Thursday, December 17, 2015

Korean folk tale – Golden Ax and Silver Ax

Once upon a time, when even tigers were smoking, lived there a good woodcutter near a mountain. He was a diligent man working hard every day to buy some medicine for his mother in sickness. One day, his ax fell into a pond by mistake of strong batting. He was in such a huge panic, because it is the only one ax he had. In a bitter disappointment, he cried loudly. At that moment, a mountain god heard his crying and appeared in front of the woodcutter. The god asked him why he was crying. The woodcutter explained that his ax was deep in the pond by his mistake. After woodcutter’s confession, the god went down to the pond and brought a shiny golden ax, and asked the woodcutter if it was his. He said no. The god went down again and grabbed a bright silver ax, and asked again whether it was his or not. He said again, no. Lastly, the god came with an coarse iron ax and asked it was his. The woodcutter said yes and thanked the god from his sincere heart. The mountain god was moved by the woodcutter’s honesty and gave all the three axes to him for supporting the woodcutter’s care for his mother. On the woodcutter’s way home, he met another woodcutter, who was greedy and dishonest. The greedy woodcutter had heard what happened on the mountain and he decided to do exactly the same thing. The greedy one threw into his ax to the same pond on purpose. Again, the mountain god appeared. However, when the god brought a golden ax, the greedy woodcutter screamed, “yes that was mine!”. The god was very angry against his dishonesty. Finally, the god took the greedy one’s iron ax and disappeared. The greedy woodcutter lost his iron ax and cried loudly but the mountain god never appeared again. (Hyungeun, 2015)

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