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

The adventures of Kintaro, the golden boy

The bear came forward as umpire.

The deer with long horns and the hare with long ears, it must have been an amusing sight to those who watched this queer match. Suddenly the deer went down on one of his knees, and the bear with the leaf on high declared him beaten. In this way, sometimes the one, sometimes the other, conquering, the little party amused themselves till they were tired.

At last Kintaro got up and said:

"This is enough for to-day. What a nice place we have found for wrestling; let us come again to-morrow. Now, we will all go home. Come along!" So saying, Kintaro led the way while the animals followed.

After walking some little distance they came out on the banks of a river flowing through a valley. Kintaro and his four furry friends stood and looked about for some means of crossing. Bridge there was none. The river rushed "don, don" on its way. All the animals looked serious, wondering how they could cross the stream and get home that evening.

Kintaro, however, said:

"Wait a moment. I will make a good bridge for you all in a few minutes."

The bear, the deer, the monkey and the hare looked at him to see what he would do now.

Kintaro went from one tree to another that grew along the river bank. At last he stopped in front of a very large tree that was growing at the water's edge. He took hold of the trunk and pulled it with all his might, once, twice, thrice! At the third pull, so great was Kintaro's strength that the roots gave way, and "meri, meri" (crash, crash), over fell the tree, forming an excellent bridge across the stream.

"There," said Kintaro, "what do you think of my bridge? It is quite safe, so follow me," and he stepped across first. The four animals followed. Never had they seen any one so strong before, and they all exclaimed:

"How strong he is! how strong he is!"

While all this was going on by the river a woodcutter, who happened to be standing on a rock overlooking the stream, had seen all that passed beneath him. He watched with great surprise Kintaro and his animal companions.

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