Monday, July 20, 2015

Okinawan Folktale: Mischievous Son and the Tree Frog

Okinawa Green Tree Frog

He Cries When It Rains



A long time age, a mother and son lived, where the mountains meet the coastline.

The old woman made tofu, from sunrise to sunset, to earn a living. 

In the evenings she would carry a basket on her head, selling her product around the island.

The son named, Tara, couldn't be trusted, to help the aging mother.

With his devious mind, he was always causing her trouble.

If she asked him to draw a bucket of seawater, for her tofu, he would bring fresh water, instead.

When she needed fresh water, from the river, Tara would fetch seawater.

The mother became sickly and bedridden, she was near death.

She wondered what her son would do with her remains.

She really would like to be buried high on a hill, above the sea.

If she told Tara, the location overlooking the ocean, would be best, he might not do it.

So, she told him, she wanted to be buried in the riverbed.

This Time He Didn't Do the Opposite



A few days later, the mother passed away.

Tara, cried and thought about all the times he had mistreated his mother.

He decided, this last time, he would carry out the wishes of his mother.

He buried her on the bank of the river.

Her spirit was disturbed because, she really would have prefered a place overlooking the ocean.

In a way, the son had failed his mother, again.

A bolt of lightening, came down from the sky and, struck Tara's belly button.

It turned him into a tree frog.

Whenever it rains, croaking of the frogs along the river can be heard.

It is Tara, crying because, he is worried, the rising water may take his mother away. 


Okinawan Folk Stories ISBN978-4-99009-146-0 P.74

Perverseness and the Tree Frog

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