A salt mortar
Long long ago, there were an elder brother and a younger brother living in a village.
The elder was greedy and lived in a big house, while the younger was honest but poor and lived in a small hut.
On the last day of a year, the younger went to the elder to borrow rice for a new year, but the elder rejected to lend rice to his brother.
When the younger was at a loss coming home, he met a strange old man, who said to him, if you go along the street, you’ll get to a village where dwarfs live.
If you get a stone-mortar there, something good will come to you, and the old man gave him a wheat MANJU(Japanese-style cake made of wheat) which the dwarfs liked best.
When he reached the dwarf village, he changed the wheat MANJU for a stone-mortar as he was told by the strange old man.
On his way home he met the old man again, who said to him,
“If you turn it to the right saying what you want, you’ll be able to get what you want from the mortar.
If you want to stop it, you have only to turn to the left.”
On coming home, he turned the mortar to the right saying what he wanted.
To his surprise, what he wanted came out of it one after another.
When he turned it to the left, it stopped.
In a time the younger became richer than the elder.
He was very kind enough to share things with the villagers.
The elder who knew everything wanted the mortar.
One day he stole it and a nearby MANJU and tried to run away to a far country in a small boat across the sea.
He felt hungry and had the MANJU on the way.
It was so sweet, he wanted something salty.
He turned the mortar in the boat saying “I want salt.”
To his surprise salt came out of it one after another.
But he didn’t know how to stop it.
The ship became full of salt until it sank in the water .
Now it is said that the mortar is always turning and producing salt every minute.
The sea water is salty because of the mortar.