D. (David) Thomson.

Japanese fairy tale series (Volume Ser.1, no.14) online

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Told in English by iMrs. T. H. Janxes.



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Highness Fire-flash was a


Prince who was fond of fishing;
I and so great was his luck, that big
fishes, and little fishes, and all kinds
of fishes came to his line. His
younger brother, Prince Fire-fade, was
fond of hunting, and all his luck
was on the hills, and in the woods,
where he caught birds and beasts of
every kind


One day Prince Fire-fade said to
his elder brother Prince Fire-flash:
"Let us change. You go and hunt
instead of me, and I will try my luck
at fishing, if you will lend me your
line and hook." Prince Fire-flash did

not care much to


and at first said No; but his
brother kept on teazing him about
it, until at last he said, "Very well,
then; let us change."

Then Prince Fire-fade tried his luck
at fishing, but not a single fish did
he catch; and, what was worse, he
lost his brother's fish-hook in the

Prince Fire-flash asked him for
the hook, saying: "Hunting is one
thing, and fishing is another. Let
us both go back to our own ways,"

Then said Prince Eke-fade, " I did
not catch a single fish with your
hook, and at last I lost it in the sea.

But Prince Fire-flash said : " I must


and shall have my fish-hook." So
the younger brother broke his long
I sword, that was girded on him, and,


of the pieces, made five hundred
fish-hooks, and begged Prince Fire-
flash to take them, but he would
not. Then Prince Fire-fade made a
thousand fish-hooks and, said: "Please
take them instead of the one which
I lost" But the elder brother

said: "No, I must have my own
hook, and I will not take any other."

Then Prince Fire-fade was very
sorry, and sat down by the sea shore,
crying bitterly.

By and by the Wise Old Man
of the Sea came to him and asked:
"Why are you crying so bitterly
Prince Fire-fade?" Fire-fade told
him all the story of the lost
fish-hook, and how that his brother


was angry, still saying that he must
have that very same hook and
no other. Then the Wise Old
Man of the Sea built a stout
little boat, and made Prince Fire-


fade sit in it. Having pushed it
a little from the land, he said:
"Now go on for some time in the
boat; it will be very pleasant, for
the sea is calm. Soon you will
come to a palace built like fishes'
scales: this is the palace of the Sea-
King. When you reach the gate,
you will see a fine cassia-tree,
growing above the well, by the side
of the gate. If you will sit on the
top of that tree, the Sea-King's
daughter will see you, and tell
you what to do."

So Prince Fire-fade did as he was
told, and every thing came to pass
just as the Wise Old Man of the
Sea had told him. As soon as he
was come to the Sea-King's palace,
he made haste, and climbed up into
the cassia-tree, and sat there. Then
came the maidens of the Princess
Pearl, the Sea-King's daughter, car-
rying golden water-pots. They
were just going to draw water, when
they saw a flood of light upon the
well. They looked up, and there in
the cassia-tree, was a beautiful young


man. Prince Fire-fade saw the
maidens, and asked for some water.
The maidens drew some, and put it in
a golden cup, and gave him to
drink. Without tasting the water,
the Prince took the jewel that hung
at his neck, put it between his lips,
and let it drop into the golden cup.
It stuck to the cup, so that the
maidens could not take it off; so they
brought the cup, with the jewel on
it, to the Princess Pearl

When she saw the jewel, the
Princess asked her maidens: "Is

there any one inside the gate?"
So the maidens answered: "There
is some one sitting on the top of
the cassia-tree, above our well. It
is a beautiful young man,-~more
beautiful even than our King. He
asked for water, and we gave him
some; but, without
drinking it,

he dropped this jewel from his lips
into the cup, and we have brought
it to you." Then Princess Pearl,
thinking this very strange, went out
to look. She was delighted at the
sight. But not giving the Prince
time to take more than one little
peep at her, she ran to tell her
father, saying; "Father, there is a
beautiful person at our gate."

Then the Sea-King himself went
out to look. When he saw the young
man on the top of the tree, he knew
that it must be Prince Fire-fade.

He made him come down, and
led him into the palace, where he
seated him upon a throne made
of sea-asses 7 skins, and silk rugs,
eight layers of each. Then a great
feast was spread, and every one
was so kind to Prince Fire-fade,
that the end of it was, he married
Princess Pearl, and lived in that
land for three years.

Now, one night, when the three
years had almost passed, Prince
Fire-fade thought of his home, and
what had happened there, and heaved


one deep sigh.

Princess Fearl was grieved, and
told her father, saying; "We have
been so happy these three years, and
he never sighed before, but, last
night, he heaved one deep sigh.
What can the meaning of it be?"
So the Sea-king asked the Prince
to tell him what ailed him, and
also what had been the reason of
his coming to that land. Then Prince
Fire-fade told the Sea-King all the
story of the lost fish-hook, and how
his elder brother had behaved.

The Sea-King at once called
together all the fishes of the Sea,
great and small, and asked; "Has
any fish taken % this

So all the fishes said; "The tai*
has been complaining of something
sticking in his throat, and hurting
him when he eats, so perhaps he has
taken the hook."

So they made the tai open his

mouth, and looked in his throat,

* /

and there, sure enough, was the
! fish-hook. Then the hook was
washed and given to Prince Fire-fade.
The Sea-King also gave him two
jewels. One was called the tide-
flowing jewel and the other was
called the tide-ebbing jewel. And

he said then to the Prince; "Gk>
home now to your own land, and
take back the fish-hook to your
brother. In this way you shall
plague him. If he plant rice-fields
in the upland, make you your
rice-fields in the valley; and if he
make rice-fields in the valley, do
you make your rice-fields in the
upland I will rule the water so
that it may do good to you, but
harm to him. If Prince Fire-flash
shouH be angry with you for this,
aad tr to kill you; then put out

the tide-flowing jewel, and the tide
will come up to drown him. But
if he is sorry, and asks pardon,
then put out the tide-ebbing jewel,
and the tide will go back, and let
him live."

Then the Sea-King called all the
crocodiles, and said; "His Highness
Prince Fire-fade is going to the
upper world; which of you will
take him there quickly, and bring me
back word?" And one crocodile,
a fathom long, answered; "I will take
him to the upper world, and come

back in a day." "Do so, then"
said the Sea-King, and be sure that
you do not frighten him as you are
crossing the middle of the sea."
He then seated the Prince upon
the crocodile's
head, and saw
him of

The crocodile brought him safe
home, in one day, as he had promised.
When the crocodile was going to
start back again, Prince Fire-fade
untied the dirk from his own belt,
and setting it on the creature's neck,
sent him away. h

Then Prince Fire-fade gave the
fish-hook to his elder brother; and,
in all things, did as the Sea-King
had told him to do. So from that
time, Prince Fire-flash became poor,
and came with great fury to kill his
brother. But, jrat in time, Prince

Fire-fade put forth the tide flowing
jewel to drown him. When he found


, himself in such danger,
Prince Fire-flash said
he wa* sorry.

So his brother put forth the tide-
ebbing jewel
to save

When he had been plagued in
this way for a long time, he bowed
% his head, saying; "From this time
forth, I submit to you, my younger
brother. I will be your guard by
day and by night, and in all things
serve you." His struggles in the
water, when he thought he was drown-
ing, are shown at the Emperor's
Court even to, this very day.

, ^ J J




Online LibraryD. (David) ThomsonJapanese fairy tale series (Volume Ser.1, no.14) → online text (page 1 of 1)