The three boys


The three boys

Grateful Crane

Long long ago, there lived a poor family in a village.
The husband had already been dead and the wife had to raise three children.
As she was too poor to support any more, she decided to leave them in a deep mountain.
‘I’m sure they can survive by eating wild fruits in the mountain.’ she thought.

One day she took them in a deep mountain and said to them.
“My children. Wait here for a minute while I am finding some fruits to eat.” said she and left them there.
The children were waiting for their mother to return to them in vain until it got dark.
When the elder brother and the second one began to sob,
the seven-year-old youngest brother said to the crying ones.
“It is no use crying now. Why not find some place to sleep in?” he said and climbed up a tree.
“I can see a light over there. Let’s go there.”
The youngest boy encouraged them to walk toward the light until they found an old hut in the woods.
An old woman was making a fire in ‘Irori’, or a sunken fireplace of the floor.
“Dear old lady, we got lost in a forest. So please stay us for a night.” said the youngest boy.
“It is possible for me to stay you here, but to tell the truth, this house belongs to an ogre.
When he comes back, you will be eaten up.
So you had better run away from here at once.
If you go along this road, you’ll meet him.
So you must go along the opposite way.”
said she, but they were so tired that they didn’t want to leave the hut in the dark.

“Dear old lady, we are too tired to walk on in the dark. Please do stay here.” said the boy.
“If so, the ogre does eat you up!” said she, when they heard a noise at the door.
“The demon came back. What shall I do?”
She pushed the three children into a cellar in the earthen floor and covered them with a straw mat quickly.
“I smell something human. The human being must be here.” said the ogre looking for in the house.

“To tell the truth, three children came here and asked me to stay there for a night,
but on hearing the noise when you came back, they ran away.” said the old woman.
“Is it true? I’ll catch up with them.” said the ogre and rushed out of the house.
He, of course, couldn’t find them.
“Well, I may have come here faster than they.
If I wait here, they must come here soon.”
thought he and sat down on the rock along the street.

Soon he fell asleep lying on the back because he had nothing else to do.
On the other hand, the old woman let them out of the cellar and said to them.
“Now the ogre ran out of the house with the magic shoes called ‘a thousand mile shoes’ on.
So you should run away along this way. Never go to the wrong way.”

They ran in the dark but on their way they got lost.
As they heard someone snoring in the woods, they went toward it and found a big ogre sleeping on a big rock.
So afraid, the two elder brothers began to sob.
“It is no use crying now. Why not walk away while he is sleeping?” said the youngest boy.
They quietly walked in front of the demon, when the youngest one saw a pair of magic shoes.
He succeeded in stealing the shoes from the ogre.
“The eldest brother, put this shoes on. This is a pair of magic shoes.
If you wear it, you can run faster than anyone else.”
said the youngest one and bound him and his second brother around the eldest one.
“Run, run, run!”
cried the youngest boy.

Hearing the voice, the ogre woke up.
“Wait, Boys! Wait, Children!” cried the ogre running after them.
But without the magic shoes he was unable to catch up with them.
The three boys came home in safe and they had a happy life with their mother, thanks to the magic shoes.

The end