Hukumusume fairy tale collection > Foreign language (English) > Japanese classical stories
The straw millionaire
(Japanese classical stories)
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A long time ago, one young man prayed to Kannon, the goddess of Mercy at a temple.
“My god, please make me rich.”
Then the Kannon appeared and said to him,
“The thing you first catch after you leave here will make you rich.”
The young man became happy to hear that, but he stumbled over a stone on leaving the temple.
And at the instant, he grabbed one straw.
“I wonder if this is the first thing I catch as the Kannon told me.
I doubt I will be rich with this.”
As he was tilting his head and wondering, a horsefly flew to him.
He caught the horsefly and played tying it on the straw
Then one fine oxcart came close to him and a kid inside the cart said to him,
“I want that horsefly.”
“Sure. Here you are.”
As he gave the straw with a horsefly to the kid, the retainer gave him three oranges in return.
“A straw became three oranges.”
He began walking again, and he found a woman on the road suffering from thirst.
“Here, take this oranges instead of water.”
The woman recovered after she ate those oranges.
She gave him a beautiful cloth in return.
“This time, three oranges became a cloth.”
As he was walking with the cloth, he found a man having a trouble over his sick horse.
“What’s the matter?”
“My horse was down for his sickness.
I was going to go to a town to exchange this horse for a cloth.
I will be in trouble if I don’t get a cloth today.”
“Would you like to exchange this cloth for your horse?”
When he suggested, the man took the cloth back with delight.
After he took care of the horse watering and rubbing the body, the horse got well soon.
Looking closely, it was a quite fine horse.
“Now a cloth became a horse.”
As he was walking with the horse, he found a house taking place a move.
When the master of the house saw his fine horse, he said to him,
“I have to go on a trip all of a sudden and I need a horse.
Would you possibly exchange your horse for my house and field?”
The young man received a nice house and a large field, and became rich after all.
Because one straw made him a very rich man, people called him “the straw millionaire.”
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