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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The Sea King and the Magic Jewels"

The Sea King and the Magic Jewels

Or do our maidens not please thee, who move silently, like the birds of the offing? Oh, my lord, despise me not, but tell me what is in thine heart.”

Then Prince Fire Fade answered, “My lovely lady, Thine Augustness, let nothing be hidden from thee, because of our love.” And he told them all the story of the fish-hook, and of his elder brother’s wrath.

“And now,” he said, “will the Jewel Princess give me counsel?”

Then the Jewel Princess smiled, and rose up lightly, and her hair was so long that it hung to the edge and hem of her silken red robe. And she passed to where the palace steps led down into the water. And standing upon the last step she called to the fishes of the sea, and summoned them, great and small, from far and near. So the fishes of the sea, both great and small, swam about her feet, and the water was silver with their scales. And the King’s daughter cried, “O fishes of the sea, find and bring me the august fish-hook of Prince Fire Flash.”

And the fishes answered, “Lady, the Tai is in misery, for something sticks in his throat so that he cannot eat. Perchance this may be the august fish-hook of his Augustness, Prince Fire Flash.”

Then the Princess stooped down and lifted the Tai from the water, and with her white hand she took the lost fish-hook from his throat. And after she had washed and dabbled it for a little, she took it in to Prince Fire Fade. And he rejoiced and said, “This is indeed my brother’s fish-hook. I go to restore it instantly, and we shall be reconciled.” For he loved his brother.

But the fair Jewel Princess stood silent and sorrowing, for she thought, “Now will he depart and leave me lonely.”

And Prince Fire Fade hastened to the water’s edge, and there bestrode a valiant crocodile, who should bring him to his journey’s end. And ere he went, the Sea King spoke: “Fair youth, now listen to my counsel. If thy brother sow rice upon the uplands, do thou sow thy rice low, in the water meads. But if thy brother sow his rice in the water meads, then do thou, Thine Augustness, sow thy rice upon the uplands.

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