Hukumusume fairy tale collection > Foreign language (English) > Japanese classical stories
Why a sparrow eats rice
(Japanese classical stories) (Chiba)
Japanese ←→ Japanese ＆ English ←→ English
A long time ago, when a guardian god of a temple called “Ishido-ji” was standing in front of a gate,
one wild goose flew to him and said,
“There’s a trouble, my guardian god! The parents of the little birds got sick!”
“Are you sure of that? Then let the children of the little birds know about that!”
Soon after the child of sparrow heard the news, he said,
“Oh my goodness! ”
And he just left where he was to fly back to his parents’ to look after them.
Thanks to his sincere care, his parents could survive from the illness.
However, when the child of swallow heard the news, she said,
“Even though he tells me to go home immediately, I can’t go with these clothes.”
And because she took time to get her makeup,
her parents’ disease progressed badly and they had passed away.
Likewise when the child of bat heard the news, he said,
“I am playing right now.”
And he did not even go home to see his parents.
Meanwhile, when the guardian god know what had happened to the three little birds, he said,
“You, the sparrow is very loyal to your parents and I am very impressed. You are allowed to eat good food from now on.”
He allowed to eat rice as humans do.
But the guardian god said to swallows which was late to go to his parents’,
“You are outrageous being late for your parents’ emergency.”
He forbid the swallow to eat rice as sparrows do,
and ordered to go to a country far away from there when the harvest season arrives.
As for the bat which kept playing and did not even return home,
“How dare you show me your face!
You stay in the dark throughout your life!”
The guardian god ordered the bat to hide in the dark cave during daytime
and come out from the cave quietly after dark.
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