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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The adventures of Kintaro, the golden boy"

The adventures of Kintaro, the golden boy

"Red-back! Red-back! stand your ground!" called out the deer.

"Long-ears! Long-ears! be strong, be strong—don't let the monkey beat you!" grunted the bear.

So the monkey and the hare, encouraged by their friends, tried their very hardest to beat each other. The hare at last gained on the monkey. The monkey seemed to trip up, and the hare giving him a good push sent him flying off the platform with a bound.

The poor monkey sat up rubbing his back, and his face was very long as he screamed angrily. "Oh, oh! how my back hurts—my back hurts me!"

Seeing the monkey in this plight on the ground, the deer holding his leaf on high said:

"This round is finished—the hare has won."

Kintaro then opened his luncheon box and taking out a rice-dumpling, gave it to the hare saying:

"Here is your prize, and you have earned, it well!"

Now the monkey got up looking very cross, and as they say in Japan "his stomach stood up," for he felt that he had not been fairly beaten. So he said to Kintaro and the others who were standing by:

"I have not been fairly beaten. My foot slipped and I tumbled. Please give me another chance and let the hare wrestle with me for another round."

Then Kintaro consenting, the hare and the monkey began to wrestle again. Now, as every one knows, the monkey is a cunning animal by nature, and he made up his mind to get the best of the hare this time if it were possible. To do this, he thought that the best and surest way would be to get hold of the hare's long ear. This he soon managed to do. The hare was quite thrown off his guard by the pain of having his long ear pulled so hard, and the monkey seizing his opportunity at last, caught hold of one of the hare's legs and sent him sprawling in the middle of the dais. The monkey was now the victor and received, a rice-dumpling from Kintaro, which pleased him so much that he quite forgot his sore back.

The deer now came up and asked the hare if he felt ready for another round, and if so whether he would try a round with him, and the hare consenting, they both stood up to wrestle.

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