Yei Theodora Ozaki.

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lose his liver ; it was too precious.

" But remember your promise ! " pleaded the jelly fish, now
very discouraged.

" That promise was false, and anyhow it is now broken ! "
answered the monkey. Then he began to jeer at the jelly
fish and told him that he had been deceiving him the whole
time ; that he had no wish to lose his life, which he certainly
would have done had he gone on to the Sea King's Palace to

2OO Japanese Fairy Book.

the old doctor waiting for him, instead of persuading he jelly
fish to return under false pretences.

" Of course, I won't give you my liver, but come and get it
if you can ! ' added the monkey mockingly from the tree.

There was nothing for the jelly fish to do now but to
repent of his stupidity, and return to the Dragon King of the Sea
and confess his failure, so he started sadly and slowly to swim
back. The last thing he heard as he glided away, leaving the
island behind him, was the monkey laughing at him.

Meanwhile the Dragon King, the doctor, the chief steward,
and all the servants were waiting impatiently for the return of
the jelly fish. When they caught sight of him approaching
the Palace, they hailed him with delight. They began to
thank him profusely for all the trouble he had taken in going
to Monkey Island, and then they asked him where the monkey

Now the day of reckoning had come for the jelly fish.
He quaked all over as he told his story. How he had brought
the monkey half-way over the sea, and then had stupidly let
out the secret of his commission ; how the monkey had deceived
him by making him believe that he had left his liver behind

The Dragon King's wrath was great, and he at once gave
orders that the jelly fish was to be severely punished. The
punishment was a horrible one. All the bones were to be drawn
out from his living body, and he was to be beaten with sticks.

The poor jelly fish, humiliated and horrified beyond all
words, cried out for pardon. But the Dragon King's order had
to be obeyed. The servants of the Palace forthwith each

The Jelly Fish and the Monkey.


brought out a stick and surrounded the jelly fish, and after
pulling out his bones they beat him to a flat pulp, and then
took him out beyond the Palace gates and threw him into

They beat the Jelly Fish to a flat Pulp.

the water. Here he was left to suffer and repent his foolish
chattering, and to grow accustomed to his new state of

2O2 Japanese Fairy Book.

From this story it is evident that in former times the jelly
fish once had a shell and bones something like a tortoise, but,
ever since the Dragon King's sentence was carried out on the
ancestor of the jelly fishes, his descendants have all been soft
and boneless just as you see them to-day thrown up by the
waves high upon the shores of Japan.

( 203 )



LONG, long ago, one bright autumn day in Japan, it
happened that a pink-faced monkey and a yellow crab were
playing together along the bank of a river. As they were
running about, the crab found a rice-dumpling and the monkey
a persimmon-seed.

The crab picked up the rice-dumpling and showed it to the
monkey, saying :

" Look what a nice thing I have found ! "
Then the monkey held up his persimmon-seed and said :
" I also have found something good ! Look ! "
Now though the monkey is always very fond of persimmon
fruit, he had no use for the seed he had just found. The per-
simmon-seed is as hard and uneatable as a stone. He, therefore,
in his greedy nature, felt very envious of the crab's nice dump-
ling, and he proposed an exchange. The crab naturally did
not see why he should give up his prize for a hard stone-like
seed, and would not consent to the monkey's proposition.

Then the cunning monkey began to persuade the crab,
saying :

" How unwise you are not to think of the future ! Your
rice-dumpling can be eaten now, and is certainly much bigger
than my seed ; but if you sow this seed in the ground it will

204 Japanese Fairy Book.

soon grow and become a great tree in a few years, and bear an
abundance of fine ripe persimmons year after year. If only I
could show it to you then with the yellow fruit hanging on its
branches ! Of course, if you don't believe me I shall sow it
myself; though I am sure, later on, you will be very sorry that
you did not take my advice."

The simple-minded crab could not resist the monkey's
clever persuasion. He at last gave in and consented to the
monkey's proposal, and the exchange was made. The greedy
monkey soon gobbled up the dumpling, and with great reluc-
tance gave up the persimmon-seed to the crab. He would
have liked to keep that too, but he was afraid of making the
crab angry and of being pinched by his sharp scissor-like claws.
They then separated, the monkey going home to his forest
trees and the crab to his stones along the river-side. As soon
as the crab reached home he put the persimmon-seed in the
ground as the monkey had told him.

In the following spring the crab was delighted to see the shoot
of a young tree push its way up through the ground. Each year
it grew bigger, till at last it blossomed one spring, and in the
following autumn bore some fine large persimmons. Among the
broad smooth green leaves the fruit hung like golden balls, and
as they ripened they mellowed to a deep orange. It was the
little crab's pleasure to go out day by day and sit in the sun
and put out his long eyes in the same way as a snail puts out
its horn, and watch the persimmons ripening to perfection.

" How delicious they will be to eat ! " he said to himself.

At last, one day, he knew the persimmons must be quite,
ripe and he wanted very much to taste one. He made several

The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab. 205

attempts to climb the tree, in the vain hope of reaching one
of the beautiful persimmons hanging above him ; but he failed
each time, for a crab's legs are not made for climbing trees
but only for running along the ground and over stones, both
of which he can do most cleverly. In his dilemma he thought
of his old playmate the monkey, who, he knew, could climb
trees better than anyone else in the world. He determined
to ask the monkey to help him, and set out to find him.

Running crab-fashion up the stony river bank, over the
pathways into the shadowy forest, the crab at last found the
monkey taking an afternoon nap in his favourite pine-tree, with
his tail curled tight around a branch to prevent him from falling
off in his dreams. He was soon wide awake, however, when he
heard himself called, and eagerly listening to what the crab
told him. When he heard that the seed which he had long ago
exchanged for a rice-dumpling had grown into a tree and was
now bearing good fruit, he was delighted, for he at once devised
a cunning plan which would give him all the persimmons for

He consented to go with the crab to pick the fruit for him.
When they both reached the spot, the monkey was astonished
to see what a fine tree had sprung from the seed, and with what
a number of ripe persimmons the branches were loaded.

He quickly climbed the tree and began to pluck and eat, as
fast as he could, one persimmon after another. Each time he
chose the best and ripest he could find, and went on eating till
he could eat no more. Not one would he give to the poor
hungry crab waiting below, and when he had finished there
was little but the hard, unripe fruit left.


Japanese Fairy Book.

The Monkey began to pluck and eat as fast as he coulcU

The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab. 207

You can imagine the feelings of the poor crab after waiting
patiently, for so long as he had done, for the tree to grow and
the fruit to ripen, when he saw the monkey devouring all the
good persimmons. He was so disappointed that he ran round
and round the tree calling to the monkey to remember his promise.
The monkey at first took no notice of the crab's complaints,
but at last he picked out the hardest, greenest persimmon he
could find and aimed it at the crab's head. The persimmon
is as hard as stone when it is unripe. The monkey's missile
struck home and the crab was sorely hurt by the blow. Again
and again, as fast as he could pick them, the monkey pulled oft
the hard persimmons and threw them at the defenceless crab
till he dropped dead, covered with wounds all over his body.
There he lay a pitiful sight at the foot of the tree he had
himself planted.

When the wicked monkey saw that he had killed the crab
he ran away from the spot as fast as he could, in fear and
trembling, like a coward as he was.

Now the crab had a son who had been playing with a
friend not far from the spot where this sad work had taken
place. On the way home he came across his father dead, in a
most dreadful condition his head was smashed and his shell
broken in several places, and around his body lay the unripe
persimmons which had done their deadly work. At this
dreadful sight the poor young crab sat down and wept.

But when he had wept for some time he told himself that
this crying would do no good; it was his duty to avenge his
father's murder, and this he determined to do. He looked
about for some clue which would lead him to discover the

208 Japanese Fairy Book.

murderer. Looking up at the tree he noticed that the best
fruit had gone, and that all around lay bits of peel and
numerous seeds strewn on the ground as well as the unripe
persimmons which had evidently been thrown at his father.
Then he understood that the monkey was the murderer, for he
now remembered that his father had once told him the story of
the rice-dumpling and the persimmon-seed. The young crab
knew that monkeys liked persimmons above all other fruit,
and he felt sure that his greed for the coveted fruit had been
the cause of the old crab's death. Alas !

He at first thought of going to attack the monkey at once,
for he burned with rage. Second thoughts, however, told him
that this was useless, for the monkey was an old and cunning
animal and would be hard to overcome. He must meet cunning
with cunning and ask some of his friends to help him, for he
knew that it would be quite out of his power to kill him alone.

The young crab set out at once to call on the mortar, his
father's old friend, and told him of all that had happened. He
besought the mortar with tears to help him avenge his father's
death. The mortar was very sorry when he heard the woeful
tale and promised at once to help the young crab punish the
monkey to death. He warned him that he must be very
careful in what he did, for the monkey was a strong and
cunning enemy. The mortar now sent to fetch the bee and the
chestnut (also the crab's old friends) to consult them about
the matter. In a short time the bee and the chestnut arrived.
When they were told all the details of the old crab's death
and of the monkey's wickedness and greed, they both gladly
consented to help the young crab in his revenge.

The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab. 209

After talking for a long time as to the ways and means of
carrying out their plans they separated, and Mr. Mortar went
home with the young crab to help him bury his poor father.

While all this was taking place the monkey was con-
gratulating himself (as the wicked often do before their
punishment comes upon them) on all he had done so neatly.
He thought it quite a fine thing that he had robbed his friend
of all his ripe persimmons and then that he had killed him.
Still, smile as hard as he might, he could not banish altogether
the fear of the consequences should his evil deeds be discovered.
// he were found out (and he told himself that this could not
be for he had escaped unseen) the crab's family would be sure
to bear him hatred and seek to take revenge on him. So he
would not go out, and kept himself at home for several days.
He found this kind of life, however, extremely dull, accus-
tomed as he was to the free life of the woods, and at last
he said :

" No one knows that it was I who killed the crab ! I am
sure that the old thing breathed his last before I left him.
Dead crabs have no mouths ! Who is there to tell that I am
the murderer ? Since no one knows, what is the use of shutting
myself up and brooding over the matter ? What is done cannot
be undone ! '

With this he wandered out into the crab settlement and
crept about as slyly as possible near the crab's house and tried
to hear the neighbours' gossip round about. He wanted to find
out what the crabs were saying about their chief's death, for
the old crab had been the chief of the tribe. But he heard
nothing and said to himself:

F.B. p

2io Japanese Fairy Book.

" They are all such fools that they don't know and don't
care who murdered their chief! '

Little did he know in his so-called " monkey's wisdom '
that this seeming unconcern was part of the young crab's plan.
He purposely pretended not to know who killed his father, and
also to believe that he had met his death through his own fault.
By this means he could the better keep secret the revenge on
the monkey, which he was meditating.

So the monkey returned home from his walk quite content.
He told himself he had nothing now to fear.

One fine day, when the monkey was sitting at home, he was
surprised by the appearance of a messenger from the young
crab. While he was wondering what this might mean, the
messenger bowed before him and said :

" I have been sent by my master to inform you that his
father died the other day in falling from a persimmon tree
while trying to climb the tree after fruit. This, being the
seventh day, is the first anniversary after his death, and my
master has prepared a little festival in his father's honour,
and bids you come to participate in it as you were one of his
best friends. My master hopes you will honour his house with
your kind visit."

When the monkey heard these words he rejoiced in his
inmost heart, for all his fears of being suspected were now at
rest. He could not guess that a plot had just been set in
motion against him. He pretended to be very surprised at
the news of the crab's death, and said :

" I am, indeed, very sorry to hear of your chiefs death.
We were great friends as you know. I remember that we once

The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab. 211

exchanged a rice-dumpling for a persimmon-seed. It grieves me
much to think that that seed was in the end the cause of his
death. I accept your kind invitation with many thanks. I
shall be delighted to do honour to my poor old friend!" And
he screwed some false tears from his eyes.

The messenger laughed inwardly and thought, "The
wicked monkey is now dropping false tears, but within a short
time he shall shed real ones." But aloud he thanked the
monkey politely and went home.

When he had gone, the wicked monkey laughed aloud at what
he thought was the young crab's innocence, and without the least
feeling began to look forward to the feast to be held that day in
honour of the dead crab, to which he had been invited. He
changed his dress and set out solemnly to visit the young crab.

He found all the members of the crab's family and his rela-
tives waiting to receive and welcome him. As soon as the bows
of meeting were over they led him to a hall. Here the young
chief mourner came to receive him. Expressions of condo-
lence and thanks were exchanged between them, and then they
all sat down to a luxurious feast and entertained the monkey
as the guest of honour.

The feast over, he was next invited to the tea-ceremony
room to drink a cup of tea. When the young crab had
conducted the monkey to the tea-room he left him and retired.
Time passed and still he did not return. At last the monkey
became impatient. He said to himself:

" This tea ceremony is always a very slow affair. I am tired
of waiting so long. I am very thirsty after drinking so much
sake at the dinner ! "

P 2


Japanese Fairy Book.

He then approached the charcoal fireplace and began to
pour out some hot water from the kettle boiling there, when

',- /%/, *'' ' '-i 9 >

wftAVr L

" It was your Father's fault, not Mine," gasped the unrepent&nt Monkey.

something burst out from the ashes with a great pop and hit
the monkey right in the neck. It was the chestnut, one of
the crab's friends, who had hidden himself in the fireplace. The

The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab. 213

monkey, taken by surprise, jumped backward, and then started
to run out of the room.

The bee, who was hiding outside the screens, now flew out
and stung him on the cheek. The monkey was in great pain,
his neck was burnt by the chestnut and his face badly stung
by the bee, but he ran on screaming and chattering with rage.

Now the stone mortar had hidden himself with several
other stones on the top of the crab's gate, and as the monkey
ran underneath, the mortar and all fell down on the top of the
monkey's head. Was it possible for the monkey to bear the
weight of the mortar falling on him from the top of the gate ?
He lay crushed and in great pain, quite unable to get up. As he
lay there helpless the young crab came up, and, holding his
great claw scissors over the monkey, he said :

" Do you now remember that you murdered my father ? "

"Then you are my enemy ? >: gasped the monkey

" Of course," said the young crab.

" It was your father's fault not mine ! " gasped the
unrepentant monkey.

" Can you still lie ? I will soon put an end to your breath!"
and with that he cut off the monkey's head with his pincher
claws. Thus the w r icked monkey met his well-merited punish-
ment, and the young crab avenged his father's death.

This is the end of the story of the monkey, the crab, and
the persimmon-seed.


LONG, long ago, when all the animals could talk, there
lived in the province of Inaba in Japan, a little white hare.
His home was on the island of Oki, and just across the sea
was the mainland of Inaba.

Now the hare wanted very much to cross over to Inaba.
Day after day he would go out and sit on the shore and look
longingly over the water in the direction of Inaba, and day
after day he hoped to find some way of getting across.

One day as usual, the hare was standing on the beach,
looking towards the mainland across the water, when he saw
a great crocodile swimming near the island.

"This is very lucky !' thought the hare. "Now I shall
be able to get my wish. I will ask the crocodile to carry me
across the sea ! "

But he was doubtful whether the crocodile would consent
to do what he asked, so he thought instead of asking a favour
he would try to get what he wanted by a trick.

So with a loud voice he called to the crocodile, and said :

" Oh, Mr. Crocodile, isn't it a lovely day ? "

The crocodile, who had come out all by itself that day to
enjoy the bright sunshine, was just beginning to feel a bit lonely
when the hare's cheerful greeting broke the silence. The croco-
dile swam nearer the shore, very pleased to hear someone speak.

The White Hare and the Crocodiles. 215

" I wonder who it was that spoke to me just now ! Was
it you, Mr. Hare ? You must be very lonely all by yourself!"

" Oh, no, I am not at all lonely," said the hare, " but as it
was such a fine day I came out here to enjoy myself. Won't
you stop and play with me a little while ? '

The crocodile came out of the sea and sat on the shore,
and the two played together for some time. Then the hare
said :

" Mr. Crocodile, you live in the sea and I live on this
island, and we do not often meet, so I know very little about
you. Tell me, do you think the number of your company is
greater than mine ? "

11 Of course, there are more crocodiles than hares,"
answered the crocodile. " Can you not see that for yourself?
You live on this small island, while I live in the sea, which
spreads through all parts of the world, so if I call together all
the crocodiles who dwell in the sea you hares will be as nothing
compared to us ! ' The crocodile was very conceited.

The hare, who meant to play a trick on the crocodile,
said :

" Do you think it possible for you to call up enough croco-
diles to form a line from this island across the sea to Inaba ? "

The crocodile thought for a moment, and then answered :

" Of course, it is possible."

" Then do try," said the artful hare, "and I will count the
number from here ! "

The crocodile, who was very simple-minded, and who
hadn't the least idea that the hare intended to play a trick on
him, agreed to do what the hare asked, and said :

216 Japanese Fairy Book.

" Wait a little while I go back into the sea and call my
company together ! '

The crocodile plunged into the sea and was gone for some
time. The hare, meanwhile, waited patiently on the shore.
At last the crocodile appeared, bringing with him a large
number of other crocodiles.

" Look, Mr. Hare ! " said the crocodile, " it is nothing for
my friends to form a line between here and Inaba. There are
enough crocodiles to stretch from here even as far as China or
India. Did you ever see so many crocodiles ? '

Then the whole company of crocodiles arranged themselves
in the water so as to form a bridge between the island of Oki
and the mainland of Inaba. When the hare saw the bridge of
crocodiles, he said :

" How splendid ! I did not believe this was possible. Now
let me count you all ! To do this, however, with your per-
mission, I must walk over on your backs to the other side, so
please be so good as not to move, or else I shall fall into the
sea and be drowned ! "

So the hare hopped off the island on to the strange bridge
of crocodiles, counting as he jumped from one crocodile's back
to the other :

" Please keep quite still, or I shall not be able to count.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine "

Thus the cunning hare walked right across to the main-
land of Inaba. Not content with getting his wish, he began
to jeer at the crocodiles instead of thanking them, and said, as
he leapt off the last one's back :

" Oh ! you stupid crocodiles, now I have done with you ! '

The White Hare and the Crocodiles.


And he was just about to run away as fast as he could.
But he did not escape so easily, for as soon as the
crocodiles understood that this was a trick played upon them
by the hare so as to enable him to cross the sea, and that
the hare was now laughing at them for their stupidity,
they became furiously angry and made up their minds to

g^ S5^^3$J^8|^

Some of the Crocodiles ran after the Hare and caught him.

take revenge. So some of them ran after the hare and caught
him. Then they all surrounded the poor little animal and
pulled out all his fur. He cried out loudly and entreated
them to spare him, but with each tuft of fur they pulled out,
they said :

" Serve you right ! "

When the crocodiles had pulled out the last bit of fur, they

218 Japanese Fairy Book.

threw the poor hare on the beach, and all swam away laughing
at what they had done.

The hare was now in a pitiful plight, all his beautiful
white fur had been pulled out, and his bare little body was
quivering with pain and bleeding all over. He could hardly
move, and all he could do was to lie on the beach quite
helpless and weep over the misfortune that had befallen him.
Notwithstanding that it was his own fault that had brought all
this misery and suffering upon the white hare of Inaba,
anyone seeing the poor little creature could not help feeling
sorry for him in his sad condition, for the crocodiles had been


very cruel in their revenge.

Just at this time a number of men, who looked like King's
sons, happened to pass by, and seeing the hare lying on the
beach crying, stopped and asked what was the matter.

The hare lifted up his head from between his paws, and
answered them, saying :

" I had a fight with some crocodiles, but I was beaten, and
they pulled out all my fur and left me to suffer here that is
why I am crying."

Now one of these young men had a bad and spiteful
disposition. But he feigned kindness, and said to the

" I feel very sorry for you. If you will only try it, I know
of a remedy which will cure your sore body. Go and bathe
yourself in the sea, and then come and sit in the wind. This
will make your fur grow again, and you will be just as you
were before."

Then all the young men passed on. The hare was very

The White Hare and the Crocodiles.


pleased, thinking that he had found a cure. He went and
bathed in the sea and then came out and sat where the wind

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