Teach Kids the Importance of Sharing with this Korean Folktale
A cautionary folktale from Korea about a young man who discovers that it is not a good idea to hoard stories. (duration 12 minutes) An episode from Journey with Story, a storytelling podcast for kids.(could be a bit scary for little ones – best for ages 7 and up.)
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The story Bag:E140
The story Bag:E140
Do you know what the word, hoard means? Yes, it means to collect or hide – so someone might hoard food or money or something of value that he does not want to share with anyone. I wonder do you know anyone who hoards things?
Hello everyone. I’m Kathleen Pelley. Welcome to Journey with Story. Today’s episode is a folktale from Korea about a boy who hoards stories of all things, and as you will find out, hoarding stories is not a good idea at all.
Thanks so much to all our loyal listeners all around the world who have been rating and reviewing our podcast.
And thanks also to all of you who joined our FLA book launch celebrations and contests last month. If you missed out, then you can still enjoy some FLA coloring sheets and story hour kit if you sign up for my newsletter at www.journeywithstory.com and be sure and look at our episode notes this month where we will be giving you details about ANOTHER giveaway that we are hosting very soon.
Let’s take a journey with – The Story Bag.
Long ago, there once lived a very wealthy family, who had only one child – a little boy, who loved to hear stories. Whenever he met a new person, he would say, “Please can you tell me a new story?”
And each time he would tuck away that story in a small bag he carried on his belt. After some time, he had heard so many, many stories, that his bag was bulging and he had to push hard to cram each new story inside. Then, to make sure that none of the stories escaped, he kept the bag very tightly shut.
Years passed, and the boy eventually grew into a fine young man. It was time for him now to marry, and so the family chose a bride for him. For days the household was in an uproar, making preparations to welcome the young master’s new wife.
Now, it happened that in this wealthy household, there was a faithful old servant who had lived with the family ever since this story-loving boy was a baby. As the other servants were preparing for the wedding, this old servant tended the fire on the kitchen hearth. Suddenly he heard faint whispering sounds coming from somewhere. He listened carefully, and to his amazement, he discovered the voices were coming from a bag hanging on the wall.
It was the bag of stories which the young master had kept when he was a child. The old servant leaned in closer to listen.
“Listen carefully,” said a voice, “the boy’s wedding is to take place tomorrow. He has kept us this long while stuffed in this bag, packed so closely and uncomfortably together. We have suffered for a long time, and now we must make him pay for this some way or another.
“Yes,” said another voice. “I have been thinking the same thing. Tomorrow the young man will ride away on his horse to bring home his bride. I shall change into bright red berries, ripening by the roadside. There I shall wait for him, and will look so beautiful that he will be sure to want to eat me, but…he will not know that I shall be poisonous. He will wish he had never eaten me!”
“And if he doesn’t eat the berries,” chimed a third voice, “then I shall become a clear, bubbling spring by the roadside. I shall have a beautiful copper cup floating in me. When he sees me he will feel thirsty and will drink me. And I will make him wish he had never drunk from me.”
A fourth voice then piped up, “If you both fail, then I shall become an iron skewer, heated red-hot, and I shall hide in the bag of straw that will be placed by his horse where he will dismount. When he steps on me, I shall scorch his feet.”
Then a fifth voice whispered, “And if all that fails, then I shall become a poisonous string of snakes, thin as threads. I shall hide in the bridal chamber. When the bride and groom fall asleep, I shall slither out and – bite them!”
Now when the faithful old servant heard all these terrible threats, he was filled with alarm. “How dreadful,” he said. “I must protect my young master. When he leaves the house tomorrow, I will take the bridle and lead his horse myself.”
So, early the next morning, as the final preparations were completed, the wedding procession set forth. The groom, dressed in all his finery, came out of the house and mounted his horse. At once the faithful servant charged forward and grabbed the horse’s bridle, asking if he could lead the horse.
But the old master of the house said, “You have work to do here. I want you to stay behind.”
The faithful servant did not give up. “But I must lead the horse today,” he insisted. “I don’t care what anyone says, I must take the bridle.”
The old master was surprised by the old man’s obstinacy and in the end, he relented and agreed to let him do as he asked.
After a short while, the procession came to an open field, and there by the roadside, grew many bright red berries.
“Wait! Wait!” cried the bridegroom. “Stop the horse and pick me some of those juicy berries.”
But the servant paid no heed to his master. Instead, he hurried the horse to trot faster, saying, “Oh, those berries are not special. You can find them anywhere. Be patient and I shall pick some for you later.”
A little further along the road, they came to a bubbling stream. The water looked so cool and refreshing and there was even a copper cup bobbing on the water.
“Quick, bring me a cup of that water,” demanded the bridegroom. “I am parched with thirst.”
But again the servant just prodded the horse and hurried by. “Once we get into the shade of those trees, your thirst will pass.
The bridegroom grumbled and complained. His mood turned sour and nasty, but the servant paid him no heed. He made the horse go even faster now, and soon enough, they reached the bride’s home.
There, already gathered outside, was a huge crowd of people. The servant led the horse into the compound and stopped it beside the mound of hay. As the bridegroom put down his foot to dismount, the servant pretended to stumble and shoved the bridegroom to keep him from stepping on the bale of hay.
The bridegroom toppled over and fell on to the straw mats laid out on the ground. He blushed with shame at his clumsiness. He dared not scold the servant in front of all these people, so he kept his silence and entered the bride’s home.
Inside a grand ceremony was held with a lavish feast and much rejoicing, and the newly married couple returned to the groom’s home.
That night, when the couple retired to their room, the servant armed himself with a sword and he hid himself under the veranda outside the bridal chamber. As soon as he saw the couple had turned out their lights, the servant opened the door and leapt inside.
“Who’s there?” shouted the couple, startled by such an intrusion.
“Young master, the servant said, “I shall explain later. But right now, hurry and get out of the way.”
Then the servant kicked the bedding aside, lifted the mattress and uncovered a terrible sight – a writhing nest of snakes. But one slash from the servant’s sharp sword was enough to slay them.
With a great sigh of relief, the servant turned to the couple and began, “Young master, this is the story…” And he recounted all the whispers that he had heard coming from the old bag on the kitchen wall.
And that is why when stories are heard they must never be stored away lest they become mean and spiteful. Instead they must always be shared with other people. In this way, they are passed from one person to another so that as many people as possible can enjoy them.
So, I think the story souvenir of this folktale is very clear isn’t it? We need to share stories with others – just like most good things in life, stories are meant to be shared so as to spread goodness and joy and love with others.
Thanks to all of you who let me share these stories from all around the world.
Stay safe, be well.
Cheerio then, join me next time for Journey with Story.