Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Hypocritical Cat

In long-past times there was a chieftain of a company of mice who had a retinue of five hundred mice. And there was also a cat named Agnija. In his youth he had been wont to kill all the mice in the neighborhood of his dwelling place. But afterward, when he had grown old, and no longer had the power of catching mice, he thought, "In former times, when I was young, I was able to catch mice by force. But now that I can do so no more, I must use some trick in order to make a meal off them." So he began to watch the mice by stealth. By means of such watching he found out that there were five hundred mice in the troop.

At a spot not far distant from the mouse hole, he took to performing fictitious acts of penance, and the mice, as they ran to and fro, saw him standing there with pious mien. So they cried out to him from a distance, "Uncle, what are you doing?"

The cat replied, "As in my youth I have perpetrated many vicious actions, I am now doing penance in order to make up for them."

The mice fancied that he had given up his sinful life, and there grew up within them confidence nourished by faith.

Now as they returned into their hole every day after making their rounds, the cat always seized on and devoured the mouse which came last. Seeing that the troop was constantly dwindling, the chief thought, "There must be some cause for the fact that my mice are diminishing in number, and this cat is thriving apace."

So he began t observe the cat closely. And when he saw that the cat was fat and well covered with hair, he thought, "There is no doubt that this cat has killed the mice. Therefore must I bring the matter to the light of day."

Now as he kept careful watch from a hiding place, he saw how the cat ate up the mouse which went last. Then from afar off he pronounced this verse:

As the uncle's body waxes bigger,
but my troop on the contrary becomes smaller,
and as he who eats roots and berries
will not become fat and well covered with hair,
this is not a genuine penance,
but one performed only for the sake of gain.
Because the number of the mice diminished,
have you, O Agnija, thrived.

The Woman Who Had No Shadow

Once there was a pastor's wife who was afraid to have children. Other women are concerned when they have no children, but she was constantly afraid that she could have children.

One day she went to a wise woman, a wicked witch, and asked her what to do to avoid having children. The wise woman gave her seven stones and told her if she would throw them into the well she would be spared from having children.

The pastor's wife threw the stones into the well. As each stone splashed below, she thought that she heard the cry of a child, but still she felt a great sense of relief.

Some time later the pastor and his were walking across the churchyard by the light of a full moon, when the pastor suddenly noticed that his wife did not have a shadow. This frightened him, and he asked her for an explanation, stating that she must have committed a dreadful sin, a sin that she would have to confess to him.

He continued to press her for a confession, until finally she admitted what she had done. Upon hearing her story, he angrily proclaimed, "Cursed woman! Flowers will grow from our slate roof before God forgives you of this sinful deed!" With that he sent her away, telling her to never again step across his threshold.

One night, many years later, a wretched and tattered beggar woman approached the parsonage and asked for shelter. The housekeeper gave the poor woman a bit to eat and made a bed for her next to the kitchen stove.

The next morning the pastor found the beggar woman dead on the kitchen floor. In spite of her rags, he recognized her immediately as the woman he had cursed and disowned. As he stood there contemplating her lifeless, but serene face, his housekeeper burst into the room. "Pastor!" she exclaimed. "Come outside! A miracle has happened during the night!" The pastor followed her outside and saw that his slate roof was covered with blossoming flowers.


Noble Tannhäuser, a German knight, had traveled through many lands. He even visited the beautiful women of the Mountain of Lady Venus, hoping to see what great miracles occurred there. After sojourning there for a while, with joy and contentment, his conscience finally directed him to return to the world, and he asked to take leave.

Lady Venus, however, tempted him with whatever it might take to make him change his mind. She offered him one of her comrades for a wife, pointing out her red lips that never ceased smiling.

Tannhäuser answered that he desired no woman other than the one he was now thinking of, nor did he want to burn forever in hell. He was not interested in the red lips. He did not want to stay here any longer, for to do so would destroy his life.

Then the she-devil tried to lure him into her room, tempting him with love, but the noble night cursed her loudly, calling upon the Heavenly Virgin to help him escape.

Filled with remorse, he set forth toward Rome in order to confess his sins to Pope Urban, and thus do penance to save his soul. However, after he confessed that he had remained an entire year with Lady Venus in her mountain, the Pope said: "Not until leaves begin to grow on this dry stick that I am holding in my hand, will your sins will be forgiven!"

Tannhäuser said: "Had I but had only one more year to live, I would have shown remorse and done penance such that God would have taken mercy on me." Grieving that the Pope had cursed him, he left the city and returned to the demonic mountain, intending to stay there forever and ever. Lady Venus welcomed him as one welcomes a long absent lover.

Three days later leaves began to grow on the stick, and the Pope sent messengers throughout the country, attempting to discover where Tannhäuser had gone. But it was too late. He was inside the mountain and had chosen a lover.

There he will remain until Judgment Day, at which time God may send him to a different place. And a priest should never discourage a sinner but should forgive all who present themselves with remorse and penance.

The Flourishing Staff

One day a man who had left the faith of his fathers came to Rabbi Jehuda Ha-Chassid and intimated his ardent wish to do penance, but Rabbi Jehuda grew angry and sent him away.

"As little," he said, "as this staff in my hand will blossom and produce green leaves, can you hope to obtain pardon and forgiveness for your sins." And lo! a few days after this scene the staff in the rabbi's hand began to blossom and produced green leaves! Greatly astonished at this miracle, the pious rabbi sent for the repentant sinner and informed him of the miracle that had happened in his favor.

"Now tell me," continued Rabbi Jehuda, "have you ever rendered any service to your brethren in faith?" The sinner could not recall to his memory any such deed.

"Once only," he added; "I came to a town inhabited by a great number of Jews. They were all in great distress, for they were being accused of a ritual murder, of having assassinated a Christian child with the object of using its blood for ritual purposes. As I was no longer a Jew, but nevertheless acquainted with the religious customs of the Jews, I was chosen as an expert in the matter and was called upon to express my opinion before the court of justice. I could not in honor do otherwise than tell the truth and assure the judges that the use of human blood by the Jews was absolutely impossible and diametrically opposed to all the tenets of their creed, and that the ritual murder was an absurd myth unworthy of credence. Thanks to my arguments and evidence, the persecution of the Jews was stopped."

Thus spoke the repentant sinner, and Rabbi Jehuda no longer wondered at the miracle which had been wrought in his favor.

How the Kadambawa Men Counted Themselves

Twelve Kadambawa men cut fence sticks, tied them into twelve bundles, then set them upright and leaned them together. Then one of the men said, "Are our men all here? We must count and see."

So a man counted them, but he counted only eleven men, omitting himself. "There are only eleven men, but there are twelve bundles of fence sticks," he said.

Then another man said, "Maybe you have made a mistake," and counted them again in the same way. "There are eleven men and twelve bundles of fence sticks. There is a man missing," they said, and they went into the jungle to look for him.

While they were in the jungle looking, a man from another village heard them shouting. He came to them and asked why they were shouting.

The men said, "Twelve of our men came to cut fence sticks. There are twelve bundles of sticks but only eleven men. One man is missing."

This man saw that there were twelve men, so he said, "Let each of you pick up your own bundle of fence sticks."

So each of the twelve men picked up his own bundle of sticks, and thus they all returned to their village.

The Seven Wise Men of Buneyr

Seven men of Buneyr once left their native wilds for the purpose of seeking their fortunes. When evening came they all sat down under a tree to rest, when one of them said, "Let us count to see if we are all here." So he counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six," but, quite omitting to reckon himself, he exclaimed, "There's one of us missing. We are only six!"

"Nonsense!" cried the others, and the whole company of seven began counting with uplifted forefingers, but they all forgot to count themselves.

Fearing some evil, they now rose up, and at once set out to search for their missing comrade. Presently they met a shepherd, who greeted them civilly and said, "Friends, why are you in such low spirits?"

"We have lost one of our party," answered they; "we started this morning seven in number, and now we are only six. Have you seen any one of us hereabouts?"

"But," said the shepherd, "seven you are, for I have found your lost companion; behold: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven!"

"Ah," answered the wise men of Buneyr, "you have indeed found our missing brother. We owe you a debt of gratitude."

The Twelve Men of Gotham

On a certain day there were twelve men of Gotham that went to fish, and some stood on dry land; and in going home one said to the other, "We have ventured wonderfully in wading. I pray God that none of us come home and be drowned."

"Nay, marry," said one to the other, "let us see that; for there did twelve of us come out." Then they counted themselves, and every one counted eleven.

Said one to the other, "There is one of us drowned." They went back to the brook where they had been fishing, and sought up and down for him that was wanting, making great lamentation. A courtier, coming by, asked what it was they sought for, and why they were sorrowful.

"Oh," said they, "this day we went to fish in the brook; twelve of us came out together, and one is drowned."

Said the courtier, "Count how many there be of you."

One of them said, "Eleven," and he did not count himself.

"Well," said the courtier, "what will you give me, and I will find the twelfth man?"

"Sir," said they, "all the money we have got."

"Give me the money," said the courtier, and began with the first, and gave him a stroke over the shoulders with his whip, which made him groan, saying, "Here is one," and so served them all, and they all groaned at the matter. When he came to the last, he paid him well, saying, "Here is the twelfth man."

"God's blessing on your heart," said they, "for thus finding our dear brother!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Big Peter and Little Peter

Once there were two brothers, both named Peter; the older one was called Big Peter, and the younger one Little Peter. When their father died, Big Peter took over the farm and found himself a wealthy wife. Little Peter, however, stayed at home with his mother, and lived from her pension until he came of age. Then he received his inheritance, and Big Peter said that he could stay in the old house no longer, living from his mother. It would be better for him to go out into the world and do something for himself.

Little Peter agreed; so he bought himself a fine horse and a load of butter and cheese, and set off to the town. With the money he got for his goods he bought brandy and other drinks, and as soon as he arrived home, he threw a great feast, inviting all of his relatives and acquaintances. They in turn invited him for drinking and merrymaking. Thus he lived in fun and frolic so long as his money lasted. But when his last farthing was spent, and Little Peter found himself sitting high and dry, he went back home again to his old mother, and there he had nothing but one calf. When spring came he turned out the calf and let it graze on Big Peter's meadow. But this made Big Peter angry, and he struck the calf, killing it. Little Peter skinned the calf, and hung the hide up in the bathroom until it was thoroughly dry; then he rolled it up, stuffed it into a sack, and went about the area trying to sell it; but wherever he went, people only laughed at him, saying that they had no need of smoked calfskin. After walking a long way, he came to a farm, where he asked for a night's lodging.

"No," said the old woman of the house, "I can't give you lodging, for my husband is at the hut in the upper pasture, and I'm alone in the house. You will have to ask for shelter at the next farm; but if they won't take you in, you may come back, because you can't spend the night out of doors."

As Peter passed by the living-room window, he saw that there was a priest in there, whom the woman was entertaining. She was serving him ale and brandy, and a large bowl of custard. But just as the priest had sat down to eat and drink, the husband came back home. The woman heard him in the hallway, and she was not slow; she put the bowl of custard under the fireplace mantel, the ale and brandy into the cellar, and as for the priest, she locked him inside a large chest that was there. Little Peter was standing outside the whole time and saw everything. As soon as the husband had entered, Little Peter went to the door and asked if he might have a night's lodging.

"Yes," said the man, "you can stay here," and he asked Little Peter to sit down at the table and eat. Little Peter sat down, taking his calfskin with him, which he laid under his feet.

When they had sat a while, Little Peter began to step on the skin.

"What are you saying now? Can't you be quiet?" said Little Peter.

"Who are you talking to?" asked the man.

"Oh," answered Little Peter, "it's only the fortuneteller that I have here in my calfskin."

"And what does she foretell?" asked the man.

"Why, she says that there is a bowl of custard under the fireplace mantel," said Little Peter.

"Her prediction is wrong," answered the man. "We haven't had custard in this house for a year and a day."

But Peter asked him to take a look; he did so and found the custard. So they proceeded to enjoy it, but just as they were eating, Peter stepped on the calfskin again.

"Hush!" he said, "can't you hold your mouth?"

"What is the fortuneteller saying now?" asked the man.

"Oh, she says there is probably some ale and brandy just under the cellar door," answered Peter.

"Well, if she never predicted wrong in her life, she's predicting wrong now," said the man. "Ale and brandy! We have never had such things in the house!"

"Just take a look," said Peter. The man did so, and there, sure enough, he found the drinks, and was very pleased indeed.

"How much did you pay for that fortuneteller?" said the man, "for I must have her, whatever you ask for her."

"I inherited her from my father, and never thought that she was worth much," answered Peter. "Of course, I am not eager to part with her, but you may have her nonetheless, if you'll give me that old chest in the living room."

"The chest is locked and the key is lost," cried the old woman.

"Then I'll take it without the key," said Peter, and he and the man quickly struck the bargain.

Peter got a rope instead of the key. The man helped him load the chest onto his back, and off he stumbled with it. After he had walked a while, he came to a bridge. Beneath the bridge ran a raging stream, foaming, gurgling, and roaring until the bridge shook.

"That brandy, that brandy!" said Peter. Now I can tell that I've had too much. Why should I be dragging this chest about? If I hadn't been drunk and crazy, I would not have traded my fortuneteller for it. But now this chest is going into the river, and quickly!"

And with that he began to untie the rope.

"Au! Au! For God's sake save me. It is the priest that you have in the chest," screamed someone from inside.

"That must be the devil himself," said Peter, "and he wants to make me believe he has become a priest; but whether he claims to be a priest or a sexton, into the river he goes!"

"Oh, no! Oh no! I am in truth the parish priest. I was visiting the woman for her soul's health, but her husband is rough and wild, so she had to hide me in the chest. I have a silver watch and a gold watch with me. You can have them both, and eight hundred dollars beside, if you will only let me out," cried the priest.

"Oh, no!" said Peter. "Is it really your reverence after all?" With that he picked up a stone, and knocked the lid of the chest into pieces. The priest got out and ran home to his parsonage quickly and lightly, for he no longer had his watches and money to weigh him down.

Then Little Peter went home and said to Big Peter, "Today at the market there was a good price for calfskins."

"What did you get for your shabby one?" asked Big Peter.

"Shabby as it was, I got eight hundred dollars for it, but those from larger and fatter calves were bringing twice as much," said Little Peter, and showed his money.

"It is good that you told me this," answered Big Peter. He then slaughtered all his cows and calves, and set off to town with their skins and hides. When he arrived at the market, and the tanners asked what he wanted for his hides, Big Peter said "eight hundred dollars for the small ones, and more for the big ones." But they all laughed at him and made fun of him, and said he should not have come there, that he could get a better bargain at the madhouse. Thus he soon found out that Little Peter had tricked him.

But when he got home again he was not very gentle; he swore and cursed, threatening to strike Little Peter dead that very night. Little Peter stood and listened to all this. After he had gone to bed with his mother, and the night had worn on a little, he asked her to change sides with him, saying that he was cold and that it would be warmer next to the wall. Yes, she did that, and a little later Big Peter came with an ax in his hand, crept up to the bedside, and with one blow chopped off his mother's head.

The next morning, Little Peter went into Big Peter's room.

"Heaven help you," he said. "You have chopped our mother's head off. The sheriff will not be pleased to hear that you are paying mother's pension in this way."

Then Big Peter became terribly frightened, and he begged Little Peter, for God's sake, to say nothing about what he knew. If he would only keep still, he should have eight hundred dollars.

Well, Little Peter swept up the money; set his mother's head on her body again; put her on a sled, and pulled her to market. There he set her up with an apple basket on each arm, and an apple in each hand. By and by a skipper came walking along; he thought she was a market woman, and asked if she had apples to sell, and how many he might have for a penny. But the old woman did not answer. So the skipper asked again. No! She said nothing.

"How many may I have for a penny?" he cried the third time, but the old woman sat there, as though she neither saw nor heard him. Then the skipper flew into a rage and slapped her, causing her head to roll across the marketplace. At that moment, Little Peter came running. Weeping and wailing, and threatened to make trouble for the skipper, for having killed his old mother.

"Dear friend, keep still about what you know," said the skipper, "and I'll give you eight hundred dollars," and thus they made a deal.

When Little Peter got home again, he said to Big Peter, "Old women were bringing a good price at the market today; I got eight hundred dollars for our mother," and he showed him the money.

"It is good that I came to know this," said Big Peter. He had an old mother-in-law, and he killed her, and then set forth to sell her. But when people heard how he was trying to sell dead bodies, they wanted to hand him over to the sheriff, and it was all he could do to escape.

When Big Peter arrived home again, he was so angry with Little Peter, that he threatened to strike him dead there and then, without mercy.

"Yes, indeed" said Little Peter, "we must all go this way, and between today and tomorrow there is only the night. But if I must set off now, I've only one thing to ask; put me into that sack that's hanging over there, and carry me to the river."

Big Peter had nothing against that; he stuffed him into the sack, and set off. But he hadn't gone far before it came into his mind that he had forgotten something which he had to go back and fetch; meanwhile, he set the sack down by the side of the road. Just then came a man driving a big flock of fine sheep,
To the Kingdom of Heaven, to Paradise.
To the Kingdom of Heaven, to Paradise!
cried out Little Peter from inside the sack, and he kept mumbling and muttering the same words over and over.

"May I not go with you?" asked the man with the sheep.

"Of course you may," said Little Peter. "Just untie the sack, and trade places with me, and you'll get there enough. I can wait until next time. But you must keep on calling out what I was saying, or you'll not go to the right place."

Then the man untied the sack, and took Little Peter's place. Peter tied the sack up again, and the man began to cry out,
To the Kingdom of Heaven, to Paradise.
To the Kingdom of Heaven, to Paradise!
and repeated the saying over and over again.

After Peter got him positioned in the sack, he wasn't slow; off he went with the flock of sheep, making a broad turn. Meantime, Big Peter, returned, took the sack on his shoulders, and carried it to the river, and all the while he went, the shepherd sat inside crying:
To the Kingdom of Heaven, to Paradise!

"Yes, indeed! Now try now to find the way for yourself," said Big Peter, and with that he tossed him out into the stream.

When Big Peter had done that, and was going back home, he met his brother, who was driving the flock of sheep before him. Big Peter could hardly believe his eyes, and asked how Little Peter had gotten out of the river, and where he had found the fine flock of sheep.

"That was an act of brotherly love that you did for me when you threw me into the river," answered Little Peter. I sank right down to the bottom like a stone, and there I saw flocks of sheep, believe me. Down there they go about by the thousands; each flock is finer than the others. And just see what splendid wool they have!"

That is good of you to tell me that, said Big Peter. Then he ran home to his wife; made her come with him to the river; crept into a sack, and asked her to quickly tie it up, and throw him over the bridge.

"I'm going after a flock of sheep," he said. "If I stay too long, it's because I can't manage the flock by myself; then you'll have to jump in and help me."

"Well, don't stay too long," said his wife, "for I am looking forward to those sheep."

She stood there and waited a while, but then she thought that her husband couldn't gather the flock together, and so she jumped in after him.

Now Little Peter was rid of them all, and he inherited their farm and fields, and horses and tools too; and besides, he had money enough to buy cattle as well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Cat and the Mice

There was once a house that was overrun with mice. A cat heard of this, and said to herself, "That's the place for me," and off she went and took up her quarters in the house, and caught the mice one by one and ate them.

At last the mice could stand it n longer, and they determined to take to their holes and stay there.

"That's awkward," said the cat to herself. "The only thing to do is to coax them out by a trick." So she considered a while, and then climbed up the wall and let herself hang down by her hind legs from a peg, and pretended to be dead.

By and by a mouse peeped out and saw the cat hanging there. "Aha!" it cried, "You're very clever, madam, no doubt. But you may turn yourself into a bag of meal hanging there, if you like, yet you won't catch us coming anywhere near you."

The Cat as Holy Man

A town cat, having destroyed almost all the mice and rats in the place, found itself forced, for lack of prey, to go into the fields and hunt for birds, mice, rats, and lizards. In this time of need it thought of the following ruse.

It stayed away for some weeks from its usual haunts, and, returning, lay down in front of a mouse and rat warren, with a rosary round its neck; then, with its eyes closed, fell to purring loudly. Soon a mouse peeped out of a hole, but, seeing the cat, hastily returned.

"Why do you flee?" said pussy gently. "Instead of showing pleasure at the return of an old neighbor from the pilgrimage, you run away as soon as you see him. Come and visit me, fear nothing."

Surprised at hearing itself thus addressed, the mouse again ventured to the door of its hole and said, "How can you expect me to visit you? Are you not the enemy of my race? Should I accept your invitation you would surely seize and devour me as you did my parents and so many others of my kindred."

"Alas!" sighed the cat, "your reproaches are just. I have been a great sinner, and have earned abuse and enmity. But I am truly penitent. As you see from this rosary round my neck, I now devote myself to prayer, meditation, and the recital of holy books, the whole of which I have learnt by heart, and was just beginning to repeat when you happened to look out of your hole. Besides this, I have visited the Holy Places, so am a Hajji [pilgrim] as well as a Hâfiz [one who knows the whole Koran by heart]. Go, my injured but nevertheless generous and forgiving friend, make my change of life and sentiments known to the rest of your people and bid them no longer shun my society, seeing that I am become a recluse. Whilst you are absent I shall resume my recitations. Purr, purr, purr."

Much surprised at the news he had just heard, the mouse made it known to the rest of the tribe. They were at first incredulous; but at last after one and another had ventured to peep from the mouth of its hole and had beheld the whiskered ascetic with the rosary round his neck apparently oblivious of earthly things, and steadily repeating his purr, purr, purr, which they supposed to be the contents of holy books, they thought that there might be some truth in the matter, and they convened a meeting of mice and rats to discuss it.

After much debate it was judged right to test the reality of the cat's conversion, but to be prudent at the same time; and so a large and experienced rat was sent out to reconnoiter. Being a wary veteran, he kept well out of the cat's reach, though he saluted him respectfully from a distance. The cat allowed the rat to prowl about unmolested for a long time in the hope that other rats and mice would come out, when his prey would be easy to catch and plentiful. But no others came, and at last the pangs of hunger made him resolve to wait no longer.

The rat, however, was on the alert and darted off the instant he noticed, from a slight movement of the cat's muscles, that the pretended saint was about to kill him.

"Why do you go away so abruptly?" mewed the cat. "Are you tired of hearing me repeat scripture, or do you doubt the correctness of my recitation?"

"Neither," answered the rat as he peeped from the hole in which he had taken refuge.

"Neither," answered the rat as he peeped from the hole in which he had taken refuge. "I am convinced that, however much you may have learnt by rote, you have neither unlearnt nor eschewed your habits of pouncing upon us."

Why the Cat Kills Rats

Ansa was King of Calabar for fifty years. He had a very faithful cat as a housekeeper, and a rat was his house-boy. The king was an obstinate, headstrong man, but was very fond of the cat, who had been in his store for many years.

The rat, who was very poor, fell in love with one of the king's servant girls, but was unable to give her any presents, as he had no money.

At last he thought of the king's store, so in the nighttime, being quite small, he had little difficulty, having made a hole in the roof, in getting into the store. He then stole corn and native pears, and presented them to his sweetheart.

At the end of the month, when the cat had to render her account of the things in the store to the king, it was found that a lot of corn and native pears were missing. The king was very angry at this, and asked the cat for an explanation. But the cat could not account for the loss, until one of her friends told her that the rat had been stealing the corn and giving it to the girl.

When the cat told the king, he called the girl before him and had her flogged. The rat he handed over to the cat to deal with, and dismissed them both from his service. The cat was so angry at this that she killed and ate the rat, and ever since that time whenever a cat sees a rat she kills and eats it.

Beauty and the Horse

There was once a merchant whose business was so immense that he was the wealthiest tradesman known. He had three daughters, one of whom was named Beauty. One day the merchant received word from friends far away, informing him of the failure of one of his connections, and he at once prepared himself for a journey to that place. The two older daughters asked him to buy all sorts of finery and dresses for them, but Beauty asked for nothing at all. When the merchant left, these two girls had rubbed their eyes with onions in order to look as if they were sorry to bid him good-bye; but Beauty needed no such artifice; her tears were quite natural.

So the merchant went away, and in due time arrived at the place where the tradesman of whom he had heard the bad news was living. But instead of obtaining money, as he hoped, he was kicked and beaten so violently that it seems a great wonder he came away without losing his life. Of course he had now nothing to do but return, so he mounted his horse and turned homeward. Towards evening he unfortunately lost his way, and when it became quite dark he knew no better than to ride in the direction of a light which was shining from a distance. At length he reached a beautiful little palace, but although it was lighted, there seemed to be no one at home.

After a while he found a shelter and food for his horse -- pure oats, and nothing else. The animal might well dance for joy, for both man and beast were well-nigh exhausted from the long ride. When the horse had been provided for, the master stepped into the palace. There a light was burning, and a table was laid for one person, but no one was to be seen. As the merchant was tired, he sat down without invitation, and ate a hearty supper. A fine bed was there, too, and when he had eaten enough he stretched himself among the pillows and enjoyed a good night's rest.

The next morning everything appeared as on the evening before. The horse was well supplied, and as breakfast was ready on the table, the merchant seated himself, doing justice to the good meal. At he was now ready to leave, he thought it might be well to look over the premises, and glancing into the garden he perceived some exquisite flowers. He went down, intending to carry some of them home with him as a present for Beauty; but no sooner had he touched them than a horse came running towards him as fast as it could trot, saying, "You thoughtless man; I was good to you last night, I gave you shelter and provisions, and now you would even take with you the most beautiful flowers in my garden."

The merchant immediately begged pardon, saying that he had intended the flowers as a gift for Beauty, his daughter.

"Have you several daughters?" asked the horse.

"Yes, I have three, and Beauty is the youngest one," he replied.

"Now you must promise me," said the horse, "that you will give me the daughter whose name is Beauty; if you refuse, I will take your life."

Well, the merchant did not wish to lose his life, so he promised to bring his daughter to the palace, whereupon the horse disappeared among the trees, and the man rode home.

As soon as he reached his house, the two older daughters came out and asked him for the fine things which they were expecting. But Beauty came and bid him welcome. He produced the flowers and gave them to her, saying, "These are for you, but they cost your life," and he then told her how he had been obliged to make the fatal promise to the horse, in order to save his life.

Beauty at once said, "I am willing to follow you, father, and am always glad to help you." They started on their journey, and soon arrived at the palace.

As before, no one was to be seen, but the merchant found food for his horses and a good stable The table was also laid for two persons, and there were two beds. Having done justice to the supper, father and daughter retired and slept soundly. When they awoke the next morning, they found breakfast ready for both, ate heartily, and having exchanged many loving and tender words, they separated, the father riding away. We will let him proceed, and see what occurred at the palace.

Shortly before dinnertime the horse arrived. He came into the room and said, "Welcome, Beauty!" She did not feel very glad, and had all she could do in keeping her tears back. "You shall do nothing but walk around in these rooms and in the garden," continued the horse. "Your meals are provided for. I shall come home every day at noon; at other times you must not expect me."

Time passed, and Beauty felt so lonely that she often longed for noon, when the horse came home, and she could talk with him. She gradually came to look at him more and more kindly; but one thing caused her great distress, namely, that she had no news from her father. One day she mentioned this to the horse.

"Yes," said he, "I understand that very well. In the large room you will find a mirror in which you can see all that you are thinking of."

She was happy to learn this, and went straight into the room where the mirror was hanging. As soon as she thought of her father, her old home was visible in the glass, and she noticed how he was sitting in his chair with a sorrowful expression upon his countenance, while his two daughters were singing and dancing. Beauty felt sorry over this state of affairs, and the next day she told the horse what she had seen.

"Your father is sorry, I suppose," said the horse, " because he has lost you. He will soon feel better, however."

But on the next day, when Beauty consulted the mirror, her father looked pale and ill, like one who is deadly sick; both of her sisters were dressed for a ball, and neither of them seemed to care for the weak man. Beauty burst into tears, and when the horse came home, asking what ailed her, she told him of the bad state of affairs, wishing that he would allow her to return and nurse her poor father during his illness.

"If you will promise to come back," said the horse, "you may return and stay for three days; but under no condition must you break your word."

Beauty told him she would come back in three days.

"Tonight," resumed the horse, "before going to bed, you must place the mirror under your pillow, saying, 'I wish to be home tomorrow.' Then your wish will be fulfilled. When you desire to return, you must do likewise."

The next morning, when Beauty awoke, she was at her old home. Her father became so glad to see her again that he at once felt a great deal better. She cared so well for him that the next day he was able to be up, and on the third day he was almost well. As he wished her to stay with him a few days longer, she complied, thinking that no harm would come from it. On the third day after, however, when she looked into the mirror, she saw the horse stretched on the ground in front of the bench which was her favorite seat in the garden. She now felt that it would be impossible for her to remain longer, hence in the evening, before going to bed, she placed the mirror under her pillow, saying: "I wish to be at the palace tomorrow morning."

She promptly awoke in the palace the following morning, and hurrying into the garden she found the horse so very sick that he could not stand on his legs. Beauty knelt down and asked him to forgive her for staying away longer than she had promised. The horse asked her if she could not persuade herself to stay with him all her life, but she answered that it would seem very singular to live with a horse all her lifetime. The poor animal now sighed so deeply that she took pity on him and said, fearing that he might die then and there, that she would always stay with him and never leave him.

As soon as she had made this promise, the horse vanished, and a beautiful young prince stood before her. He seized her hand and asked whether she was not sorry for the promise she had made. No, she said, she would rather stay with him now than when he was in the shape of a horse. He now told her that both he and the whole land had been enchanted by his wicked stepmother, who had converted him into a horse, and told him that only when a beautiful young girl would promise to stay with him, in his altered shape, would the enchantment be over. He wanted to marry Beauty, and live in the palace which belonged to him.

So they sent for her father to take up his residence with them, and now the marriage was performed and celebrated in a splendid manner. They lived long and happily together, the prince and his Beauty.

The Bear Prince

A merchant once wanted to go to market. He asked his three daughters what he should bring home for them.

The oldest one said, "I would like pearls and precious stones."

"You can buy a sky-blue dress for me," said the middle one.

But the youngest one said, "Nothing in the world would be dearer to me than a grape."

Once at the market, the merchant saw as many pearls and precious stones as he could possibly want. And he soon purchased a sky-blue dress as well. But as for a grape, he could not find one anywhere at the market. This saddened him greatly, because he loved his youngest daughter most of all.

Buried thus in his thoughts, he was making his way toward home when a little dwarf stepped before him. He asked, "Why are you so sad?"

"Oh," answered the merchant, "I was supposed to bring home a grape for my youngest daughter, but I was not able to find one anywhere at the market."

The dwarf said, "Just take a few steps into that meadow down there, and you will come to a large vineyard. A white bear will be there. He will growl fiercely when you approach, but don't let that frighten you. You'll get a grape after all."

So the merchant went down into the meadow, and it happened just as the dwarf had said. A white bear was keeping guard at the vineyard, and he growled at the merchant when he was still a long way off.

"What do you want here?"

"Be so good," said the merchant, "and let me take a grape for my youngest daughter, just a single one."

"You cannot have one," said the bear, "unless you promise to give me that which will first greet you upon your arrival home."

The merchant did not think long about this before accepting the bear's terms. Then he was permitted to take a grape, and he happily made his way toward home.

Upon his arrival home, the youngest daughter ran out to meet him, for she -- more than anyone else -- had missed him, and she could hardly wait to see him. Seeing the grape in his hand, she threw her arms around his neck and could scarcely contain herself for joy.

But the father was overcome with sorrow, and he could not tell anyone why. Every day he expected the white bear to come and demand from him his dearest child.

When exactly one year had passed since he taken the grape from the vineyard, the bear did indeed trot up, confronted the merchant, and said, "Now give me that which first greeted you upon your arrival home, or I'll eat you."

The merchant had not lost all of his senses, and he said, "Take my dog. He jumped right out the door when he saw me coming."

But the bear began to growl loudly and said, "He is not the right one. If you don't keep your promise, I'll eat you."

Then the merchant said, "So just take the apple tree in front of the house. That was the first thing that I met."

But the bear growled even stronger and said, "That is not the right one. If you don't keep your promise immediately, I'll eat you."

Nothing more would help. The merchant had to surrender his youngest daughter. When she came out, a coach drove up. The bear led her inside, sat down next to her, and away they went.

After a while the coach stopped in the courtyard of a castle, and the bear led the daughter into the castle and welcomed her. This was his home, he said, and from now on she would be his wife. He gave her everything that her heart could desire, so that with time it no longer occurred to her that her husband was a bear. There were just two things that seemed strange to her: Why did the bear insist on having no lights at nighttime, and why did he always feel so cold?

After she had been with him for some time he asked her, "Do you know how long you have been here?"

"No," she said, "I haven't been thinking about time at all."

"All the better," said the bear. "It's been exactly one year. Get ready for a journey, for we must visit your father once again."

She did so with great joy, and after arriving at her father's she told him all about her life in the castle. Afterward, when she was taking leave from him, he secretly gave her some matches that the bear was not supposed to see. But the bear did see them, and he growled angrily, "Stop that, or I'll eat you."

Then he took his wife back to the castle, and they lived there together as before.

Some time later the bear said, "Do you know how long you have been here?"

"No," she said, "I don't notice the time."

"All the better," said the bear. "You have been here exactly two years. Get ready for a journey. It is time for us to visit your father once again."

She did it once again, and everything happened as the first time. But when she visited her father the third time, the bear failed to see that her father secretly gave her some matches. After arriving back at the castle, she could hardly wait for night to come when the bear was sleeping next to her in bed. Silently she struck a light and was startled with amazement and joy, for next to her was lying a handsome youth with a golden crown on his head.

He smiled at her and said, "Many thanks for redeeming me. You were the wife of an enchanted prince. Now we can celebrate our wedding properly, for now I am the king of this land." With that the entire castle came alive. Servants and attendants came from all sides, wishing good luck to the king and the queen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Bald-Headed Man

Eating much of sweetness you do not know if it be sweet anymore. But the evil in a man shows, and you know it very well. (Tibetan proverb)

One time, when the world was young and men and women were ill because an evil spirit possessed them, there lived a man and his wife who were very poor. A devil came and took possession of each of them and made them both sick. As they were not rich they couldn't invite a holy lama to read prayers for them, so invited a lay-brother in his stead.

After a while this man who was reading began to get very hungry. It was the custom to give the priests the best of food, but this man and his wife had no butter nor meat nor fine things to eat. They had no horses, nor yak and only one goat. So the reader began to think to himself that if they would kill this goat he'd have plenty to eat, as it was really pretty fat.

The man who owned the house was bald headed and now he came up and sat on the roof near where the man was reading. He really sat down in front of him and heard the man mumbling his prayers, "Om mani padme hum. Om mani padme hum," he was reading, and read right on in the same tone, "The god says if a man is bald headed and will take the skin of a goat and put it on his head he will have hair."

The old man sat and heard him read this over several times and finally decided it was there in the book of prayers; so he killed the goat.

They all had some good eating for a while, and the old man put the skin on his head, wore it and wore it for days and days and kept feeling his head, but not a single hair would come. He finally concluded that the man had lied to him out of the book, and besides, he thought, "If I wear this too long, I fear all the skin will be worn off my head and there will be nothing but bone."

So he asked the man about it, whether he hadn't lied to him, and he said, "O, no, but if a man would have what the gods say come true, he must pray a great deal himself." Thus he got around his lies and had goat to eat as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Fairies' Hill

There is a green hill above Kintraw, known as the Fairies' Hill, of which the following story is told.

Many years ago, the wife of the farmer at Kintraw fell ill and died, leaving two or three young children. The Sunday after the funeral the farmer and his servants went to church, leaving the children at home in charge of the eldest, a girl of about ten years of age. On the farmer's return the children told him their mother had been to see them, and had combed their hair and dressed them. As they still persisted in their statement after being remonstrated with, they were punished for telling what was not true.

The following Sunday the same thing occurred again. The father now told the children, if their mother came again, they were in inquire of her why she came. Next Sunday, when she reappeared, the eldest child put her father's question to her, when the mother told them she had been carried off by the "Good People" (Daione Sìth), and could only get away for an hour or two on Sundays, and should her coffin be opened it would be found to contain only a withered leaf.

The farmer, much perplexed, went to the minister for advice, who scoffed at the idea of any supernatural connection with the children's story, ridiculed the existence of "Good People," and would not allow the coffin to be opened. The matter was therefore allowed to rest. But, some little time after, the minister, who had gone to Lochgilphead for the day, was found lying dead near the Fairies' Hill, a victim, many people thought, to the indignation of the Fairy world he had laughed at.

The Sea Nymph

One night a number of fishermen quartered themselves in a hut by a fishing village on the northwest shores of an island. After they had gone to bed, and while they were yet awake, they saw a white, dew-besprinkled woman's hand reaching in through the door. They well understood that their visitor was a sea nymph, who sought their destruction, and feigned unconsciousness of her presence.

The following day their number was added to by the coming of a young, courageous and newly married man from Kinnar, in Lummelund. When they related to him their adventure of the night before, he made fun of their being afraid to take a beautiful woman by the hand, and boasted that if he had been present he would not have neglected to grasp the proffered hand.

That evening when they laid themselves down in the same room, the late arrival with them, the door opened again, and a plump, white woman's arm, with a most beautiful hand, reached in over the sleepers.

The young man arose from his bed, approached the door and seized the outstretched hand, impelled, perhaps, more by the fear of his comrades scoffing at his boasted bravery, than by any desire for a closer acquaintance with the strange visitor.

Immediately his comrades witnessed him drawn noiselessly out through the door, which closed softly after him. They thought he would return soon, but when morning approached and he did not appear, they set out in search of him. Far and near the search was pursued, but without success. His disappearance was complete.

Three years passed and nothing had been heard of the missing man. His young wife, who had mourned him all this time as dead, was finally persuaded to marry another. On the evening of the wedding day, while the mirth was at its highest, a stranger entered the cottage. Upon closer observation some of the guests thought they recognized the bride's former husband.

The utmost surprise and commotion followed.

In answer to the inquiries of those present as to where he came from and where he had been, he related that it was a sea nymph whose hand he had taken that night when he left the fisherman's hut; and that he was dragged by her down into the sea. In her pearly halls he forgot his wife, parents, and all that was loved by him until the morning of that day, when the sea nymph exclaimed, "There will be a dusting out in Kinnar this evening."

Then his senses immediately returned, and, with anxiety, he asked, "Then it is my wife who is to be the bride?"

The sea nymph replied in the affirmative.

At his urgent request, she allowed him to come up to see his wife as a bride, stipulating that when he arrived at the house he should not enter. When he came and saw her adorned with garland and crown he could, nevertheless, not resist the desire to enter. Then came a tempest and took away half the roof of the house, whereupon the man fell sick and three days later died.

Jack and His Comrades

Once there was a poor widow, as often there has been, and she had one son. A very scarce summer came, and they didn't know how they'd live till the new potatoes would be fit for eating. So Jack said to his mother one evening, "Mother, bake my cake, and kill my hen, till I go seek my fortune; and if I meet it, never fear but I'll soon be back to share it with you."

So she did as he asked her, and he set out at break of day on his journey. His mother came along with him to the yard gate, and says she, "Jack, which would you rather have, half the cake and half the hen with my blessing, or the whole of 'em with my curse?"

"O musha, mother," says Jack, "why do you ax me that question? Sure you know I wouldn't have your curse and Damer's estate along with it."

"Well, then, Jack," says she, "here's the whole lot of 'em, with my thousand blessings along with them." So she stood on the yard fence and blessed him as far as her eyes could see him.

Well, he went along and along till he was tired, and ne'er a farmer's house he went into wanted a boy. At last his road led by the side of a bog, and there was a poor ass up to his shoulders near a big bunch of grass he was striving to come at.

"Ah, then, Jack asthore," says he, "help me out or I'll be drowned."

"Never say't twice," says Jack, and he pitched in big stones and sods into the slop, till the ass got good ground under him.

"Thank you, Jack," says he, when he was out on the hard road. "I'll do as much for you another time. Where are you going?"

"Faith, I'm going to seek my fortune till harvest comes in, God bless it!"

"And if you like," says the ass, "I'll go along with you. Who knows what luck we may have!"

"With all my heart, it's getting late, let us be jogging."

Well, they were going through a village, and a whole army of gossoons were hunting a poor dog with a kettle tied to his tail. He ran up to Jack for protection, and the ass let such a roar out of him, that the little thieves took to their heels as if the ould boy was after them.

"More power to you, Jack," says the dog.

"I'm much obleeged to you" where is the baste and yourself going?"

"We're going to seek our fortune till harvest comes in."

"And wouldn't I be proud to go with you!" says the dog, "and get rid of them ill conducted boys; purshuing' to 'em."

"Well, well, throw your tail over your arm, and come along."

They got outside the town, and sat down under an old wall, and Jack pulled out his bread and meat, and shared with the dog; and the ass made his dinner on a bunch of thistles. While they were eating and chatting, what should come by but a poor half-starved cat, and the moll-row he gave out of him would make your heart ache.

"You look as if you saw the tops of nine houses since breakfast," says Jack. "Here's a bone and something on it."

"May your child never know a hungry belly!" says Tom. "It's myself that's in need of your kindness. May I be so bold as to ask where yez are all going?"

"We're going to seek our fortune till the harvest comes in, and you may join us if you like."

"And that I'll do with a heart and a half," says the cat, "and thank'ee for asking me."

Off they set again, and just as the shadows of the trees were three times as long as themselves, they heard a great cackling in a field inside the road, and out over the ditch jumped a fox with a fine black cock in his mouth.

"Oh, you anointed villain!" says the ass, roaring like thunder.

"At him, good dog!" says Jack, and the word wasn't out of his mouth when Coley was in full sweep after the Red Dog. Reynard dropped his prize like a hot potato, and was off like shot, and the poor cock came back fluttering and trembling to Jack and his comrades.

"O musha, naybours!" says he, "wasn't it the heigth o' luck that threw you in my way! Maybe I won't remember your kindness if ever I find you in hardship; and where in the world are you all going?"

"We're going to seek our fortune till the harvest comes in; you may join our party if you like, and sit on Neddy's crupper when your legs and wings are tired."

Well, the march began again, and just as the sun was gone down they looked around, and there was neither cabin, nor farm house in sight.

"Well, well," says Jack, "the worse luck now the better another time, and it's only a summer night after all. We'll go into the wood, and make our bed on the long grass."

No sooner said than done. Jack stretched himself on a bunch of dry grass, the ass lay near him, the dog and cat lay in the ass's warm lap, and the cock went to roost in the next tree.

Well, the soundness of deep sleep was over them all, when the cock took a notion of crowing.

"Bother you, Black Cock!" says the ass: "you disturbed me from as nice a wisp of hay as ever I tasted. What's the matter?"

"It's daybreak that's the matter: don't you see light yonder?"

"I see a light indeed," says Jack, "but it's from a candle it's coming, and not from the sun. As you've roused us we may as well go over, and ask for lodging."

So they all shook themselves, and went on through grass, and rocks, and briars, till they got down into a hollow, and there was the light coming through the shadow, and along with it came singing, and laughing, and cursing.

"Easy, boys!" says Jack: "walk on your tippy toes till we see what sort of people we have to deal with."

So they crept near the window, and there they saw six robbers inside, with pistols, and blunderbushes, and cutlashes, sitting at a table, eating roast beef and pork, and drinking mulled beer, and wine, and whisky punch.

"Wasn't that a fine haul we made at the Lord of Dunlavin's!" says one ugly-looking thief with his mouth full, "and it's little we'd get only for the honest porter! Here's his purty health!"

"The porter's purty health!" cried out every one of them, and Jack bent his finger at his comrades.

"Close your ranks, my men," says he in a whisper, "and let everyone mind the word of command."

So the ass put his fore-hoofs on the sill of the window, the dog got on the ass's head, the cat on the dog's head, and the cock on the cat's head. Then Jack made a sign, and they all sung out like mad.

"Hee-haw, hee-haw!" roared the ass; "bow-wow!" barked the dog; "meaw-meaw!" cried the cat; "cock-a-doodle-doo!" crowed the crock.

"Level your pistols!" cried Jack, "and make smithereens of 'em. Don't leave a mother's son of 'em alive; present, fire!"

With that they gave another halloo, and smashed every pane in the window. The robbers were frightened out of their lives. They blew out the candles, threw down the table, and skelped out at the back door as if they were in earnest, and never drew rein till they were in the very heart of the wood.

Jack and his party got into the room, closed the shutters, lighted the candles, and ate and drank till hunger and thirst were gone. Then they lay down to rest -- Jack in the bed, the ass in the stable, the dog on the doormat, the cat by the fire, and the cock on the perch.

At first the robbers were very glad to find themselves safe in the thick wood, but they soon began to get vexed.

"This damp grass is very different from our warm room," says one.

"I was obliged to drop a fine pig's foot," says another.

"I didn't get a tayspoonful of my last tumbler," says another.

"And all the Lord of Dunlavin's gold and silver that we left behind!" says the last.

"I think I'll venture back," says the captain, "and see if we can recover anything."

"That's a good boy!" said they all, and away he went.

The lights were all out, and so he groped his way to the fire, and there the cat flew in his face, and tore him with teeth and claws. He let a roar out of him, and made for the room door, to look for a candle inside. He trod on the dog's tail, and if he did, he got the marks of his teeth in his arms, and legs, and thighs.

"Thousand murders!" cried he; "I wish I was out of this unlucky house."

When he got to the street door, the cock dropped down upon him with his claws and bill, and what the cat and dog done to him was only a flay-bite to what he got from the cock.

"Oh, tattheration to you all, you unfeeling vagabones!" says he, when he recovered his breath; and he staggered and spun round and round till he reeled into the stable, back foremost, but the ass received him with a kick on the broadest part of his small clothes, and laid him comfortably on the dunghill.

When he came to himself, he scratched his head, and began to think what happened him; and as soon as he found that his legs were able to carry him, he crawled away, dragging one foot after another, till he reached the wood.

"Well, well," cried them all, when he came within hearing, "any chance of our property?"

"You may say chance," says he, "and it's itself is the poor chance all out. Ah, will any of you pull a bed of dry grass for me? All the sticking-plaster in Enniscorthy will be too little for the cuts and bruises I have on me. Ah, if you only knew what I have gone through for you! When I got to the kitchen fire, looking for a sod of lighted turf, what should be there but an old woman carding flax, and you may see the marks she left on my face with the cards. I made to the room door as fast as I could, and who should I stumble over but a cobbler and his seat, and if he did not work at me with his awls and his pinchers you may call me a rogue. Well, I got away from him somehow, but when I was passing through the door, it must be the divel himself that pounced down on me with his claws, and his teeth, that were equal to sixpenny nails, and his wings -- ill luck be in his road! Well, at last I reached the stable, and there, by was of salute, I got a pelt from a sledge-hammer that sent me half a mile off. If you don't believe me, I'll give you leave to go and judge for yourselves."

"Oh, my poor captain," says they, "we believe you to the nines. Catch us, indeed, going within a hen's race of that unlucky cabin!"

Well, before the sun shook his doublet next morning, Jack and his comrades were up and about. They made a hearty breakfast on what was left the night before, and then they all agreed to set off to the castle of the Lord of Dunlavin, and give him back all his gold and silver. Jack put it all in the two ends of a sack and laid it across Neddy's back, and all took the road in their hands. Away they went, through bogs, up hills, down dales, and sometimes along the yellow high road, till they came to the hall door of the Lord of Dunlavin, and who should be there, airing his powdered head, his white stockings, and his red breeches, but the thief of a porter.

He gave a cross look to the visitors, and says he to Jack, "What do you want here, my fine fellow?" There isn't room for you all."

"We want," says Jack, "what I'm sure you haven't to give us -- and that is, common civility."

"Come, be off, you lazy strollers!" says he, "while a cat 'ud be licking her ear, or I'll let the dogs at you."

"Would you tell a body," says the cock that was perched on the ass's head, "who was it that opened the door for the robbers the other night?"

Ah! maybe the porter's red face didn't turn the color of his frill, and the Lord of Dunlavin and his pretty daughter, that were standing at the parlor window unknownst to the porter, put out their heads.

"I'd be glad, Barney," says the master, "to hear your answer to the gentleman with the red comb on him."

"Ah, my lord, don't believe the rascal. Sure I didn't open the door to the six robbers."

"And how did you know there were six, you poor innocent?" said the lord.

"Never mind, sir," says Jack, "all your gold and silver is there in that sack, and I don't think you will begrudge us our supper and bed after our long march from the wood of Athsalach."

"Begrudge, indeed! Not one of you will ever see a poor day if I can help it."

So all were welcomed to their heart's content, and the ass and the dog and the cock got the best posts in the farmyard, and the cat took possession of the kitchen. The lord took Jack in hands, dressed him from top to toe in broadcloth, and frills as white as snow, and turnpumps, and put a watch in his fob. When they sat down to dinner, the lady of the house said Jack had the air of a born gentleman about him, and the lord said he'd make him his steward. Jack brought his mother, and settled her comfortably near the castle, and all were as happy as you please.

How Jack Went to Seek His Fortune

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack, who set out to seek his fortune. He had not gone but a little way when he came to a horse.

The horse said, "Where are you going, Jack?"

He said, "I'm going to seek my fortune. Won't you go along too?"

"Don't know, guess I will." So they walked along together.

By and by they came to a cow. The cow said, "Where are you going, Jack?"

He said, "I'm going to seek my fortune. Won't you go along too?"

"Don't know, guess I will." So they walked along together.

By and by they came to a ram. The ram said, "Where are you going, Jack?"

He said, "I'm going to seek my fortune. Won't you go along too?"

"Don't know, guess I will." So they walked along together.

By and by they came to a dog. The dog said, "Where are you going, Jack?"

"I'm going to seek my fortune. Won't you go along too?"

"Don't know, guess I will." So they all walked along together.

By and by they came to a cat. The cat said, "Where are you going, Jack?"

He said, "I'm going to seek my fortune. Won't you go along too?"

"Don't know, guess I will." So they all walked along together.

By and by they came to a rooster. The rooster said, "Where are you going, Jack?"

"I'm going to seek my fortune. Won't you go along too?"

"Don't know, don't care if I do." So they all walked along together.

They traveled along until it began to grow dark, and then they were looking for a place to spend the night, when they saw a log cabin in the edge of a woods.

Jack went up to the house and found the door unlocked, and went in. After looking about he found a good bed upstairs and plenty of good food in the cupboard. There was a fire on the hearth. As he could see no one living there, after he had eaten a good supper and fed all the animals, he began to make preparations for the night.

First he led the horse out into the stable, and fed him some hay, for he found plenty of good hay on the mow. Then he took all the other animals into the house, and he found the door closed into the locker, so he stationed the dog under the table near the door, so that he mighty bite anyone who might chance to enter the house. The cat lay down on the hearth, and the rooster perched on a large crossbeam, and then he stationed the cow at the foot of the stairs, and the ram at the top of the stairs that led to the loft. Then he covered up the fire, put out the light, and went to bed, and was soon fast asleep.

Now it happened that this valley was the home of two wicked robbers, who had gone out during the day in search of plunder.

Late in the night Jack was awakened by a great noise, for the robbers had returned and opened the door, expecting to find things as usual. They were suddenly grabbed by the dog, who bit them furiously, barking all the while.

At last they managed to escape from him, and started to the fireplace, thinking to strike a light. One of the robbers tried to light a match by a coal which he thought he saw shining in the ashes; but this was the cat's eye, and as soon as she was molested she flew on them and scratched their faces dreadfully, till they were glad to escape from the fireplace.

They went from the fireplace toward the stairs, but as they passed under the rooster's perch he dropped very disagreeable material (these words to be whispered) upon them.

The robbers groped their way through the dark to the foot of the stairs, meaning to creep up to the bed and rest till morning, but just as they reached the stairs they were suddenly caught on the horns of the cow, and tossed up in the air.

The ram called out, "Toss 'em up to me!"

Before they lighted he caught them on his horns and tossed them up in the air. And the cow called out, "Toss 'em down to me!"

Before they lighted she caught them on her horns and tossed them up in the air. Then the ram called out, "Toss 'em up to me!"

And before they lighted he caught them on his horns, etc. (to be repeated ad libitum). And so they tossed them back and forth until they were all mangled and bloody.

At last they managed to escape from the cow's horns, and thought they would crawl off to the barn and spend the rest of the night. As they passed the dog in going to the door he gave them a parting snip, but they escaped from him and found the way out to the barn. When they tried to creep in at the door the horse began to kick them so dreadfully that they had to give that up, and were only just able to creep off to a fence corner, where they laid down and died.

As soon as Jack found that everything was quiet he went to sleep, and slept soundly till morn, after he got up and dressed himself. By and by he looked about and found there was a large bag of gold under his bed, which had been stolen from time to time by the robbers. So Jack kept the gold, was well provided for, and lived happily forever after with his faithful animals.

The Dog, the Cat, the Ass, and the Cock

Once upon a time, a long while ago, when beasts and fowls could talk, it happened that a dog lived in a farmer's barnyard. By and by he grew tired of watching the house all night and working hard all day, so he thought he'd go out into the world to seek his fortune. One fine day, when the farmer had gone away, he started off down the road.

He hadn't gone far when he spied a cat curled up asleep on a door-stone in a farmer's yard, so he looked over the fence and called to the cat, "I'm going out into the world to seek my fortune. Don't you want to come along too?"

But the cat said she was very comfortable where she was, and didn't think she cared to go traveling. But the dog told her that by and by when she got old the farmer wouldn't let her lie on his sunny door-stone, but would make her lie in the cold, no matter whether it snowed or not. So the cat concluded she'd go along too, and they walked down the road arm in arm.

They hadn't gone far when they spied a jackass eating grass in a farmer's yard.

So the dog looked over the fence and called to the jackass, "We're going out into the world to seek our fortune. Don't you want to come along too?"

But the jackass said he was very comfortable where he was, and didn't think he cared to go traveling. But the dog told him that by and by, when he got old and stiff, he'd have to work early and late, year after year, for only just what he would eat, and short allowance at that. So the jackass concluded to go along too, and they all walked down the road arm in arm.

They hadn't gone far when they spied a cock crowing in a farmer's yard, so the dog looked over the fence and called, "We're going out into the world to seek our fortune. Don't you want to come along too?"

But the rooster said he was very comfortable where he was, and didn't think he cared to go traveling. But the dog told him that by and by, when it came Thanksgiving, pop would go his head, and he'd make a fine dinner for the farmer. So the rooster concluded he'd go along too, and they all walked down the road arm in arm.

Now they had neglected to take anything to eat along with them, and when night overtook them, weary, footsore, and hungry, they were in a dense forest, and they all began to blame the dog for getting them into such a scrape. The ass proposed that the cock should fly to the top of a high tree to see if he could discover a place for them to lodge. He had scarcely perched on a limb before he called to his friends that a house was a little way off, for he could see a light in the window. The dog called to him to come down and lead the was to the house, and they all walked off arm in arm to the house.

When they got there it was perfectly still about the house. They could hear no one inside. The ass kicked at the door, but no one answered. They looked about and found the house had only one window, and that was so high up they couldn't look in. He proposed that the jackass should stand on his hind legs, with his forelegs resting against the house, while the dog should clamber up his back and stand on his head, the cat run up the backs of both, and the rooster fly to the cat's head, and then he could just look in at the window.

"Hurry and tell what you see," said the jackass, "for my neck is breaking off."

"I see a fire on a hearth and a table loaded with all sorts of fine things to eat: turkey and plum pudding, and pan-dowdy, and a band of men sitting round the table."

"Zounds!" said the dog, "we must get in."

So the rooster flew against the window with such a crash that it scared the robbers -- for this was a band of robbers -- nearly to death. They jumped up from the table so quickly that they overturned their chairs and whisked out the candles, while in flew the rooster, the cat, and the dog at the window, while the jackass went round and waited at the door till the robbers came out and ran away.

Then the beasts lighted the candles again, and picked up the chairs, and sat down and had a good supper. Then they began to look about to see how they should dispose of themselves for the night. The jackass went out in the barn to sleep in the hay, the dog lay on the rug by the hearth, the cat took up her bed among the warm ashes, and the rooster flew to the ridgepole of the house, and soon all were fast asleep, being very tired by their long day's journey.

By and by the robbers plucked up courage, and about midnight came back to the house to see if perchance they had not been scared at their shadows. Two of them got in at the window to take a survey, and seeing the cat's glowing eyes in the ashes mistook them for coals, and scratching a match in them the cat sunk her claws in his hand, which terrified him so much that in attempting to escape he ran against the dog, and he in turn caught the robber by the leg and bit him.

By this time the tumult had awakened the ass, and just as the robber rushed out at the door the jackass met him and kicked him ten feet in the air, while the rooster set up a hideous crowing. It took but a few minutes for the robbers to escape to the woods and find their companions, to whom they told a doleful tale, how in trying to light a match at the fireplace the devil with red-hot eyes stuck his claws into his hands, a second devil attacked him in the rear, while another devil kicked him into the air, and as he came down on the greensward, more dead than alive, another horrid demon form the housetop cried out, "Throw the rascal up her, through the rascal up here."

The thieves could never be induced to go back to the house. They thought it haunted by devils. So our friends, the jackass, the dog, the cat, and the rooster, lived there happy forever after, preferring it to traveling about to see the world.

The Frog

A man and a woman had no children, although they would have given their lives to have some. They prayed for offspring, under any conditions. It appeared that heaven had mercy on them, but when the time came, the newborn was a female frog.

Not letting themselves be distracted, the man and the woman raised her. They taught her music and all kinds of skills.

Above all else the frog loved to sing, and she trained her voice and her range until one would think she was the best singer from the city. Other people had not seen the frog and thought indeed that she was an unknown singer and could not explain why she did not perform in public.

One day the king's son passed by the house and heard the frog singing. He stopped and listened for a long time. He immediately fell in love with the unknown singer and approached her father with a request for permission to see her and speak with her, but the father refused.

The prince heard her sing again and fell even more deeply in love with her. He demanded that her father give her to him in marriage. The father replied that he would have to ask his daughter. The frog agreed under the conditions that she be taken to the royal castle in an enclosed carriage and that she be allowed to enter the bridal chamber without being seen. The prince, his curiosity even more aroused, accepted the conditions.

On the appointed day the frog rode to the royal castle in a tightly enclosed carriage and made her way to the splendid bridal chamber without being seen. She hid herself in one of the two beds that were there. The prince came that evening and was astonished when he could not find his bride. Disappointed, he went to bed.

At midnight the frog crept out of the cushions and onto the prince's breast. Half asleep, he took the frog into his hand and threw her to the floor. She hopped angrily down the steps and home.

The next morning the prince was sorry that he had thrown the frog to the floor, and he became sad and melancholy.

Some time later he went back to the house. Hearing singing, he fell madly in love and began courting his bride anew. The frog accepted, this time without setting any conditions. She made a little carriage out of cardboard, hitched a rooster to it, and drove it herself to the royal castle.

Three fairies were standing in the road. One of them had swallowed a fishbone, which stuck in her throat and was causing her great pain. When the three of them saw the frog driving by in her little carriage and cracking her whip so merrily, they all laughed out with joy. The fishbone dislodged itself from the one fairy's throat, freeing her suddenly of her pain.

They approached the frog, and the first one said, "I will give you a beautiful carriage with horses and servants!" And in an instant a carriage was there with horses and servants in beautiful livery.

Then the second one said, "I will give you expensive clothes and gold and silver!" And in an instant it was all there, gleaming and shimmering, and it was such a joy.

Then came the third fairy, the one who had been freed of the fishbone by laughing, and she said, "I will transform you!"

In that instant the frog became a beautiful maiden. She graciously thanked the three kind fairies and drove happily to the royal castle and to her jubilant and joyful wedding.

The Frog's Bridegroom

Once upon a time there was a father who had three sons. He sent two of them out to find brides for themselves, but the third one, stupid Hansl, was to stay home and feed the animals. He was not satisfied with this, so the father finally said, "Just go. You can look for a bride too."

So Hansl left, and he came to a great forest. On the other side of the forest there was a pond. A frog was sitting on the pond's bank, and it asked, "Now there, Hansl, where are you going?"

"Oh, I'm looking for a bride!"

"Marry me!" said the frog, and this was all right with Hansl, because he did not know where he might find a bride. The frog jumped into the pond, and Hansl went back home.

His brothers were already there, and they wanted to know if the fool had found a bride. "Yes," said Hansl, "I have one already!"

The next day the father gave each one a bundle of flax, saying, "I will give the house to the one of you whose bride can spin the most beautiful yarn in three days." Then each one left, including Hansl.

The frog was again sitting on the bank of the pond. "Now there, bridegroom, where are you going?"

"To you. Can you spin?"

"Yes," said the frog. Just tie the flax onto my back."

Hansl did this, and the frog jumped into the pond. One strand of flax was sticking out below and the other one above. "Too bad about the flax. It's gone," thought Hans, and he sadly went back home.

But nonetheless, on the third day he returned to the pond. The frog was again sitting on the bank, and it asked, "Now there, bridegroom, where are you going?"

"Have you spun?"

"Yes," said the frog, hopped into the pond, and returned with a skein of yarn that was more beautifully spun than any other. Hans was happy, and he joyfully ran back home, and he did indeed have the most beautiful yarn.

The brothers complained, and then the father said, "I will give the house to the one of you who brings home the most beautiful bride."

The brothers left once again, but this time Hansl took a water jug with him. The other two wanted to know, "Why are you taking a water jug with you?"

"To put my bride in."

The two laughed, "He must have some beautiful bride!"

The frog was already sitting next to the pond. "Now there, bridegroom, where are you going?"

"Today I am coming for you!"

Then the frog jumped into the pond and came back with three keys. "Go up there," it said. "There is a castle up there. One of these three keys unlocks the living room, one unlocks the stall, and one unlocks the carriage house. In the living room there are three robes: a red one, a green one, and a white one. In the stall there are two white horses, two black ones, and two brown ones. In the carriage house are three coaches: one of gold, one of silver, and one of glass. In each place you can take what you want."

Once in the castle Hansl first tried on the red robe, but he did not like it: "It makes me look like a butcher." He did not like the green one either: "It makes me look like a hunter." The white one suited him well. Then he went to the stall and took the brown horses. In the carriage house he first wanted to take the golden coach, but it was too lordly for him. The silver one was too heavy, so he took the glass one. He hitched up the brown horses and drove to the pond.

A beautiful young woman was standing there. She said, "You have redeemed me. If you had taken the best thing in each place then I would have had to remain a frog. And the great forest is a fruit orchard, and the pond is a rose garden. All this belongs to you. Let your brothers have the house. You can marry anyone you want to."

"No, you must come with me, so that my father and my brothers can see you." So she rode off with him.

The father and the brothers were amazed when they saw Hansl with the beautiful young woman in the coach. But she suddenly disappeared and flew into the air as a white dove. Hansl gave the house to his brothers. He married a woman from his estate and was very happy. And if he hasn't died, then he still must be alive.

Aniz the Shepherd

Once upon a time a landlord hired a shepherd boy whose name was Aniz. He was very well liked. What people liked most of all was to listen to him playing the flute. His flute looked very simple, no more than a length of bamboo; but in his hands it became a wonderful instrument. Whenever they were free, people would sit around Aniz and entertain themselves by listening to him play. The landlord was heartily sick of both the boy and his flute. He was constantly finding fault with him and scolding him, "You little wretch! Do I pay you to sit there playing the flute?" In point of fact, Aniz' flute-playing did not interfere with his work in the slightest.

One day the landlord found some slight pretext to give Aniz a terrible beating. That was not enough; he was not content until he had driven him out and trampled his flute into little pieces. "Good! I should like to see you play the flute now!"

Poor Aniz left the landlord's house and, with tears trickling down his face, wandered through the streets.

He chanced to meet an old man. "Hello! What's the trouble, young fellow? Who are your parents? Why are you out here all on your own, crying?" the old man asked, stroking Aniz's head.

"Grandpa! I am a shepherd. My name is Aniz. The landlord beat me, drove me out and trampled my lovely flute to pieces..." Aniz began crying again.

"Don't cry, Aniz," said the old man kindly. "Come along and stay with me! I shall show you a way to avenge yourself." He took Aniz to his home. There he used a length of bamboo to make him a new flute which was much better than his old one. He taught him how to play it, and after his lessons with the old man, Aniz could play more beautifully than ever. This time it was not just people who enjoyed his playing; even the various animals in the forest came and sat round him, listening to him quietly and never wanting to leave. As time passed, Aniz and the animals became close friends.

One day the landlord summoned his sons and said, "Last night I dreamt of a beautiful rabbit, white as snow, with a black spot on the top of its head. I liked the look of it very much. You must try your best to catch it for me in the forest."

"Father, we have never even heard of such a rabbit!" his sons replied. "Where can we go to catch it for you?"

"You hopeless creatures! Didn't you hear what I said just now?" cried the landlord in a temper. "Go and look for it. Whoever finds it will inherit all I have when I die."

The eldest son thought to himself, "I am the eldest. I should inherit father's property anyway, whether I catch the rabbit or not. But supposing they..." He stepped forward and said, "Brothers, let me go! I fear no danger, if only I can make father happy!"

He set off on his way looking around him carefully, and after a while an old man came towards him and asked, "Young man, where are you going?" The eldest son told him why he had come.

"Go to the forest then," said the old man, "and look for the rabbit! Aniz is tending my cattle there. Tell him what you want and he'll help you."

The eldest son went into the forest, found Aniz and asked him for his help. "Of course!" Aniz smiled, "I can help you to find the strange rabbit. Come and get it this evening. But you must bring with you a thousand strings of cash to pay for it."

The eldest son reckoned gleefully, "Compared with the property I am going to inherit, a thousand strings of cash are nothing!" In the evening he returned to the forest with the money and found Aniz sitting on a tree stump, playing his flute. All the little animals were squatting round him entranced, pricking up their ears to listen to the music. The eldest son saw the white rabbit among them at once. It really did have had a tiny black spot on the top of its head.

Aniz saw the rabbit too. He put down his flute, stretched out his hand, took hold of it by its long ears and handed it to the eldest son. "Here you are. Hold it tightly! If it escapes, it's none of my business."

The eldest son paid the money, thanked Aniz profusely and set off home with the little white rabbit. He was about to leave the forest when he heard Aniz playing the flute again. As soon as the rabbit heard the music, it burst from his hand and ran for all it was worth. The eldest son searched for it for a long time but could not find any trace of it. In the end he gave up and went to see Aniz again.

"The white rabbit has run away. What can I do?" he asked.

Aniz answered, "There is nothing I can do about it. Didn't I warn you a moment ago to hold it tightly? It's no use blaming me."

The eldest son had no alternative but to go home empty-handed and tell his story to the landlord.

The second son said, "Father, don't worry. I'll go and catch it tomorrow." Next day, the second son went to try his luck and met the same fate as his elder brother -- time wasted and another thousand strings of cash down the drain. On the third day, the youngest son went, but he fared no better.

It made the landlord very angry to watch his three sons lose three thousand strings of cash like this, without so much as a piece of fluff to show for it.

"You fools!" he cried. "You worthless pack of fools! Tomorrow I shall go and catch it myself!"

So the following day the landlord went into the forest. When Aniz spotted him, his eyes blazed with hatred. Before the landlord could open his mouth, Aniz took out his flute and began playing. All the beasts of the forest -- rabbits, bears, snakes, wolves, foxes and many different sorts of birds -- came and encircled the landlord. Terror drove the last drop of color from his cheeks. He fell to his knees in despair and entreated Aniz, "My lord, save me ! Save me!"

"Landlord! Do you remember Aniz? At one sound from my flute, these animals will eat you alive!"

"Alas... Ah! My lord! Don't treat me as once I treated you!" He lay prostrate at Aniz' feet and sobbed, "I promise to give you anything you want. Don't let them... I'm so scared...."

"Very well. I will spare your wretched life this once. But you must never bully poor folk again! If you don't turn over a new leaf, I won't be so easy on you next time. And when you get home, you must give half of all your worldly goods to the poor villagers. Is that clear?"

"Yes! Yes!" The landlord rose to his feet and fled in abject terror. He followed Aniz' instructions and distributed half of his estate to the poor. That made Aniz more popular than ever.

The Bushman

People did not always live on the surface of the earth. At one time people and animals lived underneath the earth with Kaang (Käng), the Great Master and Lord of All Life. In this place people and animals lived together peacefully. They understood each other. No one ever wanted for anything and it was always light even though there wasn't any sun. During this time of bliss Kaang began to plan the wonders he would put in the world above.

First Kaang created a wondrous tree, with branches stretching over the entire country. At the base of the tree he dug a hole that reached all the way down into the world where the people and animals lived. After he had finished furnishing the world as he pleased he led the first man up the hole.

He sat down on the edge of the hole and soon the first woman came up out of it. Soon all the people were gathered at the foot of the tree, awed by the world they had just entered. Next, Kaang began helping the animals climb out of the hole. In their eagerness some of the animals found a way to climb up through the tree's roots and come out of the branches. They continued racing out of the world beneath until all of the animals were out.

Kaang gathered all the people and animals about him. He instructed them to live together peacefully. Then he turned to the men and women and warned them not to build any fires or a great evil would befall them. They gave their word and Kaang left to where he could watch his world secretly.

As evening approached the sun began to sink beneath the horizon. The people and animals stood watching this phenomenon, but when the sun disappeared fear entered the hearts of the people. They could no longer see each other as they lacked the eyes of the animals which were capable of seeing in the dark. They lacked the warm fur of the animals also and soon grew cold. In desperation one man suggested that they build a fire to keep warm. Forgetting Kaang's warning they disobeyed him. They soon grew warm and were once again able to see each other.

However the fire frightened the animals. They fled to the caves and mountains and ever since the people broke Kaang's command people have not been able to communicate with animals. Now fear has replaced the seat friendship once held between the two groups.The Bushmen of Africa believe that not only are plants and animals alive, but also rain, thunder, the wind, spring, etc. They claim:What we see is only the outside form or body. Inside is a living spirit that we cannot see. These spirits can fly out of one body into another. For example, a woman's spirit might sometime fly into a leopard; or a man's spirit fly into a lion's body. (Fahs and Spoerl 6) This may be part of the reason that animals play such an important role in their myth.

The Lay of King Tongmyong

In the third year of Shen-ch'ueh of Han, in early summer, when the Great Bear Stood in the Serpent, Haemosu came to Korea, a true Son of Heaven. He came down through the air in a five-dragon chariot, with a retinue of hundreds, robes streaming, riding on swans. The atmosphere echoed loudly with chiming music, and banners floated on the tinted clouds. From ancient times men ordained to rule have come down from Heaven, but in daylight he came from the heart of the sky - a thing never before seen.

In the mornings he dwelt among men, in the evenings he returned to his heavenly palace. The ancients have told us that between heaven and earth the distance is two thousand billion and eighteen thousand seven hundred and eighty ri. A scaling-ladder could not reach so far, flying pinions could not bear the strain, yet morning and evening he went and returned at will. By what power could he do it?

North of the capital was the Green River, where the River Earl's three beautiful daughters rose from the drake-neck's green waves to play in the Bear's Heart Pool. Their jade ornaments tinkled, their flowerlike beauty was modest -- they might have been fairies of the Han River banks, or goddesses of the Lo River islets. The King, out hunting, espied them, was fascinated and lost his heart, not from lust for girls, but from eager desire for an heir. The three sisters saw him coming and plunged into the water to flee, so the King prepared a palace to hide in till they came back:

He traced foundations with a riding whip: A bronze palace suddenly towered, silk cushions were spread, bright and elegant, golden goblets waited with fragrant wine. Soon the three maidens came in, and toasted each other until they were drunk. Then the king emerged from hiding; The startled girls ran, tripped, and tumbled on to the floor. The oldest was Willow Flower, and it was she whom the king caught.

The Earl of the River raged in anger, and sent a speedy messenger to demand, "What rogue are you who dares behave so presumptuously?" "Son of the Heavenly Emperor," replied Haemosu, "I'm asking for your noble daughter's hand." He beckoned to heaven: the dragon car came down, and straightaway he moved unto the Ocean Palace where the River Earl admonished him: "Marriage is a weighty matter, needing go-betweens and gifts. Why have you done these things? If you are God's own heir, prove your powers of transmogrification!" Through the rippling, flowing green waters the River Earl leapt, transforming into a carp; the king turned at once into an otter that seized the carp before it could flee.

The earl then sprouted wings, flying upward, transformed into a pheasant; but the king was a golden eagle and struck like a great bird of prey; the Earl sped away as a stag, the king pursued as wolf. The Earl then confessed that the king was divine, poured wine, and they drank to the contract. When the king was drunk, he was put in a leather bag, set beside the girl in his chariot, and set off with her to rise to Heaven together. But the car had not left the water before Haemosu woke from his stupor and, seizing the girl's golden hairpin, pierced the leather and slid out through the hole, alone to mount the car beyond the crimson clouds. All was quiet; he did not return.

The River Earl punished his daughter by stretching her lips three feet long, and throwing her into the Ubal stream with only two maidservants. A fisherman saw them in the eddies, creatures disporting themselves strangely, and reported the fact to King Komwa. An iron net was set in the torrent, and the woman was trapped on a rock, a monster of shocking appearance, whose long lips made her mute. Three times they were trimmed before she could speak. King Komwa recognized Haemosu's wife, and gave unto her a palace where she might live. The sun shone in her breast and she bore Chumong in the fourth year of Shen-ch'ueh.

His form was wonderful, his voice of mighty power. He was born from a pottle-sized egg that frightened all who saw it. The king thought it inauspicious, monstrous and inhuman, and put it into the horse corral, but the horses took care not to trample it; it was thrown down steep hills, but the wild beasts all protected it; its mother retrieved it and nurtured it, till the boy hatched. His first words were:"The flies are nibbling my eyes, I cannot lie and sleep in peace." His mother made him a bow and arrows, And he never missed a shot.

Years passed, he grew up, getting cleverer every day, and the crown prince of the Puyo began to grow jealous, saying, "This fellow Chumong is a redoubtable warrrior. If we do not act soon, he will become trouble later." So the king sent Chumong to tend horses, to test his intentions. Chumong meditated, "For heaven's grandson to be a mere herdsman is an unendurable shame." Searching his heart, he sought the right way: "I had rather die than live like this. I would go southward, found a nation, build a city -- but for my mother, whom it is hard to leave." His mother heard his words and wept; but wiped her glistening tears:

"Never mind about me. Rather I fear for your safety. A knight setting out on a journey needs a trusty stallion." Together they went to the corral and thrashed the horses with long whips. The terrified animals milled about, but one horse, a beautiful bay, leapt over the two-fathom wall, and proved itself best of the herd. They fixed a needle in his tongue that stung him so he could not eat; in a day or two he wasted away and looked like a worn out jade.

When the king came around to inspect, he gave this horse to Chumong, who took it, removed the needle, and fed the horse well, day and night. Then he made a compact with three friends, friends who were men of wisdom; they set off south till they reached the Om, but could find no ferry to cross. Chumong raised his whip to the sky, and uttered a long sad complaint: "Grandson of Heaven, Grandson of the River, I have come here in flight from danger. Look on my pitiful orphaned heart: Heaven and Earth, have you cast me off?"

Gripping his bow, he struck the water: Fish and turtles hurried, heads and tails together, to form a great bridge, which the friends at once traversed. Suddenly, pursuing troops appeared and mounted the bridge; but it melted away.

A pair of doves brought barley in their bills, messengers sent by his mysterious mother. He chose a site for his capital amid mountains and streams and thick-wooded hills. Seating himself on the royal mat as King Tongmyong, he ordered the ranks of his subjects. Alas for Songyang, king of Piryu, why was he so undiscerning? Was he a son of the immortal gods, who could not recognize a scion of Heaven?

He asked Tongmyong to be his vassal, uttering rash demands, but could not hit the painted deer's navel, and was amazed when Tongmyong split the jade ring; he found his drum and bugle changed and dared not call them his; he saw Tongmyong's ancient pillars, then returned home biting his tongue.

Tongmyong went hunting in the west, caught a tall snow-white deer, strung it up by the hind feet at Haewon, and produced a great malediction: "Let Heaven pour torrents on Piryu, and wash away his capital. I will not let you go till you help me vent my wrath."

The deer cried with great sounds so piteous they reached the ears of Heaven. And from the horrible music of the deer, a great rain fell for seven days, floods came like Huai joined with Ssu; Songyang was frightened and anxious. He had thick ropes stretched by the water, knights and peasants struggled to clutch them, sweating and gaping in fear.

Then Tongmyong took his whip and drew a line at which the waters stopped. Songyang submitted and thereafter there was no argument. A dark cloud covered Falcon Pass, the crests of ridges were hidden, and thousands upon thousands of carpenters were heard hammering there. The king said, "Music from Heaven is for me preparing a great fortress up yonder." Suddenly the mist dispersed and a palace stood out high and splendid, where Tongmyong ruled for nineteen years, till he rose to heaven and forsook his throne.