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D. (David) Thomson.

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THE

SILLY JELLY-FISH




NCE upon a time the King
of the Dragons, who had till
then lived as a bachelor, took it into
his head to get married. His bride
was a young Dragonette just sixteen
years old,-lovely enough, in very so-
oth to became the wife of a King.
Great were the rejoicings on the oc-




casion. The Fishes, both great and
small, came to pay their respects,
and to offer gifts to the newly wed-
ded pair ; and for some days all was
feasting and merriment.

But alas! even Dragons have their
trials. Before a month had passed,
the young Dragon Queen fell ill.
The doctors dosed her with every
medicine that was known to them,
but all to no purpose. At last they
shook their heads, declaring that
there was nothing more to be done.



^



The illness must take its course, and
she would probably die. But the
sick Queen said to her husband:
"I know of something that will
cure me. Only fetch me a live Mon-
key's liver to eat, and I shall get
well at once." "A live Monkey's
liver ! " exclaimed the King. "What
are you thinking of, my dear!
Why! you forget that we Drag-
ons live in the sea, while Monkeys
live far away from here, among
the forest-trees on land. A Mon-



Vi:



key's liver ! Why ! darling, you must
be mad." Hereupon the young
Dragon Queen burst into tears:
"I only ask you for one small
thing," whimpered she, "and you
won't get it for me. I always
thought .you didn't really love me.
Oh! I wish I had staid at home
with my own m m m mama and
my own papa-a-a-a!" Here her
voice choked with sobs, and she
could say no more.
"Well, of course the Dragon King



did not like to have it thought that
he was unkind to his beautiful young
wife. So he sent for his trusty
servant the Jelly-Fish, and said:





is to swim
persuade a



"It is rather a difficult

I want you to try to <

across to the land, an

live Monkey to come here with you.

In order to make the Monkey

willing to come, you can tell him

how much nicer everything is here

in Dragon-Land than away where

he lives. But what I really want

him for is to cut out his liver,

and use it as medicine for your

young Mistress, who, as you know,

is dangerously ill."



'." '



So the Jelly-Fish went off on his
strange errand. In those days he
was just like any other fish, with
eyes, and fins, and a tail. He even
had little feet, which made him able
to walk on the land as well as to
swim in the water. It did not take
him many hours to swim across to
the country where the Monkeys
lived; and fortunately there just




happened to be a
fine Monkey
skipping




f



about among the branches of the trees
near the place where the Jelly-Fish
landed. So the JeUy-Fish said: "Mr.
Monkey! I have come to tell you
of a country far more beautiful than
this. It lies beyond the waves, and
is called Dragon-Land. There is
pleasant weather there all the year
round, there is always plenty of ripe
fruit on the trees, and there are none
of those mischievous creatures called
Men. If you will come with me, I
will take you there. Just get on
my back."



The Monkey thought it would be
fun to see a new country. So he
leapt on to the Jelly-Fish's back, and
off they started across the water.
But when they had gone about
half-way, he began to fear that
perhaps there might be some hidden
danger. It seemed so odd to be
fetched suddenly in that way by a
stranger. So he said to the Jelly-
Fish: "What made you think of
coming for me!" The Jelly-Fish
answered: "My Master, the King of ]




the Dragons, wants you in order to
cut out your liver, and give it as
medicine to his wife, the Queen
who is sick."




"Oh! that's your little game,-is it!"
thought the Monkey. But he kept
his thoughts to himself, and only said:
"Nothing could please me better
than to be of service to Their Ma-
jesties. But it so happens that I
left my liver hanging to a branch
of that big chestnut-tree, which you
found me skipping about on. A liver
is a thing that weighs a good deal.
So I generally take it out, and play
about without it during the day-time
We must go back for it." The



Jelly-Fish agreed that there was
nothing else to be done under the
circumstances. For, silly creature
that he was, he did not see that
the Monkey was telling a story in
order to avoid getting killed, and
having his liver used as medicine
for the fanciful young Dragon Queen.
When they reached the shore of



~*-

- -.-v.. ^~^~-

- - . . _





Monkey-Land again, the monkey
bounded off the Jelly-Fish's back,
and up to the topmost branch of
the chestnut-tree in less than no
time. Then he said: "I do not see



my liver here. Perhaps somebody

has taken it away. But I will look

I
for it. You, meantime, had better

go back and tell your Master
what has happened. He might be
anxious about you, if you did not
get home before dark."

So the Jelly-Fish started off a
second time; and when he got
home, he told the Dragon King
everything just as it had happened.
But the King flew into a passion

^

with him for his stupidity, and
hallooed to his officers, saying:




\l



<'Away with this fellow! Take him,
and beat him to a jelly! Don't let
a single bone remain unbroken in




his body!" So the officers seized
him, and beat him, as the King had
commanded. That is the reason why,
to this very day, Jelly-Fishes have
no bones, but are just nothing more
than a mass of pulp.

As for the Dragon Queen, when
she found she could not have the
Monkey's liver, why! she made up
her mind that the only thing to do
was to get well without it.



JAPANESE FAIRY TALE SERIES,



1. Momotaro or Little Peacbling.

2. The Tongue Cut Sparrow.

3. The Battle of the Monkey and the Crab.

4. The Old Man who made the Dead Trees Blossom.

5. Kachi-Kachi Mountain.

6. The Mouses' Wedding.

7. The Old Man and the Devils.

8. Urashima, the Fisher-boy.

9. The Eight- Headed Serpent

10. The Matsuyama Mirror.

11. The Hare of Inaba.

12. The Cub's Triumph.

13. The Silly Jelly-Fish.

14. The Princes Fire-Flash and Fire-Fade

15. My Lord Rag-o'-Rice.

1 6. The Wonderful Tea-Kettle.

1 7. Schippeitaro.

1 8. The Ogre's Arm.

19. The Ogres of Oyeyama.

20. The Enchanted Waterfall.

2nd Series No. i. The Goblin-Spider.
I i * 2. The Wonderful Mallet.
I n * 3. The Broken Images.





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Online LibraryD. (David) ThomsonJapanese fairy tale series (Volume Ser.1, no.13) → online text (page 1 of 1)