Tales of Old Japan eBook

Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 405 pages of information about Tales of Old Japan.

[Illustration:  THE HARE AND THE BADGER. (2)]

When, at last, the badger got well again, he went to the hare’s house, thinking to reproach him for having caused him so much pain.  When he got there, he found that the hare had built himself a boat.

“What have you built that boat for, Mr. Hare?” said the badger.

“I’m going to the capital of the moon,"[52] answered the hare; “won’t you come with me?”

[Footnote 52:  The mountains in the moon are supposed to resemble a hare in shape.  Hence there is a fanciful connection between the hare and the moon.]

“I had enough of your company on the Crackling Mountain, where you played me such tricks.  I’d rather make a boat for myself,” replied the badger, who immediately began building himself a boat of clay.

The hare, seeing this, laughed in his sleeve; and so the two launched their boats upon the river.  The waves came plashing against the two boats; but the hare’s boat was built of wood, while that of the badger was made of clay, and, as they rowed down the river, the clay boat began to crumble away; then the hare, seizing his paddle, and brandishing it in the air, struck savagely at the badger’s boat, until he had smashed it to pieces, and killed his enemy.

When the old man heard that his wife’s death had been avenged, he was glad in his heart, and more than ever petted and loved the hare, whose brave deeds had caused him to welcome the returning spring.

THE STORY OF THE OLD MAN WHO MADE WITHERED TREES TO BLOSSOM

In the old, old days, there lived an honest man with his wife, who had a favourite dog, which they used to feed with fish and titbits from their own kitchen.  One day, as the old folks went out to work in their garden, the dog went with them, and began playing about.  All of a sudden, the dog stopped short, and began to bark, “Bow, wow, wow!” wagging his tail violently.  The old people thought that there must be something nice to eat under the ground, so they brought a spade and began digging, when, lo and behold! the place was full of gold pieces and silver, and all sorts of precious things, which had been buried there.  So they gathered the treasure together, and, after giving alms to the poor, bought themselves rice-fields and corn-fields, and became wealthy people.

Now, in the next house there dwelt a covetous and stingy old man and woman, who, when they heard what had happened, came and borrowed the dog, and, having taken him home, prepared a great feast for him, and said—­

“If you please, Mr. Dog, we should be much obliged to you if you would show us a place with plenty of money in it.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Tales of Old Japan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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