Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Rice Cake that Rolled Away

Long ago, a kind old man and woman lived in a small village in Japan.  They were helping each other to make rice cakes.  Suddenly, one of the rice cakes rolled away and fell to the ground.
   When the old man saw this happen, he shouted and ran as fast as he could.  The rice cake disappeared into a little hole, so he also went inside.  The inside of the hole made him surprised because it was pretty large and roomy.
   When he blinked his eye and brushed the dirt from his clothes, and looked up, he was in front of the stone statue of Ojizo-sama.  He apologized to the Ojizo-sama, saying that he didn't know he had come to the Ojizo-sama, and he explained that the reason he came here was that he had been trying to catch the rice cake which had rolled away from his front porch.  He offered a rice cake to the Ojizo-sama.
   When the Ojizo-sama saw him and learned of his good nature, the Ojizo-sama ordered him to climb up on his lap.  The old man was surprised about the Ojizo-sama's words, so at first he hesitated to do that.
   But as the Ojizo-sama gave him orders continuously, and finally the old man got up on the Ojizo-sama's head.  The Ojizo-sama told him to wave the fan which Ojizo-sama gave him, and to crow like a cock when some gambler came to drink and gamble in front of the Ojizo-sama.  The old man did as the Ojizo-sama told him.
   Then, the gamblers ran away from the Ojizo-sama because they thought it was already morning.  They left behind all their gold.  The Ojizo-sama gave all the gold to the old man.
   When a greedy old man and woman next door heard about this story, the greedy old man did the same things with his wife.
   The greedy old man pushed a rice cake to the Ojizo-sama's shrine.  And he crowed like a cock when some gamblers came in front of the Ojizo-sama.
   Unfortunately, he was noticed by the gamblers, who dragged the greedy man and beat him with their fists.  He managed to go back to his house somehow, but he learned that he couldn't imitate his good neighbor.
   This story made me very interested because it is true that the greedy person will fail because of his bad character.  The Ojizo-sama knowing very well about both men's characters made me interested too.

   -Sakiko Fukuda

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