Brothers

2014年01月29日

Brothers

Grateful Crane

Long long ago, two greasy brothers lived next door to each other; one was a foolish guy and the other a sly one.
The foolish brother was older and rich, and had a large house while the sly one was younger and poor, and lived in a small house.

One day the younger brother found a lean worn-out horse.
He paid only five mon for it.
But that was all the money he had.
On his way back, he happened to find a silver coin by the road.
He picked it up, and looked at his horse.
It was too old to ride on or to make work.
Just then a brilliant idea flashed in his mind.
He might obtain a profit from his big brother by a trick.
Just wait and see how his trick works.
(Mon is one of the denominations of old Japanese money.)

(The younger brother looks very excited.
He puts a silver coin into the horse’s dung in advance.
Then he visits his brother and says to him.)

(Younger):
You know what?
I bought a horse yesterday.
To tell the truth it’s not such as good a horse as yours.
But I happen to know it’s a marvelous horse.

(Elder):
A marvelous horse?
Hey, tell me everything you know about it.

(Younger):
Umm— Perhaps you won’t believe this.
But I found a silver coin in its dung this morning.

(Elder):
A silver coin in its dung?
Ridiculous!
I can’t believe it.

(Younger):
I knew you’d say so.
I shouldn’t have told you about it.
Good bye.

(Elder):
Wait, wait a minute.
I’ll go and see the horse and tell you how silly you are.

(At his brother’s stable, the elder brother sees a coin shining in the horse’s dung.
He doesn’t realize he is being taken in.
He foolishly believes what his brother said, and gradually wants the horse more than anything else.)

(Elder):
How lucky you are to get such a wonderful horse!
Umm— would you mind selling it to me?

(Younger):
Don’t be silly.
The horse is my treasure now.
I don’t want to let it go.

(Elder):
I know it’s your treasure.
But if you are kind enough to sell it to me, I’ll pay 100 mon for it.
What do you say?

(Younger):
Only 100 mon?
There’s no way to sell my horse.

(Elder):
How about 200 mon?

(Younger):
200 mon? No, I can’t.
I can’t sell it no matter how much you can offer me.

(Elder):
Um— then, 300 mon.
I’ll pay 300 mon for your lean horse.

(Younger):
No, I won’t.
You don’t know how precious it is.

(Elder):
All right, all right.
But you can’t deny me if I pay 400 mon for it.

(Younger):
No. It’s priceless, you know.

(Elder):
Damn it!
What a greedy person you are!
500 mon.
I can’t pay more for it than that.

(Younger):
Well, if you want to have it that badly, I’ll take the plunge and sell it to you.

(The younger brother is so pleased to get a lot of money while the elder one is also satisfied to get the ‘wonderful horse’.
He happily brings it to his stable and gives it a stuck of fodder.)

(Elder):
Eat as much fodder as you can.
And give me as many coins as you can.

(He waits and waits until the horse drops dung.
When the horse drops some dung, he shouts for joy.
He hurries to examine it to find coins.
But he fails at the first try.
He tries the second piece of dung.
Then he wildly stirs the dung, but he never finds any coin.
He gets so angry and rushes to his brother’s house.
The younger brother is eating supper with a look of feigned innocence.
There is an iron pot with hot rice by them.)

(Elder):
You deceived me to sell me that damn hack!

(Younger):
Calm down.
What makes you so angry?
Did I deceive you?
What are you talking about?

(Elder):
You told me that the horse could drop coins in its dung.
You liar! I’ve never found any coins in its dung.

(Younger):
Aha, you are mad at the horse, aren’t you?
Wait a few more days and, I promise, you can get coins in its dung.
By the way, look at this iron pot.
It looks like an ordinary one, but to tell the truth it’s a magic pot.

(Elder):
Are you trying to cheat me again?
I’ll never be tricked by your false stories.
Everybody knows that it’s an ordinary iron pot.
You can’t deceive me any more.

(Younger):
I know you don’t believe me.
But I call this a treasure pot, because it produces cooked rice by itself.
You don’t need to measure rice, rinse it, or cook it.
Just sit and wait, and you can see hot cooked rice in it.
Why don’t you sit down here by me and eat rice from this magic pot.

(The foolish elder brother enjoys having rice with them.
He doesn’t notice that he is been taken in again.
Soon his desire to get the magic iron pot raises its head, and forgets the horse.
But he is still careful not to be cheated by his brother.)

(Elder):
Is it true that the pot produces cooked rice by itself?

(Younger):
Are you doubting me yet?
But you just had rice from the pot, and we did too.
You’re not saying it wasn’t real rice, are you?

(Elder):
um— I’m just asking.
Yes, it was the nicest cooked rice I’ve ever had.
Um— I have something to ask you.
Would you sell the iron pot to me?

(Younger):
How can I sell it to you?
It’s my treasure.
I can’t sell it to anybody.

(Elder):
But if I pay 100 mon for the old pot, what do you say?

(Younger):
Only 100 mon?
There’s no way I’ll sell my pot.

(Elder):
How about 200 mon?

(Younger):
200 mon?
No, I can’t.
I can’t sell it no matter how much you offer me.

(Elder):
Um— then, 300 mon.
I’ll pay 300 mon for your old iron pot.

(Younger):
No, I won’t.
You don’t know how precious it is.

(Elder):
All right, all right.
But you can’t deny me if I pay 400 mon for it.

(Younger):
No. It’s priceless, you know.

(Elder):
Damn it!
What a greedy person you are!
500 mon.
I can’t pay more for it than that.

(Younger):
Well, if you’re so eager to have it, I’ll take the plunge and sell it to you.

(The younger brother is so pleased to get a lot of money while the elder one is also satisfied to own the ‘magic iron pot’.
He happily takes it back to his house, and waits for a few minutes.
Nothing happens.
He has to wait for hours.
Still nothing happens.
After patiently waiting for a day, he at last realizes that he is cheated again.
He storms into his brother’s house and yells.)

(Elder):
Hey, you liar.
I can’t forgive you this time.
You sold me a damn iron pot.
It doesn’t have any magic power at all.

(The younger brother says nothing but he is praying something to a gourd hanging on the wall.
He is raising his hands up and down and walking around the room.)

(Elder):
Hey, what are you doing?

(Younger):
Hello, Brother.
My wife is ill seriously.

(Elder):
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
Is she so bad?

(Younger):
I don’t want to say she is dying.
But— it’s a serious case.
I’m praying to this magic gourd for my wife’s recovery.

(Just then his wife returns home with a bucket full of vegetables.
The younger brother cries with joy.)

(Younger):
Thank you, God.
And thank you, Gourd!
You see, thanks to the gourd, my wife was saved.
I prayed for my wife’s recovery for hours to the gourd, and this magic heard my prayer.
You can pray about anything, and the gourd will answer you.

(The foolish elder brother doesn’t notice that he is been taken in again.
Soon his desire to get the magic gourd raises its head, and forgets the horse and pot.
But he is still careful not to be cheated by his brother again.)

(Elder):
Is it true that your wife was ill?
And she recovered as you prayed to the gourd?

(Younger):
You doubt my words?
But you’ve just seen my wife coming back home with a bucket full of vegetables.

(Elder):
Um— I’m just asking.
Well, there’s no doubt that she is healthy.
Um— I have something to ask you.
Would you sell the gourd to me?

(Younger)
How can I sell it to you?
It’s my treasure.
I can’t sell it to anybody.

(Elder):
But if you sell it to me I’ll pay 100 mon for the old gourd, what do you say?

(Younger):
Only 100 mon?
There’s no way I’ll sell my gourd.

(Elder):
How about 200 mon?

(Younger):
200 mon?
No, I can’t.
I can’t sell it to you however much you offer me.

(Elder):
Um— then, 300 mon.
I’ll pay 300 mon for your old gourd.

(Younger):
No, I won’t.
You don’t know how precious it is.

(Elder):
All right, all right.
But you can’t deny me if I pay 400 mon for it.

(Younger):
No. It’s priceless, you know.

(Elder):
Damn it! What a greedy person you are! 500 mon.
I can’t pay more for it than that.

(Younger):
If you want to have it so badly,
I’ll take the plunge and sell it to you.

(The younger brother is so pleased to get a lot of money while the elder one is also satisfied to get the ‘magic gourd’.
He happily brings it back with him to his house. He wants to try its magic power right away.
He looks around.
He already has everything he wants.
And everybody looks healthy, no one is sick or injured.
He notices that his wife smiled at him.
He suddenly grabs a thick stick near him and starts hitting her on her back.
She screams and cries.)

(Wife):
Stop, stop it.
why are you hitting me?
I don’t get it.
Did I do something wrong ?
Did I do something to hurt your feelings?

(Husband):
Sorry. I don’t want to injure you.
But I need to try this gourd’s magic power.
Be patient. Your backache will soon be recovered.

(He begins praying to the gourd and dancing around the room as his brother did.
But her bruise is still throbbing with pain.
She keeps crying.
He realizes that his brother has tricked him again.
He stamps his feet in anger, and storms into the neighbor’s to blame him for his lying.)

(Elder):
Hey, you liar.
I can’t forgive you this time.
You sold me a damn—
(He finds nobody in the house.
All he finds are a couple of cracked rice bowls.)

The end