英语故事 The Great Fortune Teller

Long, long ago, there were two young bachelors, Tori (meaning, Stone) and Tukkebi (Toad)。 Bachelor Stone was very intelligent and resourceful, while Bachelor Toad was rather slow but sly. Both of them were very, very poor.

One day, resourceful Stone conceived of some ideas and told Toad, “Toad, life is so hard for you and me because we have always been so poor. Let’s do something so that we, too, can live a little more comfortably. What do you think, Toad?” “You are right, Stone, but what could we do? I can’t think of any workable idea,” said Toad. “Well, Toad, as a matter of fact I do have an idea.” “You do?” “Yes, I have a splendid idea! Would you work with me, Toad?” “Surely, if you think I can, replied Toad. ”Of course, you can. From now on, you are to become a diviner.“ ”A diviner? How can I act as a diviner when I do not even know whether I can have a meal tonight?“

Toad could not understand, but Stone was smiling and said, “Relax, Toad. Nothing to worry about. All you have to do is to follow my instructions exactly. Now, listen carefully, Toad. Today I am going to sneak into the King’s palace to steal the Royal Seal. Then, I am going to bury it under the old chestnut tree in the rear garden of the palace. When the time comes, you will go to the palace and say that you are a diviner and that you can solve that grave problem. You will then be led into the palace. Say to the king that you could tell where the Seal is. After the recovery of the Seal, you will be sure to be rewarded generously by the king. Then, you and I will share the reward. How about it?” “That sounds great, but what if you get caught in the act?” asked Toad, looking very worried. “Don’t worry about me. And, too, no one else besides us knows about this scheme.”

That night Stone slipped into the palace, stole the Seal and buried it under the chestnut tree. Everything went well as planned. Next morning, there was a big commotion in the palace over the stolen Seal. And King issued a stern order to his courtiers and ministers that the Seal be recovered at once. But the king’s men had no idea about where the Seal might be. As days passed, they became more and more agonized over their inability to recover it.

A few days after the Seal was stolen, Toad went to the palace and said calmly and confidently: “I am a diviner. I will try my best to locate the stolen Seal, if you allow me to.” Toad was immediately welcomed by the court officials whose faces were lit up with relief. Toad, then, walked into the king’s quarters led by the officials. He sat down, closed his eyes, and occasionally blinked his eyes rapidly several times, as fortune-tellers usually did. Then, all of a sudden he slapped his knee and exclaimed, “Aha! This sly old chestnut tree! Standing innocently like that can’t trick me? ? The surrounding officials looked at each other, looking puzzled. But, with the guileful display of innocence, Toad stood up, went straight to the old chestnut tree in the back yard and started digging under it. And there it was! King was much relieved and pleased, and rewarded Toad generously with strings of money.

A few days after this, however, Toad was in for trouble, for he was summoned by the king when a thief stole Queen’s precious jewelry, an ornate gold girdle with pendants. This time, it was not his friend, Stone, who stole it. Toad was at a loss. Not knowing what to do, he just strolled around the court yard, pretending to be waiting for divine inspiration. He was walking back and forth all day, and that night, too, he was out in the court yard, strolling and regretting his earlier participation in Stone’s scheme. Just then, someone suddenly appeared in the dark. It was a court maid, who kneeled in front of Toad and bowed politely. “Who are you? And what are you doing?” She lifted her face. Toad could see tears in her eyes. She said chokingly, “I know, Mr. Toad, that you know everything about what happened. Please, don’t pretend that you do not know.” “Lady, I do not understand what you are talking about,” Said Toad in a modulated voice, trying to hide his puzzlement. “It is I who stole the girdle and buried it under that wooden floor over there,” said the maid, pointing to a corner of a building. “Mr. Toad, please, be merciful. Please, do not tell this to anyone.” Hearing all this, Toad felt quite relieved, convinced that she was telling the truth. “Ha, ha! I’ve been waiting for you to come forth and ask for forgivenness for your outrageous conduct. I am glad you came to me tonight. Never, again, do such a crooked thing? ? Toad admonished her gently, putting on a straight face.

Next morning, Toad went before King, bowed deeply and said, “Your Royal Highness, I have located the jewelry. This time, the culprit is the wooden floor around the rear court yard. I will lead you there.” Reaching the location pointed out to by the maid the night before, Toad started digging a spot under the floor and took out the gold girdle.

After this second divination, Toad became famous, and his name became a household word throughout the country. His reputation eventually reached neighboring China. The emperor of China wished to meet Toad, the famous diviner, and an arrangement was made by the king, who invited the emperor to his Royal Palace. Toad was summoned again by the king for demonstrating his remarkable ability of divination to the emperor of China.

King asked, pointing to a stone on top of a small mound of earth: “Toad, what is hidden inside the mound? Tell us what it is.” Toad almost fainted. He felt as if the whole world had been collapsing on him. He thought he could not see another sunrise. Until then, he had been simply lucky, but how in the world could he tell what was hidden under that heap of soil? As he was resigned to die, tears were welling up in his eyes. Very, very sad, Toad lamented inside: “Stone! Because of you and your cute scheme, I am about to be fatally punished. Had it not been for your scheme, Stone, I may still be poor but would not lose my life. And……” When his inner lamenting reached this point, he could not overcome sorrow and resentfulness, and finally shouted out aloud: “Toad is dying because of you, Stone? ? Just then, exploded loud cheers from the emperor and his entourage. The emperor had hidden a toad under the stone! Out of admiration the emperor rewarded Toad with a load of money, and Toad lived comfortably and happily ever after.

Korea

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