Grateful Crane
Long long ago, there lived a Buddhist priest and his young disciple in a mountain temple.
The priest was so mean that he never gave the young boy sweets he had been given by the supporters of his temple.
One day the priest was given ‘Ohagi’(rice cake wrapped by sweet small beans)by one of them.
When he went working on Buddhist memorial service in a village, he said to the boy,
“Listen to me. This is a poison called ‘Ohagi’. If you eat it, you will die at once. So never eat it. Do you understand?”
The boy was left alone in the temple and said to himself,
‘My master told me that if I eat it, I would die at once. But I’m sure it is a lie. He must have said so for fear that I should eat it.’

Opening the cupboard, he picked up and ate it.
“Wow, I have never tasted such a sweet food before.” thought he.
He ate and ate it one after another. It was impossible for him to stop it.
“It’s delicious. One more.”
As he found that he had eaten it up, he became anxious about it.
“Oh, my God. What would happen if my master came home? I will be severely scolded and hit by him and ….. What shall I do?”
After thinking for a while, he thought up a good idea;
He spread the sweet small beans around the mouth of a Buddhist Statue in the main room.
As soon as the priest came home, he opened the cupboard to find it missing.
“Mr. Boy. Where is ‘Ohagi’?” asked the priest.
“I don’t know anything.” said the boy.
“But none is left. Nobody but you can eat it. Neither cats nor mice can open the cupboard. You must have eaten it.” said he in anger, picking up a stick to beat the boy.
“My master. There is a thing which can eat it except me.”
“Who can eat it except you?”
“I think Buddhist Statue did. I saw it open the cupboard and eat ‘Ohagi’. If you think it’s a lie, please listen to the statue.” said the boy seriously.

The priest and the boy went into the main room.
The boy pointed at the statue and said to the priest,
“My master. He is the statue who ate ‘Ohagi’. Please look at his mouth. There are the sweet small beans around his mouth.”

The priest went in front of the statue and said to it,
“Mr. Buddha. Is it you that ate ‘Ohagi’?”
Of course, the statue said nothing to him.
“Mr. Buddha. Is it you that ate ‘Ohagi’?” said the priest again.

Of course, the statue said nothing to him.
“Mr. Buddha. Even if you said nothing, your mouth has the sweet small beans.” said the priest in anger and hit him on the shoulder with the stick.
“Kuwooon(I don’t eat).”
“Kuwooon. I see. Mr. Boy. Statue said he hadn’t eaten.”
The boy said to the priest,
“My master. Even if the statue is hit, he will never tell us the truth. If he is put into water, he will tell us the truth.”

They carried the statue in the pond and made it stand there.
The statue had a small hole at his foot, into which water went, making a sound.
“Kutta,kutta,kutta(I ate).”
Listening to the sound, the boy said to the priest,
“My master. The statue is saying, ‘I ate it. I ate it.’”
The master laughed at him loudly and said to the boy,
“You are so clever. Ha-ha-ha-ha. But I’ll punish you.”

The end