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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The Jelly-Fish takes a Journey"

The Jelly-Fish takes a Journey

” said the jelly-fish.

“Tell him of all the beauties and pleasures of Dragonland. Tell him he will be happy here and that he may play with mermaids all the day long.”

“Well,” said the jelly-fish, “I’ll tell him that.”

Off set the jelly-fish; and he swam and he swam, till at last he reached the shore where grew the tall trees of the forest. And, sure enough, there was a monkey sitting in the branches of a persimmon tree, eating persimmons.

“The very thing,” said the jelly-fish to himself; “I’m in luck.”

“Noble monkey,” he said, “will you come to Dragonland with me?”

“How should I get there?” said the monkey.

“Only sit on my back,” said the jelly-fish, “and I’ll take you there; you’ll have no trouble at all.”

“Why should I go there, after all?” said the monkey. “I am very well off as I am.”

“Ah,” said the jelly-fish, “it’s plain that you know little of all the beauties and pleasures of Dragonland. There you will be happy as the day is long. You will win great riches and honour. Besides, you may play with the mermaids from morn till eve.”

“I’ll come,” said the monkey.

And he slipped down from the persimmon tree and jumped on the jelly-fish’s back.

When the two of them were about half-way over to Dragonland, the jelly-fish laughed.

“Now, jelly-fish, why do you laugh?”

“I laugh for joy,” said the jelly-fish. “When you come to Dragonland, my master, the Dragon King, will get your liver, and give it to my mistress the Dragon Queen to eat, and then she will recover from her sickness.”

“My liver?” said the monkey.

“Why, of course,” said the jelly-fish.

“Alas and alack,” cried the monkey, “I’m grieved indeed, but if it’s my liver you’re wanting I haven’t it with me. To tell you the truth, it weighs pretty heavy, so I just took it out and hung it upon a branch of that persimmon tree where you found me. Quick, quick, let’s go back for it.”

Back they went, and the monkey was up in the persimmon tree in a twinkling.

“Mercy me, I don’t see it at all,” he said. “Where can I have mislaid it?

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