Manipur. Told to me by a friend who heard it from someone else.
Once upon a time, a man was travelling alone in the forest. He had been walking for a few days and he still seemed to be in the midst of the lush forest. He was tired and hungry. He decided to take a little rest underneath a tree in the vicinity. He found an old tree with massive branches spread out lush with green leaves. In the shade of the said tree, he laid down.
Very soon he was visited by a spirit. The sight of the unearthly being momentarily scared him but the spirit calmed him down. It granted him three wishes saying that whatever he thought of, whatever that he mentally conjured up, would come true. So saying the spirit disappeared.
The man was doubtful. He wondered if it was a trick or if it was actually true. So, he decided to test it.
Speaking aloud, he said, ‘I am hungry! How nice it would be if I could have a lavish meal with several varieties of dishes.’
lo and behold! Out of nowhere in the middle of the forest a meal befitting a king appeared. He had his fill. After such a hearty heavy meal, he felt drowsy and wanted to lie down. He decided to use another wish.
He thought out aloud, ‘in the middle of this forest among all these trees and bushes, how nice it would be if there was a bed on which to lie down and take a nap after such good food.’
No sooner had he said it, a comfortable big bed appeared right under the tree where he had been sitting. So pleased was he with himself. With a smile he laid down on the bed for a nice slumber.
As he laid there on the soft bed with rich linen surrounded by the forest all set to retire to a luxuriant sleep, a thought suddenly popped in his mind – ‘what if a tiger was to come out of the forest and eat him alive?’
lo and behold! A tiger emerged out of nowhere and ate him up.