The Stonecutter – a Japanese version of the folktale

Once there was a poor stonecutter.  Each day he went to the mountain and cut blocks of stone, and  then took them to the market to sell.

He was quite happy, until one day he looked through the gate of a rich man’s house. He saw the rich man sitting in the shade with servants bringing him food to eat.

‘Surely the rich man is greater than I am,’  sighed the poor stonecutter. ‘If only I were a rich man, then I would be truely happy.’

The sprit of the mountan heard the stonecuter and gave him what he wanted. At once the stonecutter found himself sittng in the garden of a nice house with servants bringing him food.

‘Now I will be truly happy,’ thought the stonecutter. But a few days later he looked out the window and saw the king’s palace. He saw many  servants hurrying to obey the king, and he saw how great the king’s palace was.

‘Surely the king is greater than I am,’ he sighed. ‘If only I were a king, then I would be truely happy.’

The spirit of the mountain heard the stonecutter and gave him what he wanted. At once the stonecutter found himself si tting on a throne in a great palace, with servants hurrying to do whatever he wanted.

‘Now I will be truly happy,’ thought the stonecutter. But a few days later he was standing outside. The sun was beating down on his head. It was so hot that he had to go inside.

‘Surely the sun is greater than I am,’ he sighed. ‘If only I were the sun then I would be truely happy.’

The spirit of the mountain heard the stonecutter and gave him what he wanted. At once the stonecutter became the sun, burning in the sky. He shone down on the earth, and people cowered under the heat.

‘Now I will be truely happy,’ thought the stonecutter. But soon a cloud came between him and the earth so that no one could see him.

‘Surely the cloud is greater than I am,’ he sighed. ‘If only I were the cloud, then I would be truely happy.’

The spirit of the mountain heard the stonecutter and gave him what he wanted. At once the stonecutter became a cloud, raining upon the earth. Where the rain came, people ran for their houses.

‘Now I will be truely happy,’ thought the stonecutter. But he noticed that when the rain beat down on the mountain, the mountain was not affected.

‘Surely the mountain is greater than I am,’ he sighed. ‘If only I were the mountain, then I would be truely happy.

The spirit of the mountain heard the stonecutter and gave him what he wanted. At once the stonecutter became the mountain, strong and firm.

‘Now I will be truly happy,’ thought the stonecutter. But soon he noticed a small stonecutter coming up the side of the mountain. The stonecutter cut blocks of stone from the mountain and took them away.

‘Surely the stonecutter is greater than I am,’ he sighed. ‘If only I were a stonecutter, then I would be truely happy.’

The spirit of the mountain heard and gave him what he wanted . At once he was a poor stonecutter again. At this he was thankful, and never wished again to be something that he was not

 

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About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, currently working for Cambridge University Press and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to istanbul@cambridge.org, @istanbuljm on twitter or Henry Brothers on Facebook.
This entry was posted in Folktales, Storytelling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Stonecutter – a Japanese version of the folktale

  1. Aartiyeh says:

    only the route back is different ; otherwise the concept of ‘be happy with what you have ‘ is clearly understood.

  2. belalang cerewet says:

    love it. about gratitude. thanks

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